" If you want to know when to sow, take your trousers off and sit on the ground!"
This is the author's favorite old wives tale, and another one that is senseless at first sight. All it meant, in days before we acquired sophisticated means for measuring soil temperature, was that feeling the bare soil with one's tender flesh was a good, if uncomfortable way of find out if it was warm enough to start the spring planting.
By late Victorian times, this was thought of as not nice at all. No doubt visitors to the locl great estate were disconcerted by the sight of under gardeners sitting bare bottomed in the kitchen garden sporting nothing but a quizzical look upon their weather faces. So a p.c. version of the folklore was hastily invented, and is became permissible indeed expected that the temperature of the soil could be judge using your elbow. In today's permissive climate, I would not dream of recommending which way is right for you!
This concern with the effects of climate reminds us how important weather was to olden day gardeners. There is much folklore all of it gloomy, about the weather. For example, IF on the eight of June it rain, that foretells a wet harvest. Not exactly a bundle of optimism.
Oak before ash, we're in for a splash
Ash before oak we're in for a soak.
Or to put it another way, which every tree comes into leaf first, you're going to get wet.
If the first of July be rainy either, it will rain for 4 weeks together, and if you escape July 1st then July 15th lay in wait. St Swithin's Day if thus dost rain, for fourth days it will remain in other word until August 24th. But lo and behold Modern meteorologist studying either history have found that there is truth in the saying. The weather of mid Jly sets a pattern that does indeed last until about August 24th. St Bartholomew's Day. But don't get excited because
If it rains on St Bartolommeo's Day
It will rain for 40 more, they say.
Hope you enjoy that knowledge for what it is worth. Till next time, this is Becky Litterer from Becky's Greenhouse, Dougherty, Iowa