February 14, 2016

17° Mostly Cloudy

Planting by the Signs: April at a glance

Published 10:21 pm Saturday, March 30, 2013

Here’s  the information on planting by the phases of the moon and signs of the zodiac for the entire month of April. Specific information for the first week of April will be in Monday’s State Journal. As we know, it’s too cold and wet to plant outdoors today anyway so just rest and enjoy Easter.

The moon

April begins and ends with the moon in the dark phase, the full moon having come into force March 27. It continues to rule until the new moon 5:35 a.m. April 10 then returns 3:57 p.m. April 25 continuing into May.

Between those dates -– most of April 10 through most of April 25 – the light moon is in force.

When the full – or dark  – moon rules, plant only those veggies that produce beneath the ground and are from the cool-weather list for the unprotected garden providing it warms up enough to plant even those things!

Then when the new – or light – moon rules, only those from the list that produce above the ground.

Check the list below for other dark- and light-moon activities.

IN SUMMARY:

Dark moon days: Until the early morning of April 10 (5:35 a.m.) then the last several hours of April 25 until May 9, 8:38 p.m.

Light moon days: most of April 10 through most of April 25.

The signs

Remember: Check to see if the moon is in the light or dark phase (information above) before proceeding with planting or other activities, indoors or out.

Fertile signs: The most fertile signs in the zodiac rule these days: Pisces (the feet), April 7-9; Taurus (the neck), April 12-13; Cancer (the breast), April 17-18; and Scorpio (secrets), April 25-26. There are nine days this month ruled by the fertile signs: Scorpio, Taurus, Pisces and Cancer.

Killing signs: No planting, transplanting or dealing with things you want to thrive should occur on these days. Reserve them for cultivating, cleaning out fence rows – anything but planting: Aries, (the head), April 10-11 and April 19-20, Leo (the heart). There are four killing days, those ruled by either Aries or Leo.

So-so days: These aren’t particularly fertile nor destructive, just so-so: Sagittarius (the thighs), April 1, 27-29; Capricorn (the knees), April 2-4 and 30; and Aquarius (the legs), April 5-6. This month we are “blessed” with an abundance of so-so  days, 10 in all ruled by the so-so signs: Sagittarius, Capricorn and Aquarius.

Flowering days: These are “bloom days” and well suited for planting flowers, blooming things in the greenhouse or for the house, maybe even cool-weather flowers outside if things moderate just a bit: Virgo (the bowels), April 21-22 and Libra (the reins), April 23-24. There are four days this month ruled by the two flowering signs, Virgo and Libra.

Gemini days: Gemini rules the arms and is in force April 14-16. All three April Gemini days are in the light phase of the moon and if your ground is dry  – and  warm  – enough these would be perfect for peas, but this will be about as late as we want to go with peas since they love cool weather and it’s supposed to get hot in May! These days are also great for beans but beans are hot-weather crops so don’t even consider planting them – wait until May.

Early gardens

According to Home Vegetable Gardening in Kentucky (and Indiana too!), the average date of the last killing frost (36 degrees F) is between April 30 and May 5. I even like to go a week longer and wait until Mother’s Day before putting out frost-sensitive veggies or flowers.

Be prudent. Every seed or plant has its optimum temperature for germination and growth  – find out what that is. If the soil is too cool, the transplant or seed just sits there and waits for it to warm up, making it prey to varmints, frost and freeze for transplants; rot and buggy things for seeds beneath the soil.

Here’s a list of veggies that love it when the soil and the air are cool and can stand frost and light freezes  – but not as cold as it’s been most of March. Please note whether or not they produce above or below the ground and plant accordingly.

All of these veggies can be planted now, as I said at the beginning of this column. However, we really need some warm weather to get the soil up to a good temperature for even cool-weather loving veggies.

Onion sets, radishes, rhubarb crowns, rutabaga, turnips, Irish potatoes, parsley, parsnips, leaf lettuce, Bibb lettuce plants, lettuce head plants and onion plants.

General tips

Again, here are a few general tips for activities other than planting:

>If you have gravel to pour on a drive or roadway, do that in the light of the moon so the gravel won’t sink. Same applies for stones on a garden path: Place them when the moon is in the light phase so they don’t sink. Check above for the right days.

>If you’re setting fence posts, do that in the light of the moon so the posts don’t sink.

>If you’re putting on a new shingle roof, do that when the moon’s in the dark phase so that the shingles stick down and don’t curl up on the ends.

νIf you have changes to make like stopping smoking, starting a diet or exercise program, weaning small animals or children, scheduling elective surgery – anything that requires a change – here’s the formula: The moon in the dark phase and the signs are going out of the body, past anything that “functions” so that means thighs, knees, legs and feet – Sagittarius through Pisces.

That series begins TODAY and continues through April 9, then recurs for a few more days in April and on into May, specifically April 27-May 6. I don’t believe I recall seeing so many days in one month that precisely fit the formula. There are 12 in April and five more to begin May!

So, if you have changes to make you certainly have plenty of time in April and on into May. If you want to review the progression of the signs that fit this formula, see the paragraph on so-so signs above and then Pisces (feet) anchors the formula but is a very fertile sign for planting.

How to be in touch

Here’s how to be in touch, get instant information, ask questions, make comments or visit a platform for discussion.

>Email pcase211@gmail.com or pcase@state-journal.com.

>Call or text (502) 682-5995 or call The State Journal at (502) 227-4556.

>My Twitter account is @plantingbysigns. You can also visit plantingbythesigns.net and join in more detailed discussion on my blog found there.

>And now I’m on Facebook so “drop by” and join me. My page is  “Planting By Signs” and it’s devoted to general gardening with an emphasis on utilizing the phases of the moon and signs of the zodiac.