Time to plant is right around the corner


BUCKHANNON — For years, many have relied on the accuracy and advice provided by The Farmer’s Almanac. Advice from the Almanac includes weather forecasts, full moon dates and times, best days for fishing and many home remedies and tips for gardening.

The Farmer’s Almanac provides a planting calendar which relies on data from the nearest weather station, as well as data collected from over the years. The planting calendar lists frost dates, moon dates, and dates for starting seedlings or transplanting. Frost dates are based on averages in each area and the Almanac recommends paying attention to local forecasts in addition to the reported averages. Moon dates are based on both the frost data in each area and moon phases. As stated The Farmer’s Almanac, “Planting by the moon is considered a more traditional technique.” Seedling and transplanting dates refer to seedlings that have been started indoors or plants purchased from a nursery.

The Almanac advises that seedlings should be started approximately six to eight weeks before the last spring frost. Some of the vegetables that are considered tender and are susceptible to cold temperatures should be started as seedlings. According to the Almanac, these include tomatoes, peppers, and eggplant, as well as crops with a long growing season, like broccoli, cauliflower and Brussels sprouts. Furthermore, the Almanac recommends that because root vegetables, such as corn, carrots and radishes, take very well to the soil, it would be inadvisable to disturb them after planting. It is noted that the soil does need to be warm to have a good crop. If there has been a seedling started and it has grown out of the starter tray but is still too cold to plant outdoors, it is recommended to transplant them to a larger pot until weather conditions allow transplantation to outdoors. However, remember do not perform this with root vegetables as disturbing the root system can damage the plant.

Planting by the moon, as noted above, is a traditional technique for both above and below ground crops. The Almanac advises to plant annual flowers and vegetables that bear crops above ground during the light, or waxing, of the moon. In other words, plant from the day the moon is new until the day it is full. Plant flowering bulbs, biennial and perennial flowers, and vegetables that bear crops below ground during the dark, or waning, of the moon. In other words, plant from the day after the moon is full until the day before it is new again.

For Buckhannon, the Almanac lists Tuesday, May 10 as the last Spring Frost Day. Now is the perfect time to start any seedlings indoors so they will be hearty and ready to plant after the last frost.

The Almanac also has listed some long-range weather forecast predictions for the Buckhannon area. Thursday, March 17 through Saturday, March 19 shows a prediction of sunny and cool weather. Sunday, March 20 through Monday, March 28 shows a prediction of rainy and mild weather. Tuesday, March 29 through Thursday, March 31 shows a prediction of a rain to snow mixture. While everyone is ready for spring and warm, sunny days, we may have to endure another snow, like the one that occurred on Friday, before the harvest happy days can begin.

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