Mr. C. C. Keller, farm agent in Greene County, Missouri, stirred up a great controversy once by advising farmers to plant their potatoes on March 17 every year, with no regard to the signs of the zodiac or the changes of the moon.
One of my neighbors in McDonald county, Missouri, was so horrified at this heresy that he decided not to send his son to the village high school. “If education don’t learn a man no better than that,” said he, “I don’t want none of it in my family !”
Uncle Jack Short of Galena, Missouri, told me that some farmers back in the 1880’s used to plant potatoes on February 14. Mr. Short himself thinks that this is much too early; he plants his own spuds on March 17, or even later sometimes as late as March 30.
I have met a few old-timers who say that the one-hundredth day of the year is the proper day to plant potatoes, regardless of the weather or any other considerations.
However farmers may differ about the proper date for planting, they are generally agreed that potatoes should be dug in the light of the moon, as they will rot otherwise.
There are men in Arkansas who are always careful to plant onions and potatoes on opposite sides of the garden, believing that potatoes will not do well if onions are growing too close, A little boy who asked about this was told that the odor of onions “makes a ‘tater cry its eyes out.” This was only a joke, of course, but the fact remains that these people do not plant potatoes and onions together.
From: Ozark Superstitions
By: VANCE RANDOLPH