Celebrating Appalachia Videos Gardening

Planting by the Signs in Brasstown

I’m getting so excited about this year’s garden. So many things I want to try to do differently and other things I hope work as good as last year.

For the last ten years or so we’ve tried to plant by the signs. It’s a subject that often comes up in Appalachian gardening circles.

In my latest video I talk about the tradition of planting by the signs and share the method that we use.

I hope you enjoyed the video!

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  • Reply
    March 10, 2021 at 11:42 am

    I became interested in the Signs after setting a gate post that never firmed up. I read about the Signs in Foxfire and following them helped my gardening and other tasks be more successful. I convinced my neighbor about following the Signs for gardening, but her husband laughs at us.

  • Reply
    Karen Brown
    March 6, 2021 at 10:40 pm

    My daddy always follows the signs for gardening. He also followed the waxing and waning of the moon. He and my mother always knew the signs prior to making kraut or anything fermented. Actually my sister and I were just discussing this the other day and talking about the planting calendars. Even though we moved from eastern Kentucky when I was 8 years old my daddy and mommy never left the “old” ways and raised their children in those ways. Actually I think I have more of Appalachia in me than many of my cousins that never left the region.

  • Reply
    Ron Stephens
    March 5, 2021 at 5:28 pm

    My Grandma always had one of those planting calendars. I believe she used it to but she never made much of a point of it, maybe just mention in passing about the signs. I wish I could remember. She always had a Farmer’s Almanac to. And she grew a big garden to every year, a big garden for a little bitty woman but she was tough as nails.

    I have the time now that I could use the signs if I would buckle down to it. Been turning the garden with a potato fork and have already raised a crop; of blisters, backache and sunburn!

    I remember the expression ‘a hard row to hoe’ meaning somebody had gotten themselves into a difficult place. I don’t have any real hard rows in my garden. I’ve farmed some rocks but they have all been small and the trees keep getting their roots in. Pulled out one about 6 feet long today.

  • Reply
    March 5, 2021 at 9:42 am

    I mostly use the signs for kraut making. I keep telling my hairdresser I need to watch the signs for my haircuts, because my hair grows way too fast. Our people in Appalachia are known for being in tune with nature, so planting by the signs has always been a big part of our history. I don’t know exactly how it works, but it does.

  • Reply
    March 5, 2021 at 9:29 am

    Mother and her parents believed in planting by the signs. My daddy didn’t, he said when the ground was dry and warm enough to plant that was the only sign he needed. His argument was the big farmers didn’t go by signs when they had hundred’s of acres to plant. He and mama would argue with one another each year. They would not be mad at each other when they argued like this.

    I remember one year Mama wanted to plant some Indian corn , the corn that has different colored kernels. Daddy told her she couldn’t plant it beside their sweet corn, it would cross pollinate. She didn’t believe him, so he told her he would show her and planted it by the sweet corn. The Silver Queen had some colored kernels in it that year. Daddy sure enjoyed teasing Mama about the corn that year.

  • Reply
    March 5, 2021 at 9:09 am

    My parents planted and did everything by the signs but I wasn’t listening when they talked about it. I did write down several things you said in the video and will try to follow them if the weather will cooperate.

  • Reply
    Margie G
    March 5, 2021 at 9:07 am

    There must be something to planting by the signs because your garden is so fruitful and yielding. One would really have to buckle down and study to understand it all and it may take years. I think when the Lord moves me, that will be my sign because it happens less and less as I age…. lol. God bless you, Tipper and family of BP&A readers!

  • Reply
    Patricia Price
    March 5, 2021 at 8:24 am

    My mother and my grandmother planted by the signs. I remember my mother swore that her potatoes did not do well at all one year because she did NOT plant them by the signs. I don’t do nearly as much gardening as they did, but now I am wondering if low yield some years is because I didn’t follow the signs… I have the Foxfire set volumes 1-3 from 1976. They would do me more good if I took them down off the bookshelf and read them, don’t you reckon?

  • Reply
    March 5, 2021 at 8:20 am

    I’m not sure if I’ll ever have the wherewithal to be able to plant by the signs, especially since its not easy to follow up here. However, I do go by moon phase!

    • Reply
      Larry Paul Eddings
      March 6, 2021 at 1:10 pm

      One of my great uncles was the best gardener that I’ve ever known. He always planted by the signs.

  • Reply
    Miss Cindy
    March 5, 2021 at 7:54 am

    That’s Pap in the picture, isn’t it…I miss him too! H’s tilling the big garden, getting ready to plant, it must be spring!

  • Reply
    March 5, 2021 at 6:59 am

    Thank you for revisiting this topic. I always get confused about planting using the signs.
    An old nieghbor from my past always said he planted by the signs, ” the sign he had the money for seed and the time”..
    I’m going try it again this year after watching your YouTube video.

  • Reply
    Ray Presley
    March 5, 2021 at 6:45 am

    Enjoyed Tippers comments re planting by the signs. I believe that we’re all a lot better off by being more in touch with nature. Logic and theory only go so far, the “tried and true” methods being much better. And I also enjoyed the article, “Hoeing Corn.” I remember that all the rows looked so long, and lugging a bucket of water to the fields was often more work than hoeing itself. Hoeing corn gave a real. special meaning to “a long row to hoe,” often referring to a hard task.

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