Planting By The Almanac

| 4/30/2014 9:42:00 AM

Country MoonEach year we plant the flowers and the vegetable garden as close to Mother’s Day weekend as we can. So, we have been getting our pots, tools, seeds and anything else we need ready to go. When we thought we had everything, I started for the house as I remembered the most important item. Jim grimaced because he knew exactly what I had forgotten. “Not again this year!” he moaned.

I gave him the look. He knows I would never put one seed in the ground without first consulting the almanac. This is pretty serious business, either you’re a believer or you’re not.

AlmanacThere are different publishers of almanacs, with The Old Farmer's Almanac being the most popular, and it is also America’s oldest continuously published periodical, being in print since 1792. Whether you choose Old Farmer's, Baer's Alamanac, or a number of different publications, each almanac provides essentially the same information such as helpful gardening facts, best planting dates, astronomical information, stories, anecdotes and more.

The basic premise is that the 12 astrological signs affect various parts of the body. Each month is divided between the 12 signs with Aries, the first sign, attributed to the head and each of the other signs associated with the other parts of the body ending with Pisces at the feet. Gardeners and farmers use these as guides as to which days are the best to plant root crops, crops that bear above the ground and ones raised for flowers.

For example, if you plant garden produce in a sign associated with flowers, the plants will flower profusely but produce very little fruit or vegetables. If you plant potatoes, radishes, carrots or other root crops in a sign such as Aries, representing the head, the plants will produce all leaves and no crops underground.

OK, I can almost hear some of you snickering and calling this nonsense. To each his own, but let me tell you a couple stories that I probably would not have believed if I had not seen myself. One year we did plant the garden all at once, so everything was planted in the same above ground sign. Every single root crop we planted including potatoes, beets, carrots and onions produced only little nubbins but the plants above ground were big, leafy and had the showiest flowers.

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