Plant below-ground crops after 17th July

Plant below-ground crops after 17th July

If you have a hot-house or tunnel-house, or conservatory then these are good times to sow seeds of root crops:

  • Saturday 20th July through to  Monday 22nd July 2019.

after the full moon on Wednesday 17th July.

Here in Auckland, the outside ground has cooled down and germination will be slow, if at all, before seed is eaten by beasties. We wait until the soil warms up to sow seed outside. Insread, plant tubers and rhizome crops instead – potatoes, yacon, Jerusalem artichokes, etc.

“As the days do lengthen, the cold does strengthen” is an old quote from my grand-parents time. After the mid-winter solstice, the weather seems to get colder before late spring warming.  So planting in the open ground is still in need of protection.


can be planted now – deep so they are protected from any late frosts in spring – see the tender green leaves and flowers would burn black with frosts so protect any new shoots which poke through the ground into the light.

Potatoes - 'Heather'  - in flower
Potatoes – ‘Heather’



Yacon and jerusalem artichokes

have similar requirements and can have prolific output even when totally ignored and neglected.

Yacon tuber to eat 20170507
Yacon tuber to eat 20170507

Yacon has 2 types of tubers – a rounder, smoother tuber for eating. Crisp like an apple in texture, yet bland in flavour so OK in stir-fries etc where it absorbs the added flavour.

The knobbly, odd-shape tubers have ‘eyes’ which will sprout new growth in the following season so replant these tubers.



Tumeric and ginger would be better planted in late spring as they need very warm ground to sprout.

If frost threatens when new shoots have poked through the ground, cover with frost-cloth, newspapers, old curtains, old sheets, etc so the shoots do not freeze and die off.


May you and your garden flourish


For more ideas about what to sow and when in NZ, have a look at



For more about planting by the  moon phases,

If you like experiments about when to plant for best results, a great one is to plant the same seeds in rows right beside each other [so all other conditions are identical], and label the rows with the date of planting. Then sow seeds from 1 packet at weekly intervals, each week in a new row.

This way you can see how the recommendations for best/worst seed sowing outcomes from moon-planting guides work for you. Maybe they do, and maybe they don’t.

I enjoy experimenting with such ideas – and if only I can rescue the rows from the snails and black-birds, I might even get some results to share!

Here’s a post I wrote about planting by the moon phases if you like more information and reflections on it.

Moon planting guides remind me to plant SOMETHING, plan a little, and help me have a continuous supply!

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