Planting By The Signs – Finally A Test That Worked

My fall garden is producing a bumper crop of radishes, greens, and turnips. Some of you may remember-I made sure to plant my seeds on the appropriate day-dictated by the zodiac signs.

Back in the summer I attempted a sign test and a few of you played along too. The corn test didn’t really work out-first, I was unorganized and waited too late in the season to start, second-many of us ran into things we couldn’t control-like mother nature and conniving chipmunks. The only corn test participants who made it to the end of the growing season were Martina, Nancy, WKF, and Helen.

As I was planting my fall garden-I took note that Pap and Granny planted theirs on the wrong day according to the signs.

This impromptu fall garden test seems to have worked. We planted the same turnip seeds (Pap shared his with me), I planted on the right day-they planted on the wrong day-but still within about a week of each other.

As you can see from the photo above-their garden looks pretty good too. But one thing is lacking in Pap’s garden…

Turnips! All he has is green tops-while I have pretty white turnips. So I’m declaring this test a win for the signs. Hopefully next spring some of you will play along with another sign test-I promise to be better organized.

I’ll leave you with a bit of good news for me-I made the front page of a local paper this week.



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  • Reply
    Betty Blankenship
    February 23, 2010 at 5:01 pm

    What a nice link . AND MUSIC TOO. I’m a Missouri hillbilly and we do bluegrass here . I play auto harp. I also am interested in planting by the moon.We built raised beds last year . I’m hoping to plant peas this year . Usually don’t get the ground ready early enough. If there is a chart on the signs I wish I had one Betty Blankenship

  • Reply
    November 18, 2009 at 7:15 pm

    This a good clean place!!
    Paps songs are “the best” I come
    here everyday and,just listen,watch,and RELAX !!!

  • Reply
    Carolyn A.
    November 12, 2009 at 10:10 pm

    Radishes don’t like my system, but that doesn’t stop me from eating them as I love the flavor they give. I use as many in salads as I can get away with without getting severe heartburn. 🙂 And I never met a turnip I didn’t like either. They are so sweet and pungent at the same time.
    Congratulations on the article Tipper. Thanks for sharing it with us. The picture of you was just perfect too. xxoo

  • Reply
    Miss Cindy
    November 7, 2009 at 10:39 am

    Tipper, WOW, what a great article in the paper and on the front page!! We, your community already know how great you are, it’s so nice to see you get some recognition for it.
    I can remember my dad made 14 Day Pickles when the signs were in the feet….and guess what they smelled like, feet!lol
    Those radishes look sooo good. I love radishes.

  • Reply
    November 6, 2009 at 8:57 pm

    I love turnips. We didn’t grow any this year, yours look really good! Now I’m going to go read your article.

  • Reply
    November 6, 2009 at 3:03 pm

    I’m back. Just a little more tired than usual, I am anxiously waiting for a full recovery. I guess Pap will be on time next year if he wants turnips. Those fresh veggies look really good. I think a big pot of Turnip greens, some pot liquor, and a pone of cornbread would do me a world of good. Congratulations on making the front page. You continue to amaze me. Pappy

  • Reply
    November 6, 2009 at 10:54 am

    I knew it! Our forefathers knew what they were talking about. There’s no doubt about it now.
    I’m so happy for you that you made the FRONT PAGE! Better things are coming, I’m sure of it.

  • Reply
    Farm Chick Paula
    November 6, 2009 at 10:29 am

    Enjoyed the article about so much, Tipper! I know somebody famous!
    Those greens look wonderful!

  • Reply
    November 6, 2009 at 7:39 am

    That’s a nice article. Congrats! Hopefully someday I will get mentioned in the newspaper and not be embarrassed to blog about it, ha ha!

  • Reply
    Nancy M.
    November 6, 2009 at 6:43 am

    I’m glad it worked out this time! You would have thought his turnips did awesome by looking at the tops, it’s hard to believe that he didn’t get any good turnips.

  • Reply
    Shane Moad
    November 6, 2009 at 2:06 am

    Glad to hear the crop turned out well by planting by signs. I must try it in our fall as the weather then will be a better planting time. Down here it gets up to 45 to 50 C (113 to 122 F) so veggies dont do to well in that extreme heat. However our winters are mild although we still have frosts so fall, winter and spring are our best growing months.
    By the way, the newspaper article was great and well deserved and I was happy to be that one Australian on your site remembering his ancestors Appalachian roots and enjoying all the effort you go to to share this great culture.
    have a great day,

  • Reply
    Sheila Bergeron
    November 6, 2009 at 12:56 am

    Well, I will be planting by the signs come spring. I read the article about you, it was good. My goodness, you are the tiniest little thing-cute as a button too. It finally got cold here we lit the fire tonight- and now I’m fussing about it being cold. Good night and God bless.

  • Reply
    November 5, 2009 at 11:56 pm

    Congratulations on your newpaper article.
    We have always planted by the moon phases. And fish that way too!
    Your veggies look great.

  • Reply
    November 5, 2009 at 8:56 pm

    I need to go back to planting more by the signs. It does work!
    I read the article. Congratulations!
    you have a great site.
    Keep up the good job.

  • Reply
    November 5, 2009 at 8:00 pm

    Nice to see that your test worked! I do plant my garden “by the signs”, but when I first moved here I had no idea about all of it. Learning as I go and I think it is so interesting.

  • Reply
    November 5, 2009 at 7:25 pm

    Turnips, my new favorite vegetable. Go to my blog to see how I fried them. Or check out my cousins blog, she put them in soup.
    Now I’m going to see your newpaper article. Gosh you are a busy girl!

  • Reply
    November 5, 2009 at 4:16 pm

    The news article is terrific! Congratulations! Next year I hope to do more gardening – especially more herbs out back by my kitchen door. Do you have any guidelines on that?

  • Reply
    Deborah Purdy
    November 5, 2009 at 3:48 pm

    What a treat to find your blog! Although I now live in eastern PA, my home is appalachian Va and my grandmothers were grannies. As a quilter (as were my grandmothers, greatgrandmothers, etc.) I found your blog through other quilting blogs.

  • Reply
    November 5, 2009 at 2:03 pm

    What a nice article about you and your blog. I certainly enjoy reading you each day, and have many memories similar to yours even though I’m in Arkansas.
    I had a grandmother that taught me most everything I know, and we definitely did things by the signs. We planted, weaned children, all sorts of things.
    Special congratulations on the turnips.

  • Reply
    Fishing Guy
    November 5, 2009 at 1:03 pm

    Tipper: Glad you got a nice bumper crop from the late planting. It was a fun test that you did.

  • Reply
    November 5, 2009 at 12:59 pm

    Congratulations Tipper! It was a very nice article and well deserved recognition.
    Count me in next year. I’m killing more lawn over the winter to expand the garden.

  • Reply
    November 5, 2009 at 11:57 am

    Tipper – What a great article! Good job! I wish I had planted a fall garden – we just ran out of time here, what with school, and work, and everything else this fall. Your turnips look very yummy! Thanks for the comments on my blog!

  • Reply
    November 5, 2009 at 10:47 am

    Hi Mary Jane and Congratulations! (It looks like I am one of the few who still call you this)
    Seeing you on the front page of the Sentinel made me proud for some reason. I just missed( By a couple of years) getting to have you in school but the connection is still there from having your girls, Paul, nieces and nephews cousins and the list goes on. We were all part of a big community family. Those were some of the best years of my life.
    Your articles always make me smile and remember similar happenings from my childhood and stories from my parents and grandparents. As for “planting by the signs”, my Dad always tried to get me to, but teaching full time and trying to farm on the side made time a scarcity. I had to plant my tomato and tobacco fields when the fields were dry and help was available. Some years crops were a lot better than others. My Dad would always give credit to the signs either way, but I always blamed the weather or just had good luck.

  • Reply
    November 5, 2009 at 10:46 am

    That was a great article Tipper, congratulations! I just got the 2010 Farmer’s Almanac and it has a section about planting by signs. This will be fun to try for next year’s vegetable garden.

  • Reply
    Julie at Elisharose
    November 5, 2009 at 10:19 am

    What a great article. I’m so proud of our little blogger gone big time. You do have a great topic and a fun family and we love reading all you have to say. Keep up the good work and enjoy that garden!

  • Reply
    November 5, 2009 at 9:53 am

    Hi Tipper, that’s a nice artical, congratulations. A small seed took root and is growing. I Needed to hear some good music while working this morning so I stopped by. Glad I did, I just found your esty site and bought the CD – I’ve been wanting some of that music to travel with, and now we have it!! Thanks so much for making it available.

  • Reply
    Matthew Burns
    November 5, 2009 at 9:30 am

    You made me smile with this post. I just thought, “Yep, more proof that planting by the signs works.” Just goes to show the old timey ways are usually the best ways.
    Also, congrats on the newspaper article, it is wonderful. You deserve every bit of recognition that you get. This blog is great, of course you already know that. You have every reason to be proud. This blog adds a considerable amount of information in the documentation of real Appalachian culture and life. I know of no other blog that consistently does this. So congratulations, Tipper, I’m happy for you.
    PS…hope the planting by the signs test works next year, the old folks here are already saying it’s going to be hot and dry next year, and that ain’t nothing going to grow so we’d better be laying back our food this year, cause there aint going to be none next year. One old feller back home told me next year is “going to be dryer than a popcorn fart.”lol. All I could think, now that is dry!!!lol.
    I wish my Granny was still with us to tell me what she thought, I’d believe her if she told me what the weather is going to be like next year. I suppose I’ll have to get by with recalling a saying she used to say, “Time will tell”.
    Take care,

  • Reply
    November 5, 2009 at 9:15 am

    What a great article! Congratulations! And way to go on the garden.

  • Reply
    November 5, 2009 at 8:54 am

    Congratulations, Tipper!! I read the newspaper article and enjoyed so much your story about how your blog came to be!! I am so proud to be one of those followers! I do believe in planting by the signs. My Mama and Daddy always planted our garden by the signs, and we had wonderful harvests! Thanks for sharing your life. It’s a joy to read about.

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