Planting by the Signs: Spring is here! Sort of

By Philip Case, Published:

In the Northern Hemisphere, and that’s where we are, it is finally spring — and I can’t think of a year in recent memory when its arrival has been more embraced. It doesn’t mean winter is completely over — in fact there’s another winter storm coming our way slated for midweek arrival — but the coming of the Vernal Equinox does mean we have the snowy season on a downhill drag.

So now it’s time to garden, whether that garden be a large plot producing veggies for sale at a farmers market, a flowerbox, barrel, pot, built-up planting beds — anything that can hold dirt can be a “garden.” There’s little more satisfying than picking a flower or a tomato from your garden.

We’re here to help you through the season with tips and suggestions and, of course, that which you’ll get from few other sources: information about planting following the phases of the moon and signs of the zodiac.

I, too, invite your questions about the phases and signs and any other gardening issues you’re facing. I spent the fall a few years back taking the Master Gardener class under the tutelage of former Extension Horticulture Agent Kim Cowherd, and if I don’t know the answer, Kim taught us all where to look.

For those of you really serious about gardening, Wes Henry has provided us with an excellent piece about utilizing cold frames to raise your own plants, get a jump on early veggies and extend the season into the fall and even the winter. He’s provided pictures, too, of cold frames he’s built and uses.

I commend Wes’s article to your attention.

Again this week I will share with you the list of what can be planted now if your garden is ready. Unless we have a deluge in the next few days, the ground should be dry enough for rototilling, plowing or spading. Just be certain it is dry enough before you start working the soil.

Phases and signs

The moon is in the dark phase now, the full moon having come into force last Sunday afternoon. Until the new moon next Sunday at 2:45 p.m., plant only those veggies that produce beneath the ground — and if you’ll check out the list below you’ll see there are plenty of them!

Then beginning next Sunday and until Tax Day Eve (April 15), only those that produce above the ground.

Do remember the soil and ground are cool — even if the sun happens to be warm and your passion for gardening is boiling! We will have more cold weather, frosts, perhaps snow (midweek?) and freezes. Just plant with reason in mind!

The signs find us a a day into our monthly so-so period —not good, not bad, just so-so. Sagittarius (thighs) rules today with Capricorn (the knees) up for Monday and Tuesday  followed by Aquarius (the legs) Wednesday and Thursday.

Pisces (the feet), a very fertile sign, comes into force Friday and Saturday. On these days you can plant anything that produces beneath the ground from the list below or generally.

Through Saturday is a perfect time to begin an exercise program or diet, stop smoking, wean small animals or children — anything that requires a change. The signs are going out of the body past anything that functions and the moon is in the dark phase.

But be underway with that change making by next Sunday when the sign moves to Aries (the head), one of the killing signs. The moon remains in the dark phase Saturday but, as we’ve noted, moves to the light phase next Sunday.

Oh, and don’t do any planting next Sunday or  Monday. Both days would be great, however, for garden preparation, cleaning out fencerows, deadening — anything but planting.

What to plant

Here are veggies you can safely plant now if — and only if — your ground is dry. And there are a lot of them!

Even though statistically it’s OK to plant it might not realistically be because we’ve had such an extended period of cold weather and proper soil temperature is vital to germination and development.

But planting is your call.

According to Home Gardening in Kentucky, you can plant: asparagus, beets, carrots, chard, collards, kale, kohlrabi, onion sets and seeds, parsley, parsnips, Irish potatoes, radishes, rhubarb, rutabaga, snow peas, spinach and turnips.

Then on or after Tuesday: cabbage, leaf lettuce, Bibb lettuce plants, head lettuce and onion plants.

How to be in touch

Here’s how to be in touch, get instant information, ask questions, make comments or visit a platform for discussion.

Let me add, I have been in touch with Josh Raymer, a former sportswriter here who set up my Facebook, blog and Twitter accounts. He is helping me with remedial work to bring me back up to full speed to use these social media tools for the good of gardening!

I’m already good with email, text and, of course, telephone, it’s the others I’m working on. Don’t hesitate to be in touch — and if you write and don’t hear from me, then do so again! Persistence will pay off.

  • Email or
  • Call or text 502-682-5995 or call The State Journal at 502-227-4556.
  • My Twitter account is @plantingbysigns. You can also visit and join in more detailed discussion on my blog found there.
  • My Facebook  page is “Planting By Signs” and it’s devoted to general gardening with an emphasis on utilizing the phases of the moon and signs of the zodiac.

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