Here’s the list, starting with the head and moving down the body.
- Head: Aries the ram
- Neck: Taurus the bull
- Arms: Gemini-the twins
- Breast: Cancer the crab
- Heart: Leo the lion
- Bowels: Virgo the virgin
- Loins: Libra the scales
- Genitals (the secrets): Scorpio the scorpion
- Thighs: Sagittarius the archer
- Knees: Capricorn the goat
- Legs: Aquarius the waterman
- Feet: Pisces the fish
What does it mean?
So all of this might sound pretty random, but as you follow a planting calendar and practice the system throughout the growing season, you’ll get a sense of the rhythm and the logic behind it. When you learn the rules, some things begin to make more sense. For instance, if Pisces rules the feet, then it follows that the conventional wisdom says it’s a good sign for root crops.
Then there are the rules that seem to conflict with the basic principles. As an example, where I come from it was said that you should plant your beans and other vines like cucumbers and melons in Gemini, or the arms—even though Gemini is a barren sign. Maybe it’s because the arms represent sturdy vines?
The conventional wisdom can sometimes contradict the basic principles, and some of the advice can vary by region. The best thing to do is learn the rules, decide for yourself if and when to break them and observe the outcome.
Guidelines for October ‘23
The growing season is waning for many of us. As always, what you’re able to do at this point depends on your goals and your growing zone. Check in with other local growers and see what works or doesn’t work in your region this time of year.
But wherever you are, it’s useful to know that the new moon is on October 14th, which will begin the waxing phase of this month, and the full moon, sometimes called the Hunter’s Moon, on the 28th when it will begin its wane.
So why is it called the Hunter’s Moon? According to the Old Farmer’s ALmanac, it’s believed that it was a sign for hunters to get food for the upcoming cold months. Animals were beginning to fatten up in preparation for the winter weather, and the full moon would provide more light for the hunt.
Here in zone 7 we’ll most likely get at least a light frost by the end of this month. I’ll be harvesting the roots and leafy greens that I put in late summer, but since I don’t have a cold frame or a tunnel I’ll be getting my winter produce from my local CSA.
One thing I will be planting this month is garlic, an easy crop for beginners. It’s planted now so it can winter underground, and then it starts emerging in spring. The scapes will appear in June, and then the garlic is harvested in mid summer, usually July for us. Garlic is so easy and satisfying to grow. You simply plant the cloves pointy end up, about 6-8 inches apart, and cover them with a couple of inches or so of good dirt–and you’re done! If you haven’t tried it before, I encourage you to give it a go. And plant LOTS of it, more than you think you can use, because then you can use any left-over cloves to plant next year.
Friday Oct. 6th and Saturday Oct. 7th are both great days to plant garlic, with the waning moon in Cancer. November is okay too, and even December as long as your ground isn’t frozen.
So besides the 6th and the 7th as a prime time to plant root crops, we’ve got some great days to plant spring flowering bulbs, especially on the 13th and 14th in Libra. Then we head into the waxing moon until the full moon on the 28th.
October is also a great month to divide and move your perennials around. Good days for transplanting this month are the 15th, 16th and 17th in Scorpio, the 24th and 25th in Pisces, and the 28th, 29th and 30th in Taurus.
We’re still harvesting and preserving into October, and sometimes the race is on to get it done before the frost. For things that you want to store, such as potatoes, onions, apples and pears, harvest in the 3rd or 4th Quarter in any barren sign except Virgo.
For things that you're going to use in a short period of time, you obviously need to pick it whenever it’s ready, but when you have the option try to harvest in a barren sign. This helps the fruit or vegetable stay intact better until you can cook or process it.
Remember that we have the free monthly printable, downloadable Planting by the Signs of the Moon Calendar for those in The Good Dirt Supporters membership tier (also available to all members of The ALMANAC). If you’re not a member yet, but you’d like to have this calendar handy for easy reference every month, it’s easy to join. Just click here to join us any time!