Planting by the Signs - September OverviewHere’s information for September about the phases of the moon and signs of the zodiac.

For all practical purposes, unless you’re planning to protect your cool-weather-loving plants from the inevitable cold weather in the months ahead or unless you live south Kentucky-Tennessee border, the 2018 outdoor planting season is over – except for radishes, and their last planting day is Sept. 15.

It won’t matter much now unless you’re planting fall flowers or in a greenhouse, but this month features those super-killing Ember Days on Sept. 19, 21 and 22. Don’t plant anything on those days.

       General Tips for dark- and light-moon activities are below. When it comes to planting – if you have any to do - it’s above-ground producers in the light phase and below-ground producers when the dark phase is in, preferably when fertile signs are in force and not when killing sigs rule.

The moon

      September begins – and ends - with the dark moon in force. It rules until the new moon – or no moon visible in the sky – arrives at 2:01 p.m. Sept. 9. The light moon is then in force until the full moon returns at 10:52 p.m. on Sept. 24.  

      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. This goes, too, if you happen to be planting in a greenhouse that offers protection from the weather.

      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 – moon’s phases or zodiac signs – I would suggest following the phases. 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.

      Taurus (the neck) rules Sept. 1, 27-28, all dark moon; Cancer (the breast) Sept. 4-5, dark moon; Scorpio (the secrets), Sept. 12-13, light moon; Pisces (the feet), Sept. 22-23, light moon. Note that Sept. 22 is one of the Ember Days.

      There are nine days this month ruled by the most fertile signs: Scorpio, Pisces Taurus and Cancer.  Five are with the dark moon ruling and four with the light moon in force.

     Gemini days: Gemini (the arms) rules Sept. 2-3, 29-30, all with the dark moon in force. Gemini is the bean and/or pea sign, but it’s too late in the season to risk planting either.

     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) Sept. 6-7; and Aries (the head), Sept. 24-26. Five killing days this month, up from four in July.

     Flowering days: Virgo (the bowels), rules Sept. 8-9, and Libra (the reins) is up for Sept. 10-11. There are four flowering days in September. Flowers planted or set out – like your lovely 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), September 14-16; Capricorn (the knees), Sept. 17-18; and Aquarius (the legs), Sept. 19-21. There are eight days again this month ruled by the so-so signs.

      We’ve talked extensively about how these days, when they occur in the dark phase of the moon, are ideal for making changes. Unfortunately, that’s not the case again this month with the light moon in force the entire time the so-so signs are ruling.

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.

      As I just mentioned above, unfortunately there are no days this month 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, Sept. 14-23.

      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 Sept. 10 through all but the last hour of Sept. 24.

      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.