PBTS Note: All times given are EST until March 20 when they become EDT. 


Planting By The Signs

Now Spring has come, the birds rejoice,

And chaunt the cheerful lay;

The farmer with exulting joys,

Prepares for April’s days!




This little rhyme at the beginning of the March calendar in the 2019 Farmers’ Almanac reminds us there are just a few weeks left until Spring officially arrives on March 20 at 5:58 p.m. Eastern DAYLIGHT Time.

This month not only features the first day of Spring but it’s when the time “springs forward” at 2 a.m. on March 10 ushering in Daylight Saving Time and, too, a series of Ember Days the same week the time changes.

 Here’s March’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 soon we can begin planting cool-weather-loving veggies in the garden– that is, of course, if it ever quits raining and the ground dries.

CAUTION: An early reminder here - no matter how anxious you might be to get started, don’t plant if the ground is wet. You’ll pay for your exuberance all summer – and it won’t be in a pleasant way.

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

The moon

      March 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 11:04 p.m. EST March 6. The light moon is then in force until the full – or dark moon - returns at 9:43 p.m. EDT on March 20, which is the vernal equinox and the first day of Spring.

      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. March begins, and ends, with a so-so sign, so that’s where we will begin, too.

      So-so days: These aren’t particularly fertile nor destructive, just so-so. Capricorn (the knees), March 1, 27-28; Aquarius (the legs), March 3-4, 29-31; and Sagittarius (the thighs), March 25-26. There are 11 days this month ruled by the so-so signs.

      Changes: This month we have 12 perfect days for making changes, March 1-5, 25-31. The stretch continues through April 2, making it 14 perfect days! 

     Fertile days: These are the most fertile signs in the zodiac. Here’s is in order.

      Pisces (the feet), March 5-6, dark the 5th and light for most of the 6th; Taurus (the neck) rules March 10-11, light moon; Cancer (the breast) March 14-15, light moon; and Scorpio (the secrets), March 22-24, dark moon.

      There are nine days this month ruled by the most fertile signs: Scorpio, Pisces, Taurus and Cancer.

     Killing signs: 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 this month: Aries (the head), March 7-9; and Leo (the heart) March 16-17. There are five killing days this month.

     Gemini days: Gemini (the arms) rules March 12-13, with the light moon in force. Even though some might say it’s late for peas, I don’t necessarily agree. I think these days are perfect – if your ground is dry.

      Flowering days: Virgo (the bowels) rules March 18-19 and Libra (the reins) is up for March 20-21. There are four flowering days again in March. If you want to start early spring flowers indoors, you just can’t beat these days.

General tips

     Making changes: I mentioned it above,  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 again this month, we’re up to 12 in March that fit the formula perfectly and when you continue the stretch into April it makes for 14 perfect days. You have so many opportunities.

      The perfect days are March 1-5, 25-31 and April 1-2. The signs involved are Sagittarius/thighs through Pisces/feet by way of Capricorn/knees and Aquarius/legs.

     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 March 6-27.

      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.

      Planting grass seed: What I believe to be the best time for sowing grass seed has past – the dark moon in February – I would think the dark moon in March couldn’t be too bad.

      Ember Days: March features three Ember Days, the 13th, 15-16. No planting on these days regardless of what sign or phase is in force.