Gardening/Planting February 1, 2024

February 2024 Overview – Planting By The Signs

Planting by the Signs - Phil CasePBTS NOTE: In this post: Quick Takes, two special days, then the February Overview. All times are Eastern Standard until we “spring ahead” to Eastern Daylight on March 10. Adjust accordingly for your time zone. Remember to join these posts on X (formerly Twitter – as we all should know by now). Load the app on your Smartphone if you haven’t and search for @plantingbysigns. I am giving short, almost daily reminders there and will, of course, continue this page – hopefully forever! Invite your friends to join us.







Feb. 1-3: VERY fertile, Scorpio/secrets, dark moon, under-grounders

Feb. 2: Groundhog Day

Feb. 4: Midpoint of Winter

Feb. 4-9: Fertile, Sagittarius/thighs, Capricorn/knees, Aquarius/legs, dark moon until 5:59 p.m. Feb. 9, under-grounders

MAKE CHANGES: Feb. 4-9, dark moon/signs perfect

Feb. 10-11: VERY fertile, Pisces/feet, light moon, above-grounders

Feb. 12-13: NO PLANTING, killing sign, Aries/head

Feb. 14-15: VERY fertile, Taurus/neck, light moon, above-grounders

Feb. 16-17: Pea sign – Gemini/arms, light moon

Feb. 18-20: VERY FERTILE, Cancer/breasts, above-grounders

Feb. 21-22: NO PLANTING, Leo/heart, killing sigh

Feb. 21, 23-24: Ember Days, I won’t be planting

Feb. 23-27: Flowering signs – Virgo/bowels, Libra/reins, no veggies

Feb. 24: FULL/DARK MOON, 7:30 a.m., below-grounders through March 9 Feb. 28-March 1: VERY fertile, Scorpio/secrets, below-grounders through March 9


Notable days this month

Before we get to the Overview, I want to mention two notable days in February. The first is Groundhog Day on Friday, Feb. 2, and the second is Winter’s Midpoint, Feb. 4, which pretty much speaks for itself.

Groundhog Day is when Punxsutawney Phil is dragged from his hole in Young Township near Punxsutawney, Pa., to “prognosticate” the rest of the winter. If Phil sees his shadow, it’s six more weeks of winter. But if it’s cloudy and there’s no shadow, then spring is at hand!

He usually sees it!

I’ve said it every year and I won’t break the tradition, this was my late grandfather’s favorite holiday because he didn’t have to send cards or give gifts!


February Overview

MOON PHASES: February begins and ends with the moon in the dark phase. It moves from dark to light with the new moon – or no moon visible in the sky – at 5:59 p.m. on Feb. 9, and then back to the dark phase with the full moon at 7:30 a.m. on Feb. 24.

When the light moon is in force (all of Feb. 10-23) plant above-ground producers and it’s below-ground producers when the dark moon ruleswhich is until 5:59 p.m. on Feb. 9, returning for most of Feb. 24 through March 9.

Don’t plant when either of the killing signs, Aries and Leo, are in force or veggies when the flowering signs Virgo and Libra rule.

Planting when the fertile signs rule is a viable alternative to the VERY fertile signs, which are Scorpio, Pisces, Taurus, and Cancer. The fertile ones – just a little below VERY fertile – are Sagittarius, Capricorn, and Aquarius.

If you can only utilize one aspect of the system for planting, I would suggest going with the moon phases but still avoid the killing signs Aries and Leo and the flowering signs Virgo and Libra for anything but flowers.

THE SIGNS: Check to see if the moon is in the light or dark phase (information above and on any calendar) before proceeding with planting anywhere, or other moon-related activities.

VERY FERTILE DAYS: These signs are accompanied by the phase of the moon in which they occur. Scorpio (the secrets), Feb. 1-3, 28-29, all dark moon;  Pisces (the feet), Feb. 10-11light moon; Taurus (the neck), Feb. 14-15, light moon;  Cancer (the breast), Feb. 18-20, light moon. There are 12 days in February ruled by the very fertile signs – five with the dark moon ruling and the rest under the influence of the light moon. I would love to see one of the “planting months” configured like this!

FERTILE DAYS (like X and Twitter – formerly called “so-so days”): Sagittarius (the thighs), Feb. 4-5; Capricorn (the knees), Feb. 6-7; Aquarius (the legs), Feb. 8-9. There are six days ruled by these three signs. The dark moon for below-ground producers rules most of the stretch until right at 6 p.m. on the second Aquarius day, the 9th. This is a perfect run for making changes. Read more about that below.

KILLING DAYS: No planting, transplanting, seeding, re-potting or dealing with things you want to thrive should occur on these days. Reserve them for anything but planting anywhere. No planting! Here’s when they rule: Aries (the head) Feb. 12-13and Leo (the heart), Feb. 21-22. There are four days in February ruled by these two signs, the minimum.

PEA/BEAN DAYS: Gemini (the arms), the pea/bean sign, rules Feb. 16-17. The light moon rules both days. Some say plant snow peas in February before Washington’s Birthday, which is Feb. 22. That makes these two days perfect!

FLOWERING DAYS: Feb. 23-27, Virgo (bowels, two days) and Libra (reins, three). No veggies on flowering days – not any flowers yet either, unless perhaps some pansies!

MAKING CHANGES: As promised last month, the number of days for making changes is increasing – by just one and a piece in February to almost six, but that’s a start over the four in January. The perfect days for making changes are when the moon is in the dark phase and the signs are going out of the body beyond anything that functions. The days are Feb. 4 through most of the 9th (until 5:59 p.m.), Sagittarius/thighs, Capricorn/knees, and Aquarius/legs.

Changes might include starting a diet or exercise program, stopping smoking or other unhealthy habits, weaning small children or animals – anything requiring doing something differently from the way you are doing it now.

POURING GRAVEL: If you have gravel to pour on a drive or road on your farm, do that when the light moon rules, which is Feb. 10 through Feb. 23, the moon moving to the dark phase on Feb. 24 at 7:30 a.m.

The same applies for stones on a garden path: Place them when the moon is in the light phase, so they don’t sink. If you’re setting fence posts, do that in the light phase of the moon so the posts don’t sink.

EMBER DAYS: February features our first series of Ember Days on the 21, 23 and 24. I have always touted them as no-planting days – and have been challenged every time I write I write about them.

Therefore, beginning this month I will mention when they are and  I’m not going to be planting on them. You do as you choose.