Winter 2016 Gardener's Almanac

Mark your calendars; here are the dates that gardeners and naturalists alike won’t want to miss for winter 2016/2017.

Calendar

Look to the sky for planting dates and unusual meteorological events this winter.

Photo by Svetlana Naumova: www.Etsy.com; SvetaNPrints

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December 2016

December 13. The Geminid meteor shower reaches its zenith tonight and corresponds with December’s “Cold Moon.”

December 21. The winter solstice marks the onset of winter.

December 24. Hanukkah begins.

December 25. Christmas.

December 31. Cheer the fates — it’s New Year’s Eve!

Gardening by the moon. Plant aboveground crops on December 6 and 7 and harvest them on December 10 and 11. Plant below-ground crops on December 23, 24, and 25 and harvest them December 19 and 20.

January 2017

January 1. New Year’s Day coincides with the end of Hanukkah and Kwanzaa for a day of cross-cultural reflection.

January 3. The Quadrantid meteor shower peaks tonight. It’s produced by dust grains from an extinct comet.

January 12. This full moon is known as the “Wolf Moon.”

January 28. Happy Chinese New Year! Celebrate by sharing a meal with loved ones.

Gardening by the moon. Plant aboveground crops January 2, 3, 30, and 31 and harvest them January 7 and 8. Plant below-ground crops on January 20 and 21 and harvest them on January 15 and 16.

February 2017

February 2. Groundhog Day! Will spring come early or will winter linger?

February 11. February’s full moon is historically known as the “Snow Moon” and the “Hunger Moon” because harsh weather makes hunting difficult.

February 14. Valentine’s Day was originally a Roman festival of fertility called Lupercalia but was outlawed when Pope Gelasius I declared February 14 St. Valentine’s Day.

Gardening by the moon. Plant aboveground crops on February 7, 8, 26, and 27 and harvest them February 3 and 4. Plant below-ground crops February 16 and 17 and harvest them February 11, 12, and 13.

March 2017

March 12. Clocks “spring forward” today with daylight saving time, which coincides with this month’s full moon. The March full moon is known as the “Worm Moon” and the “Sap Moon.”

March 17. The Irish and Irish-at-heart celebrate St. Patrick’s Day with parades of green.

March 20. In the Northern Hemisphere, the vernal (spring) equinox marks the first official day of spring.

Gardening by the moon. Plant aboveground crops on March 6 and 7 and harvest them March 2, 3, 29, and 30. Plant below-ground crops March 15, 16, 17, and 25 and harvest March 20, 21, and 22.