Friday, May 18, 2007

Dad, you were right

When my parents drove up here last weekend, my dad came ready to work. He brought 2 more of the wicker tables that had belonged to my grandmother, and spray painted them out behind my garage (he tried to bring 2 more chairs but couldn't get them to fit right on the top of my mom's car.) He fixed our broken doorbell. He hung up a sign on the porch. Because I rely on his extensive knowledge about it, he went out and selected the wine for my party. He bought tomato plants for our garden. But he didn't plant them.

When I asked him why he didn't want to plant them (it was more of a whine, "Daa-ad, wwhhyy not? "), he said we needed to wait a few more days. Until after the "three sisters" pass - May 16th, 17th, and 18th. He said it's an old German farming rule of thumb, he learned it from his grandfather. It's not enough to wait until May 15th. You have to wait for the 3 sisters to pass to avoid risk of a late spring frost.

Now, I've Googled "three sisters", and where crops are concerned, I am not seeing anything about planting dates. I see results about companion planting, as in, plant your beans, squash, and corn all together (could be that this is common knowledge to all of you green thumbs out there.) But never for a moment do I doubt my dad. I'm sure the rule exists. He's the smartest guy around.

But anyway, we didn't wait. The tomato plants went into the ground on Sunday, May 13th. As we were getting ready to plant them, I told my husband about the 3 sisters warning. But we both agreed that a few days ahead of time shouldn't make any difference. After all, the forecast on Sunday said we would have a mild week.

Of course, you all know how the forecast can change.

So, with a frost warning in place last night, I called Dad after dinner for some advice. He did not say "I told you so". But he did tell me what to do (that's why you see my little plants under cover up there.) In a little while I'll go out to see how they did overnight. I just called Dad a few minutes ago and he says sprinkle them with a little water as I uncover them. I'll let you know how they fared.


Jen @ The Cottage Nest said...

You lucky girl to have a Dad so wise! I will have to remember the 3 sister's rule. I bought tomato plants but haven't planted them yet however I did leave them out overnight. I guess I should go check on them.

Deb said...

Your Dad sounds very wise ... and wonderful!

Kellie said...

I always heard here in New England we could plant after Mother's Day -- so of course, I planted my veggie garden last Saturday because I couldn't wait and had the time to do it. Of course, this week has been so unpredictable, I've been wondering if I jumped the gun too soon, but so far, so good! Good luck with your crop!

Meg said...

Those Dads...they always know everything. :)

Thanks for the comment the other day. I do the same thing...I see your comments when I'm out and about in the blogosphere and think, "Did I say that?" and then I remember.

Have a great weekend!

hqm said...

Father knows best! Hope your plants survive!

sisters with style said...

I love your Dad!

Rosemary said...

That is so interesting. I have never heard that before. Probably because I live in California.
You have a very smart and nice dad.
Have a great weekend!

KLKinFLA said...

Your dad sounds delightful! Isn't it great to have a dad who comes and does stuff? Mine helped me put together a template and hang an entire plate arrangement last year. I'm especially impressed by your dad's self-restraint in the "I told you so" department. The 3 sisters rule is new to me...of course in Florida the heat is here to stay...and stay.

velvet brick said... sweet to have your dad help around the house.... nice post...
sweet sweet sweet
: )

suburban mom said...

Dads are the BEST. :)

Heather said...

I haven’t heard of the three sisters – maybe it is because my father is Dutch. =) I had a similar experience with planting this year. I wrote about it here:
You learn something new everyday…Thanks for sharing.

tulipmom said...

You're so lucky to have a dad who can do stuff like that. And not say "I told you so."

Mom2fur said...

What a smart dad you have! Who would have thought it would be this cold in May?????

Lallee said...

It's so hard to wait isn't it? You have one swell dad! Can't wait to see the additional wicker.

Jen @ The Cottage Nest said...

Hey Meg- I meant to ask if I can just use wood stakes like you did instead of cages? I'm such a newby!

Meg said...

Hi Jen,

I am not sure what the cages are, but the stakes are what my dad set us up with, this is our 3rd year using them. They do seem to be easy to use, so if you go in that route, I think you'll be pleased.

Good luck, I'm certainly a newbie, too!


Merci-Notes said...

I am goin to remember the" three sisters" from now on. I still had not planted a thing luckily. I think Dad's are the greatest (well along side Mothers :)
With Kindness,

smilnsigh said...

Heh, heh, heh... When will 'youngin's' learn?!? >,-)

And what a lovely view, into your windows. Soooo lovely.

Btw, up in this neck of the woods, we are supposed to wait till Memorial Day, except for perennials. {But we did sneak in a few annuals, on the back patio... -smile-}