Well, gardening neighbors, we certainly can’t complain about the lack of rain this summer, can we? But it doesn’t take much of a “brain stretch” to remember what it was like this time last year when lawns, gardens and farm crops were withering in the relentless heat and drought.
And, now this week the rain and humidity ended with a lovely mid-October like cool snap, which sends a bad message to blooming veggies if it lasts too long. Nighttime temperatures in the 50s for an extended time, the experts say, gets veggies to thinking they’re done for the summer — and we don’t want that to happen here in mid-August!
In any case, we are at the end of the 2013 planting season for veggies in the unprotected outside garden. Other than spinach through Sept. 1 and radishes through Sept. 15, planting is over if you have statistical hopes of harvesting before first frost in mid-October.
You, of course, are welcome to plant anything you like. You don’t know, it just might make it to harvest. The University of Kentucky bases its information on studies done across the years and the resulting statistics, but there are periods of variance in those stats.
If, as I’ve said often in the space, you are employing methods to keep your ground warm and you can protect plants from frost, then the season can be extended — and of course it really never has to end in a greenhouse!
Here’s the information for this week about planting by the phases of the moon and signs of the zodiac.
The moon remains in the light phase until 9:45 p.m. Tuesday when the full moon comes to rule for the remainder of the month and on until 7:36 a.m. Sept. 5 when the new, or light, moon returns. Thus through most of Tuesday you may plant those veggies that produce above the ground.
A look at the signs reveals today continues our monthly series of so-so signs with Capricorn (the knees) in force. The so-so stretch concludes with Aquarius (the legs) ruling Monday through Wednesday.
Outstandingly fertile days are ahead Thursday and Friday when the sign moves to Pisces (the feet). By then the moon will be in the dark phase, which will be perfect for those radishes!
There are three days this month perfectly suited for making changes: Wednesday through Friday. The moon will be in the dark phase with that change having come Tuesday evening and the signs continuing to out of the body past anything that functions, specifically legs and feet.
So, if you want to start a diet or exercise program, stop smoking, wean small animals or children, then these are the perfect days for it — there just aren’t many of them this month.
All planting — if you are doing any — should cease Aug. 24-26 when the sign moves to Aries (the head), one of the killing signs. Use these days for any gardening activity but planting.
A look ahead reveals outstanding planting is on tap for below-ground producers Aug. 27-28 when the sign moves to Taurus (the neck), one of the four most fertile signs.
The month then concludes with Gemini (the arms) ruling Aug. 29-31. Gemini is the bean sign but we’re way past planting beans!
And there you have August and, as far as I’m concerned, the Summer of 2013. Sure, the calendar says there are three more weeks of summer before fall officially begins Sept. 22 but, as my late Daddy used to say, “It’s all over but the shoutin’!”
Gone fast, hasn’t it?
It’s time now to start thinking about putting your garden to bed for the winter. Remember as you do that bugs and diseases that caused you problems this summer can over-winter in the compost pile or especially if you just leave deadplants standing in the garden.
The best way to deal with the “leftovers” of 2013 would be to send them through a grinder and then compost them.
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