Author Topic: Lunar Influence on Plants  (Read 8619 times)

coh

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Re: Lunar Influence on Plants
« Reply #30 on: August 20, 2014, 12:22 PM »
I would love about 2 Graduate Students and the infrastructure to work on this. 

Wouldn't we all! Unfortunately, it's a lot harder to get grants these days due to funding cuts (unless you're doing military research, bio-terrorism, etc). My wife is a biochemistry professor and I can't remember what she said the approval rate is for research grants from places like NIH, NSF...pretty darn small.

I'm actually surprised that there doesn't seem to be any "hard" research on possible lunar effects on plant growth, considering that agriculture is the basis on which society feeds itself. Yet studies have been done looking at what happens to fish when they get drunk.

The problem I see is all the variables. If you could hold everything else constant, then perhaps it would make sense to time your pruning, repotting, etc to phases of the moon. But with everything else going on - seasonal climate patterns in particular - I have to wonder if it's worth the time to even experiment with this on a small scale in the backyard. I mean, let's say you prune one year disregarding the moon, then the next year you time it to the moon and it "works" better. Was that "better" outcome due to the moon, or due to your improving skills in plant care? Or because the winter was less harsh and the plants were stronger? Etc etc.

Chris
 

bwaynef

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Re: Lunar Influence on Plants
« Reply #31 on: August 20, 2014, 01:29 PM »
If we take 4 plants, and prune them 15 days apart ...and judge the results in succession at some point out (90 days and the corresponding 15 days after that), we'll have accounted for the moon.  We will have also accounted somewhat for the temperatures.

Forget grad students and infrastructure.  We could all go in and buy a bundle of seedlings from International Bonsai ...and split that batch up to participants in this "study" so that we'd all be starting with as close to the same material as possible.  We'd await instruction from our lead scientist (not it!) and prune on his cue ...and measure on his cue.
 

coh

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Re: Lunar Influence on Plants
« Reply #32 on: August 20, 2014, 02:11 PM »
If we take 4 plants, and prune them 15 days apart ...and judge the results in succession at some point out...

What exactly are you going to measure to judge the results? It's not like seedlings have any decent sized branches which you can prune and examine the healing rate.

After listening to people going on and on about the superiority of "Boon mix", I purchased 15 seedlings this spring and planted about 4 in each of 4 different soil mixes. One mix is potting soil with some perlite added for drainage, one is a blend of turface/granit/bark (fine particle size due to size of turface), and two were "Boon mix", one with turface-sized particles and the other more coarse. At this point there's not much difference evident in the plants, but if I had to pick the healthiest looking group, I'd say the ones in potting soil.

Point is...small sample size, lots of other factors, very tough to draw conclusions. I hope to continue the experiment over several seasons. It will be interesting to see how the root systems compare in the spring.

Chris
 

Judy

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Re: Lunar Influence on Plants
« Reply #33 on: August 20, 2014, 02:33 PM »
What exactly are you going to measure to judge the results?

 lots of other factors, very tough to draw conclusions. .

Chris, not to veer off topic here, but take your soil test under this same questioning. Each type of soil you indicated probably work best with a particular watering scheme tailored to the soil mix.  And soil mixes work best tailored to the plant. (and locale as well honestly)  If you treated all these equally, I don't think it's necessarily a fair comparison.  And therein lies your "lots of other factors". 

I think that there is merit to the lunar cycle discussion, but don't know if there is a scientific way to proof it, (without a lot of time and $$) I think it's just an addition to the toolbox worth considering.
 

coh

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Re: Lunar Influence on Plants
« Reply #34 on: August 20, 2014, 03:02 PM »

Chris, not to veer off topic here, but take your soil test under this same questioning. Each type of soil you indicated probably work best with a particular watering scheme tailored to the soil mix.  And soil mixes work best tailored to the plant. (and locale as well honestly)  If you treated all these equally, I don't think it's necessarily a fair comparison.  And therein lies your "lots of other factors". 

I think that there is merit to the lunar cycle discussion, but don't know if there is a scientific way to proof it, (without a lot of time and $$) I think it's just an addition to the toolbox worth considering.

You are absolutely correct. I'm watering and fertilizing them all the same way, just to keep things simple. In the end, it may turn out to be more of an evaluation of my growing techniques than the soil components, i.e the fact that the ones in plain soil are doing the best may be telling me that I'm under-watering and/or under-fertilizing my trees in general.

I'm of the mind that there is a scientific basis for what folklore is telling us, at least as it pertains to trees in the ground. With bonsai, there are so many other variables...did the soil mix change, did the plant get fertilized enough last season, did the roots dry out or perhaps freeze too much during the winter, etc. Established trees in the ground have more resources (larger root systems, more soil mass) so I would think the effect of those other variables would be smaller than on bonsai...so one could more easily see the impacts of pruning based on lunar schedules (and the potential benefits may not translate to container-grown trees). But I could be wrong...

Chris
 

bwaynef

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Re: Lunar Influence on Plants
« Reply #35 on: August 20, 2014, 03:14 PM »
If we take 4 plants, and prune them 15 days apart ...and judge the results in succession at some point out...

What exactly are you going to measure to judge the results? It's not like seedlings have any decent sized branches which you can prune and examine the healing rate

Maybe seedlings aren't the best answer, at least not in their first year.  Do you know of some place to buy, for cheap, material that'd respond to a trunk chop then?  We could measure the healing of the wound/amount of callous formed.  We could measure the resulting branches that are grown by length, ...or weight or stick 'em in water and measure their displaced volume.  I'm not exactly sure what's being posited as influenced by the moon.  (I should probably read those links on the first page.)
 

Judy

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Re: Lunar Influence on Plants
« Reply #36 on: August 20, 2014, 05:29 PM »
   I'm not exactly sure what's being posited as influenced by the moon.  (I should probably read those links on the first page.)

Yep, do a bit of reading.  The general theory as I see it, is that sap rises an falls within the plant itself with the waxing and waning of the moon.  There are lots more bits to the puzzle, but this is the one important part as it pertains mostly to us I believe.
 

Owen Reich

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Re: Lunar Influence on Plants
« Reply #37 on: August 20, 2014, 06:53 PM »
Everyone who has commented today is officially challenged to pursue this.  Seriously.  Good ideas proposed and shared.

The Pacific Bonsai Museum is now a non-profit, so donations are always welcome.
 

Sorce

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Re: Lunar Influence on Plants
« Reply #38 on: October 07, 2014, 08:31 PM »
Didn't know there is an eclipse at 5:25AM when I got this at about 6:30PM
Tonight.

I'm gonna burn a tree! ;)

Of course that is only a joke.




 

Anthony

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Re: Lunar Influence on Plants
« Reply #39 on: October 08, 2014, 08:04 AM »
On our side, trees are harvested at the height of the dry season, dark of night and when the tide is low.
Gives a wood that is very resistant to insect attack, if the wood is already resistant to insects. Does nothing for non toxic woods.
Also denser woods.

Access to more moisture, without drowning the roots [ potting soil / perlite ] gives more growth and the organic material can hold more fertiliser within their structure, as the perlite will hold the fertiliser solution in itself.

Works well if you hand water, horrible if you use a hose, especially if there is no fine rose attached to the hose, and you actually see signs of washing soil out of the pot.

There was a chap on IBC who knew the correct times to weed, or plant or anything according to the moon/seasons/tides whatever. You can always talk to him.
Should be interesting to see your results.
Good Day
Anthony