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Hi all, I was just wondering if you can leave me some information on whether and/or how the moon cycle affects planting in aquaponic system/s, would it be the same as for plants planted in the ground?

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Ive seen this topic come up elsewhere before and I did some searching. This was the only link i had saved which made a couple good points:

http://skeptics.stackexchange.com/questions/4643/does-planting-duri...

I did come across a study (however lost the link ) that did confirm that a very small subset of  plants (tested with morning glory flowers) that while exposed to low levels of light during the "night" phase did effect flowering rates if done at the correct time during the plants flowering stage. If you had a climate which gave you a predictable seed to flowering stage time and you prayed hard enough to whatever god for clear skies, you could in theory utilize the full moons light to increase flowering rates on a few plants.

But that is streeeeeeetching that planting by the moon has any measurable effect and not something worth doing if you can just add some artificial lights for a few days during the night.

I also read that any interruption in the night cycle of poinsettia when it is approaching the flowering stage will seriously effect or suppress flowering all together. Haven't tested that but I read it somewhere that said you can prune and reflower poinsettia for the following Christmas reason.  That's getting off topic but I guess what I am saying is the only scientifically measured effect the moon phases has on plants is possibly night time lighting.

Ill also +1 the tidal effects noted above. It is a sum of the sun and the moons gravity. The inlaws in the Mekong delta happen to live almost at sea level and flood twice a year when the tide is at the absolute highest but only lasts for a few hours. It is highly predictable and they prep for it starting only the day before. 50 years ago it used to be at the ankles and now its almost up to their knees. Yay "global warming"!

Hi Guru,

I won't discount the moon's influence on plant growth in AP.........could be that its effect will not be noticeable due to the accelerated ecosystem as in AP. A case where AP supersedes the influence of the moon?



Guru Das C Bock said:

Very true Jon, if a system is running outside of the natural environment, I totally agree, no connection to the moon.

Hi Chris, What you read about poinseitias is very true...it is also true of any photoperiodic plant. Actually the term "photoperiodic" is a bit of a misnomer, since biologically/chemically plants measure the 'dark-time' not the 'light-time'...So perhaps "noctoperiodic" better describes the mechanisms at play. (So what people call a a SDP-ShortDayPlant is actually a LNP, a LongNightPlant...and a LDP LongDayPlant is actually a SNP ShortNightPlant :) ...

At any rate... photoperiodic plants measure un-interrupted periods of darkness to 'tell' them when it's time to kick into 'reproductive mode' (flowering). By interrupting the 'dark-time' you in essence "reset" that internal clock and stave off flowering...it's a very old trick that a lot of MJ growers use, but interruption of an otherwise long night by light (particularly in the red 660nm range) is a well documented and good way to prevent flowering of many plants (only if they exhibit photoperiodic traits though...stuff like peppers, tomatoes, cucumbers are day neutral, and are not dependent on dark/light cycles to trigger mechanisms to tell them when it's time to flower).

Here are a couple of links that you may find useful if you decide to experiment with this phenomenon...

http://users.rcn.com/jkimball.ma.ultranet/BiologyPages/P/Photoperio...

http://plantphys.info/plant_physiology/photoperiodism.shtml

Chris said:

I also read that any interruption in the night cycle of poinsettia when it is approaching the flowering stage will seriously effect or suppress flowering all together. Haven't tested that but I read it somewhere that said you can prune and reflower poinsettia for the following Christmas reason.  That's getting off topic but I guess what I am saying is the only scientifically measured effect the moon phases has on plants is possibly night time lighting.

Ill also +1 the tidal effects noted above. It is a sum of the sun and the moons gravity. The inlaws in the Mekong delta happen to live almost at sea level and flood twice a year when the tide is at the absolute highest but only lasts for a few hours. It is highly predictable and they prep for it starting only the day before. 50 years ago it used to be at the ankles and now its almost up to their knees. Yay "global warming"!

Great links. Thanks.

So back to the original question, does it effect plants in AP, the easy answer is generally no, or not enough to justify bothering. As you point out common AP plants are not photoperiodic and even if they were, the level of moonlight may or may not be enough to effect this. 

 

From what I've read the gravitational effect of anything related to moon phases are not measurable or even present at all. Those who argue are free to do so if that makes them happy but with no evidence, its hard to take seriously :)

Honestly...the only reason I would bother with planting according to the cycles of the moon in an AP system (or even garden), would not be for the plants benefit, but for my own. Psychologically, it may be one one those 'cool' things (patterns, rituals/habits etc...) that help one feel more 'in tune' with their surroundings (or the wider cosmos even), while giving you a sense of structure and schedule for performing certain useful and practical tasks (like regular planting and harvesting cycles in your AP system, something you would need to do anyways)...

I'm sure people long ago did such things (not only plant/harvest, but also count days and keep track of the seasons/time/year) according to the moon...and like you say, it's just fine if folks want to do that today, but I'm not going to pretend like I believe their is any benefit other than the above mentioned benefit the AP Operator her/himself might gain.

I suspect that if moonlight can interfere with photoperiodic plants (plants we probably don't often find in an AP system anyways), it would be happening in the tropical, or sub-tropical regions of the Earth, at full-moon at midnight (18 hours after sunrise). There's a theory floating around that the significant night time leaf movement that Darwin noticed and wrote about is an adaptive strategy to protect from the moons rays...but that's just a theory (Darwin attributed the movement to to chill protection, or even to utilize the moons radiation and not protect from it). Thing is, night time leaf movement in tropical plants (where the moons rays would be strongest) is extremely rare. if that theory were correct, you'd expect there to be a heck of a lot more night time plant movement (to protect from the moons light) going on in the tropics as opposed to temperate more northern  portions of the Earth...but that's just not the case...

Now, last year I played around a bit with circadian rhythm phase shift (on myself as well as some plants) and believe the moons light (it's intensity when full-moon, again probably only in the tropics though...but who knows) may be strong enough to induce such phase shifts causing the internal clocks to run "incorrectly" (at least in some plants). But I somehow doubt that it's (moonlight) strong enough to interrupt flowering...IMO 

Well I am actually aiming to combine both, by using the "artificial" system and the natural lighting in an effort to keep the plants in the system in tune with the others that are growing "naturally" in the soil (that's an experiment of mine) and to cut costs where lighting in concerned. I live in the Tropics, so we don't have to frustrate about the cold here....good food for thought, you got me thinking more 

So when do you plant leaf by moon cycle?  

hope i don't sound stupid. its strange what you said about the moon. i was studying bluegill spawning. they spawn on the full moon when the temp is warm enough. i'm sure many fish do the same. i used to go on horse group night rides on full moons. has nothing to do with the topic just reminds me of younger nights.

Vlad Jovanovic said:

Honestly...the only reason I would bother with planting according to the cycles of the moon in an AP system (or even garden), would not be for the plants benefit, but for my own. Psychologically, it may be one one those 'cool' things (patterns, rituals/habits etc...) that help one feel more 'in tune' with their surroundings (or the wider cosmos even), while giving you a sense of structure and schedule for performing certain useful and practical tasks (like regular planting and harvesting cycles in your AP system, something you would need to do anyways)...

I'm sure people long ago did such things (not only plant/harvest, but also count days and keep track of the seasons/time/year) according to the moon...and like you say, it's just fine if folks want to do that today, but I'm not going to pretend like I believe their is any benefit other than the above mentioned benefit the AP Operator her/himself might gain.

I suspect that if moonlight can interfere with photoperiodic plants (plants we probably don't often find in an AP system anyways), it would be happening in the tropical, or sub-tropical regions of the Earth, at full-moon at midnight (18 hours after sunrise). There's a theory floating around that the significant night time leaf movement that Darwin noticed and wrote about is an adaptive strategy to protect from the moons rays...but that's just a theory (Darwin attributed the movement to to chill protection, or even to utilize the moons radiation and not protect from it). Thing is, night time leaf movement in tropical plants (where the moons rays would be strongest) is extremely rare. if that theory were correct, you'd expect there to be a heck of a lot more night time plant movement (to protect from the moons light) going on in the tropics as opposed to temperate more northern  portions of the Earth...but that's just not the case...

Now, last year I played around a bit with circadian rhythm phase shift (on myself as well as some plants) and believe the moons light (it's intensity when full-moon, again probably only in the tropics though...but who knows) may be strong enough to induce such phase shifts causing the internal clocks to run "incorrectly" (at least in some plants). But I somehow doubt that it's (moonlight) strong enough to interrupt flowering...IMO 

I live in the tropics too. Bali.  Where are you?

Colin Maharaj said:

Well I am actually aiming to combine both, by using the "artificial" system and the natural lighting in an effort to keep the plants in the system in tune with the others that are growing "naturally" in the soil (that's an experiment of mine) and to cut costs where lighting in concerned. I live in the Tropics, so we don't have to frustrate about the cold here....good food for thought, you got me thinking more 

north of San Francisco, i am far enough away from the big city to stretch  . my step daughter went to Mumbai for a month by her self for vacation.

World traveler said:

I live in the tropics too. Bali.  Where are you?

Colin Maharaj said:

Well I am actually aiming to combine both, by using the "artificial" system and the natural lighting in an effort to keep the plants in the system in tune with the others that are growing "naturally" in the soil (that's an experiment of mine) and to cut costs where lighting in concerned. I live in the Tropics, so we don't have to frustrate about the cold here....good food for thought, you got me thinking more 

I'm in Trinidad and Tobago, last island in the Caribbean chain.

mary scholz said:

north of San Francisco, i am far enough away from the big city to stretch  . my step daughter went to Mumbai for a month by her self for vacation.

World traveler said:

I live in the tropics too. Bali.  Where are you?

Colin Maharaj said:

Well I am actually aiming to combine both, by using the "artificial" system and the natural lighting in an effort to keep the plants in the system in tune with the others that are growing "naturally" in the soil (that's an experiment of mine) and to cut costs where lighting in concerned. I live in the Tropics, so we don't have to frustrate about the cold here....good food for thought, you got me thinking more 

I have found a farmers' almanac and I've already started using it to plant some cassava at the right timing.

http://www.farmersalmanac.com/calendar/gardening/ .....there's the link too, it should help with your question of when to plant what, I usually compare with a normal almanac just to see what kind of moon is out. 

World traveler said:

So when do you plant leaf by moon cycle?  

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