Appalachia Gardening

Planting By The Signs for April 2015

Planting by the Signs April 2015

I started trying to plant by the signs about 8 years ago. Pap and Granny always grew a garden when I was growing up, but they never tried to plant by the signs.

It wasn’t that they didn’t believe in the signs. Pap was just 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 trying 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 well that year.

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, 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 on my monthly planting calendar.

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

  • Taurus: good for all root crops and above ground crops
  • Cancer: best for planting above ground and root crops
  • Scorpio: best for flowers and above ground crops
  • Pisces: Good for planting and transplanting above ground crops, trees and shrubbery

If you plant by the signs-please tell us about it!



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  • Reply
    Jaime Booher
    April 7, 2015 at 12:14 am

    Plant your corn in Virgo 😀

  • Reply
    April 2, 2015 at 7:37 pm

    I live in Princton, Tx and live this websute. I enjoy learning about the people, recipies, Tales and especially the gospel, folk and Bluegrass music. Oh yea, we always plant our little garden on “GOOD FRIDAY”. Usually does well. Keep the information flowing, I love it.

  • Reply
    Tim Mclemore
    April 1, 2015 at 8:56 pm

    My Mamaw who lived beside us always planted by the signs, and I think Daddy let her lead and he followed because I never seen an almanc in our house but Mamaw had one every year..

  • Reply
    Ed Ammons
    April 1, 2015 at 6:44 pm

    I have never paid much attention to the signs but my mother and grandmother sure did. Grammaw always had one of those almanac calendar with the zodiac sign and the moon phases. It even had the temperature and how good the fishing would be. Grammaw used the signs for everything from canning to krauting to hog killing.
    Mommy wasn’t in to the signs as much as Grammaw but she would consult the calendar whenever she could.

  • Reply
    April 1, 2015 at 11:30 am

    I like to plant by the Signs too,
    (Zodiac). My daddy always planted
    by the signs of the Moon, like
    taters before dark nights. We
    always had a good crop of taters,
    maybe that’s why I love ’em so
    much anyway they’re fixed.
    This year I’m slowing down when it comes to a garden. I use to
    love to plant everything I could
    get my hands on…Ken

  • Reply
    April 1, 2015 at 10:08 am

    I enjoy reading about your planting methods. Wish I had the ability and land to follow what you do. I will be planting some special squash – I believe they are late blooming ones – in a couple of weeks. I enjoy your successes as well as your bloopers.

  • Reply
    April 1, 2015 at 9:30 am

    My mom always planted by the signs. I never have. She didn’t call them Cancer, Scorpio and etc, she knew planting signs by the body parts. She also cut hair, set chickens, canned and many other things by the light and dark of the moon. A book I’m reading, “They Say In Harlan County”, tells stories about old-timers slaughtering their hogs when the moon was high so the meat would weigh more when taken to the market.
    Both my daughters work with criminals, addicts and the mentally ill. They dread the full moon. It’s a trend they have watched for years as they get called out for an emergency in the middle of the night. The moon should be given credit for a lot of other things as well, like best fishing days and falling in love.

  • Reply
    Miss Cindy
    April 1, 2015 at 9:20 am

    Tip, I don’t plant a garden so I don’t follow the signs there but I do follow the sings when I pickle anything.
    You know those wonderful 14 day Pickles that we make. The recipe came from my grandmother, to my father, to me. Once my dad set his crock up when the signs were in the feet and guess what happened…..his finished product smelled like stinky feet and couldn’t be eaten. So, I stick to the head and the heart for pickling.

  • Reply
    b. Ruth
    April 1, 2015 at 7:27 am

    I just lost my whole comment about our way of planting by the phenology/biological signs and the astrological signs (Farmers Almanac)….
    That said, here it is in a nutshell…
    Make sure the ground is deep dry, warm and workable with the toes. (NOT HOES)
    Make sure the trees, especially the hardwoods like the white and red Oaks are leafed out to the size of mouse’s ears…(NOT MICKEYS) and
    Most importantly…Make sure there is a “MOON”…for if there is NO MOON you will be (totally) wasting your time!
    Since the “ebb and flow has done gone and went”!
    “APRIL FOOLS”!!! ….LOL

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