Planting by the signs

September Overview

Here’s the September Overview for those planting in protected fall gardens. Except for a couple of veggies (spinach/Sunday and radishes/Sept. 15), there’s little that can be planted now in the unprotected garden and have any reasonable expectation of making it to harvest before frost and freezing weather.

If, however, you are utilizing a greenhouse, cold frames or low tunnels, the gardening season can be extended into late fall — even early winter — if we don’t have a hard freeze.

Moon phases

The light moon is in force as the month begins and returns with the new (light) moon on Sept. 28 to end the month and take us into October.

The new moon — or no moon visible in the sky — came to rule on Aug. 30 and continues until the full moon arrives at 12:33 a.m. on Sept. 14. Then the new moon is back on Sept. 28 at 2:26 p.m.

When the light moon is in force, plant above-ground producers and when the dark moon rules it’s below-ground producers — but now only if you can protect the veggies.

Ideally, check the signs and plant when one of the fertile signs rules. 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.

CAUTION: Ember Days this month are up for Sept. 18, 20 and 21. No matter the phase or sign, no planting on Ember Days! The only outstanding day in the trio — so we don’t lose much — is Sept. 18 when Taurus rules. The Sept. 20 and 21 are both Gemini (bean) days and we’re past bean planting now.

The signs

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

September begins with the flowering sign Libra (the reins) ruling, so we’ll begin there.

Flowering days: Libra (the reins) is up for Sept. 1, 28, 29 and Virgo (the bowels) rules Sept. 26-27. That makes five flowering days in September.

These are bloom days and flowers planted when they rule should bloom and do so abundantly. Any of these days are great for your fall mums or pansies that will last into the fall, even the winter — the pansies, that is, not the mums that can’t stand a hard freeze.

I would strongly suggest avoiding planting veggies when bloom signs are in force since more energy goes toward blooming than setting fruit!

Fertile days: These are the most fertile signs in the zodiac. Here they are accompanied by the phase of the moon in which they occur this month.

Scorpio (the secrets), Monday-Tuesday, Sept. 30 and Oct. 1, light moon ruling all; Pisces (the feet), Sept. 12-13, light moon; Taurus (the neck) rules Sept. 17-18, dark moon but no planting on the Sept. 18 — Ember Day ; and Cancer (the breast) Sept. 22-23, dark moon.

There are nine days again this month ruled by the most fertile signs: Scorpio, Pisces, Taurus and Cancer. Unlike last month they are more evenly distributed with the light moon ruling five of them while the dark moon is in for four.

So-so days: These aren’t particularly fertile nor destructive, just so-so. Sagittarius (the thighs), Wednesday-Friday; Capricorn (the knees), Sept. 7-8; and Aquarius (the legs), Sept. 9-11. There are eight days this month ruled by the so-so signs, all with the light moon in force.

Killing days: No planting, transplanting or dealing with things you want to thrive should occur on these days. Reserve them for cultivating your garden, cleaning out fence rows — anything but planting.

Here’s when they rule in September: Aries (the head), Sept. 14-16; and Leo (the heart) Sept. 24-25. There are six days again this month ruled by killing signs.

Bean/pea days: Gemini (the arms) rules Sept. 19-21, Sep. 20-21 are Ember Days — no planting anything. As I said earlier, it’s too late in the season to plant beans and expect them to make it to harvest before fall.

General tips

Making changes: There are no perfect days this month for making changes that follow the formula: when the moon is in the dark phase and the signs are going out of the body beyond anything that functions. The so-so signs are all in the light moon as are the Pisces days.

Alas, there will be no perfect days again until December. Until then my suggestion would be going with the so-so days and Pisces — Wednesday-Sept. 14 — since they are going out of the body beyond anything that functions and the last quarter of the light moon rules, moving toward the full moon on the Sept. 14.

I know there are many who believe going with the dark moon is best, but this month it rules when the signs are all in the trunk of the body, those signs that rule things that function.

Pouring gravel: If you have gravel to pour on a drive or road on your farm, do that when the light moon rules Sunday-Sept. 13, 29-30 and until the full moon in October. 

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.

You may email me at; call or text 502-682-5995. Visit Facebook and like my page devoted to this information. It’s @plantingbysigns.

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