We’ve arrived at the time when what I say in this column this week is going to sound a lot like what I said last week: Statistically speaking, planting in the unprotected garden concludes at the end of this month.
The exception is for those using row covers, cold frames or other devices to extend the summer thus enabling planting and harvesting to continue for some time even as the days grow continually shorter and cooler.
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.
The autumnly-cool nights we’ve experienced will slam the brakes on hot-weather crops you planted in your late gardens – if you did. Lows in the 50s – not to mention the 40s! – tell the little plants it’s time to get close to the fire and be wrapping it up for the year.
In other words, those hot-weather veggies stop growing and setting fruit.
Hopefully we’ll have a little bump, formerly known as “Indian Summer,” that will offer warm days and not-so-chilly nights to get those late beans to harvest before frost claims them. But we won’t know until it happens – or doesn’t.
Autumn officially began at 10:49 a.m. yesterday with the Autumn Equinox. So enjoy it. As a writer once wrote: “Autumn! Be a little less beautiful or a little less brief!” It doesn’t last long so enjoy these beautiful days and the upcoming “bright blue weather” of October.
Now, here’s the information about the phases of the moon and signs of the zodiac for this week, for whatever purpose to which you may put it.
The moon is in the light phase now and will continue to rule until the full moon at 11:19 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 29. If you’re planting anything anywhere, make it above-ground producers through most of Saturday.
A look at the signs reveals the so-so signs are in force through Thursday. Specifically, Sagittarius (thighs) wraps up its run today with Capricorn (knees) stepping in for Monday and Tuesday (24-25), which will mark a mere three months until Christmas Eve and Christmas Day! The stretch concludes with Aquarius (legs) in force Wednesday and Thursday. Not bad/not great – just so-so.
Fertile planting returns to wrap up the month – and the outdoor unprotected planting – with Pisces (the feet) in force Friday, Saturday and next Sunday, 28-30. Pisces is one of the most fertile signs and we find it ruling with the moon in the light phase on Sept. 28 and through all but the last 39 minutes of the 29th, then in the dark phase on the 30th.
WHAT TO STILL PLANT
Through September: leaf lettuce, radishes, spinach in the unprotected garden.
HOW TO BE IN TOUCH
>Email firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com.
>Call or text (502) 682-5995 or call The State Journal at (502) 227-4556.
>My Twitter account is @plantingbysigns.