Planting by the Signs: Frost danger over…statistically that is

By Philip Case, Published:

Writer’s Note: This week’s column contains information for the next two weeks since I will not have a column in next week’s edition.

If you are planting your garden according to the phases of the moon and signs of the zodiac, here’s the information through May 25.

With Mother’s Day almost behind us — and don’t forget to honor or remember your mother today — the last danger of frost will statistically pass and we should be in the clear for all planting.

As an aside, many of you will remember the frost and freeze we experienced on Mother’s Day weekend early in the last decade. A lot of folks lost a lot of veggies that couldn’t withstand those elements. Up until that weekend, the spring had been unusually warm and — as we tend to do in spite of all the cautions — we got in a hurry.

That said, I have never been a proponent of early gardens because of the vagaries of a Kentucky spring. All should be good now, however, at least statistically speaking.

Unless the predicted rains soaked the ground too much, the sunshine and warm temperatures of the last week should dry out and warm our gardens — two elements most loved by our warm-weather crops. It would help if it didn’t get quite so chilly at night, but I’m certain that will be changing soon, too. Temperatures in the low 50s and upper 40s are confusing to plants that love it hot!

Now, even if you can’t plant everything when the moon is in the right phase and the signs are best, just try it when you can. With otherwise good gardening practices like cultivating, watering, fertilizing and working to control pests, your good garden will be even better.

The moon is in the light phase now and will remain there until the full moon comes to rule at 3:16 p.m. Wednesday. Then beginning Thursday and until the new moon coming into force at 2:40 p.m. May 28, only those veggies that produce beneath the ground.

Flowering days

A look at the signs reveals the flowering sign Libra (the reins) is in force today and Monday. These are outstanding days for planting your flowers since they are “bloom days.”

I caution you, however, about planting veggies on these days since they tend to bloom and bloom and not produce as vigorously since energy is diverted to blooming.

And sometimes they don’t produce at all. Read on:

One reader wrote a couple of years ago about cucumbers he planted with a blooming sign in force. He said they had the most gorgeous blooms you could ever imagine, and lots of them — but nary a cuke!

See, folks, I don’t make this stuff up!

Outstanding planting for above-ground producers returns for a day and a half Tuesday and Wednesday when the sign moves to Scorpio (the secrets), one of the four most fertile signs.

If the ground is dry, you can plant all of your above-ground producers during this period, including tomatoes, bush and pole beans, corn, squash — anything that produces above the ground.

The moon then moves to the dark phase at 3:16 p.m. Wednesday so it would be best, if possible, to get your above-ground producers in the ground Tuesday and definitely before lunch Wednesday.

Then, with the moon in the dark phase, our monthly series of so-so signs begins May 15 and continues through May 21. In descending order they are: Sagittarius (thighs), Capricorn (knees) and Aquarius (legs). It doesn’t really matter which days are ruled by a specific sign for planting since they’re all equally so-so — not good or bad, just so-so.

Following that run, great planting for below-ground producers returns May 22-23 when the sign moves to Pisces (the feet).

Make changes

The stretch from May 15-23 is one of those times very well suited for making changes like stopping smoking, starting a diet or exercise program, scheduling elective surgery, weaning children or animals —anything that requires a change.

That’s nine days for changes, folks — nine days as the signs go from the thighs through the feet.

Then comes a pair of killing days when Aries (the head) is in force, May 24-25. Anything but planting on these days.

I once read about a man who drove a single nail into a tree on a day in May when a killing sign was in force. Killed the tree dead! Don’t plant on killing days.

See you in the May 25 edition! And until then here’s to great gardening, sunny skies, warm, dry dirt — and just enough wet days to keep everything happy!

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.

  • Email or
  • Call or text 502-682-5995.
  • My Twitter account is @plantingbysigns. You can also visit my blog for the monthly overview. It’s
  • My Facebook is “Planting By Signs.”

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