Planting by the signs: It's never too early to plan for spring

By Philip Case, Published:

Well, we’re a week into Winter and so far it hasn’t been too bad, has it? With Christmas over I feel like we have the snowy season on the downhill drag heading toward Spring — at last that’s what I want to believe!

And, can’t you tell the days are already longer!

Before I give you this week’s information about the phases of the moon and signs of the zodiac, I want to mention some things we can begin doing now in preparation for the 2014 gardening season.

First — and we could have been doing this one for a long time — is planning this year’s garden. Doubtlessly you’ve received some seed catalogs but if not just go online and see what’s available for your consideration in the upcoming summer.

Second, take some time to reflect on 2013: What went well for you in the garden and what didn’t? What produced and what didn’t? This step comes in conjunction with planning 2014’s garden.

Third, as I’ve said for as long as I’ve been writing this column, sage advice has it that plowing your garden during January or February is a good idea, no matter how wet it is. Folks at the Extension Service disagree with this, based on their research, but I’ve found with my own research in my own gardens, plowing in January or February is a fine idea. You be the judge.

Fourth, resolve to plant your garden according to the phase of the moon and signs of the zodiac when at all possible. I will provide you that information here and online every week — and daily through my Twitter feed, @plantingbysigns. Coupled with common-sense good gardening practices, this method can make your good garden even better.

Now, this week’s information.

The moon is in the dark phase now and remains there until the new moon 6:14 a.m. New Year’s Day. Proceed with those activities that benefit from the dark moon being in force.

Then beginning Wednesday afternoon and continuing until the next full moon at 11:52 p.m. Jan. 15, those activities that may benefit from the light moon rule. 

A look at the signs reveals a series of so-so ones begins today with Sagittarius (the thighs) ruling through Tuesday. Capricorn (the legs) is in force Wednesday and Thursday followed by Aquarius (the legs) in force Friday and Saturday.

The very fertile sign Pisces (the feet) is up for Jan. 5-6.

Maybe it’s the anticipation, but for some reason it’s always more exciting at least for me to write and talk about the gardening season that’s about to unfold rather than focus on what we can plant before the frosts and freezes arrive.

I recognize they’re all part of the cycles of Mother Earth and necessary, but it’s like looking at the rising sun with anticipation rather than the sun going down as the day ends.

But then as Megan says, “maybe it’s just me!”

How to be in touch

Here’s how to be in touch, get instant information or ask questions:

  • Email or
  • Call or text 502-682-5995 or call The State Journal at 502-227-4556.
  • My Twitter account is @plantingbysigns.

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