Planting by the signs

This week and beyond

Moon: Dark moon now until new moon at 11:12 p.m. on July 31 — the second new moon of the month! Plant only below-ground producers during this period.

Signs: Today and Sunday, very fertile/below-ground producers; Monday and Tuesday, no planting; Wednesday through Friday, very fertile, still below-ground producers; next Saturday and Sunday, bean days.

Contact: You may email me at; call or text 502-682-5995. Visit Facebook and like my page devoted to this information. It’s @plantingbysigns, like and share it with all your friends — especially those who garden!


Fall garden time is here

If you’re planning a fall garden, the time to be planting is now with an eye toward harvesting when the days are shorter, the ground and air temperatures are cooler. For several weeks I’ve been sharing the list of what can still be planted in our area and statistically have a chance to make it to harvest.

Of course, if the fall is mild then the growing season may go longer — or we could have an early cold snap and end it for the warm-weather lovers. That’s why they call it statistically!

According to "Home Gardening in Kentucky," the safe dates for some of these crops have passed, but if you are a bit of a risk-taker then you might want to give them a try. Check the “date to maturity” on anything you plant now.

According to the book, the last safe date for the veggies listed first below has passed. 

• Last safe date passed: celery, cucumbers, muskmelons, onion plants (no sets in the fall garden), pepper plants, Irish potatoes, southern peas, watermelons, winter squash, lima beans, eggplant plants, onion seed, parsnips, sweet potatoes, pumpkins, tomato plants, sweet corn, rutabaga     

• Through Sunday: cabbage, carrots, cauliflower plants, lettuce heads, okra.      

• July Monday-Sunday: bush beans     

• July 29-Aug. 4: broccoli plants, kale, kohlrabi, Bibb lettuce plants, parsley, snow peas, summer squash     

• Aug. 5-11: beets, turnips     

• Aug. 12-18: leaf lettuce     

• Aug. 19-25: collards     

• Sept. 1: radishes

The rest of July

Here’s a look at the rest of the month for those of you wanting to make plans for your fall gardens or other activities. We have two perfect days left for making changes, both with Pisces (the feet) in force.

These days fit the formula exactly: moon in the dark phase and signs going out of the body beyond anything that functions. Pisces is also a very good sign for planting below-ground producers. If you have changes to make like stopping smoking, starting a diet or exercise program, weaning babies or small animals, scheduling elective surgery — anything that requires a change — then these are your days.

And, there aren’t going to be many — if any — perfect days for the next several months. Following the Pisces days, we have a pair of days ruled by the killing sign Aries (the head) on Monday and Tuesday: any gardening activities but planting or transplanting on these days.

Then, it’s back to fertile days with Taurus (the neck) ruling next Wednesday through Friday with the moon still in the dark phase. The last five days of the month find Gemini (the arms) ruling Saturday and Sunday; the very fertile sign Cancer (the breast) up for July 29-30 with the killing sign Leo (the heart) wrapping up July and kicking off August.

If you’d like to chance another planting of bush beans, half of the “Bean-Pea Formula” is in force with Gemini ruling although the moon is in the dark phase. According to the planting list, July 28 is the last day for bean planting. I, however, wouldn’t hesitate if you have the space and the inclination since as warm as the soil is and given it takes 50-60 days from planting to picking, that puts the beans “coming on” at the end of September or early October — well in advance of the statistical (there’s that word again!) first frost date.

We then wrap up the month and begin August with the killing sign Leo (the heart) in force. Like the Aries days ahead this week, no planting with Leo in force. First katydid There are many natural harbingers of fall and winter — as much as I don’t want to think about it! One of the first is the katydid, a little green bug whose name is his song – katy-DID, katy-DID!

Folk legend has it that the first frost comes 90 days after we hear the first katydid in the trees in the late evening. I heard my first one on July 10 —which makes first frost around Oct. 10.

I’ll bet by now you’ve heard one — or lots — too. Do you remember the date — or close to it? I’d love for you to share it with me and I, in turn, will share it with the readers.

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