In years gone by people planted their crops according to the cycle of the moon, sun and other visual signs. Here are a few of the signs they observed when planting.
Corn and Beans.
Plant corn and beans when elm leaves are the size of a squirrel’s ear, when oak leaves are the size of a mouse’s ear, when apple blossoms begin to fall, or when dogwoods are in full bloom.
Lettuce, spinach and cole crops.
Plant lettuce, spinach seeds in the garden and broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, pac choi, Chinese cabbage etc. seedlings in the garden, when the lilacs show their first leaves or when daffodils begin to bloom. See also post, “Of Cabbages and Kings”.
Tomatoes, early corn, peppers.
Plant tomatoes and peppers plants and early corn, when dogwoods are in peak bloom or when day lilies start to bloom. See also post, “Tomatoes and Peppers”, on page 2.
Cucumbers and squash.
Plant cucumbers and squash seedlings when lilac flowers fade. See also post, “Squash Anyone?”.
Plant potatoes when the first dandelion blooms. See also post, “One potato, Two Potato”.
Beets and carrots.
Plant beets and carrots when dandelions are blooming.
Plant peas when the forsythia blooms, when daffodils begin to bloom or on Good Friday. See also post, “Peas Please”.
This information gleaned from “The Old Farmers Almanac” and the University of Wisconsin Extension.
Beware, sudden prolonged warmer than usual weather may cause apples, other fruits and plants to soften early so that they will blossom and then get caught by a frost, which could cause the above signs to be off by a few weeks or more. Such a hot spell forced my apples and blueberries to bloom too soon last year and they produced little if any fruit.
A truism in zone 3-4 is never plant your tomatoes or other tender crops before May 30th, no matter how warm it has been. More that a few neighbors have not heeded this warning and have lost their tomatoes and tender plants and had to start over again.