Nature’s Signs It’s Time to Plant

Planting schedules. How awful are they? Those little charts that give you an estimated time to plant things based on your zone. Sometimes they are not clear. Sometimes they go against each other.  Sometimes the seasons are different. It can be overwhelming and frustrating.


A little while ago, I read a blog post: Daffodils? That means pea-planting! on herbalblessingsblog. This caught my attention because it was nature making a statement that it’s time to start planting. It inspired me to do a bit of research and behold, I discovered Phenology –  one of the most helpful things I have learned this year.

Phenology is the “the study of cyclic and seasonal natural phenomena.” It’s essentially nature’s calendar. What better calendar to plant by? After all, one of the reasons I garden is to stay in touch with nature.



The best part is Earth already has me listening and seeing. I notice the first buds on the trees; the first tiny seedlings that pop up from the ground; the first birds returning from the long winter retreat. I am already listening. Now I can use that knowledge for the benefit of my garden.

I tossed the planting schedules (the parts for direct sows and moving plants outside that is) and investigated what nature’s signs are saying. Thanks, once again, to The Old Farmer’s Almanac, I have a pretty good idea of what those signs mean.

  • Blooming crocus – plant radishes, parsnips, and spinach
  • Blooming daffodils – plant beets, carrots, and chard
  • Blooming forsythia – plant peas, onions, and lettuce
  • Blooming dandelions – plant potatoes
  • Blooming quince – transplant cabbage and broccoli
  • Blooming apple trees – plant bush beans
  • Falling apple blossoms – plant squashes
  • Full flower lily of the valley – transplant tomatoes
  • Blooming irises – transplant peppers and eggplants
  • Blooming peonies – transplant (or plant) melons

Of course nature always likes to throw curve balls so I also keep an eye on the weather for “surprise” freezes but so far this system has been working wonderfully for me.


4 thoughts on “Nature’s Signs It’s Time to Plant

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