Planting by the Signs: Moon in dark phase, fertile days are here

By Philip Case Published:

Oh, happy day: This is the last time you have to read  about – and I have to mention – being cautious regarding the statistical chance of frost and/or freezing weather. According to everyone’s   charts, come Mother’s Day next Sunday we  should be in the “all clear.”

Of course there’s always the chance a freakish thing could occur in this year that’s been something less than normal weatherwise, but the good bet is that by this time next week the chance of frost and/or freezing weather will have passed until we start talking about it on the other end of the season in the fall.

And since Kim has detailed the “this and that” of soil temperature in her column, I’ll suggest you be sure to read that. She gives sites for checking the temperature at various depths and instructions for  how to take your own dirt’s temperature! 

Good stuff  if you’re really trying to be a good gardener. Give it a read!

Sooooooo that leaves Ol’ Phil to write about planting your garden according to the phases of the moon and signs of the zodiac. And let me remind you that this system is here to enhance,  not replace good gardening techniques like cultivating, watering and attending to bug and disease infestations.

I invite you to join my Facebook tribe even if you’re not – and I’m not either – a regular Facebook participant. This site is devoted exclusively to gardening with a focus on utilizing the phases of the moon and signs of the zodiac. We’ll leave the what you’re having for dinner and the baby pictures “to the other Facebook” – just gardening here! 

Now, if you’re planning to do some serious spring-to-fall gardening this year, it’s time to get ready to pull out all the stops and have at it.

So, as the libation commercial says, “Here Wego!”

The moon is in the dark phase now,  the full moon having come into force Saturday at 11:35 p.m. And, according to my Almanac, this is the closest-to-earth full moon in 2012. So if it’s clear, get outside for a look.

Any planting  you do now should be below-ground producers until the new moon on May 20. I know this is a real bite since we want to get those tomato plants, corn, beans, zucchini and other hot-weather-loving crops in the ground – yet all produce above the ground.

If you just can’t stand it and you’re going to plant those  things, at least wait until a fertile sign rules so at least half of the equation is right – and two of those days are today and Monday with the moon in the dark  phase and the sign in Scorpio (the secrets), one of the four most fertile signs.

I know this is a departure from the by-the-book phases and signs planting to suggest you plant above-ground producers in the dark moon, but I’m just saying if you can’t stand it,  at least plant on one of these fertile days – as long as the ground is dry.

Moving on.

Beginning Tuesday and continuing through Monday, May 14, we find a series of so-so signs in force. These signs aren’t outstandingly productive but they aren’t destructive either, just so-so. All, too, are with the dark moon in force so if we add the two Pisces (feet) days on May 15-16, we have an outstanding stretch for making changes.

There are nine days this month that perfectly fit the formula, May 8-16.

If 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 going out of the body, past anything that “functions” so that means thighs, knees, legs and feet – Sagittarius through Pisces.

Specifically,  if you’re interested and I know you are, Tuesday and Wednesday are ruled by Sagittarius  (the thighs), Thursday through Saturday by Capricorn (the knees), next Sunday and Monday, May 13-14 by Aquarius (the legs), then Pisces to round out the days for  making changes. All but Pisces are so-so signs and Pisces is very fertile.

How to be in touch

> E-mail or

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

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

And now I’m on Facebook. Just type in and you’ll go to the site. Please note there is no “the” in the Facebook address. You do not have to be a member of Facebook and this site is dedicated just to planting by the phases of the moon and signs of the zodiac, not all that other information folks choose to share on Facebook.

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