July: 'Once in a blue moon'
For those of you gardening according to the phases of the moon and signs of the zodiac, here’s the information for the month of July. And, as always, don’t hesitate to be in touch if you have questions.
July in one of those rare months with two full moons — on the first and last day of the month. This phenomenon occurs only once every three years, giving rise to the saying, “Once in a blue moon,” which is typically taken to mean the event — whatever the event may be — occurs very rarely.
The first full moon of the month is at 10:20 p.m. July 1 and the second, the “blue moon,” is at 6:43 a.m. Eastern Daylight Time on July 31.
Thus the dark moon rules beginning late July 1 until the new — or light — moon at 9:24 p.m. July 15. The light moon is then in force until the second full moon of the month at 6:43 a.m. July 31.
“General Tips” for dark- and light-moon activities are below and if you are planting in flats, seedbeds, the garden — anywhere — it’s above-ground producers in the light moon and below-ground producers when the dark phase is in.
Remember: Again, check to see if the moon is in the light or dark phase (information above) before proceeding with planting, or other activities, indoors or out.
Like June, July begins – and ends — with the so-so signs in force, so here we go.
So-so days: These aren’t particularly fertile nor destructive, just so-so: Capricorn (the knees), July 1-2 and 28-29; Aquarius (the legs), July 3-4 and 30-31; and Sagittarius (the thighs), July 26-27. Again this month we have 10 days ruled by the three so-so signs: Sagittarius, Capricorn and Aquarius.
Fertile signs: The most fertile signs in the zodiac rule these days: Pisces (the feet), July 5-6; Taurus (the neck), July 9-10; Cancer (the breast), July 14-15; and Scorpio (the secrets), July 23-25. There are nine days this month ruled by the fertile signs — Scorpio, Pisces, Taurus and Cancer.
Pisces, Taurus and Cancer days are while the dark moon is in force. On the second Cancer day the moon moves to the light phase, but it’s at 9:24 in the evening and that could be a little late for planting. The three Scorpio days are with the light moon in force.
Killing signs: No planting, transplanting, or dealing with things you want to thrive should occur on these days. Reserve them for cultivating, cleaning out fencerows — anything but planting: Aries (the head), July 7-8 and Leo (the heart), July 16-17. Again this month there are just four killing days ruled by either Aries or Leo – the absolute minimum.
Flowering days: These are “bloom days” and well suited for planting flowers. Virgo (the bowels), July 18-20 and Libra (the reins), July 21-22. There are five flowering days this month.
Gemini days: Gemini rules the arms and is in force July 11-13. Unfortunately, like June, the dark moon rules all of these days. At least half of the ideal equation is in force with the sign in Gemini, the bean sign, although the moon is in the light phase.
Even though summer just began (June 21), it’s time now for gardeners to start thinking about and preparing for the fall garden when the days are growing shorter, the soil and air temperature slowly cooling.
Many of the same veggies that like the spring garden on the front end of the gardening season enjoy maturing in the fall. We’ll have more on fall gardens in the August Overview.
Again, here are a few general tips for activities other than planting:
>If you have gravel to pour on a drive or roadway, do that when the light moon rules. 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 of the moon so the posts don’t sink.
>If you’re putting on a new shingle roof, do that when the moon’s in the dark phase so that the shingles stick down and don’t curl up on the ends.
>If you have changes to make, we have 5 full days this month and an hour and a half of another. The moon moves to the dark phase at 10:20 p.m. July 1 with the sign in Capricorn. Then Capricorn, Aquarius and Pisces rule, in that order, through July 6.
During this time the moon will be in the dark phase and the signs going out of the body past anything that functions – Capricorn through Pisces/knees through feet.
The next days when the so-so signs rule — those ruling parts of the body that don’t function like the internal organs — are all when the light moon is in force, July 26-30. This is at least half of the ideal equation (dark moon/signs going out of the body past anything that functions) and the half I personally like best if we can’t have the whole thing.
Each month now for the next several there will be fewer days that fit the formula perfectly so the ideal window will be smaller. For instance, in June it was 7.5 days — this month it’s 5.
These days are good for weaning babies or small animals, scheduling elective surgery – not emergency surgery since that usually can’t be “scheduled,” stopping smoking or using other tobacco producers, starting a diet or exercise program. Consider what it is you want to do and if it involves making a change — like starting or stopping something — then this is the best stretch for it according to the phases and signs.