There is an outside chance that I might actually be able to plant my potatoes on Good Friday this year.
The holiday isn’t especially early, as it was two years ago when it fell on March 29, nor is it at the late-end like last year, when it was April 18.
This year’s Good Friday, on April 3, 2015, might be just right, and not only because I plant my potatoes in large pots.
Standard practice for potato planting calls for soil temperatures above 45 degrees Farenheit, and this map from ISU Extension shows that all of Iowa is already above that mark.
Seed Savers Exchange provides an excellent potato planting guide here, noting that potatoes may be planted as soon as the ground can be worked in the early spring and the soil should be moist, but not water-logged.
Why plant potatoes on Good Friday? The gardening tradition is likely tied to moon phases.
The date of Easter changes every year, but is set as the Sunday following the paschal full moon, which is the full moon that falls on or after the vernal, or spring equinox. Generally, that would set Good Friday during the waning of the moon, the time to plant below-ground crops.