Planting by the signs

In review through Aug. 21

Here’s a look at now through Aug. 21 in more detail. Please check out the list of veggies that can still be planted in the unprotected garden and have a good statistical chance to make it to harvest. It’s getting to be a short list!

The very fertile sign Cancer (the breast) rules for the remainder of today (Friday). With the moon in the dark phase these days are for any below-ground producers you may be planting.

Unfortunately, the weekend will be ruled by the killing sign Leo (the heart) in for both Saturday and Sunday. Any gardening activity is fine but planting — and that includes transplanting, seeding, re-potting — anything involving things you hope will survive and thrive. When a killing sign rules you may weed, fertilize, clean out fencerows — just don’t plant!

Planting under the influence of a killing sign doesn’t mean the transplant will drop dead the next day or the seeds won’t come up. It just means they won’t produce as abundantly.

The moon moves to the light phase — no moon visible in the night sky at first — at 9:50 a.m. on Sunday. It will rule through Aug. 21.

Four days ruled by the flowering signs Virgo and Libra are up for Aug. 9-12, all with the moon in the light phase, which doesn’t matter since we’re not eating the flowers! These are bloom days and will be great for your fall flowers.

The only two days this month ruled by one of the very fertile signs with the moon in the light phase are Aug. 13-14 when Scorpio (the secrets) is in force. But, if you have above-grounders to plant in your fall garden and can’t get it done on either of those days then Aug. 15-21 is a close second with the so-so signs in force — Sagittarius/thighs, Capricorn/knees and Aquarius/legs — and the moon firmly in the light phase.

Planning a fall garden

Here’s a list of veggies that can still be planted in the unprotected fall garden for fall harvest. This comes from "Home Gardening in Kentucky." The list is rapidly growing shorter.

If you don’t see what you are thinking of planting on the list, then it’s statistically too late for it to make it to harvest unless you plan to protect it from early frost — even a freeze.

A reader on my Facebook page, @plantingbysigns, wrote last week asking when she could plant pumpkins for use at Halloween. She’s in Virginia and about the same planting zone, 6B, that we are.

Unfortunately, I had to tell her the last day for planting pumpkins — especially those that are to be used as jack-o-lanterns — was June 15, almost two months ago!

It may be hot now but, alas, that’s going to be changing as fall arrives in just a little more than a month — Sept. 22 with the autumnal equinox. Plant what has a chance to make it to your table, can, freezer or neighbors unless you plan to protect it.

Now through Aug. 15: beets, leaf lettuce, turnips, collards;

Through Sept. 1: spinach;

Through Sept. 15: radishes.


In posting the August Overview @plantingbysigns, I found a contradiction/mistake in what was printed in this space last week. Without going into the details, suffice it to say what is posted here is correct: The days ruled by Scorpio — Aug. 13-14 — are in the light phase of the moon.

They are the only two days in August ruled by a very fertile sign when the light moon is in force. Fortunately, this mistake won’t have had an impact on planting yet.

Fertile days: The signs are accompanied by the phase of the moon in which they occur.

Cancer (the breast), Aug. 4-6, dark moon; Scorpio (the secrets), Aug. 13-14, light moon; and Pisces (the feet), Aug. 22-23, dark moon; Taurus (the neck), Aug. 27-28, dark moon ruling.

These are the most fertile signs in the zodiac: Scorpio, Pisces, Taurus and Cancer. Like July, only the Scorpio days (Aug. 13-14) are ruled by the light moon.

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 most of Sunday through Aug. 21. 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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