In the first part of this two-part article, I wrote about the effects of the Moon on plant growth according to phases. Now it’s time to dig into the next area – gardening by the Signs of the Moon.
The Moon goes through an entire round of the Zodiac in about 28 days, a lunar month or what I like to call “moonth”, spending approximately two and a half days in each Sign. If you keep your Moon calendar handy, one that not only shows the phases but also the Signs, you can plan your gardening activities in harmony with the best possible times.
The 12 Signs are either fruitful and barren, according to their elemental nature – Fire, Air Earth, or Water – as follows:
Aries: The first of the Fire Signs is also a barren sign, being hot and dry. This is a good opportunity for weeding and pruning to cut back growth, especially if the Moon is also waning.
Taurus: Earth Signs are generally the best time to plant root crops. This Venus-ruled Sign is productive and moist, second best for planting seeds, and transplanting. Taurus favors whatever grows in beauty, such as sweetly scented flowers. If you have a potpourri garden or are planting, cultivating, or harvesting material for perfumes, adornments, or other pleasurable purposes, Moon in Taurus smiles upon this.
Gemini: Cut herbs, roots, or other plants when the Moon is in an Air or Fire Sign and you can be sure they will dry nicely. This is another good time for weeding.
Cancer: The most fertile Sign, this is the best time for any kind of planting or transplanting, since Cancer is a fruitful Water sign, ruled by the Moon. It’s also a good time to irrigate and fertilize. If you are pruning to encourage more growth, or grafting, do it now.
Leo: This is the hottest of the barren Signs, ruled by the Sun, an excellent time to kill weeds or garden pests, especially on the waning Moon. The art of topiary or shaping shrubs is favored by Moon in Leo.
Virgo: The Virgin of the Zodiac is also a barren Sign, even though an Earth Sign. Moon in Virgo signals time to work the soil, plow, till, or cultivate. Stir the compost. Flowers and vines come under the rulership of Virgo, especially medicinal plants. Divide and transplant perennial flowers when Moon in Virgo comes in the third quarter phase. Rid weeds and pests when in the fourth quarter.
Libra: A semi-fruitful Sign because it is Venus-ruled, but also an Air Sign, which is not very helpful except for planting flowers, herbs, and vines. Flowers picked when the Moon is in Libra last the longest.
Scorpio: Fertile and fruitful, second only to Moon in Cancer for seed germination and rapid growth. Moon in Scorpio is best for sturdy plants and vines, good for transplanting. Tomatoes, corn, and squash are Scorpio’s favored crops. Graft or prune in the third or fourth quarter Scorpio Moon to slow growth or promote fruit. Prune, water and fertilize in the 4th quarter.
Sagittarius: Hitch the Centaur to the plow when Moon is in this Sign. Put the energy of this Fire Sign to work harvesting, spreading compost, or enriching the soil. Plant potatoes, onion sets and fruit trees. Harvest root crops and onions for storage.
Capricorn: Productive but dry, Moon in Capricorn is fertile for everything under the ground, such as roots, bulbs, rhizomes, tubers and stalks. Prune branches that need strengthened. This is the time for grafting, pruning to promote healing, and applying organic fertilizer.
Aquarius: The Moon in this dry Air Sign is excellent for gathering herbs, roots, or other plants to dry and preserve. It is also another chance to weed out unwanted growth and banish pests.
Pisces: The last of the three Water Signs is most favorable for root growth and of course watering. It is very productive and moist, second best for planting and transplanting in the third quarter phase. Prune, water, and fertilize in the 4th quarter. Sow seed for good root growth.
This is a simplified and very basic guide to gardening by the Moon Signs. As you experiment through the year, keep a journal of your successes and failures, being careful to note the lunar phases and Signs. The more you use moon-gardening methods, the easier it will be to fall into the rhythm of Nature’s year-round dance.
Note: I highly recommend Louise Riotte’s “Astrological Gardening” which has been my trusted handbook for many years. It is now out of print but copies are still available through Amazon and other booksellers and well worth the price!