Planting by the signs

This week and beyond

Moon: Light moon rules until full moon at 8:29 a.m. Thursday; plant above-ground producers during this period. Then beginning next Friday until the new moon on Aug. 30, only below-ground producers.

Signs: Through Wednesday, so-so; Thursday, Friday and next Saturday, very fertile for below-ground producers following moon change on Thursday; Aug. 18-20, no planting/killing sign rules.

Contact: You may email me at; call or text 502-682-5995. Visit Facebook and like my page devoted to this information. It’s @plantingbysigns.

Keep your garden watered

We seem to run through these cycles of lots of water — then no water. We’ve had some rain this week, but as of this writing not very much. The intervening dry, beautiful, sunny days don’t do anything but make it drier. A shower can help but may not offer the deep drink our plants need.

That said, check your vegetables and flowers for dryness and keep the plants watered. Thirsty plants don’t produce nor do parched flowers bloom — unless, of course, you’re raising cacti!

Making changes

As I’ve been saying for several months now, the number of perfect days for making changes is dwindling. The perfect formula, you’ll recall, is when the moon is in the dark phase and the signs are going out of the body beyond anything that functions.

This month underscores the point since we’re already in the middle of the signs aspect of the formula yet the moon remains in the light phase until 8:29 p.m. Thursday when the full moon comes to rule and the sign in Pisces (the feet) a fertile sign but yet one that fits the formula.

If you want three perfect days for making changes like stopping smoking or any other habit, starting a diet or exercise program, weaning small animals or children then these are your three perfect days in August.

In September, for instance, there are no days that perfectly fit the formula; same for October and November. In December, the pattern begins to change back with three perfect days, Dec. 23-25 — likely not the best days to make changes.

But, as the new year begins, there will be more and more days that perfectly fit the formula. We’ll keep you posted.

Time to count fogs

Once again, this year we’re looking for folks who’ll count the fogs in August to help predict the number of snows in the winter. Fogwarn Cindy Howard, who lives in the northern part of the county off U.S. 127, is hard at it and she’s recruiting other “counters” from around the county.

As of Wednesday morning, Cindy says it’s six for the first seven mornings of August in her neck of the woods. If that trend holds, we can look forward to plenty of snows in the winter.

If you’d like to count, please let me know.

Veggies for the fall garden

The list of veggies we can plant in the unprotected fall garden is growing shorter almost with each passing day. Here’s what’s left, according to " Home Gardening in Kentucky" – and also what has passed. Check the “date to maturity” on anything you plant now.

Primarily what’s left are veggies for the “salad garden.”

• Today and Sunday: Beets, turnips

• Just passed: Broccoli plants, kale, kohlrabi, Bibb lettuce plants, parsley, snow peas and summer squash

• Monday-Aug. 18: Leaf lettuce

• Aug. 19-25: Collards

• Sept. 15: Radishes

• Last safe date passed: Bush beans, celery, cucumbers, muskmelons, onion plants (no sets in the fall garden), pepper plants, Irish potatoes, southern peas, watermelons, winter squash, lima beans, eggplant plants, onion seed, parsnips, sweet potatoes, pumpkins, tomato plants, sweet corn, rutabaga, cabbage, carrots, cauliflower plants, lettuce heads and okra.

Wes Henry on low tunnels

Speaking of fall gardening, in next weekend’s Spectrum, Frankfort gardener, beekeeper and writer Wes Henry will provide an excellent piece on extending the gardening season into the fall — even the winter if it’s not too harsh.

Wes is an expert on low tunnel gardening, a method that protects plants from frost and light freezes. His column — and a picture of a low tunnel — will appear next week. If you want to extend the gardening season, then you don’t want to miss this information.

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