Sow seeds for fruits and flowers this week! Woo hoo!

Sow seeds for fruits and flowers this week! Woo hoo!

It’s time to sow seeds for fruits and flowers this week – Tuesday 18th September 2018 until morning of Thursday 20th Sept + again on Sunday 23rd + Monday 24th September 2018 [here in New Zealand]

Before the full moon on Tuesday 25th September 2018.

Spring seems to have sprung!

In Auckland the weather has been milder than usual so we will sow lots of seeds this spring.

Seeds need warm soil to sprout and grow so most tomatoes etc will go into pots on our back patio where they will be warm, out of the cold wind, and cared for – because I see them often there.

This is a wonderful time to sow and I’ll really enjoy sowing – there is such potential for wonderful future harvests. So many varieties can be sown in Spring – although some prefer late spring with warm soil so check before sowing.

  • tomatoes [somewhere warm in seed trays. Our back patio, probably on the table is a good spot – leaving a little space for us to put out a meal to eat there too!]  I’ll sow a number of varieties so hopefully some will do well no matter what the weather does this year – hot/dry/cold/wet.
  • pumpkins/squashes/zucchini [courgettes]/cucumbers and other cucurbits can start in a warm spot as long as you can keep them warm [Also wonderful ones like bitter melons, spaghetti squash, gourds – but these go into the ground later as they need it warmer]
  • peas and beans [I sow direct and put out snail bait or surround them with plastic cut-off bottles to protect from snails and slugs which love baby seedling legumes]
  • Maybe chilies, peppers [capsicum] and eggplants [aubergine] in special little pots and tendered lovingly in the hope they will grow and fruit. Where we live often has cold southerly winds and this group like it hot! I make each a little ‘hot-house’ with a plastic bag over the pot and around the plants when I transplant them to the garden. Sometimes we get fruit.
  • Flowers of all sorts [well, the ones which like starting in Spring].

 

Planting heat-lovers [tomatoes, chilies, melons, corn, etc] in open ground for  is often given as late October/early November here in NZ.  I can transplant tomatoes, chilies, zucchinis then. They will be bigger and more resistant to weather and pests too.

Some plants do not transplant well so it is much better to wait for warm ground and sow directly in the soil so there is no root disturbance.  I’ll wait until November to plant corn and melons   it’s way too cold for them to thrive yet – even if the air is warm, the ground is not warm enough for them yet.

I so often have got impatient to grow these and planted them early as the sun was out, the air was warm, yet the ground was still cold. Seeds often did not sprout. Seedlings sat and shivered and were a magnet for snails, slugs and diseases. For strong healthy plants, the ground needs to be warm so I try for more patience.

This week the moon is growing towards full and the days listed above are when many aspects line up to give optimum good germination for strong seedlings – whether in the ground or in pots or a tray on a heat pad. Worth a try I think.

May your sowing and planting be successful with wonderful outcomes.
Heather

PS

For more ideas about what to sow and when in NZ, have a look at  http://gardenate.com

 

PPS

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!

It’s time to sow seeds of leafy greens this week

It’s time to sow seeds of leafy greens this week

Sow seeds for luscious, tender leafy greens this next week – and best days are Tuesday 11th September 2018 through to the morning of Saturday 15th [here in New Zealand]

 

 

In Auckland the weather has been alternated between winter chills with winds off the Antarctic through to warm and wet weather out of the tropics.  Welcome to Spring!

Let’s hope for good germination and root growth of new seedlings.

It is really important to have fresh, viable, strong seeds; preferably adapted to our local conditions if we want good harvests. 

If the seed quality is poor then it grows poor seedlings, prone to disease and pests. Which gives us, as gardeners, a struggle to get the harvest we are looking for. Start with quality seed and the seedlings have a chance to grow strongly.

It’s time to re-plant crops which have fed us throughout winter as these will start to make seed-heads rather than leaves now the weather is getting warmer.

I will sow seeds throughout the week of

  • Lettuce – I left many varieties to seed so hopefully some will do well no matter what the weather does this year – hot/dry/cold/wet. We’ve been eating the outer leaves from many varieties of the loose-leaf lettuces for months. Now these plants will be shooting up a stalk to make seeds.
  • Silver-beet [including rainbow chard/ bright light beets – the ones with vibrant colored stems – so stunning to see in a garden] we left to seed in the garden and they are sprouting up now. Some people like perpetual beet [to us here, it is tougher and less tasty]. I think it’s too late to plant spinach before the hotter weather would send it quickly to seed instead of producing leaves.
  • Rocket [Arugula] is tasty rather than bitter at this time. We plant 2 types – the large leaf annual and the stronger, smaller-leaf perennial rocket
  • Coriander pretty nice early in the season before the heat of summer sends it bolting to seed with little leaf production.
  • Asian greens [assorted] – here they grow well in the cooler months – they grow so fast! We have Mizuna self-seeding. We grow 2 types – an ordinary green one as well as the deep red one – stunning in the garden [for a short time]
  • Endive  We grow 2 types – a broader leaf variety and a lovely fine, frilly variety. They are lovely and tender in cooler months so we enjoy them now. Both grow more slowly than lettuce.

This is a great time to have leafy greens grow well – they love cooler, wetter times.

 

Later, when the weather warms up they bolt to seed fast and produce fewer leaves which easily go bitter.

Remember to protect seedlings from slugs and snails which appear in spring. Here’s a post of our exploration with different methods.

Enjoy delightful salads with a range of leaf types in these spring months.

 

May you and your garden flourish
Heather

PS

For more ideas about what to sow and when in NZ, have a look at http://gardenate.com

PPS:

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!

 —

Spring is springing and a new energy of the cycle of growth is under way!

Spring is springing and a new energy of the cycle of growth is under way!

Buds are forming on deciduous plants and bursting into blossom or leaf. Joy oh joy.

Can we plant veggie seeds and seedlings out now it’s spring?

The days are getting longer.

Yet the ground is still cold and wet, wet, wet here in Auckland.

Seeds sown outside take a long time to sprout [or rot or are eaten by insects].

Seedlings of flowers and veg which are planted out now will sit and wait for warmer soil to grow – so are tasty targets for slugs and snails etc. then we wonder why they haven’t grown.

 

Keep tomatoes and their relatives in a warm place until November before planting in the garden.

The soil is way too cold for them to grow outside unprotected yet.

 

To have a successful planting delicate, tender seedlings need protection from:

  • the heaps of slugs and snails which miraculously appear now. Keeping them away from delicious, tender new sprouting seedlings requires some effort.
  • strong cold winds
  • birds – especially black-birds which are nesting at present and determinedly scratch for worms scattering seeds and seedlings out of the soil in their efforts.
  • any pets which can dig [or neighbourhood cats]
  • possums and rats which can cause havoc if you have them around

 

What sort of protection?

These are my favorites: For veg, full plastic cover over hoops on raised beds with bird netting over the top and looped onto hooks on the wood to hold all in place in strong winds.

plastic covers over raised beds with bird netting over the top to hod all in place in strong winds

 

A protective surround. Cut down plastic bottles, one per seedling can work. I put a bird net over the lot as we have determined black-birds which up-root most such attempts. And hook tent-pegs or weed-mat pegs over the sides into the ground to stop the wind blowing them away.

20171021_120356

A plastic bag cover over a frame with the plastic buried into the ground so there is no access [+ snail bait/deterrent for the determined ones].

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A plastic tunnel cover [with covered ends too] +snail bait/deterrent

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Any other inventive physical barrier!

And have patience – seedlings grow in warm soil – use your inner wrist or a thermometer – not your gloved hand – to feel if it’s warm enough for them to thrive.

 

May your spring garden bring you joy!
Heather Powell

PS

For more ideas about what to sow and when in NZ, have a look at  http://gardenate.com

 

PPS

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!

Take time out from sowing seeds until after the 10th September

Take time out from sowing seeds until after the 10th September

Take time out from sowing seeds from Monday 3rd September until after the dark of the moon on Monday 10th September 2018. 

As the moon nears its smallest visible ‘dark of the moon’ phase, this time is associated with spindly, weak growth – wait a week or so [and when the ground is warm!].

Maybe give some protection to anything still growing which likes some shelter from wind and rain. Plastic tunnels are very handy at this time.

Also,

  • Prepare garden beds for Spring planting
  • Collect items such as plastic covers, bird-net, pegs, snail deterrent/bait/traps so your efforts planting will be able to survive the animals/birds/weather
  • Plan your next seed sowing, your garden layout, or crop rotation to minimize pest and diseases.

May you and your garden flourish
Heather

PS

For more ideas about what to sow and when in NZ, have a look at http://gardenate.com

PPS:

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!

 —

Spring, what a mix of summer and winter!

Spring, what a mix of summer and winter!

Blossoms bursting out.

 

So lovely – and starts me wanting to plant all sorts of veggies for us to eat. Maybe you do too?

Yet the ground is so cold, cold, cold and wet. Seedlings struggle, then they get eaten by snails, slugs, caterpillars and everything else. That’s depressing and we feel we’re not good gardeners.

How DO we get great veggie harvests?

“Where” is important. Veggie seedlings need:

  • warm soil. Feel it – if it’s cold to your skin, it’s cold for seedlings.
  • lots of sunlight. Look and see if the bed is in sun or shade each day.
  • well-fed – lots of organic matter
  • wind protection.
  • protection from beasties – blackbirds, dogs and cats scratch out seedlings; slugs, snails, caterpillars etc, eat them.

 

“When” to plant?

Later is often much better.

Early spring plantings often give poorer harvests than later ones.

Warm the soil with clear plastic tunnels and bags over early plantings [which also give protection from wind, birds and animals]. And remember to remove them when the sun shines brightly or they cook.

 

“What” to plant?

Early spring is a good time to plant leafy greens (lettuce, endive, rocket, silver-beet, parsley, etc), and peas in the open. Snow peas, snap peas, tall peas, dwarf peas, sweet peas. [protect from slugs as they love peas]. Carrots, beetroot, radish seeds can go in now. Sow some seeds monthly to give a longer season.

 

Beans like ground really warm so we plant an early variety under a plastic tunnel soon and wait to plant other varieties in late spring.

Beans growing in winter under a plastic tunnel 20170529
Beans growing in winter under a plastic tunnel 20170529

Sow seeds of summer crops in trays or pots and keep them somewhere protected until the ground is warm before transplanting them. Pumpkins, squash, zucchinis, cucumbers, tomatoes, capsicum, chilies, melons, herbs etc like it hot. Our patio gets covered with pots in early spring.

20171010_172230

 

Corn, beans and sunflowers are easiest to grow after November when the ground is warm.

 

Give yourself permission to play with your garden,

investigate its ‘micro-climates’,

enjoy signs of life and

forget ‘perfect’ images – each garden is different and wonderful in its own way.

And each year is different, so different varieties thrive.

Plant an assortment and enjoy those that do give great harvests this year,

and know that next year maybe others will instead.

 

Best wishes with your spring veggie garden and may you have great harvests!
Heather 

PS

For more ideas about what to sow and when in NZ, have a look at  http://gardenate.com

 

PPS

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!

 

Below ground crops seed-sowing week

Below ground crops seed-sowing week

Good root crops of carrots, beetroot, parsnip, radish, etc.

The moon is appearing smaller in the sky as it moves past full on Sunday 26th August 2018.

Best sowing days will be Monday 27th, Tuesday 28th and again Friday 31st August until Sunday 2nd September 2018 [in Auckland, NZ] .

Spring has nearly sprung and this is a great time to think about sowing seeds for the below-ground crops you enjoy. If not this month, then maybe next month so its time to prepare.

Here we will think about sowing carrots, daikon and beetroot [because these are the root crops our family eat mostly].

I use ‘Egmont Gold‘ carrots as they appear to be less troubled by carrot fly.

20170528_154908

We also love ‘Chiogga‘ beetroot. These are 2-tone globes with concentric circles of red and white – very pretty. They also taste sweeter than other beets – maybe they are a cross between original beetroot and sugar-beet?

20160924_121549

 

Daikon radish – a staple in curries and stir-fries for us.

20160927_172201

 

Our garlic crop went in last autumn and is growing away.

 

Garlic cloves for planting with small ones for eating 20160314
The larger garlic cloves are for planting and small ones are for eating

 

Will harvest it around the end of the year. It often is said to “plant garlic on the shortest day and harvest on the longest day”. We find it better here to give it longer so plant in autumn and it has good growth before slowing in the colder weather – when weeds can take over if the garlic is smaller.

Only issue we find planting earlier, is with garlic rust which saps the energy from the plant. Some years it takes over more than others and reduces size of bulbs. We give garlic air space around the plants and try for a breezy area. This seems to help. Also feed the ground well before planting, weed out competition and generally give them TLC are our strategies.

For more about garlic, here’s a post I wrote.

 

May you and your garden flourish
Heather

PS

For more ideas about what to sow and when in NZ, have a look at http://gardenate.com

PPS:

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!

 —

Sow seeds for fruits and flowers this week

Sow seeds for fruits and flowers this week

In Auckland, even though the days are getting longer,  the ground is cold and there is little we sow in the open now. Even putting seedlings into cold ground is not very successful as they are not happy to grow in the cold ground.

This is a time to sow under shelter, in hot-houses, tunnel-houses, conservatories, or inside somewhere with good light and warmth. A heat-pad [often sold at pet stores to keep pets warm] gives bottom heat needed by some seeds to germinate.

It’s time to sow seeds for fruits and flowers this week – best on

  • Wednesday 22nd August and Thursday 23rd August 2018 [here in New Zealand]

Before the full moon on Sunday 26th August 2018. 

 

So, what could we plant this week?

Start tomato seeds, and capsicum, eggplant [aubergine], chilies – from the amazing solanaceae family – if you can continue their growth in warmth until November when seedlings could be planted outside and the ground has warmed up. Pots in a hot house or under a plastic bag in a sheltered spot on a patio/deck?

 

 

May you and your garden flourish
Heather

PS

For more ideas about what to sow and when in NZ, have a look at  http://gardenate.com

 

PPS

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 [even just sprouts on the window-sill], plan a little, and help me have a continuous supply!