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Potatoes..plant by the signs?

Posted by hobbiest (My Page) on
Thu, May 3, 12 at 20:01

Was at the co-op today. Was looking for some potatoes to plant since this is my first year of trying them. Bought a few Kennebec ( Blue Goose ) spuds to put in the ground. The guy there said that to get the best harvest possible, plants would produce more if planted by the signs. He said that May 5,6,& 7 was an ideal time according to his calender. There were many other dates of course but the closest ones were what he told me. Any of you believe in such a thing? I have heard of this but never really payed attention to such stuff. Just stuck my seeds in the ground, watered them and was on my merry way.

Any thoughts?


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Potatoes..plant by the signs?

Believe in it? No. Superstitions and old wives tales perpetuated by myths.

Depending on where you live, your gardening zone, the proper planting times are determined by the soil temperatures in your garden. In my zone potatoes are planted in early March as soon as the soil can be worked.

Dave


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RE: Potatoes..plant by the signs?

No, its superstition and mumbo-jumbo.

The only signs you should be watching for are the practical ones, like temperature, rainfall, etc.


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RE: Potatoes..plant by the signs?

I don't follow it, but doesn't The Farmers Almanac plant by the moon fazes? Many people follow that line of thinking/planning. Nancy


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RE: Potatoes..plant by the signs?

Is it a wives tale, probably not but gardening by the moon is more empirical than scientific.
No one seem to know why menstrual cycles seem to follow moon cycles also.

Read this for what is supposed to work.

http://www.gardeningbythemoon.com/signs.html

I guarantee you if you put a modern gardner who deliberately ignores moon cycles against an old farmer who seriously follows them, the farmer will make the other gent look a bit silly.


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RE: Potatoes..plant by the signs?

Well yeah, one is a hobbyist the other is a learned professional.

If you put a modern gardener that follows moon cycles religiously up against an old farmer that ignores them completely the old farmer would still trounce the youngster.


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RE: Potatoes..plant by the signs?

Planting by the moon relates to the gravity pull and the amount of moisture in the ground to pop open the seed for germination.

No wives tale...fact. But who's counting? just plant!


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RE: Potatoes..plant by the signs?

No, just no.

The moon is at essentially a fixed distance from the Earth at all times. When someone says "by the moon" they are referring to phases of the moon. Phases of the moon are nothing more than the moon's day/night cycle.

Gravity is caused by mass. The amount of light falling onto the surface of the moon that just coincidentally happens to be facing us does not magically create more mass, so it's gravity is unchanged.

Even so, the gravitational effects of the moon are so incredibly small that they have virtually no effect on anything short of a planetary scale.

Planting by the moon, either by the phase of the moon or it's position in the sky is superstition.


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RE: Potatoes..plant by the signs?

  • Posted by RpR_ 3-4 (My Page) on
    Fri, May 4, 12 at 14:47

Hmm, really?
Incredibly small?

---"What causes tides?
Tide-generating forces (TGF) are a result of the gravitational attraction between the earth, the sun, and the moon and the centrifugal force due to the relative motions of the moon around the earth, and the earth around the sun. While these forces exactly balance on average, the local mismatch at the earth's surface creates a horizontal force directed towards the surface points closest and farthest from the moon (the "lunar" TGF) and the sun (the "solar" TGF).
The crust of the earth is slightly elastic, so that it is deformed by the TGFs, creating lunar and solar tidal budges (high land) at the points closest and furthest from the moon and sun respectively. To an observer fixed on the earth's surface, these tidal budges move from east to west around the earth as it rotates each day, thus causing two luner and two solar high earth tides about each day. The period of the solar tide is exactly 12.00 hours, while the period of the lunar tide is slightly longer, 12.42 hours, due to the moon's revolution around the earth every 27 days. These tides are called the "semidiurnal" tides since they have periods of roughly 1/2 day. The inclination of the earth's spin axis to the plane of the moon's revolution about the earth and the earth's revolution about the sun creates in addition weaker "diurnal" tides with periods of roughly 1 day. The amplitude of the semidiurnal lunar high earth tide is about 1 m at the equator, about twice that of the solar tide. We do not feel these earth tides due to their very large horizontal scales (many 1000's km).

The fluid ocean also experiences the TGFs. Unlike the simple tidal budges created in the earth's crust, ocean tides have complex spatial patterns due to the complicated shapes and topographies of the different ocean basins. In general, however, ocean tides at any spot consist of a mixture of semidiurnal and diurnal tides. The world's largest semidiurnal tides exist in the Bay of Fundy (maximum high tide ~12-15 m), where the Bay of Fundy/Gulf of Maine acts as a coupled hydrodynamic system which is forced near its own resonant frequency by the semidiurnal tide in the western North Atlantic Ocean. Similar very high tides are found in other coastal areas (e.g., the Amazon and the Patagonia shelves) where the regional topography creates a near-resonant response to the adjacent deep ocean tide."---

Another article:

---" The moon and the sun combine to create tides in Earth's oceans (in fact the gravitational effect is so strong that our planet's crust is stretched daily by these same tidal effects).
But tides are large-scale events. They occur because of the difference in gravitational effect on one side of an object (like Earth) compared to the other. Here's how they work (full explanation of tides):
The ocean on the side of Earth facing the moon gets pulled toward the moon more than does the center of the planet. This creates a high tide. On the other side of the Earth, another high tide occurs, because the center of Earth is being pulled toward the moon more than is the ocean on the far side. The result essentially pulls the planet away from the ocean (a negative force that effectively lifts the ocean away from the planet)."---


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RE: Potatoes..plant by the signs?

Thank you, I'm aware that the moon creates the tides. You didn't read what I wrote.

"they have virtually no effect on anything short of a planetary scale."

Do your homework, read the actual studies. Here's a good one for you:
http://www.dnr.mo.gov/env/wrc/docs/whywaterlevelschange.pdf

The tidal force information starts around page 10. The actual hard data shows that yes, the moon has a small effect on aquifer levels. Its measured in inches.

You'll also notice that its about the same difference as recorded for changes in barometric pressure.

Two or three inches difference dozens of feet down are not going to provide a noticeable change in the moisture content of surface soil. Even if it did, the difference would be no greater than what you would have if a front passed through.

Remember, extra-ordinary claims require extra-ordinary proof.

You want to make a case about something as off-the-wall as the moon sucking water up out of the ground to water your crops for you, then you need to provide sound scientific proof to back your claims up.


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RE: Potatoes..plant by the signs?

"If you put a modern gardener that follows moon cycles religiously up against an old farmer that ignores them completely the old farmer would still trounce the youngster"

Uhm..........well said. No, I do not plant by the moon. I used to sell a lot of veggie starts to the old-timers who insisted on planting like this and never corrected them or made fun of them. Obviously they were satisfied with the results and you don't fix something if it 'ain't' broken. If somebody asked me, well that's a different story. The OP asked, so no.....the answer is I plant everything when it's the optimum weather condition with the appropriate timing to give it a full season's growth. If I can't do that, well..........I put it in around the weather and hope for the best.


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RE: Potatoes..plant by the signs?

  • Posted by RpR_ 3-4 (My Page) on
    Fri, May 4, 12 at 19:21

Edy:
Studies have show scientists can neither prove nor disprove anything.

You do not like it therefore to you it is not real, period.

That is called opinion and tbat is all there is regarding what the moon can or cannot do.
It is much like global warming, the most publicized "scientists" have their opinions, and nothing more but to them that is all that counts.

As I said the matter is empirical and to say it is or is not cannot be proven either way.

Your statement about the farmer is silly as that would mean the farmer is strictly planting at time that ignore standards that have been followed for centuries.
I doubt that farmer would be in business for very long, as my grandparents were both farmers, I have been taught by people who empirically seem to know.

You have your opinon, they had their knowledge.


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RE: Potatoes..plant by the signs?

Edymnion shoots, he scores!


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RE: Potatoes..plant by the signs?

You two really think you are going to change anyone's mind? This has been debated for centuries and those who believe it aren't going to give it up and those who don't believe in it sure aren't going to subscribe to it now.

What you should be taking exception to is some salesman taking advantage of his position by pushing his personal beliefs on a new gardener seeking info by claiming that "to get the best harvest possible, plants would produce more if planted by the signs".

Surprisingly thousands of gardeners are quite successful, and equally successful, either way.

Dave


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RE: Potatoes..plant by the signs?

My seeds come up very well without moon sign planting. Uh, is there supposed to be some kind of continuing advantage from moon signs through harvest? That would be something wouldn't it?....day after day benefits!


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RE: Potatoes..plant by the signs?

The arguments here are quite entertaining!

I would think that as long as one had good sunlight per the number of hours needed per day to nourish the plant growing, kept the ground moist enough to feed the plant, had good soil nutrient requirements..... that would be enough to grow some really good produce. Now I also know that cooler or hot weather makes CERTAIN plants grow better too. I have heard a few times to plant by the moon phases or signs to get better results but have never really paid attention to those suggestions. I have often thought that it was hype.

There is so much to know about gardening successfully that I am afraid one day I will run out of time to know all that there is! LOL!

Collectively as gardeners in this age of information sharing capability, it would be a shame to not be able to tap into what is out there to help all of us do better at our gardening skills. Be it hype or fact, sharing what each of us knows, only helps to better improve what we can do in our abilities to produce more and enjoy what we have grown.
:)


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RE: Potatoes..plant by the signs?

Is Edymnion shooting or howling at the moon?


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I alone have the secret of when to plant the potatoes.

Around st pats day when I can get my wife to help me. Works every year.


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RE: Potatoes..plant by the signs?

I like nature's signs, just little ol' me. I'll look for morels when the poison oak sprouts, I'll plant my corn and sunflowers, bush beans and squash when the oak leaves sprout, and plant the potatoes then too. Seems to work, but I got this idea from some old American Indian wife.


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RE: Potatoes..plant by the signs?

I think nature's signs are a little different than moon signs. I know the hummers show up when my azaleas bloom. I hunt morels when the mayapples are up. It's just an almost subconscious calender of remembering what events coincided with what. The statement about the old farmer isn't silly...he succeeds because he has a lifetime of successes and failures under his belt and the land he tends has become an extension of his own self. Not that there isn't something always he can learn.

I got a lot of old timers talking about the wet versus the dry moon as a weather predictor. They said if the horns of the crescent moon pointed up, it would hold water and be dry, if it pointed down, it would rain. Well, it never points down. If it's tipped to the side, it is just a cyclical phase and we know it doesn't rain in cycles of the moon. Like said........I just smile unless asked. It's their business to believe or not. As a nurseryman, I wouldn't and didn't spread that kind of folklore unless somebody asked for it.


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RE: Potatoes..plant by the signs?


The pointing or wet and dry moon occurs during certain time of every year and at these locations the moon does look as if it will hold or not hold water.
Check your physics as a bowl tipped on it side lose it water at degrees far less than ninety or ninety one at which they would point down- always ; that is the moon tilting-down supposely sending rain.

"We know it does not rain in the cyclesof the moon"-- hmm, as this belief is millenia old and it is based on something that actually has occured often enough to be accepted by people whose life and death depended on planting I would say they knew something we have become to aggorgant to see or accept.

I beilieve there is an old saying along the lines of: the wisest man is he who knows that he knows nothing.


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RE: Potatoes..plant by the signs?

Can we all agree that the Earth is round? And how does that potato know? And does it even know that it is a potato? Wow :)


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RE: Potatoes..plant by the signs?

RpR,

"I believe there is an old saying along the lines of: the wisest man is he who knows that he knows nothing."

Good saying.

Have always thought that.


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RE: Potatoes..plant by the signs?

Edy:
Studies have show scientists can neither prove nor disprove anything.

You do not like it therefore to you it is not real, period.

That is called opinion and tbat is all there is regarding what the moon can or cannot do.

Um, no, those are facts. Facts can be proven or disproven through imperical observation. Opinions do not factor into it in the slightest. Either something happens or it doesn't, our belief in it does not affect that.

Our brains are hardwired to find patterns, its one of the things that let us survive this long (the ones that had to stop and think about if they saw a tiger or not got eaten, the ones that immediately saw the pattern and ran did not). By our very nature, we remember things that confirm to our viewpoints and forget/dismiss things that do not. So, for the moon-theory folks out there, if they plant by the moon and there's good rain, they remember that and say the moon caused it. When they plant by the moon and there's a drought, they dismiss it as a fluke and forget about it a few years later. Its called confirmation bias.

As for something being believed for centuries and millenia so it must be true, when was the last time you tossed a pinch of salt over your shoulder? Or put a horseshoe rightside up (so the luck doesn't run out) over your front door? Is carrying the severed paw of a small rodent in your pocket going to change the laws of the universe to treat you in a way that you find objectively more favorable? The only way to really know is to take unbiased measurements. You can think this is bunk or you can think its ancient knowledge passed down from the corn gods, but the numbers will be the same either way. Either it works, or it doesn't, and the numbers won't lie.

All the science I've found, all the measurements and studies, they all say it has no significant effect. At most it is harmless because it is neither better nor worse than planting at any other time. But to say that the shape of the shadows on the moon somehow magically pours water out of a big ball of dust and rock almost 240,000 miles away to make it rain is just silly.


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RE: Potatoes..plant by the signs?

Is there any effect after germination? I get good germination already.

Some claim that fence posts won't stay in the ground unless "planted" in the right sign.


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RE: Potatoes..plant by the signs?

  • Posted by RpR_ 3-4 (My Page) on
    Mon, May 7, 12 at 23:02

Edymnion:
You have used superstitions as an analogy for some's gardening by the signs of nature; that is silly as there is no analogy.
(There is no such thing as luck ever, period. One's fortune, good or bad, is the result of one's actions.)

One cannot prove anyting by empirical observation.

---"empiric
n.
1. One who is guided by practical experience rather than precepts or theory.
2. An unqualified or dishonest practitioner; a charlatan.
adj.
1. Empirical.
2. Relating to a school of ancient Greek medicine in which a physician relied on experience and precedent in the observation and treatment of disease, and on analogical reasoning in discovering new diseases"---

One may prove a scientific standard by repeated experiments or processes giving the same result every time, which is why science will never accept any of the old methods because the weather never fits the square hole their experiments must to prove a theory.

All one ever gets by empirical observations is opinions correct or incorrect or otherwise.


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RE: Potatoes..plant by the signs?

Um . . .if I remember correctly back to empirical research classes in graduate school, I thought rule number one was that NOTHING is ever proven. Everything in any research only has statistic evidence of varying probability (and reliability) for or against the hypothesis, and every piece of research simply opens up new questions to explore and research.

Is it a fact that your body and your computer are solid?
Or has quantum physics "proven" that in fact they are not, but rather are made up of energy particles in motion surrounded by 99.999% empty space which only seem to be solid because of our perceptions?

Also, if you want to see empirical evidence about the effects planting days done by the stars, etc, see Maria Thun's work with biodynamics. And if you want to make yourself crazy following signs for planting, get a biodynamic calendar!

Just thought RpR shouldn't be arguing on her/his own here, when I'm sure there are those of us reading and agreeing, but not wanting to jump into the fray.

Okay, jumping out to the fray now.


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RE: Potatoes..plant by the signs?

Yeah, I'm thinking Poe's Law and/or Poe's Corollary are in effect here. That or I'm just getting old fashioned trolled, so thats quite enough of that.


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RE: Potatoes..plant by the signs?

  • Posted by RpR_ 3-4 (My Page) on
    Tue, May 8, 12 at 12:10

Edymnion:
You made a statement of your opinion as an absolute.
It was challenged.
You did not like it.
End of story; end of discussion.


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RE: Potatoes..plant by the signs?

I disagree with you RpR. I mean your being so vauge, sure nothing is absolute, but some things actually happen. Where is any evidence supported other than folklore? I have known farmers my whole life in the south and we have never talked about moons of the rain "especially in regards to gravitational pull"?, but weather forecasting is huge.


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RE: Potatoes..plant by the signs?

Ha -- I had to look up both "trolling" and Poe's law -- If it's my post you're referring to, it's definitely Poe's law, as it is not even in my nature to "troll", but I readily admit to having what could be considered extremist views about the nature of matter :) I'd say the moon and farming is definitely an area where "more research is needed" as they say. And seriously, take a look at Maria Thun's research in Germany -- meticulously done, with photos, etc., about planting by the biodynamic calendar which takes lots of planetary and astrological "influences" into account. It's enough to produce head scratching, at the very least.

Interesting discussion -- have enjoyed reading it and wondering about it all.


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RE: Potatoes..plant by the signs?

Each season about planting time these signs concerning planting, pruning, castrating, and more tend to "crop" up.

My tentative conclusion is that there isn't enough solid evidence for me to complicate my gardening with all the complications sign" brings. I get very good results without having to wait two weeks additional time to plant, weed, or whatever.

Good gardening to all.


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