Gardening/Planting January 1, 2024

January 2024 Overview – Planting By The Signs

Planting by the Signs - Phil Case           PTBS NOTE: My “break” is over and I’m back with the January Overview, which begins as usual with the “Quick Takes.” All times given are Eastern Standard (EST) and I’ve moved from USDA Planting Zone 6B one zone further south to 7A. I will have a post soon about planting zones and what they mean beyond being a number. Write with your questions and share this info with your gardening friends.





Quick Takes

Jan. 1-4: flowering signs Virgo/bowels and Libra/reins

Jan. 5-6: VERY fertile, below-grounders, Scorpio/secrets

Jan. 7-12: fertile, Sagittarius/thighs, Capricorn/knees below-grounders 7-10;  THEN, Aquarius/legs, above-grounders, 11-12

MAKE CHANGES: Jan. 7-10 (see more in Overview)

NEW MOON: Jan. 11, 6:57 a.m. above-grounders through Jan. 24

Jan. 13-14: VERY fertile, above-grounders, Pisces/feet

Jan. 15-17: NO PLANTING, killing sign, Aries/head

Jan. 18-19: VERY fertile, above-grounders, Taurus/neck

Jan. 20-21: bean/pea sign, above-grounders, Gemini/arms

Jan. 22-24: VERY fertile, above-grounders, Cancer/neck

FULL MOON: Jan. 25, moon moves to dark phase/full moon, 12:54 p.m. below-grounders until Feb. 9

Jan. 25-26: NO PLANTING, killing sign, Leo/heart

Jan. 27-31: flowering signs Virgo/bowels and Libra/reins



MOON PHASES: January 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 6:57 a.m. EST on Jan. 11, and then back to the dark phase with the full moon at 12:54 p.m. – half way through the day – on Jan. 25.

When the light moon is in force, plant above-ground producers and it’s below-ground producers when the dark moon rules.

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. January begins – and ends with a flowering sign in force, so that’s where we’ll start.

FLOWERING DAYS: Virgo (the bowels) is up for Jan. 1, 27-29 while Libra (the reins) rules Jan. 2-4, 29-31. There are an incredible NINE flowering days in January – up one from eight in  December. If you are planting flowers, then these are your days. Remember: NO VEGGIES on flowering days!

VERY FERTILE DAYS: The signs are accompanied by the phase of the moon in which they occur. Scorpio (the secrets), Jan. 5-6, dark moon;  Pisces (the feet), Jan. 13-14, light moon; Taurus (the neck), Jan. 18-19, light moon;  Cancer (the breast), Jan. 22-24, light moon. There are nine days in January ruled by the very fertile signs.

FERTILE DAYS: Sagittarius (the thighs), Jan. 7-8; Capricorn (the knees), Jan. 9-10; Aquarius (the legs), Jan. 11-12. There are six days ruled by these three signs. The dark moon for below-ground producers rules the first four and the light moon for above-grounders the Aquarius days after the moon change early on the 11th.

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) Jan. 15-17; Leo (the heart), Jan. 25-26. There are five days in January ruled by these two signs.

PEA/BEAN DAYS: Gemini (the arms), the pea/bean sign, rules Jan. 20-21. The light moon rules both days.

MAKING CHANGES: Thankfully – and just in time for New Year’s resolutions – after several months of none or few perfect days according to the formula, we have four this month and that will increase for the next several months. 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 Jan. 7-10, Sagittarius/thighs through Capricorn/knees.

The moon then moves to the light phase on the 11, but half the formula remains correct for the next four days that are ruled by Aquarius/legs and Pisces/feet.

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 most of  Jan. 11 through Jan. 24, the moon moving to the light phase on Jan. 25

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.