Planting by the signs

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."

If you don’t see what you are thinking of planting on the list here, 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. Some are close — as in Sunday — and you may be able to push things another week or two, but not much further. The soil and air temperatures will slowly start cooling as the days get shorter with the approach of fall.

Now through Sunday: Snap beans, broccoli plants, Brussels sprout plants, cabbage, carrots, cauliflower plants, chard, sweet corn, cucumbers, kale, kohlrabi, Bibb lettuce plants, head lettuce, okra, parsley, rutabaga, snow peas, spinach and summer squash.

After Aug. 2-15: Beets, leaf lettuce, turnips.

Remember, if you don’t see it listed, then it’s too late to plant.

August overveiw

Here’s the information on the phases of the moon and signs of the zodiac for August.

Moon phases: August begins and ends with the dark moon in force. The full, or dark moon, rules until the new, or light moon, comes into force at 9:50 a.m. on Aug. 8 and rules until the dark/full moon returns at 8:02 a.m. on Aug. 22. Between those times, most of Aug. 8 thru Aug. 21, the light moon is in force.

When the light moon rules, plant above-ground producers and when the dark moon rules it’s below-ground producers.

Check the signs and plant when one of the fertile signs rules in the proper phase of the moon depending on where the veggie will produce. Don’t plant when either of the killing signs, Aries or Leo, is in force and don’t plant veggies when the flowering signs, Virgo or Libra, rule — just flowers.

Planting in the so-so signs is a viable alternative to the fertile signs. They are Sagittarius, Capricorn and Aquarius, Aug. 15-21.

If you can only utilize one aspect of the system for planting, I would suggest going with the moon phases, but still avoid the killing signs (Aries and Leo) for any planting and the flowering signs (Virgo and Libra) for anything but flowers.

The signs: Check to see if the moon is in the light or dark phase (information above) before proceeding with any planting anywhere, or other activities.

August begins with a fertile sign in force, so that’s where we’ll start.

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

Taurus (the neck), Aug. 1, 27-28, all with the dark moon ruling; Cancer (the breast), Aug. 4-6, dark moon; Scorpio (the secrets), Aug. 13-14, light moon; and Pisces (the feet), Aug. 22-23, all dark moon.

There are 10 days this month ruled by the most fertile signs: Scorpio, Pisces, Taurus and Cancer. Like July, only the Scorpio days (Aug. 13-14) are ruled by the dark moon. That’s a two-to-eight split light/dark, which overwhelmingly favors below-ground producers.

Pea/bean days: Gemini (the arms) rules Aug. 2-3, 29-31. Statistically, it’s too late to be planting bush or snap beans and past the middle of the month it will be too late for peas. Also, the dark moon rules all these and we know where peas produce — above the ground. At least half of the equation is correct.

Killing days: No planting, transplanting, seeding, re-potting or dealing with things you want to thrive should occur on these days. Reserve them for anything but planting anywhere — be that garden, greenhouse, pot or cold frame. No planting!

Here’s when they rule: Leo (the heart), Aug. 7-8; and Aries (the head) Aug. 24-26. There are five days in August ruled by the killing signs, down from seven in July.

Flowering days: Virgo (the bowels) is up for Aug. 9-10, and Libra rules Aug. 11-12. There are four flowering days again in August.

These are “bloom days” and flowers planted when they rule should bloom and do so abundantly. Be cautious about planting veggies on flowering days since they tend to spend more time flowering than they do setting fruit. “Cautious” as in don’t do it!

So-so days: Sagittarius (the thighs), Aug. 15-17; Capricorn (the knees), Aug. 18-19; and Aquarius (the legs), Aug. 20-21. There are seven days ruled by the so-so signs. The light moon rules all.

So-so signs are second only to the very fertile signs for planting. Since the light moon rules all but one of them, these will be good alternatives for planting your above-ground producers in your fall garden since we only have two days ruled by a very fertile sign with the light moon in force.

General tips

Making changes: Our number of perfect days for making changes continues to drop. We’re down to just two now, Aug. 22-23. In July there were four and seven in June. In September, there won’t be any perfect days that fit the requirement of ruling parts of the body that don’t “function” like the heart, lungs, etc., with the dark moon in force.

Changes might include starting a diet, stopping smoking, taking up an exercise program, weaning small animals or children, scheduling elective surgery or having dental work — anything that requires a change.

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 Aug. 8 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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