In Auckland the ground is cold and there is little we grow in the open now.
If you have a glass house or tunnel house then you have more options. It’s time to sow seeds for fruits and flowers this week – best on
- Monday pm 31st July and am of Tuesday 1st August 2017
- then again Friday 4th pm, Saturday 5th and Sunday 6th August 2017 [here in New Zealand]
Before the full moon on Tuesday 8th August 2017.
This is an interesting time as there is also a partial eclipse of the moon that night [at 6.20 am on 8th August 2017]. As seen from Auckland it will cover only a little part of the full disc of the moon [assuming no cloud cover too].
Eclipses bring interruption to the regular cycles of the sun and moon which we are used to. The light usually shed onto our Earth disappears at odd times. There is a disturbance to natural cycles. Animals react to these changes. Maybe plants do too. It is something to observe and note for ourselves. If you are interested in eclipses, this site is informative.
So, what could we plant this week?
Peas, snow peas, snap peas, sweet peas are an option at this time – with LOTS of protection from slugs and snails!
For all peas and beans, I start by putting the seeds in a jar of water by the sink [so I remember them]. I leave them soak overnight. Next morning I tip off the water and rinse the seeds until the water is clear. I leave the seeds in their jars, rinsing occasionally until I see them sprout the first tiny roots from the seeds.
Then I plant them out into the open ground. I try to surround them with a plastic protector – multi-purpose as it keeps out slugs and snails as well as protection from cold winds and black-birds.
Maybe a plastic tunnel over them would warm the ground enough for them to grow.
What about beans?
Beans like much warmer weather than peas do. Beans grow and fruit in summer/autumn quite happily [unless it is too hot]. Peas like cooler weather so grow well in spring and autumn [and into winter if the weather is just cool rather than snow and ice].
Early beans under a plastic tunnel? Maybe. If we have an early spring, maybe it might work – it sure helped give us beans to eat at the end of the main season so we picked beans into winter. Maybe it can warm the ground enough for early spring sowing too?
I think we might put a plastic tunnel over our proposed planting site so the ground warms and dries enough to be OK to plant into. Beans prefer drier ground and will not grow if it is very wet and sodden – they rot instead.
We’ll plant the seeds under the tunnel after they have started to sprout in a jar on the kitchen bench.
Can I wait a little longer? Not sure. There is always the option of further sowing later in the season too. Its a wonderful time when we can ‘have a go’ and try for some early crops as well as plant later when success is far more likely.
We look forward to Spring planting!