Planting Calendar

Content partly abstracted from the BDAI Training Manual, Planting Calendar Section by Rachel Pomeroy & Biodynamic Agriculture in India by Peter Proctor

The Biodynamic Planting Calendar is not based on retrieving past knowledge, but on modern research by many different people, beginning in the early years of the 20th century and still going on today. This research is largely based on suggestions given by Rudolf Steiner. It has been developed by field trials and laboratory research by the biodynamic community.

In the agriculture course, Rudolf Steiner pointed out particularly how the health of soil, plants and animals depend upon bringing nature into connection again with cosmic creative shaping forces. The practical method he gave for treating soil, manure, compost and especially in biodynamic compost preparations was intended above all to serve the purpose of re-animating the natural forces which in nature and in the modern agriculture was in wane (decrease).- Dr. E.E. Pfeiffer.

Research Pioneers

Each researcher has found certain – often different – cosmic influences to be the dominant ones for their particular environment. For Lili Kolisko, it was the full moon cycle, for Maria Thun, it is the constellation. 

This illustrates one of the major tenants of a true understanding of, and working with, Nature; that each farm is an individual organism, and its location, climate, ecology, and the people working the land, are all variable factors. 

It is therefore important that each farmer experiments with different rhythms and cycles, each time observing and carefully noting the results. Sooner or later a pattern will emerge.

It is important, however, to realize that the planting calendar should never be the most important factor to consider when sowing, cultivating or doing other agricultural work. In daily practice, the weather, soil conditions, lateness of the season, and so on, must often override considerations of a cosmic nature.

Planets and Constellations

The farmers over the centuries who observed the sky and the results of their farming activities built up their own library of experience of best times for certain activities. They experienced the subtle, less obvious connections between their earth activities and their observations of the sky.

The planets and constellations are part of our total environment and have obvious major interactions with the Earth which result in our experiencing day and night and the seasons of the year. Less obvious is the effect of the moon on the tides of the ocean, groundwater rising to the surface at Full Moon, and extra sap leak from plants when pruning at Full Moon. – Rachel Pomeroy


Biodynamic agriculture works from two poles: the cosmic and earthly. Understanding and using the rhythms of the cosmos for sowing and planting in conjunction with the practice of soil fertility, makes organic farming truly work. – Peter Proctor

Cosmic influences on Plantlife

Planetary influences stream from the macrocosm onto the earth, the microcosm. Planets near to earth are carriers of earthly (calcium) forces and planets further away from the earth are carriers of cosmic (silica) forces.

  • Earthly Forces (calcium): Moon, Mercury and Venus
  • Cosmic Forces (silica): Mars, Jupiter and Saturn

Based on astronomical and not astrological data, every year the biodynamic agriculture planting calendar is prepared to direct the farmer as to the time and date of the different planetary events so that the farmer may plan farm work and activities to enhance the beneficial influences and negate the harmful.