Cherry blossom time again!

Cherry blossom time again!

Aren’t they lovely – I understand why in Japan cherry-blossom time sends people into the public gardens with cherry-blossom walks. Beautiful.

They tell me spring is well and truly here and summer will return.

 

And to take a few moments to enjoy the fragile blossoms as I go about the garden.

 

There’s more to gardening and life than one task after another – look up and enjoy nature’s wonderful creations too.

 

20171020_161651.jpg

Are there blossoms on trees in your area for you to enjoy too? There are some as street trees here – gorgeous for a little while.

 

 

 

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 – Friday 1st September 2017 + Saturday 2nd + Tuesday 5th September 2017 [here in New Zealand]

Before the full moon on Wednesday 6th September 2017.

An early Spring seems to have sprung!

In Auckland the weather has been milder than usual so we will sow lots of seeds for 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 – especially with an early Spring.

 

 

  • 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].

 

Open ground planting for heat-lovers [tomatoes, chilies, melons, corn, etc] 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 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

Sow seeds for fruits and flowers this week

Sow seeds for fruits and flowers this week

In Auckland the ground is cold and there is little we grow in the open now.

If you have a glass house or tunnel house then you have more options. It’s time to sow seeds for fruits and flowers this week – best on

  • Monday pm 31st July and am of Tuesday 1st August 2017
  • then again Friday 4th pm, Saturday 5th and Sunday 6th August 2017 [here in New Zealand]

Before the full moon on Tuesday 8th August 2017. 

This is an interesting time as there is also a partial eclipse of the moon that night [at 6.20 am on 8th August 2017]. As seen from Auckland it will cover only a little part of the full disc of the moon [assuming no cloud cover too].

Eclipses bring interruption to the regular cycles of the sun and moon which we are used to. The light usually shed onto our Earth disappears at odd times. There is a disturbance to natural cycles. Animals react to these changes. Maybe plants do too. It is something to observe and note for ourselves. If you are interested in eclipses, this site is informative.

 

So, what could we plant this week?

Peas, snow peas, snap peas, sweet peas are an option at this time – with LOTS of protection from slugs and snails!

 

For all peas and beans, I start by putting the seeds in a jar of water by the sink [so I remember them]. I leave them soak overnight. Next morning I tip off the water and rinse the seeds until the water is clear. I leave the seeds in their jars, rinsing occasionally until I see them sprout the first tiny roots from the seeds.

Then I plant them out into the open ground. I try to surround them with a plastic protector – multi-purpose as it keeps out slugs and snails as well as protection from cold winds and black-birds.

Maybe a  plastic tunnel over them would warm the ground enough for them to grow.

 

What about beans?

Beans like much warmer weather than peas do. Beans grow and fruit in summer/autumn quite happily [unless it is too hot]. Peas like cooler weather so grow well in spring and autumn [and into winter if the weather is just cool rather than snow and ice].

Early beans under a plastic tunnel? Maybe.  If we have an early spring, maybe it might work – it sure helped give us beans to eat at the end of the main season so we picked beans into winter. Maybe it can warm the ground enough for early spring sowing too?

I think we might put a plastic tunnel over our proposed planting site so the ground warms and dries enough to be OK to plant into. Beans prefer drier ground and will not grow if it is very wet and sodden – they rot instead.

We’ll plant the seeds under the tunnel after they have started to sprout in a jar on the kitchen bench.

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

Can I wait a little longer? Not sure. There is always the option of further sowing later in the season too. Its a wonderful time when we can ‘have a go’ and try for some early crops as well as plant later when success is far more likely.

We look forward to Spring planting!

Down-under sow seeds for fruits and flowers this week

Down-under sow seeds for fruits and flowers this week

It’s time to sow seeds for fruits and flowers this week until the full moon on Friday 9th June 2017.

Especially good days include Saturday arvo 4th June through to Thursday 8th morning [here in New Zealand]

In the northern hemisphere, this is a great time to sow heaps for summer crops.

Here in New Zealand, the weather is cool/cold. Less day-light as we approach the shortest day means the ground is also cool. This is a time to plan more and sow less until the ground warms up. Or sow under shelter, such as a hot-house or tunnel-house.

We may still plant a crop of green manure into vacant garden beds. It can grow until the plants start to flower then we will chop them off and either dig them into the soil or, more likely, cover the lot with mulch and leave the worms to turn it all into lovely new rich soil for spring planting.

 

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

Down-under sow seeds for fruits and flowers this week

Down-under sow seeds for fruits and flowers this week

It’s time to sow seeds for fruits and flowers this week until the full moon on 11th May 2017.

Especially good days include Sunday 7th to Wednesday 10th [here in New Zealand]

In the northern hemisphere, this is a great time to sow heaps for summer crops.

Here in New Zealand, the weather is getting cooler and with less day-light so the ground is also cooling down. We may still plant a crop of green manure into vacant garden beds. It can grow until the plants start to flower then we will chop them off and either dig them into the soil or, more likely, cover the lot with mulch and leave the worms to turn it all into lovely new rich soil for spring planting.

 

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

 

Sow seeds for fruits and flowers this week

Sow seeds for fruits and flowers this week

February is mid-summer down-under – and as germinating seeds need constant moisture to grow and flourish – this can be the main issue to grow new seedlings. Autumn is not too far away so maybe I’ll leave sowing seeds for a month.

If you really want to plant now, it’s time to sow seeds for fruits and flowers this week. Best days are Sunday 5th February, + Wednesday 8th + Thursday 9th February 2017 [here in New Zealand] before the full moon on Saturday 11th February 2017

This is the time of year when seeds in compost sprout and grow happily!

  • tomatoes – well, they come up by themselves in compost so thin/transplant/return to compost
  • pumpkins/squashes/zucchini [courgettes] – these often come up by themselves too.
  • Beans [I might sow some more – directly into the ground and put out snail bait or surround them with plastic cut-off bottles to protect from snails and slugs which love baby seedling legumes]
  • Flowers

Is it too late to plant corn and melons now? Maybe worth a try still – directly in the ground.

 

This week the moon is growing towards full and the days  of Sunday, Wed, Thurs are when many aspects line up to give optimum good germination for strong seedlings if you’d like to plant now. Do keep them well watered – when seedlings are tiny, one dry spell can end them.

Down-under sow seeds for fruits and flowers this week

Down-under sow seeds for fruits and flowers this week

Down-under it’s time to sow seeds for fruits and flowers this week – from Thursday 8th December 2016 until the full moon on 14th December 2016.

Especially good days include Thursday 8th + Sunday 11th – Tuesday 13th [here in New Zealand]

In Auckland the weather has warmed up and dried out the soil here. I may still sow seeds throughout the week of

  • Beans? Maybe more? I wonder if I have planted enough that are growing strongly? Time to check.  [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].
    The beans in the top pik are Lab lab beans – Dolichos lablab – a tropical bean with lovely purple flowers and pods. Cook well [in fact, cook all beans well to de-activate the anti-nutrients they contain]
  • Maybe I’ll plant more seedlings of chilies, peppers [capsicum] and eggplants (aubergine). If there is space as these are ‘would like’ rather than ‘must have’
  • Pumpkins! If we don’t have many growing yet.
  • Corn? Another sowing is good -if I can find some space!
  • Flowers of all sorts.More sunflowers.

 

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