The plant-killing freeze that did a major number on a lot of yards, gardens, and flowerbeds in South Louisiana is now almost two months behind us.

Sago Palm with Frost Damage
Staff Photo
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In my yard, I see some plants slowly returning to life while others remain dormant and brown. But I do believe we are out of the woods as far as another freeze is concerned but if you're planning on putting plants in the ground this weekend, you might just want to wait and reconsider.

Cdoncel via Unsplash.com
Cdoncel via Unsplash.com
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The weather forecast for this Good Friday and Easter Weekend across Louisiana is wonderful for being outside. There are some other aspects of the day you might want to consider before you put a tool in the dirt.

Staff Photo
Staff Photo
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According to the Old Farmer's Almanac,

The Creoles of Louisiana taught that you should never garden or work the soil on this day. According to their traditions, if one cuts open the ground on Good Friday, then Christ’s blood will flow into the tilled soil.

Yet there are other traditions that feel just the opposite about tilling the ground and planting a crop on Good Friday. The tradition of planting potatoes on Good Friday in Ireland began centuries ago with the crop being brand new there. The locals were not too sure what the "new plant" would do or how it would grow so they figured planting on Good Friday with a drop or two of Holy Water was a great way to ensure the success of the crop.

Staff Photo
Staff Photo
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Based on what we've been able to ascertain on the subject of planting on Good Friday whether you should or shouldn't has a lot to do with where you happen to live. Here in the Deep South if you don't get some plants in the ground and growing by Easter they'll never be strong enough to survive the heat. Here's what the LSU AgCenter has to say about "when to plant" in Louisiana. 

Female hands picking fresh tomatoes to wooden crate with vegetables.
Zbynek Pospisil
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In other climates, Good Friday is the unofficial beginning of spring so it's the earliest that many northern gardeners feel they can safely install plants without fear of losing them to a late-season freeze.

So, I guess it all comes down to what you choose to believe. If you choose to go with science or if you choose to go with the guidance of a more spiritual nature regardless you're going to need to get those plants in the ground as soon as possible if you're going to want to get the most from them during the summer growing season.

10 Commandments of Gumbo

Gallery Credit: Jude Walker

 

 

 

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