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