Sow seeds of leafy greens after 17th October

Sow seeds of leafy greens after 17th October

Sow seeds of leafy greens in the week after the new moon on the Saturday 17th October 2020.

Best days for sowing leafy greens are said to be Sunday 18th and Monday 19th October 2020 then again  Thursday 22nd and Friday 23rd October  2020 [here in New Zealand].

We are moving into warmer times as summer arrives. Leafy greens are best in semi-shade now as they bolt to seed in strong sun. And they need constant moisture to stay tender so keep a watch on soil moisture around them [I poke a finger into the soil and feel if its moist or not].

It’s good to sow new batches often so there are more growing leaves when previous crops are making flowers and seeds instead.

I will sow seeds throughout the week of

  • Lettuce – 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.
  • Silver-beet [including rainbow chard/ bright light beets – the ones with vibrant colored stems – so stunning to see in a garden]
  • Rocket [Arugula] 
  • Asian greens – maybe mizuna.
  • New Zealand Spinach ours is self-seeding so I’ll look see if there are little, new ones growing. It’s OK cooked [needs 2 changes of boiling water to draw out and minimize the oxalic acid content – in the same way that adult forms of true spinach and silver-beet also need]

     Hot-climate ‘greens’ including:

All grow more strongly in warmer weather than do lettuce or silver-beet. Most also grow far taller than lettuce. Do some research. Have a go with something different too.

Summer is a challenging time to have traditional leafy greens grow well – they much prefer cooler weather.

When the weather warms up lettuce etc bolt to seed fast and produce fewer leaves which easily go bitter. When stressed, they stop making leaves and make flowers and seeds instead.

To encourage leafy greens to grow leaves instead of bolting to seed,

  • keep them well-watered 
  • Keep the soil moist and the leaves dry – a challenge for us! When the leaves stay wet they can go slimy or grow rust – not nice.
  • If you water from above, check the sun won’t shine onto the leaves while wet as the droplets focus the sun’s rays and can burn tender leaves.
  • give the plants filtered shade from hot sun – either by taller plants or by shade cloth coverings.
  • Check them daily [especially lettuce with its small, shallow root system]
  • pick individual leaves for salads and cooked greens
  • sow/plant a new batch each week for a continuous supply so we have some growing well even when previous lots are going to seed.

This is a time when I grow excess plants as some will be growing leaves when others are bolting – its all just the cycle of the plant’s life and I work with it as much as possible.

We usually manage to have greens available each day – often heaps! So nice.

Best wishes and enjoy the warm weather in your garden!
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 2nd September

Sow seeds for fruits and flowers before 2nd September

In Auckland, even though the days are getting longer,  the ground is cold and there is little we sow in the open yet. 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.

Has the Spring flush begun at your place yet? Some years it may, some not so much just yet. When lawns grow faster than they can be mowed, plants seem to shoot into the air! A joy to watch them grow.

It’s time to sow seeds for fruits and flowers this week – best on

  • Friday 28th August through to mornig of Sunday 30th August 2020 [here in New Zealand]

Before the full moon on Wednesday 2nd September 2020

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?

Zucchini, pumpkins, cucumbers and similar maybe can begin now too?

Broccoli too.

Flowers!

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!

Sow seeds for fruits, flowers and seeds before 4th August

Sow seeds for fruits, flowers and seeds before 4th August

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

  • Tuesday 28th July pm and Wednesday 29th July, then again
  • Saturday 1st and Sunday 2nd August 2020. [here in New Zealand]

Before the full moon on Tuesday 4th August 2020. 

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?

Not an easy time to succeed in growing much yet. Patience is better and learn about requirements for plants you want to grow so you give them great conditions and they can reward you well.

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!

Sow seeds for fruits and flowers before 5th July

Sow seeds for fruits and flowers before 5th July

It’s time to sow seeds for fruits and flowers this week – if you have a warm place!

Especially good days include Monday 29th June through to morning of Thursday 2nd July 2020. 

Until the full moon on Sunday 5th July 2020. [here in New Zealand]

Here in New Zealand, the weather is cool/cold. The ground is cold. This is a time to plan more and sow less until the ground warms up. Or sow under shelter, 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 or  tuigarden.co.nz/planting-calendar  [although I disagree with some of the recommendations in such planting calendars 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 [even just sprouts on the window-sill], plan a little, and help me have a continuous supply!

Sow seeds for fruits and flowers before 6th June

Sow seeds for fruits and flowers before 6th June

It’s time to sow seeds for fruits and flowers this week until the full moon on Saturday 6th June 2020.

Especially good days include Monday 1st June through to Thursday 4th June 2020 [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!

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?

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Moth Plant fruit
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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

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

Moth Plant:

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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!

 

 

It’s time to sow seeds of leafy greens after Monday 24th Feb 2020

It’s time to sow seeds of leafy greens after Monday 24th Feb 2020

As we move from Summer into Autumn, it’s time to sow seeds for luscious, tender leafy greens – and best days are:

  • Tuesday 25th February 
  • and again Saturday 29th February [Happy Leap Year!] and Sunday 1st March 2020 [here in New Zealand]

After the heat of summer, the move into March signals to plants that days are getting shorter, weather has less heat overall and its:

Time to grow lovely tender greens again – much more easily than through summer.

Let’s hope for good germination!  I will sow seeds of

  • Lettuce – I left many varieties to seed so hopefully some will do well no matter what the weather does this year – hot/dry/cold/wet.
  • Silver-beet [including rainbow chard/ bright light beets – the ones with vibrant colored stems – so stunning to see in a garden] we left to seed in the garden and they are sprouting up now
  • Rocket [Arugula] is tasty rather than bitter at this time. We plant 2 types – the large leaf annual and the stronger, smaller-leaf perennial rocket [some are even coming up self-sown now – wonderful]
  • Mustard greens, or the giant red mustard is pretty nice early in the season before the heat of summer adds too much pepper bite. [also appearing on their own now]
  • Asian greens [assorted] – here they grow well in the cooler months – they grow so fast! We have Mizuna self-seeding. We grow 2 types – an ordinary green one as well as the deep red one – stunning in the garden [for a short time]
  • Endive  We grow 2 types – a broader leaf variety and a lovely fine, frilly variety. They are lovely and tender in cooler months so we enjoy them now. Both grow more slowly than lettuce. [and are appearing themselves now – we left a lot to seed last year]
  • cilantro [leaf coriander] -maybe it will grow lovely leaves rather than bolting to seed now!

This is a great time to have leafy greens grow well – they love cooler, wetter times.

Enjoy delightful salads with a range of leaf types in these cooler months.

May the weather support growing great plants! 
Cheers
Heather

PS:

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 a rest from sowing seeds until after 24th Feb 2020

Take a rest from sowing seeds until after 24th Feb 2020

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

Maybe enjoy harvesting, feasting and storing from what was sown before?  What a wonderful season it is here in Auckland.

It’s also a time to clear out residue of crops which have finished. Amazing how much mass food plants make which can add wonders to compost heaps/bins. It’s really nice to find fresh beds available again after growing steadily throughout spring/summer.

 

It’s also a time we can put aside seeds for next year:

 

It’s not a time to sow/plant just yet, rather prepare beds well, ready for better sowing times, especially as autumn is on the way!

 

I hope you too can enjoy produce from plants you put in before – fresh as well as stored in your favorite ways.

A garden can be a great place to spend a few moments to re-connect with ourselves. Your well-being is supported by your garden if you can take a few moments and be revitalized and ready for the rest of your day. Take a few minutes to sit and enjoy the garden – really sit and savor it.

 

Best wishes for you and your garden!
Heather

 

PS:

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 of leafy greens next week after 25th Jan 2020

Sow seeds of leafy greens next week after 25th Jan 2020

 

 

 

Sow seeds for leafy greens next week after the dark of the moon on Saturday 25th February 2020.

Best days:

  • Monday 27th January through to Wednesday 29th January,
  • then again Saturday 1st February 2020 [here in New Zealand].

This is a challenging time to grow leafy greens – through summer heat and humidity. Partial shade and constant water supply help them grow leaves rather than bolt to seed.

If you do plant, heat-lovers are good. Cool-loving lettuce, spinach, coriander [cilantro] take more care and attention at this time – can you give it to them now?

Leafy greens are best in semi-shade now as they bolt to seed in strong sun and dry soil.

They need constant moisture to stay tender [Auckland is really helping there with all the rain we’ve had!].  I keep a watch on soil moisture around them [I poke a finger into the soil and feel if its moist or not].

It’s good to sow new batches often so there are more growing leaves when previous crops are making flowers and seeds instead.

If you do sow seeds, choose from

  • Lettuce – I’ve spread around seed-heads from a number of summer varieties so hopefully some will do well no matter what the weather does now – hot/dry/wet. In shade as well as some sunnier beds.
  • Silver-beet [including rainbow chard/ bright light beets – the ones with vibrant colored stems – so stunning to see in a garden] These are self-seeding around the garden at present. Even perpetual beet [which is coarser to us but withstands rust and mold better than traditional forms so we grow some of each.
  • Rocket [Arugula] – the perennial version which is stronger tasting, and has finely divided leaves. It seems to survive the heat better, in fact, it has prospered this year.
  • Asian greens – maybe mizuna. Haven’t grown so well this summer, so maybe more success soon.
  • New Zealand Spinach ours is self-seeding so I’ll look see if there are little, new ones growing. It’s OK cooked [needs 2 changes of boiling water to draw out and minimize the oxalic acid content – in the same way that adult forms of true spinach and silver-beet also need]

Still time to plant hot-climate ‘greens’ including:

  • Basil
  • Magenta Spreen [Chenopodium giganteum] – see Wikipedia for more info
    Amaranth [we like Mekong Red =  Amaranthus tricolor] – see Wikipedia
    for more info 
    Orach [Atriplex hortensis] – see Wikipedia
    for more info
    All grow more strongly in warmer weather than do lettuce or silver-beet. Most also grow far taller than lettuce. Do some research. Have a go with something different too.

 

 

 

Cilantro I find too quick to bolt to seed at this time.

 

Summer is a challenging time to have traditional leafy greens grow well – they need some care.

 

Best wishes and enjoy the warm weather and your garden!
Heather

 

PS:

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 a rest from sowing seeds until after Saturday 25th Jan – enjoy harvests instead!

Take a rest from sowing seeds until after Saturday 25th Jan – enjoy harvests instead!

Take time out from sowing seeds from Saturday 18th January until after the dark of the moon on Saturday 25th January 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.

Maybe enjoy feasting from what was sown before? Strawberries, other berries, plums, nectarines, peaches, apricots! What a wonderful season it is here in Auckland.

The ground is drying out here in Auckland and there is no significant rain forecast for the next weeks. Keep it simple. Keep an eye on soil moisture – automatic waterers are wonderful.

And spend time enjoying produce from plants you put in before. Harvest time is lots of fun. There is something special about harvesting and eating something to eat from seeds you planted so long ago. Love it.

 

 

 

Best wishes and I hope you can enjoy your garden with whatever it offers now!

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!