Planting by the Signs: Moon in dark phase; plant below-ground producers

By Philip Case Published:

If it didn’t frost this morning - and I sure hope it didn't - then we should be all clear from now until mid October as far as frost and/or freezing weather are concerned.

I will have to say the cool nights this week did cause one to pull on another blanket, but while they were cool they weren’t cool enough for us to fear frost.

Now, since we are, as they say, “done talkin’” about that, here’s what’s on tap for your gardening enjoyment this week.

The moon is in the dark phase now and will remain there until next Sunday, 7:47 p.m. Other than on Thursday and Friday when the killing sign Aries (the head) rules, we should be planting those veggies that produce beneath the ground.

Then beginning Monday, May 21 and for the following two weeks plant those that produce above the ground. This period will serve as a really fine one for getting your garden in the ground, but we’ll get more into that next Sunday.

According to the signs of the zodiac, with the moon in the dark phase here’s how things are shaking out this week.

Today and Monday are the final ones in the series of so-so signs that began on May 8. As you’ve heard me say across the years and will for as long as I continue this column, these signs are not outstandingly productive but they’re not destructive either. And while they  may not be the best, I wouldn’t hesitate to plant when so-so signs are in force.

But if you’d like fertile days with the moon in the dark phase then be a little patient and wait until Tuesday and Wednesday when the sign moves to Pisces (the feet), one of the most fertile signs and with the moon in the dark phase.

And if you still have changes to make like stopping smoking, starting a diet or exercise program, weaning small animals or children – anything that requires a change – then you have through Wednesday to get started. Just be underway by then because the sign moves – as I mentioned above – to Aries (the head) on Thursday and stays there Friday, too.

Don’t plant on Thursday and Friday either since Aries is a mean killing sign. Reserve these days for cultivating, cleaning out fencerows – anything but planting.

Outstanding planting returns Saturday and next Sunday with the sign moving to Taurus and the moon wrapping up its dark run on Sunday evening. These will, ideally, be for below-ground producers.

Then,  with the  new moon in force, we have two perfect bean days on May 21 and 22 with the moon in the light phase and the sign in Gemini (the arms), which is the bean sign. They’ll be followed by two great general days for above-ground producers on May 23-24 with the sign in Cancer (the breast),  another very fruitful sign.

If you’re up to it, I would suggest taking off work and spending those days planting – beans the 21st and 22nd  and then any heat-loving above-ground producing veggie on the 23rd and 24th. It just don’t get no finer!

Then take a rest on May 25-26 when the sign moves to Leo (the heart), the other killing sign.

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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