Take time out from sowing seeds until after the 3rd July

Take time out from sowing seeds until after the 3rd July

Take time out from sowing seeds until after the dark of the moon on Wednesday 3rd July 2019. 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.

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 19th May

Sow below-ground crops after 19th May

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

Wednesday 22nd May to Thursday 23rd May 2019. 

Often planting charts talk generally of sowing these seeds during the week after the full moon – which will be on Sunday 19th May 2019.

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.

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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 19th May

Fruits, seeds and flowers before 19th May

Autumn here 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

Wednesday 15th – Saturday 18th May 2019.

Before the full moon on Sunday 19th May 2019.

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.

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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.

 

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:

Bottom row – delicious!

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 5th May

Plant leafy greens after 5th May

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 created havoc last year. 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 Sunday 5th May 2019 is the best week to plant for lush leafy greens.

The best days are Monday 6th, then again on Thursday 9th and Friday 10th 2019. 

 

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 5th May

Take time out from sowing seeds until after the 5th May

Take time out from sowing seeds from Saturday 27th April until after the dark of the moon on Sunday 5th May 2019. 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.

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 19th April

Sow below-ground crops after 19th April

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

Saturday 20th and Sunday 21st April, then again from Wednesday 24th to Friday 26th April 2019.

Often planting charts talk generally of sowing these seeds during the week after the full moon – which will be on Friday 19th April 2019.

Here in south Auckland the ground is moist and still warmish. According to NIWA seasonal forecast April-June 2019, it’s supposed to be warmer than average, with maybe less rainfall and soil moisture[?]. I wonder if we may still get further growth before the coldest part of the year.

So we are putting 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!

Preparing for winter!

Preparing for winter!

Winter is coming. When we take stock and take charge, we can enjoy winter. What do you need to sort so you can enjoy this winter in your garden?

This info comes from an article I wrote for our local newsletter – and I thought it might be helpful to you as well so have included it here. Not all about gardens, but to enjoy our gardens we need the rest sorted too so here goes.

In our gardens

Trees – check for safety in high winds. Whole trees or dead branches ready to fall? Sort these now.

Wind and frost shelter for small, young trees can really help them survive and thrive.

The piks below show young citrus trees protected by mesh in an area exposed to strong, cold winds and frosts. They are doing fine in spite of the weather.

 

Protection for other crops can extend their season too. Lettuces go slimy in too much rain so a plastic cover can help grow nice lettuces.

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Paths and driveways can get slippery in winter. Do they need a clean off now so they will be safe?

Areas prone to become bogs? Standing water on grass/garden beds/paths? Any drainage you could do to sort this better so it is safe and more enjoyable to work in these areas?

Mulching can protect garden beds from heavy rain impact.

Slugs and snails emerge when the summer dry weather changes to wetter, cooler weather. Now’s a great time to reduce numbers so fewer are around to decimate leafy green crops and seedlings – 1 snail can chomp through so many seedlings that I had trouble believing it! Do you want more ideas on slug/snail control? Here’s a post I wrote with strategies we tried.

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Rain water

Winter can replenish supplies of water in the ground, re-vitalise soil, refill our water-tanks and dams. Wonderful!

If you want to catch water to use on your garden next summer, now is a great time to put in rain-tanks. There are so many options! Some are quick, easy and cheap. Others take more effort, time and $$. Here are a few ideas to start with.

 

It can also bring too much rain too quickly so the overflows surge out of streams, gutters, down-pipes, etc washing away our prized soil and plants, causing havoc in buildings, flooding roads etc.

Now is a great time to sort any issues with:

Gutters and downpipes on houses, sheds, garages

Are they working properly? Any obstacles to free flow of water down from roof so overflows don’t go down inside walls/ceilings? Some gutter types are better designed than others to clear excess water away from our homes. Worth a few minutes to check and clear debris collected in gutters now.

[PS: ‘ladder-safe’ awareness – you do not need to climb ladders – a plumber or home maintenance person will sort the gutters for you – it’s worth it from a safety aspect. Please be ‘ladder safe’. ]

Gully traps

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Connections to the sewerage system take dirty water from kitchen, bathroom and toilet through the gully traps. If not free-flowing – yukky mess which can spill out! Do you know where the pipes go down into the gully-trap pit? Can you check that the covers are in good condition, free from blockages? Otherwise, now is a great time to call a plumber to fix it.

Check storm-water flows in it’s own pipes so it does not flow into the sewerage system and overload it. If overloaded, the pipes overflow yuk around your place [or anyone elses]. Or into the beaches and harbours. Not nice at all. Sort it now.

Street gutters and catch-pits

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Rainwater falling on the ground flows down-slope into city/town streets where it is channelled to underground pipes via the gutters and catch-pits. People living down-slope from roads can be flooded in extreme rain when pits and gutters are blocked. How are your garden beds in relation to potential over-flows? Your paths and driveway? Buildings?

Roads themselves can be flooded and dangerous to drive on. It’s worth checking and clearing the road gutters and pits near you so excess water can get away rather than flood areas. Where is the nearest pit to your place? Is it clear?

Rats and Mice!!

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As the weather becomes colder and rainier, rodents look for warm shelter – our homes, garages, sheds are attractive targets. Compost bins and chook sheds are prime targets – warm and food provided!

Rodents [and possums too] also like quality home-grown food crops so if your fruit is munched, or carrots dug and mutilated etc, it’s worth making your place far less attractive, however works for you.

Check all round each likely target at your place. Also check under-floor spaces, in roof cavity and walls too for droppings. Also vehicles, engine areas etc. Target your defenses to places rodents like.

Which of the many defense options are best for you? Traps, live-catch traps, baits or ‘Good Nature’ traps as used by DOC. Ultrasonic deterrents? Other? Baits are recommended to be locked into traps inaccessible to small children and pets. Check traps often and remove rodents as appropriate, or replenish baits if needed.

Health

Your health and well-being matter – physical and mental.

Our gardens can help lift our spirits if we get out into them. When we are down, it’s hard to feel motivated but making an effort is so worthwhile.

Here’s a few other ways to support our health this winter.

Check stocks of remedies for winter ills [coughs, colds, etc] are current and ready.

Time for a health check with a doctor/nurse/health practitioner before winter?

Vaccinations – any relevant for you/ your family /pets?  flu up to date? 

Exercise – not so easy to keep fit [so helpful for staying healthy] in the colder, wetter months with shorter days – what strategies can you include in your days? Gardens can really get us warm and energised when we work hard clearing ground, digging [if you dig!], turning compost, carting compost to gardens, etc. So good.

Heating

Keeping warm really helps maintain health. We can be warm while physically active in a garden. We also benefit from keeping warm inside our homes.

Time to get heaters out of cupboards, dust them off and turn them on to check they will work when you need them.

Heat-pump – need filters cleaned [easy] or a service to work well?

Electric blankets – new? old? been folded up in a cupboard/box?If so, do have them checked for electrical safety before use. Many house fires have started from failed electric blankets, and that’s a big cost.

Wood-burners – does it need the flue checked and cleaned before use? No birds nests inside?

Ultra-dry firewood burns hottest and cleanest with minimum smoke  produced – time to check supplies? And/or purchase from a reputable seller so you get dry, long-burning wood?

Draughts – waste your precious heat and bring cold air in. Can you block up draughts? Seal door frames and window frames, fit protective curtains [apparently duvets or bubble-wrap make great insulation over windows to block heat loss!] Make ventilation, not draughts.

Humidity and mould

Excess humidity encourages mould growth on our plants, and in our homes it contributes to poor air quality.

In the garden, check and sort mould issues on leaves, fruit and flowers.

What strategies can you use to reduce excess humidity to make a comfortable home? Ventilation, dehumidifier, heat-pumps also remove moisture.

Wet clothes give off lots of moisture as they dry. Can they ‘solar dry’ sometimes outside? Can a dryer be vented to the outside?

Check windows, frames, blinds, curtains etc for black mould spots to be removed before winter humidity sets them growing.

Clothing

Are the winter clothes still OK to use? Are your winter garden clothes threadbare/falling apart with much use? Still warm or time to be replaced?

Boots, gumboots, clogs, shoes, or whatever you wear in the garden in winter – waterproof? Or cracking up and need repair/replacement?

Kids outgrown theirs and need bigger ones? Any you can pass on to other people to keep them warm this winter too?

Bedding

Are winter bedclothes still warm or getting worn and it’s time to replace them? Pillows, too as dust mites love old ones.

Hot-water bottles – still pliable and in good condition? Or getting small cracks indicating possible leaks? Is it time to replace before this happens?

Cars and other vehicles

Battery – as weather gets colder, batteries work harder to start the car. Is the battery a few years old? Time to visit a battery supplier/auto-electrician for a check-up before it fails?

Tyres – wet roads bring oil to the surface and can be very slippery. Have tyres lots of tread [>1.5mm thick all over] to grip the road for you? If they seem smooth and lost their grip, is it time for replacements? You and your family are important!

Wet slippery roads – accidents waiting to happen as other drivers forget to slow down and drive to the conditions. Allow extra time for trips so you and your family are safe on the roads.

Windscreen wipers getting old and leaving streaks across the windscreen? Not giving a clear view ahead? Will cleaning them remove build-up along the blade? Or a new set?

Does the windscreen washer container need filling with water/detergent solution/your favourite mix so it cleans the wet road grime off for you to see clearly, even in the rain?

Service cars [brakes, etc] before winter sets in?

Whatever you do now will be so much easier than when winter weather really sets in.

So you can enjoy the cooler months and the gifts they bring. Beauty of winter flowers, sparkling frost, crisp fresh air and sky.  What brings joy to your heart in winter?