The Waterman and Hill-Traveller's Companion, a Natural Events Almanac
About our Book
Gardening Tips
Zodiac Planting
Moon Gardening
Animals and the Moon

Contact us

Want more information on Nature topics, including daily moon gardening tips and info?
Find it in The Nature Almanac!
Only $5.95 (cheap!) For more info, or to order, click About our book
Zodiac Chart
Chart © 2004 Jim Jung and licensors. All rights reserved.

Gardening by the Signs

Planting by the signs is a fairly straight forward operation. You plant aboveground crops (lettuce, peas, tomatoes, etc.) when the moon is waxing (growing) from New to Full Moon. Underground crops (beets, radishes carrots, potatoes, etc.) are planted when the moon is waning from Full to New Moon. However, true gardening by the signs is a bit more complicated.

On its 29 day journey around the earth the Moon passes (from an earthling's point of view) through all 12 signs of the Zodiac. These signs are divided into four broad Elemental groups: they're either Water, Earth, Air, or Fire. Those signs classified as Water or Earth Signs are generally considered optimal for planting and pruning for growth. Air and Fire Signs are classified as Barren Signs and are generally suitable for weeding, tilling the soil, and pruning for control of growth.

Summary of Zodiac Planting

To garden by the signs, therefore, one plants when the Moon is both waxing and in a Fertile Sign; and weeds, tills, and harvests when the Moon is waning and in a Barren Sign.

In addition, one never plants on a Sunday. Sunday (named after and supposedly ruled by the Sun) is a fiery, barren day and therefore unsuitable for planting no matter the sign. Also, one never plants on days when the Moon is undergoing a phase change, ie: New Moon, Full Moon, or either quarter.

So with this information you now have enough data to become a full-fledged Moon Gardener yourself. And should you opt for this route, let me know you results. I'll be very interested.

Below is a list of the Signs of the Zodiac showing their properties and a brief description of what to do when the moon is in that particular sign. Numbers following the description denote the quarter of the Moon's cycle (beginning at New Moon) when the action described is best carried out.

Fertile Signs

Water Signs

  • Cancer - best time to plant aerial crops, or prune to encourage growth, or graft (1,2); plant seed (2), and plant root crops (3). It's also the best time to water since plants take it up more easily in a water sign.
  • Pisces - transplant or sow seed in this sign for vigorous root growth (2). Fertilize root crops or graft for best results now (1,2); or plant root crops (3).
  • Scorpio - best sign for planting seed (2), or graft or prune for growth (1,2); or plant root crops (3).

Earth Signs

  • Taurus - transplant in this sign for hardy plants (1,2); sow seed (2); plant root crops (3); or prune to limit growth (4).
  • Virgo - till, cultivate, and turn compost heaps (1-4); garden pests and weeds are most vulnerable in this sign and pruning to shape plants is most effective (4).
  • Capricorn - prune for strong growth and graft in this sign (1,2); plant seeds (2); plant bulbs, tubers and rhizomes (3).

Barren Signs

Fire Signs

  • Leo - prune to shape shrubs in this most fiery of the fire signs (1); or cultivate and till the soil (1-4); this is the best sign to weed or control pests (4).
  • Aries - destroy weeds and pests (1,2); or till and cultivate (1-4); prune to limit growth, turn sod, and harvest crops for best keeping qualities now (4).
  • Sagittarius - till and cultivate in this sign (1-3); plant onions (3); or weed, prune to limit growth, or harvest crops for maximum keeping qualities (4).

Air Signs

  • Gemini - cultivate and till in this sign (1-3); harvest herbs and root crops (4); or weed for maximal effectiveness (4).
  • Aquarius - cultivate and till the earth in this dry, airy sign (1-3); get rid of weeds or harvest crops for long-term storage (4).
  • Libra - plant annual flowers (1,2); plant vines (2); flowers picked in this sign last longest and plants pruned now will keep their shape longer (4).

Other Authorities

These principles provide a straightforward basis for approaching the practice of gardening by the signs. Other authorities have more detailed recomendations. As an example of this, we have provided a chart of Zodiac Planting based on recomendations in Astrological Gardening, by Louise Riotte.

Home  |  Top
Copyright © 2004 Jim Jung
Some images© 2004 All rights reserved