Old garden knowledge: 12 farmer’s rules that are

Peasant rules are based on centuries-old observations of weather, animals, and plants throughout the seasons. Farmer rules used to be crucial for a good harvest. Passed down orally over generations, they still provide important information and tips for gardening today.

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You can always rely on old gardening knowledge. Even if there may be regional deviations and the weather has changed due to climate change, some farming wisdom still offers good orientation for gardening today. In order to make it easier to remember the rules, they were formulated in rhyme.


Peasant Rules for Spring

As early as March, farmers were able to predict the weather for the coming weeks and months using the farmer’s wisdom. So it was said at the time: Frost on March 3rd, the day of St. Kunigunde, can still be felt 40 days later.

The ice saints can still be expected in May. However, there are regional differences. In the north, the ice saints begin on May 11th, in the south, however, only one day later. The ice saints end in northern Germany on May 13th with the day of Saint Servatius, in the south the day of Saint Boniface and that of Saint Sophie also count. An old wisdom is therefore:

“You’re only safe from Night Frost once Sophie’s gone.”

Another peasant rule says:

“If there was rain on Good Friday, a dry but fruitful year follows.”

Farmers Life

In addition, the following farmer’s rule still applies among real garden connoisseurs:

“If April is fair and pure, May will be all the wilder.”

Peasant rules for the summer

Probably the most well-known farmer’s rule for the summer refers to the dormouse day on June 27th.

“How the weather behaves on the dormouse is ordered for seven weeks.”

Before that, however, the sheep’s cold can cause considerable damage in the first third of the month. During this weather phenomenon, cold, wet air moves inland from the north-west and can still cause frost damage to sensitive plants in June.

Grandpa working

The period between July 23rd and August 23rd marks the so-called dog days. The weather that prevails during this period tells a lot about the weather in the further course of the year. For example:

“If the dog days are hot, the winter will be white for a long time.”

Harvest time begins in August and at the same time the nights are slowly getting cooler. However, warm summer days in August are essential for the harvest to fully mature. Incidentally, the weather on August 15 (Assumption of Mary) is often seen as a harbinger of autumn. In addition, the following pawn rule applies:

“If August brings a lot of thunderstorms, the winter will be cold and bitter.”

thunder storm

Peasant rules for the fall

In September, the focus is on the harvest, but the approaching winter is already taken into account in the farmer’s rules. A sunny Saint Michael’s Day (September 29th) heralds a long, cold and soon to come winter. If it is wet and cloudy that day, a mild winter can be expected.

harvesting potatoes

“If there is sunshine for Michael, it will be winter in two weeks.”

Strong winds between October 10 and November 10 also indicate an early onset of winter. In order to survive cold snaps unscathed, the garden should be winterized by October 28 at the latest. By the way, a lot of rain in October is a good sign:

“If October brings a lot of rain, it’s a blessing for the garden.”

never ending rain

Leaves that hang on the trees well into November indicate a long winter, according to farmer’s rules. If it snows on November 11th, that is also a sign of a particularly long winter. Thunderstorms in November, on the other hand, raise hopes for a good next summer. Another peasant rule states:

“If the water freezes in November, it will be even wetter in January.”

Peasant rules for the winter

The farmer’s rules for the winter already dare to look forward to the coming year. A lot of rain in December, for example, is said to have a negative impact on the coming harvest season. A mild Christmas indicates cold snaps in late winter into spring.

“A mild December with lots of rain is really not a blessing for the harvest.”

On the other hand, with a cold January, the peasant rules promise a sunny summer and a good harvest in autumn.

“If January is bright and white, summer is sure to be hot.”


The peasant rules in February are already a sign of waiting and hoping for spring. At the same time, they also warn against starting gardening too early. For example, a sunny Candlemas week (around February 2) suggests that winter will drag on even longer. In addition, an old peasant rule says:

“If it thunders over the bare forest, it will certainly get cold again.”

Bare low shrubs in the Mixed Oak / Heath Forest

The amount of rain for the coming months can also be predicted in February. A dry February indicates a dry year overall, while a wet February promises a lot of rain. In addition, when the sun shines on February 12, gardeners and farmers can look forward to a rich harvest.

Due to climate change and the associated changes in the weather, the farmer’s rules have lost some of their validity, but there is still a core of truth in many statements today. The rules can help gardeners work in harmony with the seasons. They also help to get a better harvest and healthy plants. What farming rules do you follow when gardening?

Sources: DIY, garden tips
Thumbnail: ©Flickr/Anne Bollwahn


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