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Today is the last day of this year’s Through A Writer’s Garden. I want to thank all the wonderful authors who have shared their gardens or love of gardens with me and my readers. Thanks to everyone who commented and passed the posts on to others. I hope you’ll all come back next spring for another season of gardening posts.

Next Thursday, October 20, my short blog series Christmas Reads begins. Please come back to read about sweet, clean Christmas stories to begin your holiday reading season with.

To close this year’s garden blog off, I’m going to talk about Garden Superstitions. I’d love to know if you’re a believer or practitioners of garden superstitions.

Being from the hills of Kentucky, my parents were a superstitious couple. Daddy wouldn’t give a knife as a gift, because it would cut the ties of the friendship. He wouldn’t dry his hand on a towel when anyone else was holding it, because the youngest person touching the towel would die first. He would drop that towel like a hot potato if I reached for it. And he hated Friday the thirteenth. He’d turn around and go the other way if he saw a black cat in his path. Spilt salt was always followed by throwing some over your shoulder to counteract the bad luck. Mom had a few superstitions she followed, too. No opening umbrellas in the house (it was bad luck), and she always made sure we never brought an old broom into the new-to-us houses we moved into.

I don’t remember as many of her superstitions as I do Daddy’s, but I do remember one garden superstition she followed religiously: “Don’t thank someone for a plant they’ve given you, or it will die.” To this day, I heed that advice, skirting around the gifts with platitudes like “How nice of you to offer,” or “That would be lovely,” or I just explained that I wouldn’t be thanking them and why. You’ll never hear the words, “Thank you,” pass my lips when I’m gifted with a plant. After all, who wants to kill a free plant?

Here are a few of the odder garden superstitions, garden lore, and garden folk sayings I found that you might find interesting. I know I did.

  • The number of seeds in an apple will be your lucky number.
  • Plant potatoes at night so the eyes don’t see light.
  • Planting peppers when you are mad makes the peppers grow hotter.
  • For a good crop of watermelons, crawl to the patch backwards on the first day of May.
  • A five-leaf clover brings bad luck.
  • If you point your finger at a cucumber bloom, the bloom will fall off.
  • For a better cabbage crop, sow the seeds in your bedclothes on March 17th. (I think this one means while you are wearing your bedclothes, not sow the seeds in the fabric. Don’t think that would yield much harvest and would make sleeping a bit itchy. J)
  • If onion bulbs are planted upside down, they will come out in China.
  • Plant watermelons before breakfast for best results.
  • If two people’s hoes hit together, they will work in the same field next year.
  • Always plant your potatoes and green beans on Good Friday. Why? Because it was believed to be the only day of the year when the devil was thought to be powerless.
  • Today, thanks to modern gardening knowledge of soil temperatures and seed germination, we know what is the best time to plant seeds. But old-time gardeners didn’t have our modern advantages. So how did they know when it was safe to plant? They followed this old saying: “If you can sit on the ground with your trousers down, it’s safe to sow your seed.”


What about you? Do you have a favorite bit of gardening lore that you follow?