I am an info junkie and I especially love trivia stuff. This morning we were discussing when to plant peas. In our Extension Office book there is a Kentucky planting times chart that says plant peas in March. The Farmer’s Almanac says March 11th to 26th. And Crystal says, Valentine’s Day. Well I’m no dummy. I’m listening to Crystal.
Actually, it isn’t only Crystal who says that the peas have to go in on Valentine’s Day. I have heard that one since coming to eastern Kentucky. The first time I heard it was from a friend of mine who was going to be in Frankfort on Valentine’s Day and he was going to be late putting in his peas. “You’re kidding me, right?” was my comment as we drove the Mountain Parkway heading to the Capital. There was snow on the ground and the high for the day was 23 degrees. He proceeded to tell me all about planting by the moon and the parts of the body. I was skeptical but then I saw his garden and became a believer.
Gardening has an amazing compilation of folk lore attached to it. I found these on the National Parks Service website, www.nps.gov, about planting vegetables in the Great Smoky Mountains
Planting Lore
• Plant turnips on Ascension Day for abundant foliage and large turnips.
• Plant corn when the sign is in the head, so there will be more ears.
• Red-headed persons have the best luck with peppers.        
• If cucumbers are planted on Saturday, they will be bitter.
• If you laugh while planting corn, the grains will fall apart on the cob.
• Tomatoes should be planted in Gemini or the scales
• If you plant cucumbers in the full moon, they will all run to vines, and will not bear.

There are a lot of things to know about growing your own food. Soil and seed quality, irrigation techniques and weed and pest control to name a few. And while books, internet, and the UK Extension Office are all great resources, there is nothing like the wisdom and experience of friends, family and neighbors. So when it is time to plant, I am listening to Crystal and the rest of my neighbors here in the mountains that have been using the sun, moon and zodiac to plant by for generations.
Did you know you should never do anything in the garden when the sign is the bowels unless you want to kill it? I wonder if that would work with my autumn olives?

Sr. Kathy Curtis