Planting by the Signs: Moon in dark phase; fertile signs today, Monday

By Philip Case Published:

If you’re planting your garden by the phases of the moon and signs of the zodiac, here’s the information for this week.

Please be sure to have a look at the lists below for those veggies that can still be planted in the unprotected garden – and those in the protected garden – that either enjoy cooler weather or, if they are warm-weather lovers like bush beans, have some reasonable expectation of making it to harvest before the frosts of fall zap them.

The moon is in the dark phase now, the full moon – the first of this month – having come into force late last Wednesday. It rules until the new moon – or no moon visible in the sky – on Aug. 17 at 11:55 a.m.

So, if you’re planting warm-weather-loving veggies from the list below, it needs to be below-ground producers and there are two of them there. Perfect for beets and rutabaga but not bush beans.

Until the new moon on Aug. 17, plant only those veggies that produce below the ground. With only a couple of exceptions, all of the veggies on the fall list are below-ground producers, so you won’t have any problem with that, just as it was in the spring.

A look at the signs reveals today and Monday are ruled by the very fertile sign Pisces (the feet), one of the four most fertile signs. Have a look at the list and see if there’s anything of the root-crop variety you’d like to be munching on in the fall and have at it today and Monday.

Take a break from all planting activities on Tuesday and Wednesday when the sign moves to Aries (the head), one of the two killing signs. Reserve these days for battling those weeds in your corn, cultivating for your fall garden, enjoying one of your ripe tomatoes and some cottage cheese or just sitting on the porch.

Very fertile days return Thursday and Friday when the sign moves to Taurus (the neck), another of the four most fertile signs. Same as the Pisces days today and Monday: dark moon/below-ground producers/very fertile.

Saturday, next Sunday and Monday, Aug. 11-13, find the sign in Gemini (the arms), the bean sign. You can still be planting bush beans for one last crop on any of these days since half the equation is right: The sign is outstanding but the moon is in the dark phase. I wouldn’t hesitate since half’s better than none!

WHAT TO STILL PLANT

From “Home Vegetable Gardening in Kentucky,” here’s how long you can continue to plant these veggies:

Until mid-August: beets, bush beans, rutabaga

Through August: Bibb lettuce, broccoli, cabbage, carrots, cauliflower, Chinese cabbage, collards, endive, kale, kohlrabi, mustard greens, snow peas, turnips, turnip greens

Through September: leaf lettuce, radishes, spinach

Here’s the skinny folks: If you’re not into unprotected fall gardens – those that produce essentially the same veggies as spring gardens – then your planting is done for the year unless you want to get in one more round of bush beans by the middle of the month or make plans to protect sensitive plants (see information below).

It seems as if it was only yesterday I was writing about how small a planting window we have in Kentucky for warm-weather-loving veggies in the unprotected garden – and now that window is within the width of a bean seed of closing.

But here’s an alternative:

USE ROW COVERS

Last week Kim Cowherd included this information in her column for those who want to extend the season even further. It’s right out of the oft-quoted “Home Vegetable Gardening in Kentucky.”

“Gardeners who want a lengthy harvest can use polyethylene row covers in the fall to extend the harvest of frost-sensitive crops such as tomatoes, peppers and cucumbers. The row cover traps heat and protects the plants from killing frosts but beware that on warm, sunny days the row cover must be ventilated to protect plants from excess heat.

“Some plants, such as herbs, can be planted in containers and brought inside or moved to a protected area when there are hard frosts. You can use cold frames in much the same way, with the cover propped open during the day so the plants receive light, and closed at night. Using any combination of these methods can extend your gardening season by several weeks, well into the fall.”

For more information, review “Home Vegetable Gardening in Kentucky,” http://www.ca.uky.edu/agc/pubs/id/id128/id128.pdf, or pick up a copy of the book at the Gallatin County Extension Office.

HOW TO BE IN TOUCH

>Email 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.

>And now I’m on 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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