"Now dreary winter’s piercing cold floats on the northern gale, and trees, though green, look dry and cold; snow covers hill and dale."


This little ditty is at the beginning of the January calendar in the 2019 Farmers’ Almanac, and while it may not be entirely accurate for the winter many of us are having to date, you get the idea!

Here’s January’s information about the phases of the moon and signs of the zodiac.

This information can be used for indoor planting or in a greenhouse. And for those of you lucky enough to be in milder climes – outdoors! All times are Eastern Standard.

The sun in the northern hemisphere is rising a bit earlier each day and sitting a little later. Within the next couple of weeks that will be very noticeable as our trek toward spring continues.

       General Tips for dark- and light-moon activities are below.

The moon

      Like the last several months, January begins – and ends - with the dark moon in force. The dark moon rules until the new moon – or no moon visible in the sky – arrives at 8:28 p.m. EST on Jan. 5. The light moon is then in force until the full – or dark moon - returns at 12:16 a.m. on Jan. 21. Dark moon continues until the new – or light – moon comes back into force at 4:04 p.m. Feb. 4.

      When the full - or dark - moon is ruling, plant only those veggies that produce below the ground. When the light moon is in force, plant those that produce above the ground.

      Ideally, check the signs and plant when one of the fertile signs rules. Don’t plant when the killing signs Aries or Leo are in force.

The signs

     Remember: Check to see if the moon is in the light or dark phase (information above) before proceeding with any planting anywhere, or other activities.

      If you can only utilize one aspect of this system for planting – moon’s phases or zodiac signs – I would suggest following the phases. January begins with a fertile sign in force. So that’s where we will begin, too.

      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. 1, 27-28, all dark moon; Pisces (the feet), Jan. 9-11, light moon; Taurus (the neck) rules Jan. 14-15, light moon; and Cancer (the breast) Jan. 18-19, light moon.

      There are 10 days again this month ruled by the most fertile signs: Scorpio, Pisces, Taurus and Cancer. All but the Scorpion days find the light moon in force.

     So-so days: These aren’t particularly fertile nor destructive, just so-so. Sagittarius (the thighs), Jan. 2-3 and most of the 5th, 29-30; Capricorn (the knees), Jan. 4-6, 31; and Aquarius (the legs), Jan. 7-8. There are 10 days this month ruled by the so-so signs.

      This month we have seven-and-a-piece perfect days for making changes, Jan. 2-4, most of Jan. 5 and Jan. 29-31. See more about that below.

     Killing signs: No planting, transplanting, or dealing with things you want to thrive should occur on these days. Reserve them for cultivating your 2019 garden, cleaning out fence rows — anything but planting.

      Here’s when they rule this month: Aries (the head), Jan. 12-13; Leo (the heart) Jan. 20-21. There are four killing days this month – and that’s the minimum!

     Gemini days: Gemini (the arms) rules Jan. 16-17, with the light moon in force. You might consider planting some snow peas if your garden is ready and you are a pea fan.

      Flowering days: Virgo (the bowels) rules Jan. 22-23 and Libra (the reins) is up for Jan. 24-26. There are five flowering days in January.

General tips

     Making changes: If you have changes to make like stopping smoking, starting a diet or exercise program, weaning small children or animals, scheduling elective surgery – anything that requires making a change – the best time for that is when the moon is in the dark phase and the signs are going out of the body beyond anything that functions.

      Because of the way the moon phases and zodiac signs are rolling out, after months of no perfect days – and just two last month – we’re up to 7+ in January that fit the formula perfectly. And there’ll be more in the months to come.

      Since this is the typical month for resolutions, these are perfect days to begin: Jan. 2 through most of Jan. 5, then Jan. 29-31. Pick a day and start embracing your resolutions. You have no excuse!

     Pouring gravel: If you have gravel to pour on a drive or road on your farm, do that when the light moon rules, which is Jan. 6-20.

      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 phase of the moon so the posts don’t sink.