Planting by the signs

July at a glance


If you’re planting your garden according to the phases of the moon and signs of the zodiac — coupled with other good gardening practices of course — here’s the information for July.

The only cautions now are:

Don’t plant if the ground is wet no matter what phase or sign.

Be conscious of “date to maturity” of the veggies you are planting, whether seeds or transplants. With each passing week there are more and more veggies that just won’t make it to harvest before the days start getting cooler and shorter so unless you just like watching them grow, don’t waste your time, money, seeds or garden space on them. See the list below.

This week
But first, for those of you just looking for this week’s information, here it is:

The moon is in the light phase now and will remain there until July 12.

The signs find the killing sign Leo (the heart) in force today, Monday and Tuesday. Simply put: No planting.

A series of flowering signs begin Wednesday and continue through next Sunday. Virgo (the bowels) rules Wednesday and Thursday followed by Libra (the reins) coming into force Independence Day and continuing through next Sunday.

The moon
As has been the case for the last several months, July begins and ends with the moon in the light phase. The light moon, which came into force 4:08 a.m. July 27, will continue to rule until the full (or dark) moon comes into force at 7:25 a.m. July 12. During this period plant only those things that produce above the ground — except don’t plant at all when one of the killing signs, Aries (the head) or Leo (the heart) rules.

The full or dark moon rules until the new — or light — moon returns at 6:42 p.m. July 26. During this period plant only those veggies that produce below the ground — except, again, when Aries or Leo is in force; those dates are below.

Light moon: Plant above ground producers through July 11, then July 27 until 2:09 p.m. Aug. 10.

Dark moon: Plant below ground producers most of July 12 (remember dark moon comes to rule at 7:25 a.m.) until the light moon returns at 6:42 p.m. July 26.

Check “General Tips” for dark- and light-moon activities.

The signs
Remember: 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: Scorpio (the secrets), July 7-8; Pisces (the feet), July 15-16; Taurus (the neck), July 19-21; and Cancer (the breast), July 24-26. There are 10 days this month ruled by the fertile signs — Scorpio, Pisces, Taurus 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 fencerows — anything but planting: Leo (the heart), July 1, 27-28 and Aires (the head), July 17-18. There are five killing days — down from seven in June — ruled by either Aries or Leo. Don’t plant when these signs are in force.

So-so days: These aren’t particularly fertile nor destructive, just so-so: Sagittarius (the thighs), July 9-10; Capricorn (the knees), July 11-12; and Aquarius (the legs), July 13-14. Again this month there are just six so-so days — and that’s the minimum.

Flowering days: These are “bloom days” and well suited for planting flowers — and we have a bunch of them in July. Virgo (the bowels), July 2-3, 29-31 and Libra (the reins), July 4-6. There are eight flowering days!

Gemini days: Gemini rules the arms and is in force July 22-23. These are bean days but the moon is in the dark phase and we know where beans grow. But the good thing is that at least half the equation is good: bean sign but dark moon — and it won’t be too late in the summer for another planting of bush beans since for most varieties the time from planting to harvest is about 60 days, maybe less with the ground warm.

What NOT to plant
According to “Home Vegetable Gardening in Kentucky,” published for the Cooperative Extension Service by the University of Kentucky Department of Agriculture, there’s still plenty of time for most everything EXCEPT these veggies: lima beans, eggplant, onions from seed, parsnips, sweet potatoes, pumpkins and tomato plants.

Other veggies will be added to the too-late-now list in next week’s column and the list continues to grow almost weekly until all we can safely plant past the end of August is radishes and them only until Sept. 15.

The list is based on the average number of days it takes from the time of planting to harvest and all this time the earth is slowly rotating toward fall.

This, of course, is in the unprotected garden. You can extend the season far into fall by using a cold frame some other means of protection.

General tips
Again, here are a few general tips for activities other than planting:

If you have gravel to pour on a drive or roadway, do that in the light of the moon, July 1-11 and July 27-Aug. 9 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.

If you’re setting fence posts, do that in the light of the moon so the posts don’t sink.

If 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.

If 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 are going out of the body, past anything that “functions” so that means thighs, knees, legs and feet — Sagittarius through Pisces.

Here are your days this month: July 13-16. The “window” of opportunity is getting smaller now and will continue to do so for the next several months. On these days the moon will be in the dark phase and the signs going out of the body — Aquarius and Pisces since the other two, Sagittarius and Capricorn, are in the light phase. That’s four days this month to start making changes or time to schedule elective surgery.

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.

Visit my Facebook page, Planting by the Signs.

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