I’ve been itching to plant out my vegetable plants for weeks. The greenhouse is bulging, and my courgettes and gourds are practically walking out of the door, eager to get their feet settled in the potager. This year though, I have been patient, I have been very French, and I am waiting for the passing of the Saints de Glace (The Ice Saints) before planting anything out.
The Saints de Glace is a name given to St. Mamertus, St. Pancras, and St. Servatius and their feast days fall on 11th May, 12th May, and 13th May respectively. It is widely believed here in France that these days can bring cold weather and the last frosts of the year. Plant out your vegetables before this date and the French are sure to frown upon you!
So this weekend the Saints de Glace will have passed and I plan to plant out what I can in the potager; beans, peas, courgettes, onions and gourds, though I think I’ll keep my sweetcorn in their pots a little while longer.
But what about 25th May and Saint Urbain?
‘Mamert, Pancrace, Boniface sont les trois saints de glaces, mais saint Urbain les tient tous dans sa main’
’ Quand la saint Urbain est passée, le vigneron est rassuré’
Well if you can wait yet another two weeks, for the passing of Saint Urbain on 25th May, you’re practically assured that all risk of frosts will have passed and that your crops will flourish.
As for me, I’m just going to keep my fingers crossed and some fleece to hand, just in case…
P.S I did cheat a little and planted my potatoes out two weeks ago, luckily, despite a touch of frost last week, they are totally fine! (Impatient English lady!)