Fans of the Old Farmer’s Almanac are aware of the practice of planting by phases of the moon.
According to this gardening tradition, flowers and vegetables that bear crops above ground should be planted during the light, or waxing, of the moon, from the day the moon is new to the day it is full. Flowering bulbs and vegetables that bear crops below ground are planted during the dark, or waning, of the moon, from the day after it is full to the day before it is new again.
The tradition of planting potatoes on Good Friday likely is related to those 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.
Good Friday this year falls on April 18, 2014, several weeks later than it did last year when it was on March 29.
With the exception of one day this month of above-average temperatures, this has been a rather cold spring in Iowa, and like many gardeners, I’m a bit behind in my planting. So, this Friday should be about right, in my gardening book, for getting potatoes in the ground, or in my case, in containers. Read more about this method that makes harvesting potatoes less of a chore.