Perpetuating the myth that northern gardeners are just frittering away these winter days and nights reading seed catalogs and gardening books, I’ve been looking through the almanac, in particular The Old Farmer’s 2009 Almanac.
Here are some of my observations, with page numbers so you can follow along if you happen to have one of these handy.
Pg. 80. The map showing the general weather forecast for 2009 indicates that Indiana (and about half the United States) will be hot and dry this summer. No! Please let this not be the case! I fear drought more than locusts or pretty much anything else that could happen to my garden.
Pg. 202-203. The outdoor planting table indicates that the moon is favorable for planting peas from March 7th - 10th and again from March 26th – 31st. What about the traditional date for planting peas, March 17th? I’ll either have to risk planting with an unfavorable moon on the 17th or wait an extra nine days to plant peas on the 26th. Or, I might try to plant my peas on the 10th, depending on the soil temperature that day.
Pg. 229. According to the Frosts and Growing Seasons table, our last frost in Indianapolis is around April 17th. That’s not been my personal experience these last several years. I think that’s too soon. I prefer to use Mother’s Day, or about May 10th, as my frost free date. And to be safe, I usually wait until nearly Memorial Day to plant the most frost tender plants like tomatoes.
Pg. 232. I’m fascinated by the “Best Days” table, which is also based on the phases of the moon. According to this table, one of the best days to start a diet to GAIN weight was January 1st. Ha! Now you know why your diet, the one you faithfully started on the 1st, isn’t working. If your goal is to lose weight, a better day to start your diet is tomorrow, January 13th.
If, weather permitting, you want to get a jump on all those weeds, good days for that are at the end of January on the 30th and 31st. If the weather is nice enough, I just might go out and pull some henbit myself. Oh, wait, the ground will be frozen, most likely. Never mind. You southern gardeners, though, embrace weeding at the end of the month for all of us.
In the right climate, January 15th is supposed to be a good day to both plant and harvest below ground crops, get dental care and I’ll go out on a limb here and add post on your blog about what is blooming in your garden.
Does anyone else read the almanac or use the information in it to plan to do things, like planting, by the phases of the moon?