Below-ground crops after 17th June; and celebrate the solstice

Below-ground crops after 17th June; and celebrate the solstice

Plant garlic now!

It’s getting late to put in any seeds as the ground is getting colder so germination is slow. Then the seeds are likely to be eaten rather than grow for us. Or just sit and shiver and do nothing. If you really want to sow seeds, find a warm place. Instead, plant bulbs [including garlic] instead! And other onion-family bulbs such as leeks, chives, garlic chives, onions, etc.

If you have a warm, sunny spot, recommended best days for sowing seeds to grow great root crops are

Tuesday 18th June to Thursday morning 20th, then again on Sunday 23rd to Tueasday morning 25th June 2019. 

Often planting charts talk generally of sowing these seeds during the week after the full moon – which will be on Monday 17th June 2019.

 

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]

–   –  –  –  –  –  –  –

Solstice!

Friday 21st June 2019 at 11:55 pm – just before midnight. 

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.

 

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 before 17th June

Sow seeds for fruits and flowers before 17th June

It’s time to sow seeds for fruits and flowers this week until the full moon on Monday 17th June 2019.

Especially good days include Tuesday 11th June through to Saturday 15th June 2019 [here in New Zealand] – if you have a warm place!

Here in New Zealand, the weather is cool/cold. Less day-light round 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.

The ground is cold and seed sowing really only gives results in hot-houses, tunnel-houses, conservatories, or inside somewhere light. A heat-pad [often sold at pet stores to keep pets warm] gives bottom heat needed by some seeds to germinate.

 

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!

Leafy greens time after 3rd June

Leafy greens time after 3rd June

Leafy greens love cooler weather.

A-n-d snails and slugs love tender greens!

We surround seedlings with a protective barrier where possible. These ones have been reused over and over so I am happy with them. We also use an assortment of cut-down plastic containers to surround seedlings.

20171021_120356

 

Endive, miners lettuce [not really a lettuce], gotu kola, parsley, rocket, chervil, coriander, lettuce, etc. There are so many varieties we can enjoy. The ground is getting very cool for successful germination now so I hope your previous plantings are doing well.

 

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. If at all until Spring.

Best times for planting seeds of greens?

After the new moon on Monday 3rd June 2019 is the best week to plant for lush leafy greens.

The best days are Wednesday 5th and Thursday 6th 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 3rd June

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

Take time out from sowing seeds until after the dark of the moon on Monday 3rd June 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.

  • Big ‘clean-up’ time still? Build a new compost bin – to take lots of annual plants which die and are ready to be composted. [and deciduous leaves add great carbon store to the compost so we collect the fallen leaves from these street trees too]
  • renovate garden beds ready for their next plantings in spring.
  • read up on this next season and seed types to plant for success – they all have their favorite times.
  • 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.
  • Save seeds of your best plants 

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!

 —

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.

20180709_115248

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.

20171010_160100

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

WP_20150622_002

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

20170707_150327

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!!

20190324_125123

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?

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!

Leafy greens time now

Leafy greens time now

In our garden in Auckland NZ, the open ground is too cold for much success sowing seeds and planting there. It’s a good time to put a plastic tunnel over a piece of ground to warm it up for sowing leafy seeds soon.

Sow seeds for leafy greens now if you have

  • a hot-house,
  • tunnel-house,
  • conservatory or
  • warm, bright window

7-100_7144

Best times for planting seeds of greens?

After the new moon on Saturday 11th August 2018 [which always gives the possibility of a new beginning] is the best week to plant for lush leafy greens.

The best days are Tuesday 14th through to Friday 17th July 2018 [here in New Zealand].

 

In Auckland the weather is cold and the ground is cold and wet.

If you already have leafy greens growing, do keep in mind that snails and slugs love tender greens! Check your growing crops and protect them from these beasties which can devastate tender plants.

We surround seedlings with a protective barrier where possible. These ones have been reused over and over so I am happy with them. We also use an assortment of cut-down plastic containers to surround seedlings.

20171021_120356

 

They also do better when protected from too much rain – a plastic house or cover really helps.

20180709_115243

20171010_172138

 

20171010_172131

[And – why do self-seeded ones prefer to grow in the path rather than the garden bed! ]

20180423_171705

 

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!