The Right Time to Plant

Editor Peter Geiger shares a reader's success in the garden by following the Farmers' Almanac's planting dates.

One of the most popular sections of the Farmers’ Almanac is the planting calendar. We aren’t exclusive to farmers, but we do help a countless number of people plan their gardens and do important tasks on the right day.

Last October, I received a delightful letter from a grandmother, almanac fan, and gardener in Louisiana. She was helping her 11-year-old grandson learn to grow his own food. They had two options for planting mustard greens. He first tried planting on a day we said seeds would tend to rot. You guessed it, they quickly rotted. So, then he planted mustard greens on a day we identified as being excellent for aboveground crops. Long story short — they were able to give away a bunch of mustard greens to family and friends.

As we start thinking about growing our own food this spring and summer, be sure to consult our Gardening by the Moon Calendar online and in the latest edition of the Farmers’ Almanac for that extra advantage. Then, let me know how you fared.

And if you decide to grow mustard greens this year, here’s a recipe you can try:

Sautéed Mustard Greens

3 large garlic cloves, minced
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup olive oil
1 1/2 lb mustard greens
1/2 cup water

Remove and discard the stems and center ribs from the mustard green leaves. Mash garlic into a paste with a teaspoon of salt. Heat oil in a 5-quart pot over moderately high heat until hot and sauté the garlic paste until fragrant. Add half of greens. Toss until until the greens begin to wilt, then add the remaining half. Add water and cook, covered, for five minutes, stirring occasionally. Continue to cook, uncovered, until greens are tender. Add salt to taste.

Farmers' Almanac - Weather forecasting
Peter Geiger

Peter Geiger is the Editor of the Farmers' Almanac. Read his full biography.

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What and how is the best time to transplant Easter Lillie’s

Susan Higgins

Hi Judy, here are some tips for transplanting to the garden
And we also have the best days to transplant in our gardening calendar here.

Mike Ferguson

Best time to plant vegetables n Kentucky

Susan Higgins

Hi Mike, check out our Gardening by the Moon Guide here:

Chester Vaughan

I am not exactly sure how anyone can respond to a question but I have one. I some what understand the “Planting by the Phases of the Moon Philosophy”, and I assume that this philosophy is directly concerned with planting outside in the garden. I start many of my plants indoors in seed starters with a heat mat and grow lamp. Should I also start the seedlings inside in sequence with the calendar dates listed in the almanac for “Best Planting days?” Really the question is, because I am controlling heat, water, and light inside, does the moon phase have any effect on my starting seedlings from a completely mechanically controlled environment?

Connie Arnett

The best time to plant trees?

Susan Higgins

Hi Connie, treat trees as “aboveground crops” when using our Gardening by the Moon calendar here:

janis pitre

Love your website

Susan Higgins

Thank you, Janis! Let us know if there’s something specific you’d be interested in seeing!

Darrell Scott

I want to know when to potty train my grandson. He is 3 1/2 years old. I heard its best to do when the sign is in the feet. Is that true? When is the best time?

George Jansen

Want to know dates to plant vegtables.


Is it a good time to plant collards in Maxton, NC

Deric Negen

Can I clip the flower stalks on my Japanese giant mustard to keep the leaves growing?

James w Nichols

When can I plant flower seeds month and day I live in Ks


Does the almanac take into consideration the astrological signs that were first discovered have changed due to the earths movements over the years and our time changes with leap years and the 13 month to 12 month calendar change in early times? I know our astrological horoscopes do not hold true as of lately due to these changes. There is a site that has calculated the changes to reflect a more accurate horoscope today. Is the almanac up to date because I am relying on it for my garden.


Hi; i’m trying to get to the “Gardening By the Moon” calendar that is specific to the Southeast US, please.

Jaime McLeod

talitha – the Gardening by the Moon calendar is not regional. It is based on the phase and position of the Moon, and so is good for the entire Earth. All dates are weather permitting.


I live in North Alabama and I want to know when can I set my house plants outside?

Jaime McLeod

psycho49 – You can find your average frost dates here: Average Frost Dates

erim connerdesilvey

I want to plant lettuce this week but there is a chance of snow. the planter is on my porch. is it still ok to plant? We live in Kansas

Jaime McLeod

erim, Keep seedlings indoors until the threat of a hard frost has passed.


Hi, I’m wanting to know the weather in Tyler Texas for April 13 2013….think you can help me with that? Thanks!

Jaime McLeod

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