Planting By The SignsWith the coming of July, we “celebrate” the completion of half of 2019. Summer’s officially here and hopefully, as the song says, “…the livin’ is easy.”

Here’s the July Overview for those still planting in summer gardens and looking now toward fall. If you have questions or need clarification, please be in touch.

I’m writing from USDA Planting Zone 6B and all times are Eastern Daylight. Simply adjust for wherever you may be – and I’m delight PBTS has followers all over the country. Encourage your gardening friends to like and follow @plantingbysigns.



Moon phases

      July begins – and ends - with the dark moon in force. That pattern, which we’ve had for many months, changes in August because of the two “new moons” in July that are on July 2 and 31. Thus when we get to August the new – or light moon – will rule.

     The dark moon rules until the new moon – or no moon visible in the sky – arrives at 3:16 p.m. EDT on July 2. The light moon is then in force until the full – or dark moon - returns at 5:38 p.m. on July 16.

      Then it’s dark moon until the month’s second new moon at 11:12 p.m. July 31. And, as you’ll notice, that second new moon barely makes it under the wire with less than 50 minutes remaining in the month! It will rule until 8:29 a.m. on Aug. 15.

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

      Ideally, check the signs and plant when one of the fertile signs rules. Don’t plant when either of the killing signs, Aries or Leo, is in force. If you can only utilize one aspect of the system, I would suggest going with the moon phases.

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.

      July begins with the fertile sign Cancer (the breast) ruling, so we’ll begin by reviewing when the fertile signs rule this month and which phase of the moon is in force – dark (below-ground producers) or light (above-ground producers.

       Fertile days: These are the most fertile signs in the zodiac.

      Cancer (the breast) July 1-2, 29-30, dark moon on July 1, 29-30 and light moon after 3:30 p.m. on July 2; Scorpio (the secrets), July 10-11, light moon; Pisces (the feet), July 19-21, dark moon; and Taurus (the neck) rules July 24-26, dark moon.

      There are and incredible 12 days this month ruled by the most fertile signs: Scorpio, Pisces, Taurus and Cancer. These are the absolute best days for planting, if possible.

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

      Here’s when they rule in July: Leo (the heart) July 3-5 and 31; and Aries (the head), July 22-23. There are six days this month ruled by killing signs.

     Flowering days: Virgo (the bowels) rules July 6-7 and Libra (the reins) is up for July 8-9 – four flowering days in July. These are bloom days and flowers planted when they rule should bloom and do so abundantly. I would strongly suggest avoiding planting veggies when bloom signs are in force since more energy goes toward blooming than setting fruit!

     So-so days: These aren’t particularly fertile nor destructive, just so-so. Sagittarius (the thighs), July 12-13; Capricorn (the knees), July 14-16; and Aquarius (the legs), July 17-18. There are seven days this month ruled by the so-so signs.

      Bean/pea days: Gemini (the arms) rules July 27-28, dark moon rules. When the ground is as warm as it is now, they take about 60 days from planting to first picking. Now, that’s bush – not pole – beans.

      Half of the Bean Equation is right: outstanding sign although it’s dark moon and beans and peas produce where? That’s right: above the ground!

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.

      Perfect days this month are July 17-21, five in all but considerably fewer than we were seeing a couple of months back. Those are your perfect days for July. There will be fewer perfect days for several months now before the trend turns back the other way.

      Pouring gravel: If you have gravel to pour on a drive or road on your farm, do that when the light moon rules and that’s July 3 through most of July 16.

      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.