Planting By The SignsHopefully the weather will settle down soon and we’ll be able to get some serious planting done since the last half of May and June are the best planting months for the summer.

But first a bit from the Commonsense Department:

>When planting, don’t plant when the ground is wet no matter what the sign or phase of the moon happens to be. If you disturb the soil by putting in transplants or seeds, when it dries it will be cloddy and hard to deal with all summer and your plants and seedlings will struggle.

 I don’t mention that with every line of information but it’s an over-riding concern: Don’t plant when the ground is wet!

>Use good gardening techniques like cultivating, watering, fertilizing, dealing with diseases and pests. All planting by the signs and phases does is suggest the best time to plant. It in no way replaces good, commonsense gardening.

We’ll begin with some general tips with the May Overview following those tips.

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 – do it when the moon is in the dark phase and the signs are going out of the body beyond anything that functions.

      Again in May – and into June - we have a lot of “change days” that perfectly fit that formula: Sagittarius-Pisces/thighs-feet. There are days at the beginning of May (1-10) and almost three at the end (most of the 29th then all of 30-31) for a total of 12.75 perfect days, May 1-10, 29-31.

      The series continues June 1-6. If you have changes to make or elective surgery to schedule, you have quite a choice!

      >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 May 16 through May 28. The moon moves to the dark phase at 10:20 a.m. on May 29.

      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.

      >If you’re putting on a new shingle roof, do that when the moon’s in the dark phase (through May 14 then May 29-June 12) so that the shingles stick down and don’t curl up on the ends.


May Overview

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

       General Tips for dark- and light-moon activities are above, and for veggies when it comes to planting, 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 and definitely not when killing sigs rule.

The moon

      May begins with the dark moon in force until the new moon – or no moon visible in the sky – arrives at 7:48 a.m. May 15 and rules until the full moon at 10:20 a.m. on May 29.  

      The new moon, or waxing (rising) moon, rules the second half of the month, most of May 15 through May 28.

      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, no matter the moon’s phase!


The signs


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

      If you can only utilize one aspect of this system – moon’s phases or zodiac signs – I would suggest following the phases. May begins with – and ends – with the so-so signs in force. So that’s where we will begin, too.

     So-so days: These aren’t particularly fertile nor destructive, just so-so. Sagittarius (the thighs), May 1-2, 28-30; Capricorn (the knees), May 3-5 and 31; and Aquarius (the legs), May 6-7. There are 11 days in May ruled by the so-so signs, more than 30 percent of the month– and that’s a lot!

      We’ve talked extensively about how these days, when they occur in the dark phase of the moon, are ideal for making changes. Check out that information above.

        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.

      Pisces (the feet), rules May 8-10, dark moon; Taurus (the neck) rules May 13-14, dark moon; Cancer (the breast) May 17-18, light moon; and Scorpio (the secrets), May 26-27 (light moon).

      There are nine days this month ruled by the most fertile signs: Scorpio, Pisces Taurus and Cancer. They are pretty evenly divided with five in the dark of the moon and four with the light moon in force.

     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, plowing your plot — anything but planting.

      Here’s when they rule this month: Aries (the head), May 11-12; and Leo (the heart) May 19-20. There are four killing days this month, the blessed minimum.       

     Gemini days: Gemini (the arms) rules May 15-16. The moon changes phases at 7:48 a.m. on the 15th, so for all practical purposes both are with the light moon ruling making them ideal for getting your first planting of bush or pole beans in the ground since the statistical danger of frost will have passed by then.

     Flowering days: Virgo (the bowels), rules May 21-23, and Libra (the reins) is up May 24-25. There are five flowering days in May. Flowers planted when these signs are in force should bloom and do so abundantly.