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Thursday, July 30, 2015

August Planting by the Signs Overview


 Phases of the moon and signs of the zodiac

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 August. And, as always, don’t hesitate to be in touch if you have questions. All times are Eastern Daylight; adjust for your time zone.
The moon
August begins and ends with the moon in the dark phase.
The full moon rules until 10:53 a.m. Aug. 14 and returns to force again at 2:35 p.m. Aug. 29, continuing until the new moon at 2:41 a.m. Sept. 13.
Between those dates, specifically, the last half of Aug. 14 through the first half of Aug. 29, the light moon is in force.
 “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.
The signs
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.
In a change from the past two months, August begins with the fertile sign Pisces (the feet) in force. So, we’ll have a look at dates for the four fertile signs first.
Fertile signs: The most fertile signs in the zodiac rule these days: Pisces (the feet), Aug. 1-2, 29-30; Taurus (the neck), Aug. 5-7; Cancer (the breast), Aug. 10-11; and Scorpio (the secrets), Aug. 20-21. There are 11 days this month ruled by the fertile signs — Scorpio, Pisces, Taurus and Cancer.
So-so days: These aren’t particularly fertile nor destructive, just so-so: Sagittarius (the thighs), Aug. 22-24; Capricorn (the knees), Aug. 25-26; Aquarius (the legs), Aug 27-28. This month we have seven days ruled by the three so-so signs: Sagittarius, Capricorn and Aquarius.
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), Aug. 3-4 and 31; and Leo (the heart), Aug. 12-14. We have six days this month ruled by the killing signs Aries or Leo, up from four in July.
Flowering days: These are “bloom days” and well suited for planting flowers. Virgo (the bowels), Aug. 15-16 and Libra (the reins), Aug. 17-19. There are five flowering days this month.
Gemini days: Gemini rules the arms and is in force Aug. 8-9. Unfortunately, like June and July, 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 dark phase and beans produce above the ground.
General tips
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 three full days this month, Aug. 1-2 and 30 and a few hours Aug. 29, the day the moon moves to the dark phase at 2:35 p.m.
During this time the moon will be in the dark phase and the signs going out of the body past anything that functions. All the days are ruled by Pisces (the feet).
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 products, 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.

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

July phases and signs overview

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.
The moon
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.
The signs
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.
Fall gardens
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.
General tips
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.


Thursday, May 28, 2015

June Phases and Signs Overview

June is the time for planting!

June is about to be “… bustin’ out all over …” and it’s time for full-speed-ahead gardening. The only caution now is don’t plant when the ground is wet or you will continue to pay a high price across the summer as the soil clamps down around the little plants as it dries.
For those of you gardening according to the phases of the moon and signs of the zodiac — and if you are reading this I must assume you are or you’re at least curious — here’s the information for the month of June. And, as always, don’t hesitate to be in touch if you have questions.
The moon
June begins (just barely) and ends with the moon in the light phase with the light moon ruling until 12:19 p.m. EDT June 2 and then returning to force with the new moon at 10:05 a.m. June 16. Between those dates, June 3-15, the dark moon is in force.
 “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.
The signs
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.
June 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: Sagittarius (the thighs), June 1-2, 28-30; Capricorn (the knees), June 3-5; and Aquarius (the legs), June 6-7. We are “blessed” with 10 days this month 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), June 8-9; Taurus (the neck), June 12-13; Cancer (the breast), June 16-18; and Scorpio (the secrets), June 26-27. There are nine days this month ruled by the fertile signs — Scorpio, Pisces, Taurus and Cancer.
We have a nice mix this month of very fertile signs in both the dark and light phases of the moon. June 8-9, 12-13 occur when the dark moon is in force for planting below-ground producers while the afternoon of June 16, all of the and all of June 17-18, 26-27 are in force when the light moon rules for planting above-ground producers.
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), June 10-11 and Leo (the heart), June 19-20. Thankfully there are just four killing days this month ruled by either Aries or Leo – the absolute minimum.
Flowering days: These are “bloom days” and well suited for planting flowers. Virgo (the bowels), June 21-23 and Libra (the reins), June 24-25. There are five flowering days this month.
Gemini days: Gemini rules the arms and is in force June 14-15. Unfortunately, the dark moon rules both of these days but at least half of the ideal equation is in force with the sign in Gemini, the bean sign.
General tips
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.
I field a lot of questions about the proper time to pour gravel. And I hear lot of “testimonies” from those who followed the moon phases on that one. I will try to share more of those on my blog in the upcoming weeks.
>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 7.5 days this month – half of June 2 then all of June 3-9. During this time the moon will be in the dark phase and the signs going out of the body past anything that functions – Sagittarius through Pisces/legs through feet.
Each month now for the next several there will be fewer days that fit the formula perfectly so the “perfect window” will be smaller.
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, starting a diet or exercise program. Consider what it is you want to do and if it involves making a change then this is the best stretch for it.
As an example: In April a man contacted me who wanted to stop using smokeless tobacco. It so happened that the day he asked was a perfect day to “make changes.” He laid down the can of dip he was working on and, as he reported just a few days ago, hasn’t touched it since!
Folks, when you ask why and how this works, I can’t answer that in any sort of scientific manner. All I know is it does certainly helps and definitely can’t hurt when you have decided to make the change.

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

June Overview and Ember Days

 Three Ember Days this week

Greetings Gardeners!

A couple of things:

1) I will be posting the June Overview later today or Thursday at the latest. Several of you have asked when it's coming since June's a HUGE planting month.

2) I want to remind you of the EMBER DAYS that are up for this week. There are three of them occurring in the same sequence they always appear of Wednesday (today), Friday and Saturday.

Ember Days have long been known as super killing days and I suggest NOT PLANTING when Ember Days are in force.

The flowering sign Libra (the reins) rules today and Friday and, unfortunately, the very fertile sign Scorpio (the secrets) is in force Saturday, the final one of the Ember Days.

Sunday, May 31, however will be an outstanding day for planting all above-ground producers so, if you can be patient and your ground, pot — whatever — is ready, hold off planting until Sunday when the moon is in the light phase and the sign in Scorpio.


Friday, May 8, 2015

Questions and answers

What you asked ... how I  answered


Practically every day I get several questions for those who are following Planting by the Signs on the Internet or in print. Since others may benefit from the answers, I will try to do that here in my blog. I encourage anyone with questions to send them to me. If I don't have the answer, I will do some research and find it.

QUESTION: A reader asked if it's okay to plant melons and cucumbers when flowering signs are  in force.
ANSWER: No, unless you're planting them for the blooms, which I doubt. The blooming signs Virgo and Libra are about, well, blooming. I'll share a story with you:
Several years ago I man wrote to tell me about his experience planting cucumbers in a flowering sign. He said: "I had wonderful vines and the most beautiful blooms you've ever seen, just huge. But I never got a cucumber, not even one. Since then I've never cared about how pretty the vines or blooms were, since I wasn't planning to eat either!"
And there's your answer illustrated.

Q.: A reader said he accidentally planted some cabbage when killing signs were in force and wondered why they just didn't shrivel up and die.
A. I told him they weren't going to die, they just weren't going to produce as abundantly as they would have in better signs.
One year when it had been particularly wet, and against my better judgement, I planted four knockout rose bushes on a day when it was dry enough to plant but ruled by a killing sign because I needed to get them planted. Three of the four just set there and died later that year. The lone survivor passed away this spring.
Avoid planting when the killing signs Aries or Leo rule.

Q. A regular newspaper reader wrote to say I failed to mention when was the best time to wean small children or animals in the May Overview.
A. I told her that was "implicit" in the "making changes" section of that piece since it certainly involved making changes — especially for the baby or small animal. I promised, however, to be more specific in the future.
The best time for making changes like weaning is when the moon is in the dark phase and the signs are going out of the body past anything that functions, specifically Sagittarius/legs through Pisces/feet. This month that stretch is through May 13. If you have changes to make like stopping smoking, starting a diet ... weaning small animals or children.

Q. What does "bolt" mean with regard to vegetable plants?
A. I used that term in the May Overview and didn't take the time to explain. It's when a veggie stops producing and usually yellows, getting "leggy." It happens to our cool-weather crops like broccoli when the weather gets hot. Also, like every other living thing, a plant has a life span. And when that's coming to an end the plant just kind of "packs it in" and quits. And that's called "bolting."

Q. A reader asked if it was okay to transplant a tree now that's outgrowing its location.
A. The best time for tree planting and transplanting is in the the fall when growth has slowed yet there's time to establish new roots in its new location. I suggested waiting a few more months and not transplant here at the beginning of the rapid growth season.





Monday, May 4, 2015

Daily postings

Daily postings through May 12

I just prepared the daily postings through May 12. Coupled with the May overview they should be very helpful in planning your garden.


May 2015Overview


Here’s the May overview and my apologies for it being a few days late.

The moon: May began and ends with the moon in the light phase. However, the dark moon is in force now and will continue to be until the light moon — or no moon visible in the sky — returns at 12:13 a.m. May 18.
Dark moon: through May 17
Light moon: May 19 until 12:19 p.m. June 2
“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.

The signs

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.
Fertile signs: The most fertile signs in the zodiac rule these days: Scorpio (the secrets), May4, 30-31; Pisces (the feet), May 11-13; Taurus (the neck), May 16-17; and Cancer (the breast), May 20-21. There are 12 days this month ruled by the fertile signs — Scorpio, Pisces, Taurus and Cancer — and that’s a lot of fertile days!
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), May 14-15 and Leo (the heart), May 22-24. There are four killing days this month ruled by either Aries or Leo.
So-so days: These aren’t particularly fertile nor destructive, just so-so: Sagittarius (the thighs), May 5-6; Capricorn (the knees), May 7-8; and Aquarius (the legs), May 9-10. There are six days ruled by the three so-so signs.
Flowering days: These are “bloom days” and well suited for planting flowers. Virgo (the bowels) will rule May 25-26; and Libra (the reins) rules May 27-29; and. There are five flowering days remaining this month.
Gemini days: Gemini rules the arms and is in force May 18-19. Both of these days are in the light of the moon and statistically past the danger of frost. So, if you love bush or pole beans then these are your days!

Ember Days

May includes a stretch of Ember Days at the end of the month. These are super killing days and all planting should be avoided if possible — and I would make it possible by not planting. They are May 27, 29 and 30 — two flowering days and a Scorpio day which, of course, is very fertile.

General tips

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 in the light of the moon. The same applies for stones on a garden path: Place them when the moon is in the light phase so they don’t sink. That would be May 18 through June 1.
>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. Those days are May 4-17.
>If you have changes to make, then we have a good long stretch again this month, May 5-13. The moon is in the dark phase and the signs are going out of the body past anything that functions, Sagittarius-Pisces/thighs through feet. There are nine days that fit the formula perfectly this month. Included among “changes” is weaning small children or animals since that’s definitely a “change” for them!
Other things that benefit include: starting a diet or exercise program, stopping smoking and scheduling elective surgery. Just ask yourself: “Does this activity involve some sort of change?” If the answer is “yes,” the dark of the moon when the signs are going out of the body past anything that functions — thighs through feet — is the best time according to the phases and signs.