Planting by the Signs: Getting Started

Welcome to the fascinating world of Planting by the Signs! Imagine a gardening approach that aligns with the moon's phase and its passage through the 12 signs of the Zodiac that can be used as a guide for planting, weeding, harvesting, and more. This age- old system is a long held tradition in Appalachia where I first encountered it growing up. In this blog, we'll explore the basics of Planting by the Signs and how to begin implementing these principles into your gardening practice.

Listen to Mary talk about Planting by the Signs in her podcast, Slow Living Through The Seasons:

Understanding the Moon's Phases: A First Step

The moon's cycle is divided into four quarters.  The first quarter begins with the new moon and grows through the second quarter until the full moon. This is the waxing moon period. The waning moon begins with the full moon and continues diminishing through the third and fourth quarter until the  new moon, beginning a new cycle.

Planting Above Ground and Below Ground Crops:

One of the key principles of planting by the signs is knowing when to plant above ground and below ground crops. During the waxing moon, it's ideal to sow above ground crops. These include peas, greens, and beans, as they thrive during this phase, benefiting from the moon's gravitational pull.

In contrast, the waning period is best suited for below ground crops, such as beets, carrots, turnips, and potatoes. Planting during this phase allows the roots to grow strong and deep, yielding healthier and more abundant root harvests.


Planting by the Signs of the Moon for August, 2023

As we step into August, the moon's cycle is at a crucial stage. The full moon on August 1st marks the beginning of the third quarter, indicating the onset of the waning period—a prime time for planting root crops.


Here are the best days to plant root crops:

  • Aug. 2-3 (Pisces) 
  • Aug. 7-8 (Taurus) 
  • Aug. 11-13 (Cancer)

As the new moon arrives on August 16th, it signals a shift towards planting above ground crops.

Here are the best days to plant above ground crops:

  • Aug. 19-20 (Libra) Good for sowing flowers, not the best for vegetables
  • Aug. 21-23 (Scorpio) Especially favorable for vining plants such as cucumbers, peas and beans
  • Aug. 26-27 (Capricorn) 
  • Aug. 30-31 (Pisces) 

Coming Up 

The sun’s journey through the Zodiac signs takes the full year, but apple

the moon travels through all 12 signs every month. Half of these signs are considered fruitful, while the other half are considered barren, influencing the success of gardening tasks. As we continue this journey into the world of lunar gardening next month, we'll explore the 12 signs, identify the properties of each and their impact on plant growth.  Check back for Part 2 in this series! 


Planting by the signs offers a unique and natural way to enhance your gardening efforts. By aligning your tasks with the moon's phases and its movement through the Zodiac, you can optimize plant growth, yield bountiful harvests, and connect with the age-old wisdom of lunar gardening.

 So, get ready to unlock nature's secrets and watch your garden flourish like never before! Happy gardening!

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