Gardening

Planting by the Signs April 2022

time-to-start-seedlings

Before I started the Blind Pig and The Acorn I never knew much about planting by the signs. I had heard folks talk about it, but it wasn’t something Granny and Pap ever did. The only thing they consulted the zodiac calendar for was making kraut.

They obviously believed there was something to the signs or they wouldn’t have worried about their kraut.

When it came to gardening, Pap was so busy with work, music, church, and coaching baseball that he had to plant whenever he had time and the weather was cooperating.

The first year I planted by the signs I kept it simple and tried to plant in the most fruitful sign of Cancer or under the crab as I heard an elderly lady phrase it. I saw a marked increase in the success of my garden that year.

The following year, with the success of my sign planted garden fresh on my mind, I became so involved in trying to follow the exact sign that I felt like I was playing a mean game of “Mother May I.” I was totally obsessed by the waxing and waning of the moon as well as trying to figure out which zodiac sign I should be planting under. My garden didn’t do as well that year and I didn’t have much fun either. I about drove myself crazy warring about the signs instead of just working on growing a garden.

The theory behind planting by the signs in a nutshell is: You should plant above ground crops under a fruitful sign while the moon is waxing/increasing. You should plant below ground crops under a fruitful sign while the moon is waning/decreasing.

There are 12 zodiac signs which correspond to the position of the moon during the month. Each sign is represented by a symbol, a part of the human body, and an element of nature (fire, earth, water, air) and has distinct characteristics. For example, Leo-Lion-The Heart is fiery, dry and barren. While Cancer-Crab-The Breast is watery and fruitful.

After my mother may I year of being obsessed with following the exact sign, I decided to simplify my attempt at gardening by the signs by concentrating only on the zodiac sign like I did that very first year. Over the years, I’ve found the signs that work best for my garden are Scorpio, Pisces, Taurus, and Cancer. Those are the days I note monthly and provide free for Blind Pig readers during the growing season.

My favorite sign to plant under is Cancer (under the crab), but if it doesn’t work out to where I can plant under Cancer, I aim for Scorpio, Pisces, or Taurus.

Here’s the best planting signs for April 2022.

Taurus: good for all root crops and above ground crops 2, 3, 29, 30
Cancer: best for planting above ground and root crops 7, 8
Scorpio: best for flowers and above ground crops 16, 17
Pisces: Good for planting and transplanting above ground crops, trees and shrubbery 25, 26

Last night’s video: Chicken and Dumplings in Appalachia.

Tipper

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20 Comments

  • Reply
    Meg
    April 14, 2022 at 5:27 pm

    My granny made “sinker” dumplings that were awesome. A firm textured dumpling that would hold up to cutting with a fork. Plain flour and water with a bit of salt, stirred together until a ball was formed. Then rolled out, adding flour as needed to prevent sticking. Cut into strips about 2 inches wide and 3 – 4 inches long. Lifted up and draped across her hand, they were dropped a few at a time into boiling broth. Never so many that the boil stopped and you were never supposed to stir them until they were done. They were the holy grail of Sunday dinners for just about everyone. My mom made “floaters” for her dumplings. Self rising flour instead of plain and you left the salt off. Pretty much everything else was the same. I never liked them. To me they were a soggy mess that you had to use a spoon to eat because a fork would tear them up. My kids and grandkids love the sinkers that I make and I am thankful for that.

    • Reply
      Jean Giermann
      April 25, 2022 at 3:11 pm

      I make the “tough” dumplings.
      Only difference is that instead of water, I use chicken broth. I think chicken and dumplings are the ultimate comfort food

  • Reply
    Christine
    April 6, 2022 at 2:57 pm

    I’ve never planted by signs. I just planted by the crop season. This year I think I started my seeds to early and transplanted my cabbage out without getting it use to the outdoors so it seems to be stunted. It hasn’t grown any since I transplanted it but at least it’s still alive. I’ll try again and hopefully will have better results.

  • Reply
    Shirley Stone
    April 4, 2022 at 1:56 pm

    So, Tipper, when did you folks do their kraut. I have never had a really good batch, in jars, in 5 gal buckets, or 1 gal pails. Maybe the signs were wrong. I mostly used early strain seeds with short growing times. I’m farther north than you. Last years was nasty and I wasn’t going to try again, but my mouth is watering so I may have to get some plants soon. Probably too late to do seeds. Thanks again. You seem like an old friend!!!

    • Reply
      Tipper
      April 4, 2022 at 4:00 pm

      Shirley-we make it when the signs are in the head 🙂

  • Reply
    Gina Huwe
    April 2, 2022 at 11:38 am

    I ordered a bunch of the Rattlesnake bean seeds if you are needing any. I will share with you!!!!

  • Reply
    Robert
    April 1, 2022 at 2:11 pm

    Another great video of the amazing things coming from Tipper’s Kitchen. My mama always rolled out her pastry and cut it into strips about 4-5″ long for her dumplings. I don’t know how it began – probably by my oldest brother – but chicken and dumplings were always known as ‘chicken slick’ in our family. I think it had to do with the thick creamy broth and the nature of the cooked pastry. 😀

    I’ve never really grown a full garden. Space and time prevented it. Now old age and arthritis prevent it. I have always had ‘patches’ usually for raising herbs. We grow nothing in the ground any more. We plant in pots and planter boxes. I DID buy an Old Farmer’s Almanac this year and have read about planting by the signs. I don’t know if my Pa did, but he always had great, successful gardens that fed us and were shared with neighbors.

  • Reply
    Ron Stephens
    April 1, 2022 at 1:52 pm

    Well, I started to post before but something went haywire I guess…. Thanks for the signs calendar, very timely as it also was last year. Lord willing, I will plant warm.season things the week of April 10, though I see signs are not right except for Good Friday and then Saturday. I expect a cold spell right about then to, blackberry winter. My blackberry canes have little flower buds just forming. But if I’m planting seeds I don’t worry. If the ground is too cold they won’t sprout until it warms up so even if it frosts they are safe. Just have to watch about setting out plants.

    I used your calendar last year but I didn’t form a judgment about more, less or the same as other years. I have so many pests they mostly determine what I get before they kill or at least weaken the plants. I wouldn’t ask much to pull up stakes here. Town is coming for us and I’m of a mind that it will get here all of a sudden and all at once.

    I am trying an experiment this year, mulching with leaves from last summer. May be a bad idea because they are mostly oak; slow decomposers and acid to boot. And they may steal nitrogen from crop plants. But it is something I have been laying off to do. Live and learn.

  • Reply
    Joe F.
    April 1, 2022 at 12:16 pm

    My father, a lifelong farmer/gardener, didn’t put much stock in planting by the signs but, whenever possible, he always tried to get much of his garden in on Good Friday. I don’t know the significance of that but I always had the impression it is rooted in some folklore.

  • Reply
    Becky
    April 1, 2022 at 12:09 pm

    mom and granny always swore about planting taters on Good Friday.. since good Friday falls on the 15th which isn’t a prime day for planting not sure what they woulda done…mom’s been gone from this world 31 yrs and granny 48 so can’t really ask them …but i do remember that was one they swore by…

  • Reply
    J
    April 1, 2022 at 11:48 am

    I think planting by the signs is really interesting. I decided this year to try planting by the moon, only taking the waxing and waning into account, and am already having a bit of a time of it lol.

  • Reply
    Angelyn McLain
    April 1, 2022 at 9:55 am

    I have never tried planting by the signs. It’s very interesting.
    Your chicken and dumplins looked so good! I have never made a broth like that before. I just cook the dumplins in the broth of a whole chicken with salt and pepper. That was how my Mamaw did it and so I just followed her recipe. I make the dumplins just like you do .
    It’s funny how everyone has a definite opinion about this dish. It is just a southern staple.

  • Reply
    Chris Vick
    April 1, 2022 at 9:46 am

    The article on planting by the signs is very interesting to me as my grand mother used to plant her three vegetable gardens in succession. (She had none children she raised as a single parent and depended on good crops and canning food.) The one thing in your article that jerked this 73 year-old back to his youth was “Mother may I”. This my cousins and I played at my other grandparents home along there long front sidewalk. Thanks for bringing back that near forgotten memory of childhood.

  • Reply
    Shirl
    April 1, 2022 at 9:08 am

    Mom planted, killed weeds, canned, and harvested by the signs. She never referred to the signs by their zodiac name, just body parts. The only thing I remember her saying is that she plants when the sign is in the twins so that the crop will bear twice as much. The whole family could be found hoeing and chopping weeds when the sign was in the bowels.

  • Reply
    Margie G
    April 1, 2022 at 8:30 am

    And today I get a little more insight into planting by the signs and your experiences over the years with that. I now see said the blind Margie. Mentioning all these signs also makes a good time to tell how Scorpios are like scorpions when “injured.” They will get you- count on it although they’re funny and friendly until…. My sister is a Taurus and she’s a TOTAL BULL. She’s also about money and it matters not how she gets it. She’s mean too! Cancers are crabby all their lives. I have a daughter who’s a crab and her dad is a crab. Yes, they’re very moody. – Told me she did how other kids just weren’t good kids and how she preferred her own company over others and she is still that way. I don’t know about Pisces and I hope I never do… lol. I’m a Virgo and tell it like it is. My garden can use all the help I can get. Lol I’m ready ,though, and preparing to order a pressure canner and jars in hopes of a good garden…btw, I depend on NOTHING but the GOOD LORD. Everything else has really let me down including the garden.

  • Reply
    Staci
    April 1, 2022 at 8:18 am

    Our last frost was on the 31st of March, but I’ve had it frost on me a good week into April. Although, I did notice the pecan trees budding out and the Old Timers around here having a saying, “You can’t fool a pecan tree” [into spring]. So, over coffee this morning I consorted with the Farmer’s Almanac on when to plant.

    This will be my first year planting by the signs. I’ve always heard that planting below the heart was a hard no.
    I took the time to look up what and when I planted last year against the Almanac:
    I planted tomatoes and sweet peppers under the crab and had a bumper crop with little to no problems.
    Hot peppers were planted under Leo – they did really well.
    Beans and pumpkins under Aquarius – huge yields for both
    The few things that didn’t as well were cukes, corn, summer squash, and some flowers – for all of these I used new varieties, so I can’t honestly say it was the signs (they were all planted above the heart, but I’ll certainly make note of how they do this year).

  • Reply
    Mint2Bee
    April 1, 2022 at 8:13 am

    We have always wanted to plant by the signs but it usually comes down to just planting when we have the time. In addition to the yearly almanacs, there are 2 books by Jack R Pyle and Taylor Reese about moon signs. If anyone is interested the titles are “You and the Man in the Moon – the complete guide to using the almanac” and Raising With the Moon – the complete guide to gardening and living by the signs of the moon”. But Tipper, I believe you really have the right idea to simplify it by just concentrating on the zodiac sign. I like things to be simple.

  • Reply
    Miss Cindy
    April 1, 2022 at 6:57 am

    Nothing like the voice of experience, you’ve studied it for years. I really like that you took a large amount of information and distilled it down to a frw guidelines that you follow faithfully….smart girl!

  • Reply
    Glenda G. Page
    April 1, 2022 at 6:56 am

    Wow..the best explaination for Dumplins. My mother-in-law and Sister-in-law make theirs and when they roll them out, they do so on an opened brown paper bag…the kind you use to get a supermarkets, and when asked why, they said it helps to ‘dry’ out the dough as the paper absorbs some of the moisture in the dough. Who woulda thought. Thanks for all you do in appreciating your roots and heritage, you make it sound so real and recent.

  • Reply
    Larry Paul Eddings
    April 1, 2022 at 6:48 am

    A great uncle of mine was the best gardener that I have ever known. He always planted by the signs.

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