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I appreciate that this question may deviate from the standard astronomy questions.

I have recently read an article that suggest that gardeners, farmers & winemakers etc sometime use the moon's phases to time when best to sow & harvest plants & their fruit. They say that the moisture levels in the soil are higher when there is a full moon exerting its gravitational pull from above & it’s suggested that this helps seeds to sprout. It’s also suggested many winemakers will avoid a full moon at all costs when harvesting the grapes, because although the added moisture in the soil may give you a fuller and juicier grape, this additional water is thought to dilute the taste of the fruit, resulting in a less successful vintage. Do you think there’s truth in this & that the moon’s gravitation influence affects plant growth & the quality of fruit?

Also, I’m thinking that if this is true, surely it doesn’t need to be a Full Moon because, even during the New Moon & other moon phases the moon may not be visible or only partially visible, but if it’s in the sky above, it’s still exerting its gravitational pull from that direction in the same or similar way. Any ideas or comments most welcome.

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    $\begingroup$ Such beliefs are ancient, but I don't think they hold up well under scientific scrutiny. ;) OTOH, I guess there might be some tidal effect on the availability of moisture in the soil. Tides affect the Earth's crust too, not just its oceans. But I'd be surprised if there were a monthly effect on groundwater that's significantly noticeable above the daily rhythm of the tides. I'm curious to read what our tidal expert(s) have to say on this topic. $\endgroup$
    – PM 2Ring
    May 5 at 17:37
  • $\begingroup$ You should look at "biodynamic farming". I don't think this is a question about astronomy. Perhaps "Gardening & Landscaping but perhaps a specialist biodynamic site, not part of the stackexchange network. However the short answer is "no", this is just astrological mysticism. $\endgroup$
    – James K
    May 5 at 18:55
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    $\begingroup$ This review article is pretty damning: "We found that there is no reliable, science-based evidence for any relationship between lunar phases and plant physiology in any plant–science related textbooks or peer-reviewed journal articles justifying agricultural practices conditioned by the Moon. Nor does evidence from the field of physics support a causal relationship between lunar forces and plant responses." $\endgroup$ May 5 at 20:07
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    $\begingroup$ "Dilution of the vintage" is in fact a common argument about the making of quality wines, but that refers to the amount of water available to the vines during the entire growing season and has nothing to do with conditions during the actual harvest. $\endgroup$ May 5 at 20:08
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    $\begingroup$ @peter That comment would work as an answer. $\endgroup$
    – James K
    May 5 at 20:37

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