Planting by the Signs: August at a glance

By Philip Case Published:

For those of you planting your garden by the phases of the moon and signs of the zodiac, here is this month’s information.

Other than those hot weather veggies with a real short plant-to-harvest possibility, only plant veggies now that enjoy growing toward harvest when the days and soil temperatures are cooler.

Kim Cowherd’s column this week talks extensively about fall gardening as being the “third season” after spring and summer gardens. If you are interested in extending your gardening season, take time to read her column.


August begins with the moon in the light phase – but that lasts for just the day with the moon moving to the dark phase at 11:28 p.m. EDT p.m. on the first, ushering in two weeks of dark moon until the new moon at 11:55 a.m. Aug. 17. The full moon then returns for most of the last day of the month, Aug. 31, coming to rule at 9:58 a.m. and continuing into September.

The light moon will rule for half of the day Aug. 17 through all of Aug. 30.

Summary: Light moon, all but 32 minutes of Aug. 1 then half of Aug. 17 through Aug. 30. Dark moon, Aug. 2 until just before noon Aug. 17 then most of Aug. 31.

There are two full moons during the month – albeit for just 32 minutes on Aug. 1 but a legitimate phase-changing day – and the Aug. 31 one is called the ”Blue Moon,” hence the old saying, “once in a blue moon” since two full moons in a month don’t happen often!

Find some way to celebrate!

Remember: When the light or waxing (growing) moon rules, plant only those veggies that produce above the ground, but don’t plant on a day ruled by a killing sign. That information is below in the daily breakdown.

The dark moon is for below-ground producers.


Check to see if the moon is in the light or dark phase (information above) before proceeding with planting or other activities, indoors or out.

Fertile signs: the most fertile signs in the zodiac rule these days: Aug. 5-6, Pisces (the feet); Taurus (the neck), Aug. 9-10; Cancer (the breast), Aug. 14-15; and Scorpio (the secrets). Aug. 22-24. There are nine days this month ruled by the fertile signs: Scorpio, Taurus, Pisces and Cancer.

Killing signs: No planting, transplanting, or dealing with things you want to thrive should occur on these days. Reserve them for cultivating, cleaning out fence rows – anything but planting: Aug. 7-8, Aries (the head) and Aug. 16-17, Leo, (the heart). Again this month there are fortunately only four killing days, those ruled by either Aries or Leo.

So-so days: These days aren’t particularly fertile nor destructive, just so-so. We have a slew of them again this month, 11 in fact, down just one from July. Here’s the breakdown, and I’m giving them to you as we come to them in the month rather than as they proceed down the body, thus:

Capricorn (knees), Aug. 1, 27-29; Aquarius (legs), Aug. 2-4, 30-31; Sagittarius (thighs), Aug. 25-26.

Flowering days: These are “bloom days” and well suited for flowers as well as blooming things in the greenhouse or for the house: Aug. 18-19, Virgo (the bowels) and Aug. 20-21, Libra (the reins). There are four days this month ruled by the two flowering signs, Virgo and Libra, all with the light moon in force.

Gemini days: Gemini rules the arms and is in force on Aug. 11-13. Gemini days are specifically “bean days,” however, all of these days are when the dark moon is in force and we know the eatin’ part of beans doesn’t grow under ground!


Again, here are a few general tips for activities other than planting:

nIf you have gravel to pour on a drive or roadway, do that in the light of the moon so the gravel won’t sink. Same applies for stones on a garden path: Place them when the moon is in the light phase so they don’t sink. Check above for the right days.

nIf you’re setting fence posts, do that in the light of the moon so the posts don’t sink.

nIf you’re putting on a new shingle roof, do that when the moon’s in the dark phase so that the shingles stick down and don’t curl up on the ends.

nIf 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.

There are just five days this month that perfectly fit the formula, Aug. 2-6. The number of these perfect “change” days is dwindling each month down from 10 last month – and there’ll be even fewer next month, only two in fact, Sept. 1-2 – dark moon/signs in Pisces.


>Email 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.


Here’s the information specific for this week for those not wanting to dig it out of the August Overview column.

The moon is in the light phase until 11:28 p.m. Wednesday, Aug. 1 when it moves to the dark phase just before noon on Aug. 17. Plant above-ground producers through Wednesday then those that produce below the ground after that.

A look at the signs reveals we’re on the second day of our monthly series ruled by so-so signs, a series that continues through Saturday. Specifically, today and Monday find Sagittarius (the thighs) in force followed by Tuesday and Wednesday under the influence of Capricorn (the knees). The period concludes with Aquarius (the legs) in charge Thursday through Saturday.

Again, these signs aren’t outstandingly productive but they aren’t killers either – just so-so.

The fertile sign Pisces (the feet) comes into force next Sunday and Monday, Aug. 5-6. These are two great days for below-ground producers with the moon in the dark phase.

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  • What would be good things to plant for a fall harvest?

  • What would be good things to plant for a fall harvest?