Planting by the signs

The week ahead

We’re still a little more than two weeks away from the official beginning of summer with the Summer Solstice at 11:32 p.m. on Father’s Day this year, June 20. Planting of hot-weather-loving veggies is at high tide, however — even if we could use a little more hot weather!

Other than having a closer look at the next few days, there’s not much to say in the way of warnings and cautions other than don’t plant if your ground is wet. Try the Clod Test if you are in doubt by taking a handful of soil, squeezing, and releasing it. If it crumbles, you’re good to go. If it remains a mud clod, then wait for a drier time.

Killing signs: What’s left of today and Saturday are stay-on-the-porch days when if thoughts of planting cross your mind sit down until they go away! The killing sign Aries (the head) rules with the moon still in the dark phase — not that it matters. Please remember “planting” includes transplanting, seeding, re-potting — anything involving plants you want to thrive.

The same pattern repeats itself June 13-14 when Leo (the heart), the other killing sign, is in force. The only difference is the moon is in the light phase, which again doesn’t matter because you don’t want to be planting.

What can we do on killing days is a question readers often ask. There are plenty of things like cleaning out a fence row, weeding, cultivating, watering, fertilizing, spraying for bugs. Anything other than planting is fine, assuming you don’t want to stay on the porch.

Very fertile days are up for Sunday and Monday for the planting of below-ground producers if the ground isn’t too wet. Taurus (the neck), one of the most fertile signs rules with the moon in the dark phase.

If it was too wet to plant last Tuesday (June 2/dark moon/fertile sign), I hope to plant a little pin oak on Sunday or Monday. It popped up last year in the pot with an angel wing begonia I had over-wintered and is about a foot tall now. It’s in its second year.

I have had very good success planting trees when a fertile sign rules during the dark phase of the moon, the perfect formula for good root development, which is essential to long life for a tree. Pin oaks are very slow-growing trees so, like all trees, it needs a good hole containing a mixture of potting soil and native dirt.

Remember the old saying: “A $10 hole for a $5 tree.” In this case, a free tree.

Bean days are up for Tuesday-Thursday. The problem is that both Tuesday and Wednesday are still under the influence of the dark moon, and we all know where beans produce.

Thursday, however, finds the moon moving to the light phase at 6:53 a.m., long before most of us are doing any planting. That makes the rest of the day still under the influence of Gemini (the arms) — the bean sign — with the light moon in force. In short, a perfect day for planting beans.

Very fertile days return next Friday and Saturday, June 11-12, and with the moon in the light phase, it will for any above-ground producers.

I’ve written many times about one of my best gardens in which not even the first thing was planted until June 20! The date was late for sure, but gone were the cold days, chance-of-frost days, etc.

There are still plenty of plants — and of course seeds — available so if you haven’t started you still have time.

Then it's back to killing days June 13-14 when Leo (the heart) comes to rule. The same information I wrote about Aries applies to Leo.

Pouring gravel: If you have gravel to pour on a drive or road on your farm, do that when the light moon rules, which is June 10-23. 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.

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