Planting by the signs

Soil temps and moisture

Ah, Kentucky! This time last week we were rightly concerned about soil temperatures being something less than optimal for planting hot-weather crops. But as things would have it, that’s changing rapidly with the warm, sunny days we’ve been having.

Still keep in mind that while the air temperature may be in the 80s, it will take a while for the soil to catch up. Check out the soil temperatures as of Tuesday afternoon in the heat of the day. We’re getting to where we need to be! You can get the soil temperature at various depths by visiting the Kentucky Mesonet site.

Also, check the moisture level in your garden. It’s a little dry in my garden since significant rain has been elusive lately and the situation doesn’t appear to be changing soon.

Give those young plants and seedlings a little drink if the ground is dry. I’ve been watering my tomato plants most every night.

The week ahead

There’s what’s left of today and Saturday remaining in the four-day stretch we’ve enjoyed for planting flowers. Libra (the reins) is in force and flowers planted on these days should bloom and do so abundantly. I’ve been preparing all week for flower-planting, and by the time you read this they should all be snuggled in their pots and window boxes!

And as I caution each time these signs are in force: Don’t plant veggies on bloom days unless you’re looking for a bumper crop of blooms and a good chance there will be little or no produce. I’ve shared the stories of disaster before when veggies are planted on bloom days.

Two very fertile days for your above-grounders are up for Sunday and Monday with the sign in Scorpio (the secrets) and the moon still in the light phase until Wednesday morning at 7:14. On either of these days you may plant anything that produces above the ground if the ground remains dry.

I had a reader on my Facebook page write they didn’t understand what above- and below-ground producers means. I can’t say it much more simply: If what you are going to eat — like a tomato, pepper, squash or bean — develops above the ground, which they all do, then plant during the light phase of the moon.

A one-question quiz: If you’re growing potatoes or onions, in what moon phase would you speculate they might be planted based on where what you are going to eat is developing?

Answer: Dark phase. It’s that simple!

So-so days begin Tuesday and continue through the end of the month. And can you believe May is almost over! From my experience and in my opinion, these are the second most fertile days for planting.

This stretch, however, has the disadvantage of being peppered with Ember Days on Wednesday and May 28-29. No planting on Ember Days — including transplanting, seeding, re-potting, etc. None!

During the so-so days — Sagittarius/thighs, Capricorn/knees, and Aquarius/legs — the days suitable for planting Tuesday, Thursday and May 30-31. Tuesday is for above-grounders, then Thursday and May 30-31 for below-grounders.

In summary: Don’t plant on Wednesday, May 28-29 — all Ember Days!

Making changes

Beginning Wednesday after the moon moves to the dark phase and through June 2 is our second stretch of the month that’s ideally suited for making changes. By now you know what that may include: things like stopping smoking, starting a diet or exercise program, scheduling elective surgery, weaning small animals or children — anything requiring a change.

There’ll be another stretch June 24-29.

Pouring gravel: Through Tuesday is a great stretch if you have gravel to pour on a drive or road on your farm with the light moon ruling. 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.

After Tuesday, if you can, wait until the next stretch when the light moon is in force, June 10-24, for those activities.

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