Planting by the Signs: Hot days of summer can sap moisture from plants

By Philip Case Published:

Summer’s officially here! And so far it’s lived up to its billing for hot, humid weather. You just gotta love it, especially when you think six months from today is Christmas Eve and things will more than likely be different weatherwise.

Enough of that. Let’s enjoy the day and the season.

For all of you planting your garden by the phases of the moon and signs of the zodiac, here’s the information for the remainder of the month of June.

In his column elsewhere in today’s Spectrum section, Keenan Bishop mentions the dry weather and the fact we’re in a moderate drought, according to University of Kentucky meteorologist Tom Priddy. These 90-degree, full-sun days don’t help much either, simply serving to sap what moisture there is out of the soil.

That said, check your plantings often – flowers and veggies – to make sure they have adequate moisture.

When you water, give the plants a good soaking. Conventional wisdom suggests an inch of water a week, adding it’s better to water deeply once rather than superficially every day. Light watering simply encourages the little roots to grow toward the surface where they sense there’s water and ultimately that can lead to problems as the soil dries out quickly in the boiling sun – and with it the tiny roots.

Mulching is a good idea now to retain soil moisture. Straw or untreated grass clippings make good mulch – and I say “untreated” because chemicals used on lawns by the professional lawn services can be detrimental to vegetable plants.

On the page with Keenan’s column is a picture of Sherman Peyton’s garden on the farm that will be the site of this year’s Farm-City Field Day on July 12. Note that Sherman has mulched his veggies with straw.

And if you’re mulching, it’s not a good idea to use hay since even the best hay contains weed seed. You want to keep the water in but you don’t want to create another problem – weeds! – in the process.

The moon

The moon is in the light phase now and will remain there until the next full moon on July 3, 2:52 p.m. Throughout this period we should be planting only above-ground producers, Through July 3 there are flowering signs, fertile signs and so-so signs and thankfully no killing signs – they were Friday and Saturday just past.

The signs

According to the signs of the zodiac, beginning today and continuing through Thursday we find our monthly stretch of flowering signs with Virgo (the bowels) ruling today and Monday Libra (the reins) in charge Tuesday-Thursday. Since these are “bloom days,” flowers planted on any of these days should just bloom their little hearts out.

June ends with Scorpio (the secrets) in force and the moon in the light phase on Friday and Saturday. Scorpio is one of the most outstandingly productive signs and this time for above-ground producers.

July begins next Sunday with the monthly series of so-so signs. Sagittarius, Capricorn and Aquarius will rule July 1-8 with the moon in the light phase until July 3.

How to be in touch

>E-mail 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.

>For Facebook just type in http://facebook.com/plantingbysigns 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.

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