sow seeds of below-ground crops this week

sow seeds of below-ground crops this week


Recommended best days for planting seeds to grow great root crops are

Wednesday 18th – Thursday 19th January 2017

Often planting charts talk generally of sowing these seeds during the week after the full moon – which will be Thursday 12th January.


Down-under, here in Auckland, it’s summer [so we are told, although I’d call it warm and often damp].

We don’t plant many small seeds [like carrots] in the heat of summer as we find it hard to keep them constantly moist.

When we organize an automatic watering system, it might be worth sowing seeds which are larger so can be planted deeper where there might be enough water available, and below the hot surface [heat and dryness can cause some types of seeds to not germinate – those that like cooler conditions for their seedling stage]


For those of you in the northern hemisphere where the days are lengthening and getting warmer [?], sowing seeds inside, or under cover, starts them off so they are ready to plant out for an early crop when the ground warms up enough.


Root crops include carrots, beetroot, radish, parsnip and similar.




Below-ground tubers:

It’s warm enough here to plant sweet potato [kumera] – but there will not be much time for them to grow big plants to produce abundant tubers.

This is too late for us to plant potatoes. We plant them to crop before the psyllid bugs are out in force when the weather warms up.

In the northern hemisphere, it’s a great time to start tubers shooting – inside where its warm.


We might plant into the warm soil


Daikon radish – a long Asian variety


Young ones like this are a tasty addition to stir-fries or curries.

We eat the white root part. The green leaves are also edible and treasured in some Asian cooking.

In summer, they go to seed quickly if they dry out and are stressed – without forming a big root.

Plants bolting to seed can still taste OK if you harvest when they are just starting to shoot up. Once the flower spike is much taller than the leaf-rosette the root changes to a woody form – not good eating.

So we chop off the bolting tops and compost them or use them as mulch – ‘chop and drop’. This minimizes soil disturbance for other plants around and the roots decompose, feed the worms, open channels for water to flow deeper into the soil – altogether a useful addition to the garden.

We plant many and hope for some nice ones.


For more ideas about sowing times, have a look at


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