Planting by the signs

A closer look at the week

Let’s have a closer look at the remainder of June and then visit the July Overview.

A series of flowering days began Thursday and continues through Sunday with Virgo (the bowels) ruling today and Libra (the reins) up for Saturday and Sunday. During this period, the light moon is in force. This is an ideal time for planting flowers or sowing flower seeds if you still have some to get out.

Personally, I have half a flat of impatiens I still need to plant.

I’ll say it again, I strongly caution you not to plant veggies when the flowering signs rule. I’ve had too many folks write to say they’ve had bad experiences doing that, reporting the veggies bloom abundantly and produce gorgeous foliage — only to fail miserably when it comes time to produce whatever that plant is supposed to produce. Flowering signs are for flowers!

Why not just wait to plant veggies until Monday or Tuesday when the sign moves to Scorpio (the secrets), one of the most fertile signs? The moon will still be in the light phase for your above-ground producers.

And now, you can pick up with the July Overview, which begins with the so-so signs.

July Overview

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

Believe it or not, we are moving toward the end of the planting season for hot-weather crops based on how long it takes veggies to grow and mature. For instance, the planting chart in “Home Vegetable Gardening in Kentucky” reports the last day for setting out tomato plants was June 15! Check for the “last safe planting date” before transplanting, seeding or planting.

I think you can push the dates on the chart out a little further since it seems that while summer has a hard time taking hold, it also doesn’t let go quite as early as it used to. And then, you can always protect sensitive crops in the fall.

MOON PHASES: July begins and ends with the light moon in force. The light moon rules until the full moon comes into force at 12:44 a.m. on July 5 and then returns at 1:33 p.m. July 20, continuing until the full moon at 11:59 a.m. on Aug. 3.

Between the light moon times, the dark moon is in force most of July 5 until the new moon returns midway in the day on July 20.

When the light moon is in force, 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. If you can only utilize one aspect of the system, I would suggest going with the moon phases, but still avoid the killing signs.

And never plant when your ground is wet, no matter how beautiful the day may be.

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. July begins — and ends — with the so-so signs in force, so we’ll start with a look at them. I believe that next to the fertile signs (Scorpio, Pisces, Taurus, and Cancer), the so-so signs — and I wish I had a better name for them — are the second best for planting. But until then …

So-so days: Sagittarius (the thighs), July 1-3, 29-30; Capricorn (the knees), July 4-5 and 31; and Aquarius (the legs), July 6-7. There are 10 days this month ruled by the so-so signs. The light moon is in force seven and the dark moon rules three days.

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

Pisces (the feet), July 8-10, dark moon; Taurus (the neck) rules July 13-15, dark moon; Cancer (the breast), July 18-19, dark moon; and Scorpio (the secrets), July 27-28, light moon ruling.

There are 10 days again this month ruled by the most fertile signs: Scorpio, Pisces, Taurus and Cancer. The dark moon rules eight of them and there are only two with the light moon in force, tilting the scales toward most of the outstanding days being best suited for below-ground producers.

Killing days: No planting, transplanting or dealing with things you want to thrive should occur on these days. Reserve them for getting your garden ready for planting, weeding, cleaning out fence rows — anything but planting anywhere — be that garden, greenhouse, pot or cold frame. No planting!

Here’s when they rule: Aries (the head) July 11-12; and Leo (the heart), July 20-21. There are four days ruled by the killing signs — and that’s the minimum.

Bean/pea days: Gemini (the arms) rules July 16-17. Unfortunately, both days find the dark moon ruling. At least half the perfect formula is in force for beans.

Flowering days: Virgo (the bowels) rules July 22-23; and Libra (the reins) is up for July 24-26. There are five flowering days in July. 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!

GENERAL TIPS

Making changes: July 5-10 is a perfect time for making changes. You may notice the number of perfect days is diminishing with six this month.

The moon is in the dark phase and the signs are going out of the body beyond anything that functions: Capricorn/knees through Pisces/feet.

Changes might include stopping smoking, beginning a diet or exercise program, scheduling elective surgery, weaning small animals or children — 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 July 1-4 then most of July 21 through Aug. 2. 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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