Did you get your potatoes planted by Good Friday? Last week several customers came into the store looking for seed potatoes to plant by Good Friday. The Easter holidays did fall early this year and the ground was certainly too frozen and now covered by snow to plant anything, but it did get me thinking about gardening folklore. People often visit the garden center wondering if the information passed down to them from generations or found on pintrest and other corners of the internet is useful or not.
The Farmer’s Almanac has great information on the Good Friday potato lore. Generations have used Good Friday as the right time to plant crops like potatoes and cool season veggies. According to the folklore, plants grow better and bear more fruit when planted on Good Friday. This appears to have started in the 1600s when potatoes were just arriving in Europe and people were concerned the tubers might be evil, all those eyes and all. In order to protect themselves from the evil of potatoes they began planting them on Good Friday often after sprinkling the soil with Holy Water. I am guessing results varied.
Other garden folklore you may have heard…
- Plant peas when the daffodils bloom.
- Plant corn when the oak leaves are the size of squirrel’s ear.
- Apply pre-emergent crabgrass control when the forsythia is blooming.
- Corn should be knee high by the 4th of July.
Considering Good Friday can fall early as late March or late as the second half of April you are almost certain to encounter spring-like planting weather. Early years like this, well you know how that goes. Folklore aside, mid-April is a reasonable time to expect to plant potatoes and other crops like beets, broccoli, cabbage, carrots and brussels sprouts, but you can certainly wait until May and still have a successful crop. Sargent’s has seed potatoes and garden seeds available in the Garden Center with more plants arriving now through the end of month. Stop in or call ahead to make sure we have what you are looking for.