Dogwood Winter and the Almanac

My aunt sent me a note the other day and said they were having Dogwood Winter. I had not heard of this, but apparently it occurs some years when there is cold weather after it has warmed up, when the dogwoods are blooming.

Well, I guess that is what we are having now. After several warm, sunny days, now it is cold and damp and the dogwoods are in full bloom. I think the temperature only got to about 55 degrees today and the weathermen are predicting patches of light frost tonight. Definitely Dogwood Winter, but hopefully a mild one with no snow or anything hideously out of season like that. I did nothing in the garden after work other than water some pots of violas and fairy lilies on the porch. It was too cold!

I talked to at least one person today who said he planted his vegetable garden this past weekend... tomatoes and everything. I believe he will soon be re-purchasing and re-planting sometime soon! May 10th, May 10th, not until after May 10th, at the earliest.

The early pioneers and Indians knew to wait until AFTER the dogwoods bloomed to plant their crops. They also planted "by the moon". I've never paid that close attention to what phase the moon was in when I planted, but this year I might do that.

I looked up some information on the Farmer's Almanac web site, and it provides the following information for planting in May during the time I will be on vacation and working in the garden:

May 5-6-7-8-9 A barren period. Favorable for killing plant pests, cultivating or taking a short vacation. (My vacation starts on the 5th. Looks like I should spend these days preparing to plant, buying plants, and relaxing. This should not be too big of an issue because that's how things generally work out, anyway. First I buy, then I plant.)

May 10-11 Excellent time for planting corn, beans, peppers and other aboveground crops. Favorable time for sowing hay, fodder crops and grains. Plant flowers. (These will be two busy days for me, as I should be planting everything I buy in the 1st 5 days! Of course, I'll check the 10-day forecast to make sure there isn't a hint of a cold spell coming up before I plant.)

May 12-13 First day excellent for planting aboveground crops, starting seedbeds and planting leafy vegetables. Second day good for planting carrots, beets, onions, turnips and other root crops. Cabbage, lettuce and other leafy vegetables will do well. Plant seedbeds all days. (Two more busy days!)

May 14-15 Do no planting. (These are the last two days of my vacation. Hopefully, everything is planted by this time and I can spend time relaxing and surveying the results of my labor over the previous week.)

Yes, I think this schedule should work out well for me this year. Just pray it doesn't rain all the days I should be planting!


  1. I'd be interested in comments from others about if you plant according to the phases of the moon and do you think it makes a big difference?

  2. Did you check out the book Carrots Love Tomatoes? I wonder if that mentions anything about planting according to the moon cycles?


Post a Comment

Comments are to a blog what flowers are to a garden. Sow your thoughts here and may all your comments multiply as blooms in your garden.

Though there is never enough time to respond to each comment individually these days, please know that I do read and love each one and will try to reciprocate on your blog.

By the way, if you are leaving a comment just so you can include a link to your business site, the garden fairies will find it and compost it!