Sproutkale 29, 2012

Crocuses blooming on a sunny Sproutkale day
I was down in a rabbit hole full old gardening magazines when I ran into a tidbit or two  about the month of February. 

Or should I say, the month of Sproutkale?

Or should I say, the month of Solmonath?

“THE STORY OF FEBRUARY has been on the whole an ill used month perhaps in consequence of its noted want (in the northern hemisphere ) of what is pleasant and agreeable to the senses. Numa let fall upon it the doom which was for some one of the months of having, three of four times, a day less than even those which were to consist of thirty days. That is to say he arranged that it should have only twenty nine days, excepting in leap years, when by the intercalation of a day between the twenty-third and twenty-fourth it was to have thirty. No great occasion here for complaint. But when Augustus chose to add a thirty-first day to August that the month named for him might not lack in the dignity enjoyed by six other of the year, he took it from February, which could least spare it, thus reducing it to twenty-eight in all ordinary years.

Verstegan informed us that, among the Saxons, the month gets its name of Sproutkale from the fact, rather conspicuous in gardening, of the sprouting of cabbage at this ungenial season. The name of Solmonath was afterwards conferred upon it, in consequence of the return of the luminary of day from the low course in the heavens in which for some time he had been running.”

American Homes and Gardens, Vol. XI. January – February 1914

If I grew cabbage in my garden, I'd start some seeds in Sproutkale to plant out in the garden in March. I would also claim that March was not named after Mars, the god of war, but was named March to remind gardeners everywhere to march right out to their gardens and get a good jump on spring. Or maybe I would keep with the theme of Sproutkale and call it Plantpeas

One more day of Sproutkale, of Solmonath, of February and then we march out to our gardens in March, or should it be Plantpeas, to really get going for spring.


  1. I am not found of the month of Sproutkale regardless of its name. Now March gives a command I am ready to obey.

  2. This year I have been marching through Sproutkale. It feels good to be a little ahead of the game.

  3. No sprouting kale, so I'll call it SproutRadish! Yes, the radishes are up! PlantPeas is exactly what I plan to do next. Looking forward to what names the other months may have as time goes by!
    Have a blessed day!
    Lea's Menagerie

  4. I got out my heat mat today and I'm ready to start sprouting and marching.

  5. Wow! Pretty post!I really love your photos.

  6. We have variable weather in February on the whole, but, not like these roller coaster rides of late. I am hoping march is calmer with less winds and decent weather. gail

  7. I agree with Leslie, as long as it isn't Sproutweed! I have been on the ball this year and hoping to get a head start before I get the command to MARCH!


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