Gardening Planting By The Moon Signs

Planting By The Signs For April 2010

So far I’ve accomplished my goal of planting by the signs this year-well I’ve had one minor glitch-but I’m still claiming success.

Just a few miles down the road, my peppers and tomatoes are thriving in a local greenhouse. I planted the seedlings on the ‘right day’ several weeks ago.

In the garden, my radishes, spinach, and lettuce are coming right along.

The weather we’ve been having over the past week has made it seem like summer here in the Southern Highlands of Appalachia-making us all want to be outside.

I’ve waited all winter to finally catch a cold in the spring-I’ve been pretty miserable for the past few days. But the garden has been calling to me-and the knowledge that I couldn’t plant on just any day-has been weighing on my mind as well.

Friday after work, I decided it was time to plant something-and according to my calendar it had to be root crops. I enlisted the Three Indian Princesses to help.

With their help, I managed to plant 2 beds of beets and one full of carrots. I’ve never planted beets before-but thanks to Hometown Seeds I was able to this year. I made sure the beds were thoroughly tilled-then added mushroom compost as well as some wood compost-the mixture was light, fluffy, and deep-hopefully it’ll work.

The glitch I mentioned at the beginning-was 15 cabbage plants Pap gave me. No way would I turn them down-but once I looked at my calendar I knew I couldn’t wait 2 weeks to plant them either. Since I planted them on Good Friday-I’m claiming that was going by the signs-if not the Zodiac signs-then the garden folklore passed down in Appalachia-and I’m starting my own piece of folklore-“Always plant cabbage on Good Friday.”

Now that I’ve updated you on my garden-I hope you’ll leave me a comment-and tell me how yours is coming along. And if you’re an experienced beet grower-I hope you’ll tell me I planted them right.


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  • Reply
    Mary Jane Plemons
    April 15, 2011 at 2:49 pm

    We no longer cut up our potatoes to plant. We buy small seed potatoes and plant the entire potato. The results have been great for the past few years, since we do that.
    Mary Jane

  • Reply
    April 12, 2010 at 10:56 am

    Your seedlings are looking good! It’s still too chilly to plant much of anything here in the northernmost Appalachian county in Ohio. I did scratch in some lettuce seed last fall and it is about a third of the way grown as we’ve had some very unusual heat this spring. I don’t have room for beets, but my father planted some last year for the first time. Girl, are you in for a treat! I roasted them and they were the sweetest, most succulent vegetable I’ve ever eaten! Good luck and be sure to let us know how it goes!

  • Reply
    April 11, 2010 at 3:19 am

    My lungs decided that they didn’t get sick enough back in Dec and so they have decided to have another go round. Argh. It has me feeling defeated but I am still truckin’ with the garden thing and even trying to stay on track with the signs thing. Beets are one of my favs. I plant many different varieties. the “seed” really hold several seeds and so no matter what, you will need to thin, it is one of the hardest things for me to do in the garden… thinning.

  • Reply
    April 10, 2010 at 10:30 pm

    The Southern Highlands of Appalachia-are the portion of the Appalachian Mountians that run through NC, TN and the very northern tip of GA. I’m thinking the planting signs would be the same for me and you-only your last frost date would be later than mine-so you’d have to keep that in mind.
    Blind Pig The Acorn
    Music, Giveaways, Mountain Folk
    All at

  • Reply
    April 9, 2010 at 11:03 am

    Tipper, what part of the Appalachians is the “Highlands?” I’m just wondering as there are a LOT of App’n mountains from north to south, and wondering if your planting schedule would be the same for us.

  • Reply
    April 7, 2010 at 11:28 am

    Don’t have enough room for a garden but seeing your pictures and reading the post reminds me of growing up on the small farm we had.

  • Reply
    April 7, 2010 at 9:51 am

    David-Some people swear by letting the potatoes scab over-Pap never does-we just cut and plant.
    If there is a difference between tubers and root crops in the signs I haven’t noticed it-but it may be there if you dig deep enough : )
    Blind Pig The Acorn
    Music, Giveaways, Mountain Folk
    All at

  • Reply
    April 7, 2010 at 8:52 am

    Cabbage on Good Friday is a great idea! I always put honey supers on my bees on Tax day…it’s easy to remember! Now I can remember cabbage too!

  • Reply
    Pat in east TN
    April 7, 2010 at 6:38 am

    My garden area has been too wet to even think of doing anything, so we’re kind of behind this year, BUT with summer like weather the past several days, things are looking better. Temps in the low 30’s over the week end, as your calendar says, makes me thankful I didn’t push to put some stuff out, but starting the beginning of next week we’ll be busy planting and the signs look good, so maybe being behind won’t be all that bad?
    There is nothing better then beets from your own garden and adding the wood compost should surely help them. Good luck!

  • Reply
    David Templeton
    April 6, 2010 at 9:30 pm

    That Betsy sure must be a sweetie. She always sends you get-well-soon hugs. Looks like you have buddies all over the world; no surprise to me.
    I’m going to plant a row or two of Red Pontiacs in the same general area of the garden where I planted the Good Friday Red Pontiac potatoes, this time planting them according to the “sign”.
    Was I supposed to let the potatoes dry (“scab over” as people up here say)) after I cut them up and before I put them in the ground?
    Does the Zodiac distinguish between root crops (parsnips, beets, carrots, etc.) and tubers (potatoes, peanuts, sweet potatoes, etc)?

  • Reply
    April 6, 2010 at 8:57 pm

    I did what you did in your glitch. We planted Easter Weekend.
    The whole garden. But we are warmer than you. Although this week we have been more like late June than spring. I put my beets out with carrots and tomatoes
    let me know when you get some beets I have a few beet recipes other than pickled. I LOVE BEETS!! Hope you feel better soon. I have been lurking around the last few months….I haven’t run off. 🙂

  • Reply
    April 6, 2010 at 7:24 pm

    You are so far ahead of us. Our garden isn’t even tilled yet and nothing is planted. But around here it is a little early to plant the gardens. At least that’s my excuse.

  • Reply
    April 6, 2010 at 6:02 pm

    I am so far behind it’s not funny! BUT, it will all come together. I have the faith!
    Sorry you’ve been sick. I hope your feeling better by now.

  • Reply
    Miss Cindy
    April 6, 2010 at 8:54 am

    I don’t have a garden but have planted a few asparagus plants in a bed I have. Actually let me correct that as say the Deer Hunter planted a few asparagus plants for me.
    May put a little spinach in the same bed.
    I will also have a few tomato plants in pots.
    I’m excited to see how your experiment goes. I’ve heard about planting by the signs all my life.

  • Reply
    Nancy Simpson
    April 5, 2010 at 9:46 pm

    Tipper I enjoyed your post on gardening by the signs very much. I am interested. You know I’m not really a planter with it comes to food crops. This year, I am not even going to be able to plant tomatoes and lettuce. But I’ll be following your experiment.

  • Reply
    April 5, 2010 at 7:17 pm

    My husband “surprised” me this past weekend and planted some root crops….on a day not listed as being in the right sign! GAH! So, now just hoping for the best! I am not an experienced beet grower, but I do LOVE them pickled. My Grannie used to can the best pickled beets.

  • Reply
    Vicki Lane
    April 5, 2010 at 5:55 pm

    Have to confess I’ve not planted a thing yet… but the ground is ready for the taters and my collards and kale from last year are staging a reappearance,

  • Reply
    April 5, 2010 at 5:12 pm

    You are up higher. Cooler weather. We went from cool/cold to warm and hot. I am slowly getting my plants out. The only thing I got into the ground when it was supposed to be in was potatoes. I have always been told to plant them in the dark of the moon. I made it. We’ll see if that makes a difference or if the fire ants are the biggest factor. This year I am trying to keep a journal. Good luck. Will be watching.

  • Reply
    trisha too
    April 5, 2010 at 3:43 pm

    Ummm, it’s not.
    Coming along, that is.
    Except in my mind . . .
    BUT the peonies I transplanted from my gran’s last year are coming up nicely, so that’s something!

  • Reply
    April 5, 2010 at 3:06 pm

    Sorry to hear you’ve been feeling under the weather! No planting here other than one foot in front of the other and once in awhile in my mouth! 🙂 Happy Easter week!

  • Reply
    Sheila Bergeron
    April 5, 2010 at 3:00 pm

    Hey there-just wanted to sy thanks for you posting the planting charts. We are having almost hot weather here nuff for going to the beach or the springs. Spring has been a long time coming down here and it’s good to dig and smell the earth. No better time.

  • Reply
    April 5, 2010 at 2:18 pm

    I don’t have a garden any more. When I did, I planted by the signs and I always had a good garden. I remember my parents and grandparents planting by the signs too. They never had a bad garden. Beets–don’t think they grow in our part of the country. Soil probably won’t support them. We grow turnips though.

  • Reply
    April 5, 2010 at 2:07 pm

    Sounds like you are really organized —and I’m sure everything will work out GREAT….
    Hope you feel better soon.

  • Reply
    petra michelle
    April 5, 2010 at 1:11 pm

    What an amazing gardening journey you’re on, Tipper! I wish you the best of success in savoring healthy, sumptuous veggies! :))

  • Reply
    April 5, 2010 at 10:56 am

    no planting for us, we are in the city and no land to plant on. daddy grew beets but all i remember is pulling them up and washing the dirt off to help mother prepare them for canning. i can just taste all these things you are planting. blessings on your planting no matter what day you plant on. how could you go wrong with 3 princesses to help you

  • Reply
    laoi gaul-williams
    April 5, 2010 at 9:53 am

    i have a collection of tomato seedlings, about 2-3 inches high. i have a bit of a dilemma this year as our pup flynt seems to enjoy tramping the flower beds and i am having a hard time convincing my swampy to grow veggies among the flowers in the back garden…perfect to use companion planting and i think it would win us the garden competition!

  • Reply
    Shane Moad
    April 5, 2010 at 7:53 am

    Tipper, I must try and find the suitable signs for down here in Australia. My vegie garden is not in yet, I am about a month late because I have been in the studio so much and just got lazy about it.
    Val and I will be in the States in October and are planning to go from where my kin came from down in Wilkes County NC, Rutherford County NC and Campbell County Ten. Our base will be in the Blue Ridge are of Virginia, a friend has a farm their and she is letting Val and I have the cabin that is on there. We cannot wait to feel the ground and take in the spells of the areas my people came from.
    Have a great day……….Shane

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