Planting by the Signs: Part Six


What does gardening look like in January? For most of us here in the northern hemisphere–January is the time for planning and dreaming of what’s to come in spring. On many a cold night you’ll find me fireside with the gardening books and seed catalogs–like many of you, I imagine— envisioning next season’s growing adventures. It’s a particular kind of excitement and anticipation that gets me through the long stretch of gray days – when the cozy times become more like the winter blahs. I find, though, that with each year I probably order fewer seeds and plants than the year before, as I’ve become better at seed saving and dividing perennials in the fall. But there is always something new to try, a vegetable that I don’t get through my CSA or a native variety that I don’t have yet. Each year builds upon the last, and each year the garden is different–which is what makes it fun.

For those of you in the warmer regions of the northern hemisphere that are able to do some planting this month, or those that have a high tunnel or greenhouse, note that we are in the dark or waning phase of the moon until the new moon on the 11th, with fruitful days from the 3rd-7th with Libra and Scorpio, then again on the 10th-11th with Capricorn.

As we’ve learned before, PBTS applies to many things in life other than gardening–and we have a good example of that with four days this month that are ideal days for making changes–with the moon in the dark phase with the signs moving down the body. The days are from the evening of Jan. 7-10 with Sagittarius (represented by the thighs) and s Capricorn (knees). The moon then moves to the light phase on the 11, so the rule still applies (though less ideal) as the moon moves through Aquarius (legs) and Pisces (feet.)

So what kind of changes are we speaking of? This might be some kind of fitness program or a new diet, or breaking an unhealthy habit such as smoking, alcohol or substance abuse. It might be a new morning routine or starting a practice such as journaling or meditation. It’s really anything that you want to do differently from the way you are doing it now, for whatever reason.

Fruitful days in the waxing moon occur the 14th-15th in Pisces, the 18th-20th in Taurus, and the 23rd-24th in Cancer.

On the 25th is the full Wolf Moon, so named in reference to the sound of the wolves howling through the cold winter nights. So January ends as it began in the waning, or the dark of the moon,with the 30th and the 31st being in the fruitful sign of Libra.

Enjoy these days of dark and cold that provide us with a much needed respite from the busy and active season that precedes it. By leaning into nature’s rhythms in our lives as well as our gardens, we can experience the same rest and renewal that we observe in the earth’s seasonal cycles.

Check out 7 Days of Easy "Real Food" Winter Meals Here!