Crop Field And Red Barn Under The Large Bright Moon
harvest moon
(Image credit: srbeckle)

The phases of the moon have long been thought to influence crops and the way they grow. From planting time to harvest, ancient farmers believed that the moon could influence the success of their crops. It was said that the moon could affect everything from moisture levels to the gravitational pull-on plants. Today, many gardeners still choose to grow by changes in the moon. While some believe firmly in these practices, many have dismissed the information as simply garden myth.

Regardless of personal beliefs, information related to the moon and growing crops remains relevant. The connection between the harvest moon and gardening, for example, is just one of these many interesting aspects to explore. Learning about harvest moon facts can help determine whether or not there is validity to these garden legends.

What is the Harvest Moon?

Answering the question, "when is the harvest moon," is key to understanding exactly what it actually is. The harvest moon refers to the full moon which occurs nearest the autumnal equinox. Though this will usually occur in the month of September, it may also occur in early October, depending upon the calendar year.

Throughout the world, many cultures observe and celebrate the arrival of the harvest moon in some form.

Does the Harvest Moon Affect Plants?

While there may be no real effect related to the harvest moon and plants, it does seem to serve a purpose in the garden.

Although the harvest moon is no larger or brighter than other full moons throughout the year, it is known for its early rise, which occurs just after sunset. This allows for several nights of extended periods of moonlight, in which farmers are able to continue working in fields and harvesting crops.

The harvest moon was especially important for early farmers. Its arrival marked the beginning of the fall season, and more importantly, the time to harvest crops. Without modern tools, large harvests were exceptionally labor intensive and time consuming. These much-needed crops were of great importance, as they would help to ensure survival throughout the winter months.

Tonya Barnett

Tonya Barnett has been gardening for 13 years. Flowers are her passion. She has trasformed her backyard into a cut flower garden, which she regularly chronicles on her YouTube channel