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

The outdoor planting season in uncovered and/or unprotected gardens is over if you are anywhere north of the Kentucky-Tennessee border. If you’re planting kale, lettuce and/or spinach in low tunnels or cold frames, you can still plant.

This information can be used for indoor planting or in a greenhouse. Other than that, we’re done until 2019.



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

The moon

      October 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 11:47 p.m. Oct. 8. The light moon is then in force until the full moon returns at 12:40 p.m. on Oct. 24.  

      When the full - or dark - moon is ruling. If you are planting, 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 as well as in the garden - 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. October, like September, 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.

      Cancer (the breast) Oct. 1-2, 28-29, dark moon; Scorpio (the secrets), Oct. 10-11, light moon; Pisces (the feet), Oct. 19-21, light moon; Taurus (the neck) rules Oct. 24-25, dark moon.

      There are 11 days this month – more than a third of the month! - ruled by the most fertile signs: Scorpio, Pisces Taurus and Cancer.  Six are with the dark moon ruling and five with the light moon in force. I wish we could hit a pattern like this in the spring planting months.

     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, cleaning up your garden for winter — anything but planting.

      Here’s when they rule this month: Leo (the heart) Oct. 3-4, 30-31; and Aries (the head), Oct. 22-23. Unfortunately, there are six killing days this month.

     Flowering days: Virgo (the bowels), rules Oct. 5-6, and Libra (the reins) is up for Oct. 7-9. There are five flowering days in October. Flowers planted or set out – like your fall mums - when these signs are in force should bloom and do so abundantly.

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

      Gemini days: Gemini (the arms) rules Oct. 26-27, with the dark moon in force.

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.

      Unfortunately, again this month there are no days that perfectly fit that formula. If I had any changes to make, I would start when the signs are going out of the body and the moon moving toward the dark phase: specifically, Oct. 12-21, Sagittarius/thighs through Pisces/feet – 10 days.

      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 Oct. 9-23.

      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.