Today's the day for above-ground planting

By PHILIP CASE State Journal Columnist Published:

I hope preparations for your 2006 garden are underway and if youre into early gardens youve had a chance to do some planting. In just a bit over six weeks now it will be time to cut loose on our summer gardens, so as soon as you can get your garden spot ready for planting if you havent already.

Again, a word of caution: The soil and air temperatures are still cool so dont get in a hurry. Any planting youre doing now should be from the list below.

Statistically the last danger of frost wont pass until around Mothers Day which is May 14 this year. Some books and charts put it a few days earlier than that, but Id rather err on the side of caution. Warm weather crops like tomatoes and beans simply cannot tolerate late frosts or freezes and the grounds not fully warm yet anyway. Just be patient.

That said, heres the information for this week for planting your garden by the phases of the moon and signs of the zodiac. Then you can revisit the list for spring gardens.

The moon is in the light phase now, the new moon or no moon visible in the sky came into force early Wednesday morning. Until the next full moon on April 13, only those veggies that produce above the ground and are resistant to cold snaps should be planted.

Today finds the sign in Taurus (the neck), one of the four fertile signs. If you have planting to do of above-ground producers in your spring garden, today would be the day for it.

Monday and Tuesday the sign moves to Gemini (the arms), the bean sign. Believers say beans planted in Gemini will grow as long as your arms and continue producing. While its too early to plant bush or pole beans since they arent frost and/or freeze resistant, if you have the space for peas you might plant some of them.

This likely is about as late as youd want to go with peas since they like cool soil and air temperatures and by the time Gemini days in the light of the moon in late April and May roll around it will be getting too late in the season. Peas dont do well in the heat of summer!

Great planting days for above-ground producers are on tap for next Wednesday through Friday. The moon will, of course, still be in the light phase and the sign will have moved to Cancer (the breast), another of the four most fruitful signs. Check the list and see if anything on it interests you for these days.

All planting should cease Saturday and next Sunday when the sign moves to Leo (the heart) one of the two killing signs. Reserve these days for any activity but planting.

Then beginning Monday, April 10 and continuing through Thursday, April 13 we find a four-day series of flowering signs. If you have spring flowers or bulbs to plant, these would be your days.

Spring gardens

Here again is the list of crops that enjoy cool even cold weather and soil temperatures. They can withstand frosts, freezes even some snow.

Now: snow peas, spinach, onion sets, radishes, rhubarb (crowns), rutabaga, and turnips, Irish potatoes, onion seeds, parsley, and parsnips, leaf lettuce, Bibb lettuce plants, head lettuce plants, and onion plants.

This information comes from Home Vegetable Gardening in Kentucky, published by the University of Kentuckys Cooperative Extension Service.

I welcome your questions! Dont hesitate to call me at 223-8422 (home) or 227-4556 (The State Journal) or e-mail me at pcase@state-journal.com. If you have questions about different varieties of plants, contact the Franklin County Extension Office or a local nursery.

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