If you are planting your garden following the phases of the moon and signs of the zodiac, here’s the information you need for the month of August to make your good garden even better.
This is written for USDA Planting Zone 6b and all times are Eastern Daylight. Just adjust for wherever you are, remembering in the northern states the focus is toward fall as second and third plantings in the summer gardens are about complete.
Be sure to check “days to maturity” for whatever it is you are planting.
“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, preferably when fertile signs are in force.
August begins and ends with the moon in the light phase. The light moon rules until the full moon appears at 2:11 p.m. on Aug. 7 and then returns at 2:30 p.m. on Aug.21, continuing until full moon on Sept. 6 at 3:03 a.m.
The dark moon rules all of Aug. 8 through a little more than half of Aug. 21.
Remember: Check to see if the moon is in the light or dark phase (information above) before proceeding with planting or other activities.
August begins with our first series of so-so signs – and ends with the second. So, that’s where we will begin and knock out 11 August days – more than a third of the month!
So-so days: These aren’t particularly fertile nor destructive, just so-so. They appear in this order (as they always do): Sagittarius (the thighs), Aug. 1-2, 28-30; Capricorn (the knees), Aug. 3-5 and 31-Sept. 1; Aquarius (the legs), Aug. 6-7.
As I mentioned above, there are 11 days this month ruled by the so-so signs. All but a piece of Aug. 7 find the light moon in force.
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 are in force.
Pisces (the feet), Aug. 8-10, dark moon; Taurus (the neck), Aug. 13-14, dark moon; Cancer (the breast) Aug. 17-18, dark phase; and Scorpio (the secrets), Aug. 26-27, light moon ruling.
There are nine days this month ruled by the most fertile signs: Scorpio, Pisces, Taurus and Cancer. All are when the dark moon is in force except the two Scorpio days toward the end of the month that are in the light moon.
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. 11-12; and Leo (the heart), Aug. 19-20. There are four days ruled by the killing signs, the blessed minimum!
Gemini days: Gemini (the arms) rules Aug. 15-16. This is the best sign for planting beans - we Old Timers say they grow “long as your arm.”
But like last couple of months, the dark moon is firmly in force on both days and that’s unfortunate since we know beans grow above the ground. If you plant any beans, at least half the equation will be right!
Flowering days: These are “bloom days” and well suited for planting flowers. Here’s the breakdown:
Virgo (the bowels), rules Aug. 21-22 and Libra (the reins) is up Aug. 23-25. There are five flowering days this month.
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 Aug. 6 and then beginning in the late afternoon Aug. 21 through Sept. 5. 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: The number of perfect days for making changes continues to slide this month with only three full days, Aug. 8-10, that are perfect. The moon will be in the dark phase then and the sign in Pisces (the feet).
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 three days, Aug. 8-10, are your days!