Planting by the signs

This week and beyond

Moon: Dark phase until the next new moon at 3:16 p.m. July 2; plant only below-ground producers during this period.

Signs: Today and Sunday, very fertile; June 24-26, no planting/killing days; June 27-28, very fertile; June 29-30, bean days but dark moon.

Contact: You may email Philip Case at; call or text 502-682-5995. Follow Planting by the Signs on Facebook.

Make changes now

You have through Sunday to begin making changes like weaning small animals or children; stopping smoking; starting a diet or exercise program — anything that involves a “change.”

The formula is, as I share with you each month when this stretch occurs: dark moon in force/signs going out of the body beyond anything that functions. There’s not much left of this month’s period, just what’s left of this Saturday and Sunday.

For the past several months we’ve had long runs of days perfectly suited for making changes. That, however, is beginning to “change” itself as the number of days dwindles. I could try to explain why but it would likely bore you to death.

There will be months ahead when there will only be one or two perfect days — maybe none — depending on how the dark moon and non-functioning signs roll out and pair up in the proper sequence.

More about this week

This is the first full day of summer and it and Sunday are ruled by the very fertile sign Pisces (the feet) with, of course, the moon in the dark phase. These are perfect for planting your below-ground producers as — and I hate to say it — we need to start at least considering our fall gardens.

All planting should cease on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday when the sign moves to Aries (the head), one of the killing signs. I really, really hope you will make every effort not to plant or transplant when a killing sign is in force. Reserve these days for any gardening activity but planting or transplanting.

Then it’s back to fertile signs with Taurus (the neck) ruling June 27-28. With the dark moon in force, these are perfect for below-ground producers.

The month concludes with Gemini (the arms) ruling June 29-30. Gemini is the bean sign, but the moon is in the dark phase and we know beans produce above the ground. There won’t be any more perfect bean days during this planting season — Gemini in the light phase — so if you want to put in another planting of beans, I wouldn’t hesitate since at least half the formula is right.

One of my best gardens

Many, many, many years ago while living in downtown Frankfort we had a small farm out in the country for recreation and gardening. It was in that area known as “Bald Knob.” A former reporter at Your Hometown Newspaper was fond of saying, “Bald Knob isn’t a place, it’s a state of mind.” And that holds some truth!

Anyway, for one reason or a half dozen, I didn’t get around to putting the first seed or transplant in the ground until June 21 — way late by most standards. That garden, however, turned out to be one of the most productive ones I’ve ever had.

All that to say, even if you haven’t started — and assuming you can find a dry day with dry ground — there’s still time. Just don’t wait much longer!

To plant — or not

Because of the persistent wet ground and the inexorable rolling on of the summer, we’re to the point where it is becoming necessary to plant no matter the phase or sign — other than no planting on days ruled by Aries or Leo.

Ideally — and we should work toward that end — we plant in the proper phase based on where the veggie produces and a fertile sign. But the growing season in Kentucky really isn’t all that long once we can’t safely start planting hot-weather-loving veggies until after the first weekend in May, and plants take a certain number of days to make it from planting or transplanting to maturity.

In the spring, the days are getting warmer and longer. Conversely, as the summer presses on they’ll be getting shorter and cooler. (But you didn’t need me to tell you that!)

That said, we need to be getting on with it for our hot-weather producers. Soon we’ll be talking about fall gardens!

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