February 18, 2021

Plantin’ by the Signs … and other things: Growing your own transplants by the phases and signs | Spectrum

Plantin’ by the Signs … and other things: Growing your own transplants by the phases and signs | Spectrum

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First, we’ll talk about growing your own plants for the garden and how simple it can be from seeding to transplanting — all by the phases of the moon and signs of the zodiac.

Then, we’ll review a few topics we’ve been visiting for the last several weeks, all but one of them likely for the last time this year.

Spring’s barely a month away and we want to be ready! But before we get too excited, let’s remember it’s still winter, and we need to be patient.

Starting your transplants

Every year ‘long about this time I receive lots of questions about seeding to grow your own transplants and should one follow the phases and the signs for this process since, technically, it’s not planting — as in the garden.

The answer is absolutely yes!

There are three aspects of the “raise your own plants” process:

First is sowing seeds in flats, peat pots or the myriad other latest and greatest methods available.

The second is transplanting the little seedlings to peat pots, yogurt cups, cottage cheese containers — whatever is available — if you didn’t start them in one of those containers in the first place to nurture until the next step.

The third is putting the little plant in the ground where it will hopefully grow, thrive and produce whether that “ground” is a traditional garden, a raised bed, or a barrel on the back deck. (That’s garden size and we’ll review that in a later column).

The more of these steps you can accomplish in the right moon phase and zodiac sign the better.

For example, the ever-popular tomato. You can be reasonably assured nurseries and plant suppliers don’t have the time or luxury — even if they might have the inclination — to seed hundreds or thousands of tomato plants in the right moon phase — which is light, and sign — which is one of the four fertile signs or the so-so signs — since it’s a small window and they are planting just to re-sell. Thus, they might hit the right phase and sign — and then they might not.

Where they can’t, you can because weather and labor are not factors since the plants are started indoors long before they can be planted outdoors. And, at most you may be seeding a few dozen plants — more than likely even fewer — so time (as in labor) isn’t a factor as it is for the mass producers.

As an aside, one of my dreams is to have my own greenhouse and start all plants in the right phases and signs.

Next is transplanting them to peat pots if they didn’t start there. All the same information you just read about seeding applies here: right moon phase for above or below-ground producers in one of the most fertile signs.

Finally, what happens when the little plant goes to it’s “forever summer home” as in planting in the garden.

If you buy your plants at a nursery or big box store garden center and take them home, this is the only step you can control — one of three. But on the other hand, if you do a little research online or elsewhere, assemble the right supplies, and check the phases and signs then you can control all three steps from seeding to planting.

Ready to do it this year? What do you have to lose?

What’s left of today and Saturday would be perfect days for planting snow peas with the sign in Gemini (the arms) and the moon in the light phase. I say “would be perfect days” except, short of a dramatic warm-up and thawing, your garden probably still has a layer of snow on it and likely as not is frozen given the bitter cold days we’ve had.

I hate for anyone trying to get peas planted before Washington’s Birthday to miss these days since they don’t come around often, but likely as not that’s going to be the case this time.

As I’ve been writing for some time now, spreading grass seed during the dark moon in February yields good results — at least it has for me. The moon, as we’ve established, is in the light phase now but it moves back to the dark on 27th, which unfortunately is an Ember Day when you don’t want to be planting.

If you haven’t completed your seeding — and I’m sure many haven’t — I would not hesitate to roll the program over into March, at least during the time the dark moon is in force, which will be through March 12.

According to the phases, there are no bad days during that stretch with the absolute best ones being March 2-3 and 11. The remainder — except for Feb. 28 and March 1 (flowering signs) — are ruled by the so-so signs that are the second best for planting, in my opinion.

It’s ideal if you can sow on top of this snow because as it melts the little seeds are taken into the ground naturally. That, in fact, is the whole premise — and hope — for sowing in the dark moon of February: snow melt and the gravitational pull of the dark moon puts the seed right where it needs to be.

As my friend Dennis Martin pointed out earlier in the week, this works great if your dogs have “done a number” on your backyard or their pen. “Just pitch out some seed on the area,” he said, “and the dogs can pound it in the ground.”

Sounds like a good idea. Thanks, Dennis.

If you have gravel to pour on a drive or road on your farm, the perfect stretch continues through Feb. 26 with the moon in the light phase. The same applies for stones on a garden path. The sign doesn’t matter here since we’re not trying to grow anything.

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