In spring, grab a handful of garden soil:
If you can form i tinto a ball and it holds its shape, the soil is too wet for planting. It's likely that seeds planted in it will rot.
Make a ball of soil and drop it. If it breaks into two clumps, it's still too wet for planting. If the ball crumbles, your garden is ready for seeds.
If the soil sticks to your tools, it's too wet.
If the soil crumbles through your fingers like chocolate cake, it's ready for planting.
As soon as the soil crumbles, give it a good stirring and let it sit for several days. Then top-dress it with compost or aged manure.
THE FOOTPRINT TEST
Step into the garden and then step back and look at the footprint in the soil.
If it's shiny, then there's too much water near the soil surface to dig and plant.
If it's dull, excess water has drained away and it's time to plant.
lacking brightness, vividness, or sheen.
Here are some traditional observations that you could apply to your plantings:
Blooming crocuses are your cue to plant parsnips, radishes, and spinach.
Half-hardly vegetables, including beets, carrots, and chard, can be planted when daffodils blossom.
When the forsythia i sin flower, plant lettuce, onion sets and peas.
Look for dandelions to bloom before planting potatoes.
When dandelions and/or wild voilets bloom, plant bush beans; plant pole beans 2 weeks later.
When apple trees bloom, plant bush beans.
When the apple blossoms fall, plant pole beans and cucumbers.
When the quince is blossoming, transplant broccoli and cabbage.
When lilacs are in full bloom, plant squashes.
Transplant tomatoes when lily-of-the-valley is in full flower.
Tradition has it that crops that grow underground - root crops such as beets, carrots, potatoes—should be sown during the dark, or waning, of the Moon, from the day after the Moon is full to the day before it is new again. The idea is that certain flowering plants need a period of total darkness to germinate and eventually bloom.
Crops that mature above the ground – e.g., cabbages, cucumbers, grains, leafy vegetables, parsley, peppers should be planted during the light, or waxing, of the Moon, from the day the Moon is new to the day it is full. The belief is that the gravitational pull of the Moon raises groundwater similar to the way is does the ocean's tides, pulling nutrients from a plant's roots to its leaves and thus stimulating growth.