First, my apologies for this being two days late. Time just got away from me.

If you are planting in your summer garden here’s information on the phases of the moon and signs of the zodiac for the rest of the month of July – which is most of it - to make your good garden even better.

This is written for USDA Planting Zone 6B and all times are Eastern Daylight. Simply adjust for your location and check your planting zone.

      “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.

The moon

      July began and ends with the moon in the light phase. The light moon rules until the full moon appears at 12:07 a.m. on July 9 and then returns at 5:46 a.m. on July 23, continuing until full moon on Aug. 7 at 2:11 p.m.

      The dark moon rules for all but the first seven minutes of July 9 and until early in the morning on July 23 (5:46 a.m.).

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.

        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.

          Scorpio (the secrets), July 2-4, 29-31 – all with the light moon ruling; Pisces (the feet), July 12-13, dark moon; Taurus (the neck), 17-18, dark moon; and Cancer (the breast) July 21-22, dark phase.

          There are 12 days this month ruled by the most fertile signs: Scorpio, Pisces, Taurus and Cancer. Fully half of them are Scorpio days with the light moon in force and the other six find the dark moon ruling.

     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), July 5-6; Capricorn (the knees), July 7-9; Aquarius (the legs), July 10-11. This month we have seven days ruled by the so-so signs.

      Three of them are when the dark moon is in force (July 9-11) and that makes them perfect for making changes, too. 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, cleaning out fencerows — anything but planting: Aries (the head), July 14-16; and Leo (the heart), July 23-24. There are five days ruled by the killing signs.

      Gemini days: Gemini (the arms) rules July 19-20. This is the best sign for planting beans - we Old Timers say they grow “long as your arm.”

      But like last month, the dark moon is firmly in force on both days and that’s unfortunate since we know beans grow above the ground so 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:

      July opened with the flowering sign Libra (the reins) in force on the first. Libra is also up for July 27-28. Virgo (the bowels), the other flowering sign, rules July 25-26. There are four remaining flowering days this month, down from eight last month.

July 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 July 8 and then beginning July 23 until 2:11 p.m. on Aug. 7. 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 is dwindling now after lots of them the past few months.  The number will continue to decline even more in the months ahead. The best time for making changes is when the moon in the dark phase and the signs are going out of the body beyond anything that functions.

      Those days are most of July 9-13. They encompass Capricorn (knees), one day; Aquarius (legs), two days; and two Pisces (feet) days on July 12-13. The moon moves to the dark phase early on July 9 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 five days, July 9-13, are your days!