Planting by the signs

This week and beyond

Moon: Light moon now until full moon at 5:38 p.m. on Tuesday; plant only above-ground producers during this period then after Tuesday and until the second new moon of the month on July 31, 11:12 p.m., only below-ground producers.

Signs: Through Thursday, so-so; July 19-21, very fertile/dark moon; June 22-23, no planting; July 24-26, very fertile.

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.


Through July 26, the days offer so-so, very fertile and killing days with a moon change on the 16th. Let’s have a closer look.

The monthly series of so-so days began Friday and continues through Thursday. During this time the moon moves from the light to dark phase on the 16th. As I remind you each month, these days are not particularly fertile but they’re not destructive either – just so-so.

Beginning on Wednesday, we’ll have five days perfect for changes. Read more about that below.

There are three very fertile days, July 19-21, ruled by Pisces (the feet) with the moon in the dark phase for below-ground producers. Check out the list and see if there is anything there you want to plant.

Following those fertile days, we have a pair of days ruled by the killing sign Aries (the head) on July 22-23. Any gardening activities but planting or transplanting on these days.

Then it’s back to fertile days with Taurus (the neck) ruling July 24-26 and the moon still in the dark phase.

Making changes

If you have changes to make like stopping smoking, starting a diet or exercise program, weaning babies or small animals, scheduling selective surgery — anything that requires a change — we have only five perfect days this month, Wednesday through July 21.

During this period the moon is in the dark phase and the signs are moving out of the body beyond anything that functions, specifically Aquarius for two days and Pisces for three.

We reached the maximum number of days a couple of months ago. To achieve that requires, first, for the moon to be in the dark phase and for the signs to be in Sagittarius, Capricorn, Aquarius, and Pisces — thighs through feet — beyond anything that functions.

The number of days changes monthly because of the way the moon’s phases fall and where the signs are in the 28-day rotation. It’s difficult to explain this in writing without illustrations so the next time I’m speaking to a group or organization you’ll need to come so that you can ask questions if you’re interested.

All that said, there are five perfect days this month, down from seven last month. In August there will only be two and a piece, Aug. 16-17 and some of Aug. 15. In September, alas, there are no perfect days.

It will stay that way — or close to it — for a couple of months and then the number of perfect days will begin to increase again. 

I’ll be right here to tell you when all that’s happening, so you don’t need to try to figure it out on your own.

A few days to pour gravel

Pouring gravel: If you have gravel to pour on a drive or road on your farm, do that when the light moon rules and that’s through most of next Tuesday. The 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 phase of the moon so the posts don’t sink.

Reviewing the late garden

In last week’s column we focused on the late garden. I’ll continue to reprise some of that information each week now as the gardening season moves on along.

All information here is from Home Gardening in Kentucky, published for the Cooperative Extension Service by the University of Kentucky College of Agriculture. It’s available at your local Extension office or online.

Check the “date to maturity” on anything you plant now because while the days are hot as is the soil temperature, they’ll be getting shorter — and cooler — as we approach fall.

Statistically speaking these are the latest dates these veggies can be planted. Many of them you’ll remember from our spring gardens, those that enjoy cooler soil and air temperatures. According to the book, the last safe date for the veggies listed first below has passed.

If, of course, you’re the adventuresome type, have the space and the inclination, you may plant any of these veggies. What I’m giving you re the statistical latest dates for planting to expect much of a harvest.

Last safe date passed: 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, and tomato plants.

• Through Sunday sweet corn, rutabaga

• Monday through July 21: cabbage, carrots, cauliflower plants, lettuce heads, okra

• July 22-28: bush beans

• July 29-Aug. 4: broccoli plants, kale, kohlrabi, Bibb lettuce plants, parsley, snow peas, summer squash

• Aug. 5-11: beets, turnips

• Aug. 12-18: leaf lettuce

• Aug. 19-25: collards

• Sept. 1: radishes

Coming next week: The song of the first katydid is the harbinger of fall! Have you heard one yet?

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