Appalachia Gardening Planting By The Moon Signs

Summer In The Mail Box

planting a garden
It was Thursday before any us decided to hike out to get the mail-and it wasn’t me who decided to go. But once the snowy trip had been made-I gladly received the bounty of summer that was found in the mailbox-my garden seeds.

The kind folks over at Hometown Seeds are sponsoring the Blind Pig garden again this year-in addition to round 3 of the Blind Pig & The Acorn Sign Test. If you’ve never heard of the seed company-let me tell you a little about them.

Hometown Seeds specializes in providing quality seeds to home gardeners. They offer vegetable, flower and herb seeds-and guarantee their seeds to be top notch quality, true to type, shipped right, and to be great producers. Hometown Seeds does not sell GMO-genetically engineered seeds-to their customers as they do not believe enough research has been done on the subject.

snowy garden
So even though my garden-and Pap’s big garden are covered with snow-and Mother Nature has even adorned the bean poles with massive snow balls-I’m thinking of warm soft dirt-of sunshine on the back of my neck, of small green heads poking through the earth to reach upward. And of course I’m thinking about planting by the signs.

Last summer was the first year I managed to plant my entire garden by the zodiac signs-and it was the absolute best producing garden I’ve ever had. For the last 2 years I’ve asked Blind Pig readers to play along with a planting by the signs test. Due to the generosity of Hometown Seeds-I’ll once again be asking readers to plant along with me this year.

In addition to the sign test, I’m excited about:

  • Finding out if my heirloom tomato seeds stay true to form
  • Trying Hamson Tomatoes for the first time
  • Trying once again to grow watermelons-so far the only one I managed to grow-was a volunteer, this year I hope to try a method one of Pap’s good friends used
  • I’m crazy about radishes, I’ve never even seen a white one but this year I’m going to try to grow them-Hailstone Radishes

I was thoroughly pleased with the seed quality and customer service of Hometown Seeds last year. If you haven’t picked up your seeds for the coming summer-jump over to Hometown Seeds and look around-I think you’ll be glad you did. I found their Survival Seeds Packet especially interesting. And if you let Hometown Seeds know you’re a Blind Pig & The Acorn reader-they’ll give you 10% off your entire order. Just use the word acorn for the coupon code as you’re checking out and the 10% discount will be applied. Even better you can use the code multiple times if you need too-and the discount lasts through March 2011.

Hope you’ll leave me a comment and tell me what your gardening plans are for 2011.



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  • Reply
    January 23, 2011 at 9:47 pm

    I wish I had some kind of luck with growing things. I will have to try again!

  • Reply
    January 18, 2011 at 8:56 am

    You know I’ll be playing along. Especially with cucumbers. I love them!!
    I’m moving most of my garden this year. Instead of having one large garden I’ll be having several smaller ones for different reasons. I sure hope it works out, cause I’ve been thoroughly discouraged for the last two years with my garden.
    I got two watermelons last year. More grew but critters got to them before I could. I even put up a chicken wire fence around it. I’m working on coming up with a better plan for this year for the melons.

  • Reply
    January 17, 2011 at 5:12 pm

    What fun for the growing season ahead eh? I’ve already begun this year’s efforts and armed with a bran new almanac. I’m hoping to be able to keep up better with dates this year. We’ll see.

  • Reply
    January 17, 2011 at 8:00 am

    Tipper, I’d be willing to try along with you this year. Hunter loves cucumbers but I never plant them (shame on me know)

  • Reply
    January 17, 2011 at 12:12 am

    What a wonderful website! I stumbled on you when I was doing a search on how to keep our spring water from freezing. We have the black pipe, gravity fed, spring back here in a holler in Tenn. where we live, and it freezes up in the winter, although we do have a 1,000 gal. tank so we have reserves. It can be frustrating, though, if the freezing breaks apart the pipe and we have to walk the line up to the cave on the ridge from which our water comes, to see where it broke. It is GOOD WATER, though, and we wouldn’t have it any other way. We moved here from a city when we retired 6 years ago and we love the simplicity of this lifestyle. Your entry today makes me anxious to get out there and start planting my garden!

  • Reply
    Fishing Guy
    January 16, 2011 at 7:11 pm

    Tipper: Seeds are a good way to get through the winter. We have had 6 foot of snow this year so far. Our average is 5 foot so this is a snowy winter. I wish you a great summer season.

  • Reply
    B. Ruth
    January 16, 2011 at 4:27 pm

    Hey Tipper,
    The sun shining today and the drip of the icicles makes you hope and ponder spring….I usually have little crocus poking their green stems up as well as daffodils…even though it’s about three or four weeks until the crocus bloom..mine are in a sunny area..The birds made a few more whistles and chirps at the tree feeder today..I think they are ready for a false spring thaw…
    I might try those Hamson tomatoes, if they do well in zone 7..Can’t wait for garden cucumbers, spring onions, and fresh tomatoes..paid nearly 1.50 for one of those English Cukes for a salad this week, but worth it..So good! I must order that calender too…Hope you sell a zillion of them!
    Thanks Tipper,

  • Reply
    kenneth o. hoffman
    January 16, 2011 at 12:45 pm

    Tipper:our town had a gardener straight from the Smokeys ,by the handle of long john wilson. he had the best gardens i have ever seen . he used the almanac , and several things he planted by the light of the moon. the rest of the year he was drunk. i dont know if that had anything to do with it .blessings k.o.h

  • Reply
    January 15, 2011 at 10:44 pm

    Tipper I’d love to participate this year. Cucumbers are one of my favorites. Hoping to plant kale, purple hull peas, potatoes, okra, squash and tomatoes.

  • Reply
    Vicki Lane
    January 15, 2011 at 9:23 pm

    My garden is covered with a generous topping of ‘poor man’s fertilize'(snow) and I’m thumbing through seed catalogs…

  • Reply
    Judith Alef
    January 15, 2011 at 5:55 pm

    Hey there Tipper! I ordered your calendar for the shear pleasure of looking at the pictures. I grew dynamite veggies for years and then I moved to Oregon where the sun doesn’t shine and crop cover is moss! I try my best but it’s a crap shoot. Last season the slugs were so ferocious anything green was at risk. This year I’m using hazelnut shells as mulch; it frustrates the dickens out of the squirrels but keeps slugs at bay. The other problem of course is cold wet soil. I’ve got 2′ raised beds and still too cold so I’ll bite the budget and make cloches again. I wanted to support my local farmers markets of which we have dozens but at $2.50 for 5 stalks in a bunch, it would take $20 to make a mess of greens; and beets avg. $1.25 a beet. So it’s back to building higher plots and drip irrigation which w/ me means punch holes in an old garden hose.

  • Reply
    Pat in east TN
    January 15, 2011 at 5:10 pm

    I planted by the signs last year and even with adverse weather conditions, I had a bumper crop with everything. I am anxious to start this year and am looking over notes I kept from last year and looking through seed catalogs for ideas for something new to add this year.

  • Reply
    January 15, 2011 at 4:36 pm

    Just another comment on Jim Casada’s puzzle: What won’t a pig
    eat? A cucumber and Polk Salad
    We use to have Poland China, Durock, Hampshire, OIC ( Ohio Improved Chester ) etc., and I had
    to take care of them alot when I
    was a mid-teenager and those things would not eat a cucumber.
    Snow’s a melting! …Ken…

  • Reply
    January 15, 2011 at 3:11 pm

    I hope to actually eat more out of my garden this year. We grew some really weird long and white cucumbers last year – they were good, but not what I expected. I also didn’t have a good tomato crop, and really wanted to have tomatoes for canning this past year. Those are my big plans… cukes and maters. I am sure I’ll plant lots of basil and some beans too, maybe one or two bell pepper plants… we’ll see what else after I look at the Hometown seeds site – something will catch my fancy! 🙂

  • Reply
    January 15, 2011 at 3:04 pm

    always was told a pig wouldn’t eat parsnips(can’t blame him) dont know about any other,&tipper i really enjoy your site, takes me back to the good ole days,susie.

  • Reply
    Miss Cindy
    January 15, 2011 at 1:50 pm

    Tipper, you know all my gardening is done vicariously through you and the Deer Hunter. Your gardens are getting better with every year that passes. Your tomatoes last year were outstanding!
    Does Hometown have corn seeds. I think corn is the hardest seeds to find that are not genetically altered. Almost everything you buy in the grocery store has corn or corn syrup in it and it is all genetically altered. Hometown is correct, there has not been any long term studies on the outcome of genetically altered food.
    Couldn’t the Deer Hunter help Don with his garden problems?lol

  • Reply
    Garland Davis
    January 15, 2011 at 1:41 pm

    Tipper, I have cucumbers, green beans and tomato plants growing in containers. I am getting my garden ready to replant them in about ten days. I don’t think we’ll have a frost. I am also planting okra today. Last years plants died. They weren’t watered during my trip.

  • Reply
    January 15, 2011 at 12:32 pm

    I think the answer to J Casada’s Q is a lemon. Probably most any citrus peel.

  • Reply
    January 15, 2011 at 11:56 am

    Tipper, I’m not able to do a real garden, I fall down a lot.
    But I do a upside down one. Tomatoes, eggplant and zucchini.
    I am forced to put the plants out later, as the ambient temps are lower than the soil temps.
    I’ll keep you posted on it come spring.

  • Reply
    Jim Casada
    January 15, 2011 at 11:48 am

    Tipper–I’d like to participate in your test of planting by the signs, and with it I’ll ask your readers a question I occasionally offer when doing public speaking. I usually offer one of my books to anyone who gets it right, but in this case I won’t do that for the simple reason I expect not one but several Blind Pig readers to know the answer. Those who do will make an immediate connection. Here’s the question. There’s one thing a pig, the ultimate omnivore, won’t eat. What is it? Hint–the answer ain’t bacon:)
    As for gardening, if I can just figure out how to deal with deer in a meaningful way I’ll have things licked. The Bryson City garden was fine, as you saw and even savored a bit (did you save any ground cherry seeds or did you eat ’em all?), but the deer wreaked sheer havoc with my Rock Hill garden. Short of a 10-foot fence I’ve pretty well exhausted my options with them.
    I’ll certainly give Hometown Seeds a try, and since it is seed-rdering time I’ll do it in the next few days. Of course if you don’t stop recommending fine gadgets like the walnut cracker and an impressive array of seeds, I’ll soon be broke.
    Jim Casada
    P. S. My blogs are taking a long time to reach me (yesterday’s some 24 hours, arriving after 9 this morning; today’s more than four hours). Any idea of what the problem is?

  • Reply
    January 15, 2011 at 11:32 am

    Gosh those are pretty snow pictures. You got more snow than I
    have now, ours has evaporated a lot. Glad to see those seed packets, maybe I’ll participate
    this year.
    The snowy picture of the green bean poles remind me of how thankful I am that your dad told me to add more poles when he saw
    mine. He told me there would be a
    tremendous strain on the line
    later as they grew and boy was he
    right. I’m a good listener…Ken

  • Reply
    January 15, 2011 at 11:26 am

    I am glad for you sweet Summer reminder amist this Winter weather. I am excited to hear how planing by the zodiac works out for you this year, and Johnny Be Good is a great song! Tell the girls Emaber and I say hello.
    Take care,

  • Reply
    January 15, 2011 at 11:22 am

    lots of work and lots of fun and lots of good eating in the summer time. I love watermelons and cucumbers and tomatos yUUUUMM

  • Reply
    January 15, 2011 at 10:57 am

    This time of year is when I start itching to dig in the soil as well. Way to early, but yes, we can start planning. The one different seed that I’ve decided I’m going to try this year is Rainbow Carrots. Interesting and fun.
    I’m not going to participate in your test this year, just because my test was such a failure last year, but I will be following along with you progress.

  • Reply
    Julie at Elisharose
    January 15, 2011 at 10:32 am

    I’m thinking of pulling out the shrubs that have occupied one of the only sunny spots in my yard for the past decade and planting something edible.
    BTW, I still have tomatoes on the vine from the fall. We have had a mostly mild winter here.

  • Reply
    Just Jackie
    January 15, 2011 at 9:57 am

    My garden has GOT to be better than last years. The only decent crop I got was basil. Caterpillars got my tomatoes. I would love to grow enough little cukes to make pickles. I love bread and butter pickles. Good thing I don’t have to depend on my growing abilities to survive. I would not make it. LOL

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