Signs, phases valuable beyond the garden

By PHILIP CASE State Journal Columnist Published:

As we prepare to gear up for this years gardening season, more questions about how The System works on things besides gardening continue to come in. I welcome your inquiries and the ensuing discussions. Many times the questions you ask embrace aspects I hadnt thought of or had simply forgotten to mention in the overview.

Bill Wingfield, owner of Crossroads Ford, called earlier this week with an interesting question, which ultimately led to some others. When hes not selling Fords, Wingfields a part-time farmer.

I was wondering, he asked, if theres a right time to spread fertilizer? I have the results of the soil test, I know whats needed, and I just wondered.

We talked on a bit about the value and importance of a soil test and how Wingfield reseeds his pastures every four years during a presidential election year. People ask me why, he said, and I tell them that way I can remember when to do it.

Back to the fertilizer.

We concluded that since you want the fertilizer to go down into the earth where it can nourish young roots, it would be best to spread it during the dark of the moon.

Kind of like sewing seed in a dark moon in February, Wingfield observed.

Exactly, except it doesnt have to be in February. There are times of the year that are better than others for spreading fertilizer, and better times for spreading particular fertilizers. Check with Keenan Bishop at the Extension Office (695-9035) about that. Just spread it in the dark of the moon for optimum results.

Wingfield also shared something of a testimony, which he describes as having sealed his belief in following The System.

A few years ago I had some thistles I needed to spray (a.k.a. kill), Wingfield said. I mixed up the spray and sprayed a bunch of them when the sign was in the heart (Leo a killing sign). But then I had to do something else and didnt get back to if for a few days.

I sprayed the rest when the sign had moved to some other part of the body.

After the spray had time to do its work, Wingfield said, he noticed something that moved him to believe.

The ones I sprayed when the sign was in the heart were shriveled up and dead. The others, however, were just kind of wilted and it was apparent they were headed for a comeback!

Killing signs are Aries (the head) and Leo (the heart). There are a total of four or five days either one or the other of them rule each month. If you have cultivating, killing, or deadening of any sort to do and you want whatever it is to stay gone do it in one of those signs. Ill tell you when they are in force each month if you dont want to try to figure it out in the Almanac.

Wingfield and I also revisited the proper time to lay rock pathways or to pour rocks on a drive or road. Thats during the light of the moon so the rocks dont sink. If you dont believe me, give it a try just dont invest a lot in gravel for a road if youre going to experiment putting it down when the moons in the dark phase because in a few years it will be gone!

This weeks information

The moon is in the dark phase now and will remain there until 7:30 p.m. Monday when the new moon, or no moon visible in the sky, comes into force. Since were still a couple of weeks away from safely being able to put out cold-weather crops, these days can be put to good purpose if you have changes to make in your life like stopping smoking, starting a diet, weaning small children or animals then get started TODAY or definitely before 7:30 tomorrow night.

The next stretch like this will be March 20-28.

According to the signs of the zodiac, if we were planting today is the end of a so-so period when the signs are neither good nor bad, just so-so. Today the sign is in Aquarius (the legs).

Outstanding planting days (but PLEASE dont plant just yet unless youre using a cold frame) are on tap for Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday when the sign moves to Pisces (the feet) one of the four most fertile signs the others being Scorpio, Taurus, and Cancer. Were we planting we could put out below-ground producers until 7:30 Monday night and then above-ground producers Tuesday and Wednesday.

The moon, as noted above, is in the light phase from Monday night until the next full moon on March 12. These are above-ground-producing days.

Thursday and Friday find the sign moving to Aries (the head), a day weve established to be a killing sign. These days would be great for plowing or cultivating gardens, but only if the grounds dry.

Remember: You have only today, Monday, and Tuesday to cultivate if the grounds wet. At midnight Tuesday that ends! Beginning Wednesday youd best be working dry ground or youre going to have some bad problems all summer.

Saturday and next Sunday the particularly-fertile sign Taurus (the neck) comes into force. When were planting this sign will be great for planting any crop, above- or below-ground producer depending on what phase the moon is in.

Typically outdoor, unprotected planting of crops that can cope with frost and freezes and actually enjoy cool-weather growing conditions begins in central Kentucky around March 1. Next week well get into all that again.

Until then, do your cultivating, make your plans and never hesitate to ask questions. You can call me here at Your Hometown Newspaper (227-4556), at home (223-8422) or e-mail at

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