This is a wonderful time to plant seeds for your favorite pumpkins, squashes, zucchinis, tomatoes, peppers, chilies, cucumbers, beans.
Also seed-producing plants – chia anyone? Or other grains? rice, quinoa, amaranth? etc?
Best week to sow for fruits, flowers and seeds is said to be before the full moon.
This month, the full moon is on Monday 14th October 2019.
Best days for fruits and flowers are said to be
- afternoon of Sunday 6th October through Monday 7th October 2019.
- Then again from Thursday 10th through to Saturday 12th October 2019.
Seeds from a favorite pumpkin can be scraped directly into a lovely big pile of rich compost or aged manures to grow wonderfully. Keep some of the fibrous material around the seeds as it helps support their growth.
[Cover the pile as birds love scratching for worms and seedlings are destroyed as they do so]
If I write the labels and keep them with the packets of seeds, I’m more likely to put them with the seeds when I sow them – whether in pots or trays of the ground. Really helps me remember what I’ve put where in the ground, especially before they poke through the soil surface.
When I just sow seeds, I forget I’ve done so and a week or so later I put something else in too – makes for confusion.
Wonderful time to sow
- tomatoes – plant seedlings out when the ground at your place is warm enough. Auckland is nearly maybe warm enough – yet humid or wet air is a challenge for tomatoes which prefer hot, dry climates and we need to keep a watch for molds and mildew. We use micro-climates – little warm spots on the north side of a brick wall/paving, protected from cold winds. Or give them a ‘mini-hothouse’. For more tips about how we grow great tomatoes, go here.
- pumpkins/squashes/zucchini [courgettes] – if you have lots of space, compost and warmth these can be generous crops
- cucumbers – we have some years with a very abundant harvest – a wonderful feast – and some years, not so much. I think the molds and fungus in wet, humid summers takes a toll. Also summer drought – plants like consistent moisture in their root zone. If we skimp on providing water, the plants provide a meager harvest.
- corn! It seems ages since we had our own corn. So this is a great time when the soil is warmer to grow delicious corn. If you choose a heritage variety, you can keep it alive and well in your area. Some are delicious. [One tip: with the older varieties, they lose sweetness fast so pick and immediately cook in boiling water/bbq/etc to stop the enzyme activity which converts sweet sugars to tasteless starch.]
- chilies, capsicum, eggplant – these like it even warmer that tomatoes so give them the warmest spot available – and keep warm in a plastic surround/house/tunnel. I think I would be planting seedlings rather than sowing seeds now. Although we have chili plants 2 and 3 years old which still produce fruit. There were very few in the first year but overall they have produced well.
- legumes – beans are more heat tolerant than peas [save them for autumn/winter/spring crops] so now is time to grow great bean crops. For more about how we grow great bean crops in our home gardens, go here.
- Flowers – check requirements: some grow brilliantly now for summer display. Some are better to plant in autumn when cooler, moister weather arrives again.
This is a favorite time for me. Put seeds into warm ground and they sprout quickly. Feed them well and it seems like they grow new leaves and stems each day. Wonderful.
‘3 sisters’ corn, legume, pumpkin/cucumber crops
I have had variable success with the ‘3 sisters’ crops. Some years these have been great. Some years the pumpkin swamped the rest. So now I sow the corn then wait for it to grow at least 10 cm tall before sowing the climbing beans then wait for them to grow 2 sets of leaves and look robust before planting pumpkin seeds. Cucumbers may be a good option.
Corn and pumpkins are hungry crops so the ground needs to be rich to support them to fruit well. Buckets of compost rather than just a little thin layer. The beans add some nitrogen back to the soil for the other plants – that helps.
Here are 2 beds with corn and beans growing well in the left bed while the pumpkin is just starting round the back. On the right, the pumpkin swamped the corn.
May you and your garden flourish
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!