Here’s information for January about the phases of the moon and signs of the zodiac. All timed are Eastern Standard.

       General Tips for dark- and light-moon activities are below and for veggies – if you’re planting in a cold frame, low tunnel or green house - 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.

The moon

      The moon moves from the light to dark phase on the first and last days of January, thus giving us two full moons in January – a rarity to be sure! Find some special way to celebrate.

      The light moon ruled until the full moon appeared at 9:24 p.m. New Year’s Day and then returns at 9:17 p.m. on Jan. 16, continuing until the second full moon of the month at 8:27 a.m. Jan. 31.

      The dark moon ruled the last couple of hours of Jan. 1 and continues through most of Jan. 16. It then returns the last day of the month, ruling until the new moon on Feb. 15 at 4:05 p.m. You can check the exact hours of the moon changes above.

The signs

     Remember: Check to see if the moon is in the light or dark phase (information above) before proceeding with protected planting in a greenhouse or indoors.

      January began with a fertile sign in force, so that’s where we will start.

        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 which is in force.

          Scorpio (the secrets), Jan. 9-11, dark moon; Pisces (the feet), rules Jan. 19-21, light moon; Taurus (the neck) rules Jan. 24-25; light moon ruling. Cancer (the breast), Jan. 28-29 when the light moon rules. 

          There are 10 days remaining his month ruled by the most fertile signs: Scorpio, Pisces, Taurus and Cancer. Lordy, I wish we could have a month like this – and maybe we will – during the planting season when nearly half is ruled by fertile signs with a variety of dark and light moon days. With Jan. 1-2 both ruled by Cancer, the month featured 12 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, cleaning up your 2017 garden, plowing your 2018 plot — anything but planting.

      Leo (the heart) Jan. 3-4, 30-31; and Aries (the head), Jan. 22-23. There are six killing days this month.

     Flowering days: Virgo (the bowels), rules Jan. 5-6 and Libra (the reins) is up Jan. 7-8. There are four flowering days in January, the minimum.

     So-so days: These aren’t particularly fertile nor destructive, just so-so. Unless the month begins during the series, they always appear in this order: Sagittarius (the thighs), Jan. 12-13; Capricorn (the knees), Jan. 14-16; and Aquarius (the legs), Jan. 17-18. There are seven days in January ruled by the so-so signs.

      The first five find the light moon in force while the dark moon rules the two Aquarius days, making them perfect for making changes. See more about that below because when coupled with the three Pisces (feet) day we have a great five-day stretch.

     Gemini days: Gemini (the arms) rules Jan. 26-27. Both days find the light moon in force.

January tips

      Here are a few general tips for activities other than planting:

      >Making changes:  We have five perfect days this month for making changes. These days find the moon in the dark phase and the signs going out of the body beyond anything that functions.

      The days are Jan. 17-21. The sign is in Aquarius (the legs) for two days then in Pisces (the feet) for three. If you have changes to make like stopping smoking, starting a diet or exercise program, weaning small animals or children, scheduling elective surgery – anything that requires a change – here are your perfect days!

      And most everyone vows to make some kind of change(s) when the new year arrives.

      >Plow your garden: January and February are great months for getting your garden plot plowed. The ground has time to freeze and thaw and come planting season it’s all crumbly and ready to plant.

      And, during these two months you can even plow if the ground is frozen.

      >Pouring gravel: If you have gravel to pour on a drive or roadway, do that when the light moon rules Jan. 17-30.  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.