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Tuesday, April 18, 2017

'Planting with Grandpa'

PHIL’S NOTE: This material was published in the Frankfort, KY. State Journal on Sunday, April 16. First is a column about my first garden with my grandfather and then the information about the moon phases and zodiac signs for this week. 


My first garden with Grandpa

Last week I wrote about the benefits of gardening for body, mind and soul. This week I want to follow up on that by recollecting my first gardening experience with my grandfather. I’ve written about it in this space before, but at this time of year I wax nostalgic for that time so long ago.
My maternal grandparents, the late Walker R. and Annie Addison, lived at the end of Price Avenue in north Lexington, KY., in the 1950s and ‘60s – maybe longer, but that’s all I can remember!
 Next door was a company that made caskets crafted by Tubby, a delightful old carpenter. Across the street was a feed mill.
My family lived close and I visited my grandparents most every day from the time Mom would let me walk over by myself until I was in college.
That was a blessing I wish all children could have growing up.
One year when I guess I was 10 or so – a watershed time for me when I began a lawn-mowing business that lasted beyond college – I talked Grandpa into raising a garden. He was a mechanic by trade but had grown up on a farm so he knew something about gardening.
At that point, all I had was an interest.
Planning began in the late winter. The garden would be behind the garage with the two-plus story casket company looming on one side. We staked it off, probably 20 by 20 feet or so.
I would soon come to think that was a half-acre!
I’m sure Grandpa tired of hearing about the garden and was delighted when the days began to grow longer and warmer and we could put the “spading fork to the turf,” so to speak.
As we stood at the edge of what would become the garden one sunny March afternoon, I asked Grandpa how we were going to break up the sod before planting.
He was leaning on a spading fork, which he then pushed into the ground with his booted foot and turned over the sod. Then he did another “turn” or two – before handing the fork to me.
“There you are, Phil,” he said, a twinkle in his blue eyes. “Have at it.”
I was in shock.
“Isn’t there some easier way, Grandpa?” I asked, almost begging. “Some machine or something?” If there were roto-tillers then, and I imagine they were, they likely weighed a metric ton and he wasn’t about to spring for that to plow a 20x20-foot garden.
I started, my little 10-year-old-sneaker-clad foot trying to push the spading fork into the ground. Beyond that, I have no recollection other than somehow, we got the plot ready.
The first thing we planted were radish seeds since it was cool. I planted some of those in my garden a couple of weeks ago – and thought of Grandpa and that first garden.
“Why did you plant radishes, Dad?” Clark asked. “I don’t ever remember us eating radishes.” I just told him because I had the space and wanted to – and to remember Grandpa.
In that first garden, as those radish tops grew, I couldn’t resist the urge to peek and kept pulling them up to see how the radishes were developing.
“You’ve got to quit doing that, Phil,” Grandpa said. “We’ll never have any to eat.”
Spring morphed into summer and we planted everything imaginable, but for the life of me I can’t remember much of the harvest. That was 60 years ago after all. And it was about the planting, the tending, the working with Grandpa - not the yield.
The experience set me on a lifelong love of planting and gardening – and here we are today, some six decades later, talking about our 2017 gardens!
How time flies.

Moon in dark phase all week; signs so-so until weekend

Here’s a look at the phases of the moon and signs of the zodiac for the next week and a few days beyond.
The moon is in the dark phase now and will continue to rule until the new moon returns at 8:16 a.m. EDT on April 26.
During this time, be planting only those veggies that produce beneath the ground if you are following only the moon phases. Ideally, couple the right moon phase with a fertile sign for optimum results.
A look at the signs reveals that Wednesday and Thursday are ruled by the final of the so-so signs, Aquarius (the legs).
The very fertile sign Pisces (the feet) comes to rule on Friday and Saturday and that will be for below-ground producers with the moon still in the dark phase.
While the so-so series isn’t the greatest for planting, it is great for making changes like weaning small animals or children, stopping smoking, starting a diet or exercise program, scheduling elective surgery – anything that calls for a change.
The signs are going out of the body past anything that functions – knees through feet - with the moon in the dark phase. When the two Pisces (feet) day are added, that makes four days prime for making changes remaining!
If you have a change to make, through April 22 is an ideal time.
Now back to the signs for a moment. If you are making a change or if you are planting, be underway with the change or have the planting done by Sunday when the sign moves to Aries (the head), one of the two killing signs. It remains in Aries on April 24, too.
Use these days for tilling, cultivating, weeding – anything but planting.
Very fertile planting then returns on April 25-26 when the sign moves to Taurus (the neck), one of the most fertile signs. The moon will be in the dark phase on the 25th, moving to the light phase on the 26th.
A great series of planting days begins April 25 through May 1, all for above-ground producers except April 25. More about that next week, just get ready to plant.






Monday, April 10, 2017

Gardening: Good for mind, body, soul




PHIL’S NOTE: This column and information appeared in the Frankfort, KY State Journal on Sunday, April 9. All planting times are EDT for USDA Planting Zone 6b. Adjust for your zones.

Moon moves to dark phase;
great days midweek
          Here’s this week’s information about the phases of the moon and signs of the zodiac.
          The moon moves from the light to the dark phase at 2:08 a.m. Tuesday with the arrival of the full moon, which will remain in force until the next new, or light, moon at 8:16 a.m. on April 26.
Monday be planting only those veggies that produce above the ground, if you are following just the moon’s phases. Then beginning at about 3 a.m. Tuesday, only those that produce beneath the ground.
Check the list elsewhere here for those veggies that can safely be planted now since the danger of frost and/or freezing weather continues for a few more weeks.
          The signs: the flowering sign Libra (the reins or forearms) rules today. This is a bloom day and flowers planted today 
should bloom and do so abundantly.
On Tuesday, the very fertile sign Scorpio (the secrets) comes to rule and hangs around for Wednesday and Thursday. With the moon moving to the dark phase in the wee hours of Tuesday morning, these are great days for planting any below-ground producers from the early-garden list.
 Our monthly series of so-so signs begins Friday and continues through April 20. While not the greatest for planting, they are OK. What they are great for is making changes like stopping smoking, starting a diet or exercise program, weaning small animals or children, scheduling elective surgery – anything that requires a change.
They are Sagittarius/legs through Aquarius/legs. When you add the fertile sign Pisces (the feet) on April 21-22, that’s a nine-day stretch for making changes, plus the Pisces days are great for planting below-ground producers.

Gardening benefits mind,
body and soul
It’s April and it’s time to get out, get your hands in the good earth and plant something!
No matter if your garden is a half-acre of produce you sell at the Farmer’s Market or if it’s a couple of tomato plants in a barrel by the porch, the benefits of gardening are well documented beyond providing you fresh produce for your table – there are additional benefits to mind, body and soul.
As you might imagine, I believe all planting – no matter how much or little - is enhanced by doing it according to the phases of the moon and signs of the zodiac. I will continue to provide you that information each week throughout the gardening season right here on the pages of Your Hometown Newspaper and all the electronic platforms listed below, including state-journal. com. It involves nothing more than planting on the best days and coupling that with good gardening techniques like watering, cultivating and fertilizing as necessary.
Many of gardening’s benefits can’t be measured like you can count the number of tomatoes on a vine or pounds of green beans per row; these are the “intangibles.”
>Back to the earth: The scriptures tell us we were formed from the earth and to the earth we will return when our lives are over. That “attraction” to the source provides us with a natural desire, I believe, to plant something and watch it grow. Have you noticed – and maybe you are one of them - even people who claim they don’t garden put out a couple of tomato plants!
>A sense of satisfaction: There is something about watching a tomato develop on the vine, growing from a tiny blossom, not unlike a baby grows from helplessness to adulthood.
There’s satisfaction in picking a “mess of beans” or pulling an onion or radish from the ground, rinsing the dirt from it and taking a bite. And then there are turnips right from the garden in the fall - cold and crisp, just like the day itself. Oh my!
You just can’t get that from something you pick out of a bin at the store, no matter if it is “locally grown and garden fresh” simply because you didn’t grow it in your garden. And as you consume your veggie, you think, “I grew that! I planted it, cultivated it, protected it.” To me that’s celebrating a minor miracle.
>Sharing: During the peak of the gardening season, I love giving – and receiving – a sack with a few tomatoes, maybe some beans – or whatever the surplus may be. As tough as we might like to think we are, offering something you’ve grown is sharing your heart. And accepting it is embracing a tiny bit of love and caring from the giver.
My mentor in things of gardening by the moon and signs once told me you’re not supposed to say “thank you” when someone gives you something from the garden because it’s from the heart.
I said, “But Mr. Van Meter, I was always taught to thank people for things others give me.” His name was Buford Van Meter, a member of my first church in Frankfort when I was but a mere lad from the big city of Lexington and, by his own description, a “stingy old Dutchman.”
He said, “That’s right, Preacher, for most things – but not gifts from the garden because they are from the heart.”
Exercise yours this summer – plant a garden!

Your spring garden
Here’s what can be planted now as found in Home Vegetable Gardening in Kentucky, published by the University of Kentucky Extension Service and the UK College of Agriculture.
Now: spinach, radishes, peas, snow peas, onion sets, collards, radishes, rhubarb crowns, rutabaga, turnips, asparagus, beets, Irish potatoes, carrots, chard, kale, kohlrabi, onion seeds, parsley, parsnips, cabbage, leaf lettuce, lettuce head plants, Bibb lettuce plants, onion plants, broccoli plants, Brussels sprouts plants, cauliflower plants, celery
Caution: Don’t plant if the ground is wet, no matter the phase or sign.

Frost: the last statistical date for frost isn’t until sometime between Derby Day (the first Saturday in May, the 6th) and Mother’s Day (the second Sunday in May, which is the 14th). I opt for the later date, just to be safe.

Saturday, April 1, 2017

April Signs and Phases Overview


Making your good garden better


Here is the April Overview focusing on utilizing the phases of the moon and signs of the zodiac for planting to enhance your garden, no matter if your garden is a half-acre or a couple of tomato plants in a bucket.
This is written for USDA Planting Zone 6 B in Central Kentucky and all times given are Eastern Daylight. Just convert the information to your planting and time zone.

The moon

      The trend of the last several months continues with April beginning and ending with the moon in the light phase. The light moon rules until the full moon appears at 2:08 a.m. on April 11 and then returns at 8:16 a.m. on April 26, continuing until full moon on May 10 at 5:48 p.m.
      The dark moon thus rules for most April 11 and until the morning of April 26. The rest of the month is under the influence of the light moon.
      “General Tips” for dark- and light-moon activities are below and for veggies, it’s above-ground producers in the light moon and below-ground producers when the dark phase is in.

The signs

     Remember: Check to see if the moon is in the light or dark phase (information above) before proceeding with planting or other activities.
      April begins with Gemini (the arms), commonly known as “the bean sign,” in force, so that’s where we will begin, too.
      Gemini days: Gemini (the arms) rules April 1, 27-28. This is the best sign for planting beans - the Old Timers say they grow “long as your arm” – but while the first day in the month is very risky because of the chance for frost and/or freezing weather - the last two might be possibilities if we have a warm April and you are a bit of a risk taker.
      Considering beans take about 7-10 days to germinate, this pushes them into the almost safe no-frost days in May by the time they pop from the ground. Since all three of these days are in the light of the moon, those last two are great possibilities.
      Again, just remember: Beans can’t withstand frost and or freezing weather and if the month turns off cool, they won’t like that either, so just be patient.
      You might consider April 1 to replant those peas that got zapped during the freezing weather of March.
        Fertile days: These are the most fertile signs in the zodiac. Here’s the breakdown as they occur this month and the phase of the moon in which they appear:
         Cancer (the breast), April 2-3, 29-30 and May 1, all with the light moon in force; Scorpio (the secrets), April 11-13, all three in dark moon; Pisces (the feet), April 21-22, dark moon; and Taurus (the neck), 25-26, first day in dark moon and light moon on the 26th . There 12 days this month (including May 1) ruled by the four most fertile signs – Scorpio, Pisces, Taurus and Cancer – well distributed between light moon (above-ground producers) and dark moon (below-ground producers).
         Depending on the weather, take a close look at that April 25-May 1 stretch. There are fertile days, bean days, most are in the light and one dark moon day.
          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: Leo (the heart), April 4-6; and Aries (the head), April 23-24. There are five killing days in April.
     Flowering days: These are “bloom days” and well suited for planting flowers. Virgo (the bowels) rules April 7-8; and Libra (the reins) is in force April 9-10. There are four flowering days this month.
     So-so days: These aren’t particularly fertile nor destructive, just so-so. They appear in this order: Sagittarius (the thighs), April 14-15; Capricorn (the knees), April 16-18; and Aquarius (the legs), April 19-20. We have seven days this month ruled by the so-so signs. All of them are when the dark moon is in force and that makes them perfect for making changes, too.
      More about that below.

April tips

      Here are a few general tips for activities other than planting:
      >Pouring gravel: If you have gravel to pour on a drive or roadway, do that when the light moon rules through all of April 10 and then beginning April 26 through all of May 9 and then some of May 10. The same applies for stones on a garden path: Place them when the moon is in the light phase so they don’t sink.
      When to pour gravel remains one of the most often-asked questions.
      >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.
      >Making changes: We continue with lots of perfect days for making changes with the moon in the dark phase and the signs going out of the body beyond anything that functions.
     Those days are April 14-22, nine perfect days, down one from March. No need to break them down again since you have that above, they encompass Sagittarius (thighs) on April 14 through the two Pisces (feet) days on April 21-22. The moon is in the dark phase the entire time and the signs are going out of the body beyond anything that functions.
      If you are looking for perfect days to wean animals or children, stop smoking, start a diet or exercise program, schedule elective surgery – anything that requires a change – then these are your days!

       



Monday, March 27, 2017

Phases and Signs for this week




Your spring garden
Here’s what can be planted – or re-planted - now and moving into early April as found in Home Vegetable Gardening in Kentucky, published by the University of Kentucky Extension Service and the UK College of Agriculture.
Now: spinach, radishes, peas, snow peas, onion sets, collards, radishes, rhubarb crowns, rutabaga, turnips, asparagus, beets, Irish potatoes, carrots, chard, kale, kohlrabi, onion seeds, parsley, parsnips, cabbage, leaf lettuce, lettuce head plants, Bibb lettuce plants, onion plants.
After April 5: broccoli plants, Brussels sprouts plants, cauliflower plants, celery
Everything listed, and there’s a lot listed, loves it when it’s cool - both soil and air – and tends to get a little surly when hot weather arrives. Note the operative word is “cool,” not freezing cold like we’ve just endured.
Caution: Don’t plant if the ground is wet, no matter the phase or sign.


Moon moves to light phase; three aspects of planting

Greetings, fellow gardeners! Spring has been here for officially almost a week and hopefully the weather will stabilize and we can get some planting done in those early gardens – or after the disastrous cold snap perhaps even some replanting!
          Before we begin, let me remind you that the size of your garden makes no difference. It can be a commercial garden or a few tomato plants or herbs in barrels. Everything can benefit from utilizing good gardening methods and simply enhancing those by planting in the proper phase of the moon and sign of the zodiac.
          A friend told me recently she is glad I’m back in the paper. “I don’t read your column and I don’t garden but I’m glad you’re back,” she said. She then admitted to putting out some tomato plants.
          I told her she could plant them according the phases and signs and expect a better yield. And that’s what I’m here to tell you – along with some other information from time to time.
          Today I will first give you this week’s information followed by a discussion about the three phases of planting: seeding in flats or peat pots, moving seedlings to peat pots if seeded in flats, and finally planting the seedlings in the garden.

          

Phases and signs

The moon is in the dark phase until 10:57 p.m. today when the new, or light moon, comes into force. Today is a “don’t-plant-a-thing-anywhere day” since the killing sign Aries (head) is in force, even though the moon is in the dark phase.
          Beginning Tuesday, it’s above-ground producers until the full moon at 2:08 a.m. on April 11.
          And, of course, anything you plant outside in the unprotected garden needs to be from the list above.
          A look at the signs reveals that the killing sign Aries continues in force on Tuesday but then it’s back to great planting for above-ground producers for Wednesday and Thursday with the sign in Taurus (the neck), one of the most fertile signs.
          March ends and April begins with Gemini (the arms) in force on March 31 and April 1 and the moon, of course, in the light phase. It’s too early for bush or pole green beans but these would be great days for peas, either a first planting or to replace any lost in the freezes.
          Looking ahead, the very fertile sign Cancer (the breast) rules next Sunday and Monday, April 2-3. These are perfect days for any of the above-ground producers off the list in the outdoor garden.
          Then it’s back to no planting anywhere with Leo (the heart) ruling April 4-6. Leo and Aries are the killing signs.


Elements of planting

          I wrote about this a few weeks back, but a reader’s question caused me to think maybe I didn’t make myself perfectly clear – if that is ever possible in print!
          Her question was, and I paraphrase: “Is it okay to plant seeds in flats on Ember Days?”
          First, it’s not okay to plant anything anywhere on Ember Days!
I assumed from the question she had done some seeding on the Ember Days in March and was looking for absolution, which I could not give. I told her the seeds would germinate and grow, they just won’t be nearly as productive having been planted on an Ember Day.
          And that leads me to review: Assuming you aren’t saving your own seed from year to year, there are three elements to growing transplants for your garden.
They are: 1) seeding in flats or peat pots; 2) transplanting to peat pots – you eliminate the first step here by just planting in peat pots in the first place; 3) and transplanting to the garden.
As simply as I can say it, the best scenario is to complete each step based on: 1) where what you eat grows; 2) in the right phase of the moon and 3) in a fertile sign of the zodiac preferably (I tell you that every week), but definitely not a killing sign, Aires or Leo, or on an Ember Day.
Here’s an example: If what you are going to eat develops above the ground – like broccoli – then from seed flat to garden, all the steps, are ideally accomplished with the light moon is in force (new moon to full moon) during a fertile sign.
Some veggies are just best seeded directly into the garden, like beans. That’s accomplished during the light phase of the moon because beans produce above ground and when the sign is in Gemini (the arms), the bean sign, after all danger of frost has passed.
Most root crops – potatoes, radishes, onions, etc. – are planted directly into the garden. If, however, you are raising transplants then: dark moon/fertile sign.
Another example: If you are growing your own tomato plants from seeds: light phase of the moon/fertile sign – seeding, peat pot and transplant after all danger of frost has passed.
Plug into that formula whatever your chosen veggie and you will know when to do what. It all begins with the simple question: Where does what I’m going to eat grow?
If you have questions or need more clarification, here’s how to reach me.


Tuesday, February 28, 2017

March moon phases, zodiac signs

Phases and signs


With the weather we’ve been having, at least here in central Kentucky, it seems as if gardening season is in full swing. Just don’t get too excited and start planting things that don’t like cool ground and weather and can’t withstand the inevitable frost and/or cold snaps we are bound to have before warm weather settles in.
And as a reminder, this information is written for gardening in USDA Planting Zone 6B since I can’t write about every zone and here’s where I live and garden! I know those in the south are planting tomatoes – while those in the north are still shoveling snow.
Just check the USDA website for your planting zone and adjust for where you are. The phases and signs are the same; the weather isn’t.
All times given are Eastern Standard, changing over to Eastern Daylight on March 12. Winter is about over - I hope.
One caution before we begin: This month features this season’s first series of Ember Days. They are: March 8, 10-11. These are super killing days. Don’t do any planting on Ember Days.
And to make planting matters worse, in addition to being an Ember Day, the 8th is ruled by the killing sign Leo (the heart). On that day, I would recommend just staying on the porch; better still, in the house!
My garden: This year I have made arrangements with a neighbor to put out a big garden – “big” by my recent standards – on a vacant lot he owns. Everything will be planted according to the phases of the moon and signs of the zodiac. I will report the progress on my gardening Facebook page, Planting by the Signs, and my blog.

The moon

      Like the last several months, March begins and ends with the moon in the light phase. The light moon rules until the full moon appears at 10:54 a.m. on March 12 (the day the time changes) and then returns at 10:57 p.m. on March 27, continuing until full moon on April 11 at 2:08 a.m.
      The dark moon thus rules about the last half of March 12 and all but the last hour of March 27. The rest of the month is under the influence of the light moon.
      “General Tips” for dark- and light-moon activities are below and for veggies, it’s above-ground producers in the light moon and below-ground producers when the dark phase is in.

The signs

     Remember: Check to see if the moon is in the light or dark phase (information above) before proceeding with planting or other activities.
      Like February, March begins with a killing sign in force, so that’s where we will begin, too.
      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), March 1, 27-28; and Leo (the heart), March 8-9. There are five killing days in March, the three Ember Days, and one normal killing day that’s an Ember Day too – March 8!
        Fertile days: These are the most fertile signs in the zodiac. Here’s the breakdown as they occur this month: Taurus (the neck), March 2-3, 29-30; Cancer (the breast), March 6-7; Scorpio (the secrets), March 15-16; and Pisces (the feet), March 25-26. There are 10 days this month ruled by the four most fertile signs – Scorpio, Pisces, Taurus and Cancer – and that’s about a third of the month.
          All four of the Taurus days and the Cancer days are when the light moon rules. The dark moon is in force for the Scorpio and Pisces days. What a mix!
     Gemini days: Gemini (the arms) rules March 4-5, 31 and April 1. Gemini is “the bean sign,” and while it’s way too early for bush beans (I like to wait until after Mother’s Day), these are perfect days for planting peas – maybe not as perfect as in February before Presidents’ Day, but pretty good. All of them are while the light moon is in force.
     Flowering days: These are “bloom days” and well suited for planting flowers. Virgo (the bowels) rules March 10-12; and Libra (the reins) is in force March 13-14. There are five flowering days again this month. The 10th and 11th are both Ember Days, so don’t plant flowers or anything else on those days.
     So-so days: These aren’t particularly fertile nor destructive, just so-so. They appear in this order: Sagittarius (the thighs), March 17-19; Capricorn (the knees), March 20-21; and Aquarius (the legs), March 22-24. We have eight days this month ruled by the so-so signs. All of them are when the dark moon is in force and that makes them perfect for making changes, too.

March tips

      Here are a few general tips for activities other than planting:
      >Pouring gravel: If you have gravel to pour on a drive or roadway, do that when the light moon rules through all of March 11 and then beginning March 28 through April 10. 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.
      >Making changes: We continue to get more perfect days each month that fit the formula for making changes with the moon in the dark phase and the signs going out of the body beyond anything that functions.
     Those days are March 17-26, 10 perfect days and that’s approaching the maximum. No need to break them down again since you have that above, they encompass Sagittarius (thighs) on March 17 through Pisces (feet) day on March 26. The moon is in the dark phase the entire time and the signs are going out of the body beyond anything that functions.
      If you are looking for perfect days to wean animals or children, stop smoking, start a diet or exercise program, schedule elective surgery – anything that requires a change – then these are your days, 10 of them!

       


Wednesday, February 1, 2017

February Overview

Phases and signs for February


Gardening season is getting ever closer and I hope you’re making plans for – or at least thinking about – you summer garden, be it a half acre or a few tomato plants by the porch.
          While it’s still too early to be planting outdoors (except for peas), it won’t be long until we can talk about those veggies that love cold weather. While my focus is about enhancing good gardening practices through planting by the phases of the moon and signs of the zodiac, I’m glad to entertain your general gardening questions in addition to those about phases and signs, and if I don’t know the answer then I will find someone who does.
Now, here’s my February Overview. All times given are Eastern Daylight Time.

The moon

      February begins and ends (barely) with the moon in the light phase. The light moon rules until the full moon appears at 7:33 p.m. on Feb. 10 and then returns at 9:58 a.m. Feb. 26, continuing until full moon on March 12 at 10:54 a.m.
      The dark moon thus rules all of Feb. 11 through all of Feb. 25. The rest of the month is under the influence of the light moon.
      “General Tips” for dark- and light-moon activities are below and for veggies, it’s above-ground producers in the light moon and below-ground producers when the dark phase is in if you are planting in a green house.

The signs

     Remember: Check to see if the moon is in the light or dark phase (information above) before proceeding with planting or other activities.
      February begins and ends with a killing sign in force, so that’s where we will begin, too.
      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), Feb. 1, 27-28; and Leo (the heart), Feb. 9-10. There are five killing days in February.
        Fertile days: These are the most fertile signs in the zodiac. Here’s the breakdown as they occur this month: Taurus (the neck), Feb. 2-3; Cancer (the breast), Feb. 7-8; Scorpio (the secrets), Feb. 16-17; and Pisces (the feet), Feb. 25-26. There eight days this month ruled by the four most fertile signs – Scorpio, Pisces, Taurus and Cancer. That number, for those of you counting and trying to understand, is the absolute minimum – two days for each of the four fertile signs.
     Gemini days: Gemini (the arms) rules Feb. 4-6. Gemini is “the bean sign,” and while it’s way too early for bush beans, these are perfect days for planting peas. According to the believers, peas need to be in the ground before Presidents’ Day, which is Feb. 20. Give it a try and let me know how it works out for you.
     Flowering days: These are “bloom days” and well suited for planting flowers. Virgo (the bowels) rules Feb. 11-12; and Libra (the reins) is in force Feb. 13-15. There are five flowering days again this month.
     So-so days: These aren’t particularly fertile nor destructive, just so-so. They appear in this order: Sagittarius (the thighs), Feb. 18-20; Capricorn (the knees), Feb. 21-22; and Aquarius (the legs), Feb. 23-24. We have seven days this month ruled by the so-so signs.

February tips

      Here are a few general tips for activities other than planting:
      >Plowing your garden: You can plow now thru the end of February, even if the ground is wet. Just get it done by March 1.
      >Pruning fruit trees: A friend of mine who’s an outstanding gardener reminded me the other day that February is the best time to prune fruit trees. The Farmers’ Almanac says the best days during the month will be Feb. 16-17, 21-22. Just don’t prune when the killing signs are in force unless, of course, you are trying to kill the tree.
      >Sowing seed: While there is some disagreement on this, I’m a proponent of the notion that the best time to sow grass in the pasture or yard is when the moon is in the dark phase during February and, preferably, a fertile sign is in force.
      Those days this month would be Feb. 10-25 while the moon is in the dark phase and the absolute best days are Feb. 16-17 with the sign in Scorpio (the secrets), one of the most fertile signs, and Feb. 25 with the sign in Pisces (the feet), another very fertile sign.
      Those three days are the best but[PC1] [PC2]  you can sow seed any other day during the stretch except Feb. 10 when the sign is in Leo (the heart), one of the killing signs.
      >Pouring gravel: If you have gravel to pour on a drive or roadway, do that when the light moon rules through the daylight hours on Feb. 10 and then after 10 a.m. on Feb. 26 through March 11. 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.
      >Making changes: We are getting more perfect days each month now that fit the formula for making changes with the moon in the dark phase and the signs going out of the body beyond anything that functions.
     Those days are Feb. 18-25, eight perfect days. No need to break them down again since you have that above, they encompass Sagittarius (thighs) through the first Pisces (feet) day on Feb. 25. Remember the moon moves to the light phase on Feb. 26, and while that day is still ruled by Pisces, which makes it okay but not as good as the previous eight, be underway before Feb. 27 when Aries (the head) returns and rules through March 1.
      If you are looking for perfect days to wean animals or children, stop smoking, start a diet or exercise program, schedule elective surgery – anything that requires a change – then these are your days!



Sunday, January 1, 2017

January 2017 Overview


          Welcome to 2017! I hope your holiday celebrations were all you expected – perhaps even more. Here’s my January Overview.

The moon

      January begins and ends with the moon in the light phase. The light moon rules until the full moon appears at 6:34 a.m. EST on Jan. 12 and then returns at 7:07 p.m. Jan. 27, continuing until full moon on Feb. 10 at 7:33 p.m.
      For most of Jan. 12 and until just past 7 p.m. Jan. 27, the dark moon rules. The rest of the month is under the influence of the light moon.
      “General Tips” for dark- and light-moon activities are below and for veggies, it’s above-ground producers in the light moon and below-ground producers when the dark phase is in if you are planting in a green house.

The signs

     Remember: Check to see if the moon is in the light or dark phase (information above) before proceeding with planting or other activities.
      January begins with the final in a series of so-so signs that began in December, so that’s where we will begin, too.
     So-so days: These aren’t particularly fertile nor destructive, just so-so. They appear in this order this month: Aquarius (the legs) is up first, Jan. 1, 27-28; Sagittarius (the thighs), Jan. 22-23; and Capricorn (the knees), Jan. 24-26. We have eight days this month ruled by the so-so signs, down from 11 in December.
     Fertile signs: These are the most fertile signs in the zodiac. Here’s the breakdown as they occur this month: Pisces (the feet), Jan. 2-3, 29-30; Taurus (the neck), 6-7; Cancer (the breast), Jan. 10-11 and Scorpio (the secrets), Jan. 19-21. There are 11 days this month ruled by the four most fertile signs – Scorpio, Pisces, Taurus and Cancer. Of the 11, only the three Scorpio Days (Jan. 19-21) are under the influence of the dark moon, the rest are during the light moon.
 I only hope we have this many fertile days during the peak planting months!
     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), Jan. 4-5, 31; and Leo (the heart), Jan. 12-13. There are five killing days in January.
     Gemini days: Gemini (the arms) rules Jan. 8-9. Gemini is “the bean sign” that’s good for peas, too.
     Flowering days: These are “bloom days” and well suited for planting flowers. Virgo (the bowels) rules Jan. 14-16; and Libra (the reins) is in force Jan. 17-18. There are five flowering days again this month.

General tips

      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 through Jan. 11 and then Jan. 28 through most of Feb. 10 when the full, or dark, moon returns. 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.
      >Making changes: We are getting more perfect days this month that fit the formula for making changes with the moon in the dark phase and the signs going out of the body beyond anything that functions.
     Those days are Jan. 22-26 and up until 7 p.m. on Jan. 27, FIVE of them and a piece with the moon in the dark phase and the sign in Sagittarius (the thighs) on Jan. 22-23, Capricorn (the knees) Jan. 24-26 and Aquarius (the legs) on the 27th. Remember the moon moves to the light phase a little past 7 p.m. on Jan. 27.

      If you are looking for perfect days to wean animals or children, stop smoking, start a diet or exercise program, schedule elective surgery – anything that requires a change – then these are your days!