Take time out from sowing seeds until after June 21st

Take time out from sowing seeds until after June 21st

Take time out from sowing seeds until after the dark of the moon on Sunday 21st June 2020. 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.

Do other things instead.

  • Have a big ‘clean-up’ time! Build a new compost bin – this is a time when lots of annual plants die and are ready to be composted – a great mix with the carbon from leaves fallen to the ground and some grass clippings or manure.
  • Renovate garden beds ready for their next plantings and give them a covering of leaves over some compost and other nutrients. Stops weeds growing and soil washing away in heavy rain as well as giving the worms and other soil life protection from the cold winter weather.
  • Make some lovely leaf mold from any fallen leaves still around -great for potting mixes in spring.
  • A-n-d – to save seeds of your best plants when the seeds are fully formed and brown/black or otherwise matured so they will keep well. Dry thoroughly and I find winter is a great time to sort the good from the rest, package, label and store them for next season. They are a promise that vibrant, lush growth can happen even when I see cold winter surrounds with dead-looking leafless trees and bushes.

Solstice!

Sunday 21st June 2020 at 09:45 am. 

The shortest day, and the longest night.

Such an important turning point in the cycle of the year – when we are at the minimum day length [or maximum depending on which hemisphere of our wonderful planet we are in].

A-n-d for us in the southern hemisphere, from now onward, each day has a little bit more light. Woo hoo!

After the shortest day it is so nice to find more and more light coming back to warm and nourish our gardens and us. When there is not enough hours of sunlight, plants can’t create what they need to grow. So they sit. Light is so important to them.

Now, even though the ground is cold, it is time to look towards the new season and work out what to plant where in spring. Planning time rather than ‘doing’ time still – and can’t it be hard to wait! I so want to see new growth and the promise of lush, vibrant gardens again.

Happy gardening everyone!

May you and your garden flourish
Heather

PS

For more ideas about what to sow and when in NZ, have a look at Tui Planting calendar or at http://gardenate.com    [although I disagree with some of the recommendations as Auckland really is more temperate than sub-tropical we have found]

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 below-ground crops after 7th May

Sow below-ground crops after 7th May

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

Monday 11th and Tuesday 12th May 2020. 

Often planting charts talk generally of sowing these seeds during the week after the full moon – which will be on Thursday 7th May 2020.

Here in south Auckland the ground is moist. I think it’s late to put seeds in, but hey, it could be worth a try! Maybe a plastic cover for warmth and protection?

Carrots, beetroot, daikons, radish, parsnip, etc?

Instead, it’s time to plant bulbs of garlic, onions, shallots and seedlings of leeks and friends. [Allium group, or onion family, of plants]

Garlic

Garlic can be planted  now until the shortest day with good results. We plant into prepared areas – well supplied with compost and rock dust.

Some years we’ve had great success with this crop – to read how we grew great garlic, go here.

20161207_171407

We’ll choose the biggest bulbs, with the biggest cloves to replant first. The bigger the seed clove, the bigger the food store for the new seedling so it has the best start to grow big and strong.

Then we’ll save the large cloves from smaller bulbs to also plant. [And eat the smaller cloves]

May you and your garden flourish
Heather

 

PS

For more ideas about what to sow and when in NZ, have a look at Tui Planting calendar or at http://gardenate.com    [although I disagree with some of the recommendations as Auckland really is more temperate than sub-tropical we have found]

 

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!

Fruits, seeds and flowers before 7th May

Fruits, seeds and flowers before 7th May

Autumn in Auckland, New Zealand can be such a lovely time.

It’s late in the season to sow seeds, but if you want to try for optimum growth of fruits, seeds and flowers this week, best to try on

Tuesday 5th – morning of Thursday 7th May 2020.

Before the full moon on Thursday 7th May 2020.

Down-under, here in New Zealand, days are short so there is less sunlight to support good growth.

The ground is still warmish.

  • Peas. Maybe it’s time to plant peas again now – they like it cooler so will crop in the cooler season.  Plant the seeds 3x diameter of the seed to keep them down where the soil will be moister than near the surface where they could still dry out.
  • Broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, Brussel-sprouts, kale, etc – seedlings rather than seeds probably would be better now. So we get a crop before these slow-growing plants bolt to seed as weather warms up in spring.
  • Flowers – check requirements. Maybe we can still plant flowers which will over-winter – different types to spring planting. Sweet peas! Love them.

20171031_092328

This week the moon is growing towards full and the days listed are when many aspects line up to give optimum good germination for strong seedlings. Worth a try I think.

 

and a note to remind everyone about a problem fruiting plant now:

Choko: a ‘fruit’ we use as a vegetable is in season now – and the look-alike noxious pest Moth Plant is also fruiting now!

To know which you have, here’s a post I wrote to help show the differences – Chokos are delicious, especially when small! Enjoy.

Top row – Noxious moth plant:

Bottom row – delicious choko!

Here’s the post I wrote to help show the differences so you can enjoy chokos!

 

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!

Plant leafy greens after 23rd April

Plant leafy greens after 23rd April

Leafy greens love cooler weather.

Endive, miners lettuce [not really a lettuce], gotu kola, parsley, rocket, chervil, coriander, lettuce, etc. There are so many varieties we can plant now.

[NB – not heat-lovers like basil though, and gotu kola needs a sheltered spot to start to root and will grow when weather warms up in late Spring]]

This is a good time to plant a new lot of lettuce and other greens to provide lovely leaves for many months now the weather is cooler as the days are shorter. And it’s too cold for the caterpillars hopefully by now.

Caterpillars in autumn seem to love leafy green lettuces here. Green looper caterpillars can create havoc. They don’t seem to like the endive or other greens nearly as much as succulent, juicy lettuce. Keep a close eye on your tender crops and if the ends of leaves look like they are being removed, check under-sides of all leaves for a caterpillar [small or large!]

 

Soil temperature

If the soil is too cold, seeds take ages to start to grow. Then they rot or are eaten by beasties. Find a warm spot to sow seeds.

Try an experiment some time and go out at mid-afternoon and put your hand flat onto soil in full sun and notice how cold/hot it is. Now feel soil in a shaded place. Then choose where best to sow/plant for your crops.

Best times for planting seeds of greens?

After the new moon on Thursday 23rd April is the best week to plant for lush leafy greens.

The best days are Friday 24th – Saturday 25th, then again on Tuesday 28th through to the mornig of Thursday 30th 2020. 

 

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!

Take time out from sowing seeds until after the 23rd April

Take time out from sowing seeds until after the 23rd April

Take time out from sowing seeds from Wednesday 15th April until after the dark of the moon on Thursday 23rd April 2020.

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.

Do other things instead.

Such as enjoy the stunning autumn colours of trees, flowers and seeds in the garden.

And it’s Easter time – Good Friday is 10th April, Easter Sunday is 12th April, Easter Monday 13th April 2020.

Autumn is such a lovely month for flowers and color. Trees changing from green to gold, red and brown. Then shedding leaves onto the ground.

Gingko 20170601

For some of us, this is a gift of mulch/compost for the garden, nourishing plants we grow.

For some people, it’s a problem, creating mess, blocked drains and slippery paths.

So, if you are an avid gardener, consider leaves as a resource falling from our trees to the ground. Especially from our beautiful street trees which provide shade in summer and light in winter. It would be great if the leaves were used rather than taken away as waste by the council street sweeper.

And if your neighbors see the leaves as a problem, maybe you can relieve them of their problem to create a wonderful benefit in your garden. This is a great time to

  • Have a big ‘clean-up’ time! Build a new compost bin – this is a time when lots of annual plants die and are ready to be composted – a great mix with the carbon from leaves fallen to the ground and some grass clippings or manure.
  • Renovate garden beds ready for their next plantings and give them a covering of leaves over some compost and other nutrients. Stops weeds growing and soil washing away in heavy rain as well as giving the worms and other soil life protection from the cold winter weather.
  • Make some lovely leaf mold for great potting mixes in spring from the fallen leaves.
  • A-n-d  save seeds from your best plants when the seeds are fully formed and brown/black or otherwise matured so they will keep well.

 

Happy autumn gardening everyone!

May you and your garden flourish
Heather

PS

For more ideas about what to sow and when in NZ, have a look at Tui Planting calendar or at http://gardenate.com    [although I disagree with some of the recommendations as Auckland really is more temperate than sub-tropical we have found]

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 below-ground crops after 8th April

Sow below-ground crops after 8th April

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

Thursday 9th through to the morning of Saturday 11th April, then again from Monday 13th and Tuesday 14th April 2020.

Often planting charts talk generally of sowing these seeds during the week after the full moon – which will be on Wednesday 8th April 2020.

Here in south Auckland the ground is moist and still warmish.

If we have moisture in the soil we will put in some carrots – I prefer Egmont Gold as it is less affected by carrot fly.

Also beetroot, daikons, radish, parsnip, etc.

Garlic

Garlic can be planted from now with good results. We’ll prepare some areas and start putting the crop in from now onward until the shortest day.

Some years we’ve had great success with this crop – to read how we grew great garlic, go here.

20161207_171407

We’ll choose the biggest bulbs, with the biggest cloves to replant first. The bigger the seed clove, the bigger the food store for the new seedling so it has the best start to grow big and strong.

Then we’ll save the large cloves from smaller bulbs to also plant. [And eat the smaller cloves]

May you and your garden flourish
Heather

 

PS

For more ideas about what to sow and when in NZ, have a look at Tui Planting calendar or at http://gardenate.com    [although I disagree with some of the recommendations as Auckland really is more temperate than sub-tropical we have found]

 

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 before 8th April

Sow seeds for fruits and flowers before 8th April

Autumn here in New Zealand can be such a lovely time.

It’s time we can sow seeds for optimum growth of fruits, flowers and seed production this week,

especially Thursday 2nd April 2020.

Before the full moon on Wednesday 8th April 2020.

As long as the ground is moist!

Down-under, here in New Zealand,

The ground is still warm and seeds can germinate quickly. If you haven’t already planted these and have them growing strongly, another sowing can be worth a try.

We can still sow seeds throughout the week of

  • beans – if you can keep them warm. A plastic tunnel was great last year for us to get a good crop into winter. 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. ‘Prince’ dwarf variety is good to grow now.
  • Peas! Maybe it’s time to plant peas again now – they like it cooler so will crop when the cooler weather arrives.  Plant the seeds 3x diameter of the seed to keep them down where the soil will be moister than near the surface where they could still dry out.
  • Broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, Brussel-sprouts, kale, etc – seedlings rather than seeds probably would be better now.
  • Flowers – check requirements. Now we can plant flowers which will over-winter – different types to spring planting. Sweet peas! Love them.

20171031_092328

 

This week the moon is growing towards full and the days listed are when many aspects line up to give optimum good germination for strong seedlings. Worth a try I think.

 

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!

 

 

 

 

Plant leafy greens after 24th March

Plant leafy greens after 24th March

Lettuces love cooler weather.

And other leafy greens – endive, miners lettuce [not really a lettuce], gotu kola, parsley, rocket, chervil, coriander, etc.

There are so many ways to have the benefit of raw, leafy greens, even in winter.

This is a good time to plant a new lot of lettuce and other greens to provide lovely leaves for many months now the weather is cooler as the days are shorter. And it’s too cold for the caterpillars soon.

Caterpillars in autumn seem to love leafy green lettuces here. Green looper caterpillars created havoc last year. This year I have planted them under an insect mesh net. Let’s see if that is better!

They don’t seem to like the endive or other greens nearly as much as succulent, juicy lettuce.

 

Moisture

It’s such a balancing act – too much moisture [either from over-head rain or watering] makes for constantly wet leaves which touch each other, hold moisture and become slimy or mush – not nice!

Keep them just moist so they can germinate and grow strong roots. Sometimes a tunnel-house or cover can grow  greens well when there is too much rain about. Isn’t Auckland amazing with the amount of rain and warmth we get.

 

Soil temperature

Too cold  and seeds take ages to start to grow.

Try an experiment some time and go out at mid-afternoon and put your hand flat onto soil in full sun and notice how cold/hot it is. Now feel soil in a shaded place. Then choose where best to sow/plant for your crops.

Best times for planting seeds of greens?

After the new moon on Tuesday 24th March 2020 is the best week to plant for lush leafy greens.

The best days are Friday 27th – Sunday 29th before 2.30 pm, and again on Wednesday am 1st April 2020. 

 

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!

Chokos and the ‘look-alike’ noxious Moth Plant pest – which have you got?

Chokos and the ‘look-alike’ noxious Moth Plant pest – which have you got?

It’s choko time again! A-n-d the pest moth plant is fruiting too. As the seeds of moth plant are apparently poisonous, please know a real choko from the poisonous alternative.

So how to tell the delicious choko from the look-alike noxious moth plant?!

Which is choko and which is Moth Plant?

20180427_101336 - Copy
Moth Plant fruit
20180427_153214 - Copy
Choko fruit

 

The fruit look ‘sorta similar’ from the outside so people can easily confuse the two. Yet the leaves, flowers and seeds are different. 

Here’s how:

The Leaves

Choko

20180428_155638

Choko leaves are similar to grape vine leaves, whereas Moth Plant leaves are different.

Moth Plant:

20180427_162852
Moth Plant leaves and fruit

The Fruits

Choko fruit cut in half. One seed in the middle of the fruit.

 

 

Moth Plant fruit cut in half – showing the many, many seeds in a clump in the center.

20180427_163028 - Copy

See also the flesh is different – harder, and has a milky sap which can be really irritating so best to not touch it at all [if you must pick this plant, use gloves].

 

The Seeds

The single seed of the choko sprouts a little root and shoot from the fruit to grow one new plant.

20160522_171117

Whereas the Moth Plant fruit produces millions of fluffy seeds as it splits the old, shriveled fruit [so its also called ‘kapok plant’] to fly on the wind far and wide.

20180427_101349 - Copy

 

The flowers

Chokos have 2 types of flowers – the little white-petaled  male ones grow in a long group. The female one [which  forms the fruit we eat] is a single one and hangs from a stalk on the small end of the fruit.

 

 

Moth Plant flowers look very different:

20180427_101336 - Copy

Moth plant fruit hangs from a stalk on the fat end of the fruit.

Here’s a link to a Wikipedia article on Moth Plant [also known as Kapok plant, Common moth vine, Cruel vine, and White bladder] for more info.  Also, here’s a Weed Busters article.

 

I hope this post makes clear the difference between the delicious, edible choko and the noxious, pest Moth Plant.

 

For more about the delicious chokos:

See the post for how we grow the plants and also for recipes using the fruits too.

 

Enjoy!

 

 

Take time out from sowing seeds until after 24th March

Take time out from sowing seeds until after 24th March

Take time out from sowing seeds from Monday 16th March 2020 until after the dark of the moon on Tuesday 24th March 2020. 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.

Do other things instead.

Such as enjoy autumn flowers and seeds in the garden. Or check out what seeds you can save from plants that did well this year.

 If your weather is cold, maybe its a time to:

  • Build a new compost bin – this is a time when lots of annual plants die and are ready to be composted. Big ‘clean-up’ time in our garden.
  • renovate garden beds ready for their next plantings.
  • read up on this next season and seed types to plant for success – they all have their favorite times. Autumn can give great results for sowings.
  • learn more about the optimum conditions to grow GREAT crops of your favorite veg or fruit
  • Plan your next seed sowing, your garden layout, or crop rotation to minimize pest and diseases.

A-N-D the Autumn Equinox occurs on Friday 20th MArch 2020 at 4.50 pm in NZ. When day length equals night length. Then as each day is a little bit shorter and each night a little longer, there is less sunlight for plant growth.

 

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!

 

 —