New Moon Wednesday, Feb 21
(NB: corrected from an earlier version.)
The next new moon is Tuesday, Feb 21...just a couple weeks away. With the strange unseasonably warm weather we're having it might be a good time to winter sow some seeds.
More at Gardening By the Moon...
At the new moon, the lunar gravity pulls water up, and causes the seeds to swell and burst. This factor, coupled with the increasing moonlight creates balanced root and leaf growth. This is the best time for planting above ground annual crops that produce their seeds outside the fruit. Examples are lettuce, spinach, celery, broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, and grain crops. Cucumbers like this phase also, even though they are an exception to that rule.
Planting by the moon is an idea as old as agriculture, based both in folklore and superstition, but there are scientific ideas to back it up The Earth is in a large gravitational field, influenced by both the sun and moon. The tides are highest at the time of the new and the full moon, when sun and moon are lined up with earth. Just as the moon pulls the tides in the oceans, it also pulls upon the subtle bodies of water, causing moisture to rise in the earth, which encourages growth. The highest amount of moisture is in the soil at this time, and tests have proven that seeds will absorb the most water at the time of the full moon.