Southern Planting and Old Wives’ Lore

Submitted by Christi


March 2nd – only 18 more days until Spring!

I was going to start planting seeds inside last week and got really sidetracked. I’m going to give it another try today. Buying plants and setting them out and watching them grow is certainly gratifying but nothing compares to watching something beautiful grow from planting a seed. I admit, I tend to get impatient for those first shoots of green to sprout but once they do it is nothing less than miraculous.

The moon is waxing so that also is a good time to get this done. My Grandmother and Grandaddy always had a large kitchen garden. I remember so many times Grandmother looking at the sky and telling what the weather was going to do or whether or not it was a good time for planting. More often, than not, she was right. They call that “Old Wives’ Tales” or “Old Wives’ Lore.” I love finding books about weather lore or gardening lore. So much of what is contained has been found to have a scientific basis. So glad that scientists have found that they knew what they were talking about all along.

This is from one of my books Old Wives’ Lore for Gardeners by Maureen and Bridget Boland:


Consider the Moon

Every Old Wife will tell you to sow seed and to transplant only with a waxing, never a waning moon. The scientists have now caught up with this, discovering the effects of lunar rhythms on the earth’s magnetic field which in turn effect growth. They have established that all water everywhere, including that inside the tiniest living organism, moves in tides like the sea. The moon also effects the earth’s atmosphere so that statistically it is more likely to rain heavily (just as you would like immediately after planting) immediately after a full or a new moon. They say that a potato grown at constant levels of heat and light under laboratory conditionsl will still show a growth rythm that reflects the lunar pattern. The Old Wife, without laboratory conditions or statistical tables, learned from experience how bst to get her plants off to a good start.

Sow seed generously:

One for the rook, one for the crow,
One to die and one to grow.

P. S. Happy Birthday to my beautiful niece Taylor.

Today’s Lagniappe: Hot Chicken Salad
I need to meet with several people next week. Rather than going out for lunch as we usually would do, I’m having them over and making a batch of this hot chicken salad that I will divide up and freeze so I can pull it out and have it ready for “meeting days.” I’ll sprinkle on the cheese and chips just before baking.

1 c. mayonnaise (not salad dressing)
2 tsp. lemon juice
2 tsp. grated onion
1/2 tsp. salt
2 1/2 c. cooked, diced chicken
1 c. chopped celery
1 c. chopped pecans
1/2 c. grated sharp cheese
1 c. crushed potato chips

Blend mayonnaise with next 3 ingredients. Mix lightly with chicken, celery and nuts. Spoon into casserole. Sprinkle cheese, then chips on top. Bake at 400 degrees for 15 minutes or until piping hot.

Southern Garden

Submitted by Christi



The time to plant seeds indoors to get a jump on the season will be here before you know it. Many seeds should be planted 4-8 weeks before the last frost inside and then transplanted outside when danger of frost has passed. If you don’t know your last frost date, check your state’s extension service. You may have to search around a little bit, depending on your state.

I also like to plant according to moon phases. You can check the moon phases here or check planting dates with the Farmer’s Almanac here. My grandmother was good about telling the weather by looking at the sky or the trees or the sun. She grew up on a farm and they didn’t have the methods we have now. I learned that she was usually right and it gives me a sense of peace to watch nature to see what it is trying to tell us.

Anyway, if you plan to plant anything from seed the time to order is now, if you haven’t already. If you haven’t ever grown anything from seed, try it. It is very special to put a seed in soil and watch it sprout into a full grown plant and then  into something that actually bears fruit. It happens in gardens and fields all over the world every year, but to me it is always a miracle.

Gardening can really be a great source of therapy. Watching the cycles of nature. Nurturing plants and seeing them grow. It’s downright addictive.

Today’s Lagniappe: A Pepper Tidbit

Peppers with 3 bumps on the bottom are sweeter and better for eating.Peppers with 4 bumps on the bottom are firmer and better for cooking.  Add a teaspoon of water when frying ground beef.  It will help pull the grease away from the meat while cooking.

Southern Predictions for 2009

Submitted by Christi

Okay, I’m no psychic but I’ll take a stab at making some educated guesses about 2009. From what I understand, the economy will start to recover in the 3rd quarter of 2009. In the meantime, I think people will really get back to basics.

I think Southerners have a great advantage here. It means entertaining friends at home instead of going to restaurants and the movies. It means growing a garden full of beautiful vegetables and herbs and, of course, some flowers for beauty. We have long growing seasons in the South for all our gardens. I may even learn to make my own wine. I have friends who do this and my nephew is a master at it. I think the internet will allow more people to connect with old friends and to make new ones. I think it means we will learn to appreciate what we have instead of longing for what we don’t have. I think that Southerners will live with as much grace as we always have in hard times and when times get better, we will be better for it.