Well, spring is here and it is garden making time. The old timers swear by planting by the signs. It was the same way when I was growing up. Probably the two most important books in our house were the Old Farmer's Almanac and the Roaman's Calendar. The calendar has an explanation of the zodiac signs, weather chart and almanac calendar.
There seemed to be a particular way to plant crops and the garden. For instance, we planted the "root crops" such as potatoes, onions, beets, radishes and turnips in the dark of the moon. The dark of the moon means the moon is waning or between the full moon and the new moon when the nights are darker.
We planted corn, tomatoes, peas and beans in the light of the moon. The light of the moon refers to the waxing or the days between the new and the full moon.
We always planted our lettuce at the same time we sowed the tobacco bed, usually around the middle of February or Valentine's Day. May 1st is the date for planting cucumbers. We always had the prettiest and best turnips when they were planted on the 25th of July. My Dad always planted potatoes on Good Friday and we always had lots of potatoes. If you plant them in the new of the moon you have nice big pretty vines but few potatoes.
One old timer says when the leaves on the oak trees are as big as a squirrel's ear it is time to plant corn - never before. Another old timer says you can't plant corn until after the dogwood blooms. If you plant corn on the new of the moon it will grow really tall but if there was a good windstorm it would blows it right over and it doesn't make good corn.
We always depended on the signs for harvesting the crops too. If you don't want your potatoes to spoil you dig them in the third or fourth quarter. If you dig them in the first quarter and happen to bruise or cut them they will rot everytime. Apples are the same way - pick them on the waning of the moon.
Ramon's Calendar contains information about the signs, the moon, the weather and the zodiac. It will also give you information such as how many bushels of ear corn are in your corn crib. Now I bet you really wanted to know that - didn't you?
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That's it for today.