Planting By the Signs

By Phil Case Published:

For those of you interested in where the moon and signs are during October, here’s the information.

But first, here’s the information for just this week:

The moon is in the dark phase now until Oct. 15. The sign today is in Pisces (the feet), one of the fertile signs. The killing sign Aries (the head) arrives Monday and Tuesday to welcome October when there should be no planting of any sort, anywhere.

Fertile planting returns Wednesday and Thursday with the sign in Taurus (the neck), one of the most fertile signs. Gemini is up for Friday and Saturday followed by the very fertile Cancer (the breast) next Sunday and Monday, Oct. 6-7.

The overview

Remember that all unprotected outdoor planting is through for 2012 and we got a rude reminder last weekend that “statistics” can bite you as well as work in your favor with the early frost, albeit a light one, in many areas.

The ground is cooling now and the only things that will continue to thrive are those that enjoy cool weather and soil or those that are protected, either in the garden or a greenhouse. Good luck on your late-planted hot-weather-loving veggies: These cool nights we’ve been having, even before the aforementioned cold snap, were already slowing down their development.

Just like an early garden in the spring, that’s what makes a late garden a gamble: The fickle nature of our weather.

Now October – and its “…bright, blue weather,” as the poet wrote!

The moon

October begins and ends with the moon in the dark phase, the full moon having come into force just yesterday, Sept. 29. The dark moon will continue to rule until 8:03 a.m. Oct.15, with the light or new moon coming into force then and continuing until the full moon returns at 3:50 p.m. Oct. 29.

When the dark moon is in force, be involved in only dark moon activities, and if that’s protected planting then it would be veggies that produce beneath the ground.

When the light moon rules, plant only those veggies that produce above the ground and light-moon activities from the list below.

Dark moon days: through Oct. 14, then Oct.30 until 5:03 p.m. Nov. 13.

Light moon days: Most of Oct. 15 until 3:50 p.m. Oct. 29.

The signs

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: Taurus (the neck), Oct. 3-4, 30-31; Cancer (the breast), Oct. 7-8; Scorpio (the secrets), Oct. 16-17; and Pisces (the feet), Oct. 26-27. There are 10 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: Aries (the head), opens the month and nearly closes it, too, Oct. 1-2, 28-29; and Leo (heart), Oct. 9-10. There are six killing days, those ruled by either Aries or Leo.

So-so days: These days aren’t particularly fertile nor destructive, just so-so. Here’s the breakdown, and, like last month, since they occur in the latter half of the month they are in the order they proceed down the body – thighs through legs:

Sagittarius (thighs), Oct. 18-20; Capricorn (knees) Oct. 21-22; and Aquarius (legs) Oct. 23-25. There are eight days in October ruled by so-so signs.

Flowering days: These are “bloom days” and well suited for flowers as well as blooming things in the greenhouse or for the house: Virgo (the bowels), Oct. 11-13 and Libra (reins), Oct. 14-15. There are five days this month ruled by the two flowering signs.

These are great days for planting bulbs that will flower in the spring like crocuses, tulips and daffodils. Remember they need a time to “chill” before sprouting. Of course if the winter ahead is like the winter past, you may be picking a nice bouquet of daffodils by Presidents Day in February!

Gemini days: Gemini rules the arms and is in force on Oct. 5-6. Gemini days are specifically “bean days” and, alas, we won’t be talking about beans much before late April of 2013, but then there are peas in late February so all isn’t lost. For now, just celebrate the days as “Gemini Days!”

General tips

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 no days this month that precisely fit the formula completely. About the best we can do is pick one half or the other of it – either dark moon or signs going out of the body – and go with that.

Were I picking this month, I would go with Oct. 18-27. On these days the signs are moving out of the body – Sagittarius through Pisces – past anything that functions while the moon is in the light phase (remember we would prefer a dark moon), moving toward the full moon on the 29th. The later in the period you can get, the better.

My second choice would be Oct. 3-8 when the moon is in the dark phase. The best days in that stretch are Oct. 5-6 when the moon is dark and the sign in the arms (Gemini), a body part that doesn’t function like those that rule in the torso, Taurus (neck) and Cancer (breast), the other two signs in this stretch.

How to be in touch

Email or

Call or text (502) 682-5995 or call The State Journal at (502) 227-4556.

My Twitter account is @plantingbysigns where each day I provide information regarding the phase of the moon and sign of the zodiac for that day.

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