Grow below-ground crops after 21st Jan

Grow below-ground crops after 21st Jan

Here in Auckland, New Zealand, the outside ground is warm and germination will be fast. Keeping ground moist for tiny seedlings is often the issue at this time of year, although it was a very rainy Spring, Summer arrived and has been dry. I wonder what will happen from now onward?

We wait until autumn to sow seed rather than sort out automatic irrigation at this time of year [or hand-hose frequently each day!]

Also, frequent hot days can be enough to send tiny seedlings to bypass forming a root and make seeds instead.

If you can keep soil moist, these are good times to sow root crops:

  • After 5 pm on Friday 25th January through to Sunday 27th January 2019.

after the full moon on Monday 21st January 2019. [Here in New Zealand]

Some root crops can be transplanted, for example we’ve had success doing so with beetroot. Many others bolt straight to seed without forming nice big roots.

With carrots, we have success when sown directly into the open ground of warm soil with constant moisture. Transplants – not so much.

We focus more on caring for crops already growing now.

Best wishes for you and your garden 
Cheers
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 21st Jan

Sow seeds for fruits and flowers before 21st Jan

Down-under this week we can sow seeds for optimum growth of fruits and flowers,

  • especially Tuesday 15th January 2019 through to morning of Thursday 17th 
  • then again Sunday 20th January  [here in New Zealand].

Before the full moon on Monday 21st January 2109.

 

Still time to plant more

  • tomatoes – hopefully there is still time for them to grow well outside where you are. Some are quick growing, I like dwarf cherry tomatoes now. Feed and water them well. Seedlings best rather than seeds now I think.

    cherry tomatoes harvest!
    cherry tomatoes harvest
  • pumpkins/squashes/zucchini [courgettes]/cucumbers – if you have lots of space, compost and can keep the humid climate problems of mold under control.

    12898258_900147743416881_1502145590120298891_o
    pumpkin/squash harvest
  • legumes – such as beans Beans 20170111
  • Flowers – check requirements – there are so many options – find which ones you like which are good to sow now.

    20161220_172118
    Vanilla passion-fruit – delicious

 

This week the moon is growing towards full and the days listed are when many aspects line up to give optimum good germination for strong seedlings if the outside climate is provided for their needs.

May the weather support growing great plants! 
Cheers
Heather

PS

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

 

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!

 

A week to grow below-ground crops after 23rd December

A week to grow below-ground crops after 23rd December

Happy festive season everyone!

 

If you can squeeze in sowing root crops – and want to – there’s just 1 ‘best’ day this month. If you can keep soil moist, the best day to sow root crops is:

  • Monday 24th December 2018.

after the full moon on Sunday 23rd December 2018. [Here in New Zealand]

Here in Auckland, New Zealand, the outside ground is warm and germination will be fast. Keeping ground moist for tiny seedlings is the issue at this time of year. We wait until autumn to sow seed rather than have to sort out automatic irrigation at this time of year [or hand-hose frequently each day!]

Also, frequent hot days can be enough to send tiny seedlings to bypass forming a root and make seeds instead.

 

Some root crops can be transplanted, for example we’ve had success doing so with beetroot. Many others bolt straight to seed without forming nice big roots.

With carrots, we have had success when sown directly into the open ground of warm soil with constant moisture as they dislike root disturbance being transplanted [they are very likely to bolt straight to seed and make no root for us to eat]. Some people say they have had success transplanting seedlings.

The tiny seeds need to be planted close to the surface and kept moist.  Hot sun dries them out quickly – and they die fast.

One strategy I’ve heard when sowing carrots in hotter weather was to take 2 weeks off work, put a deck chair and sun umbrella by the carrot patch, take the hose and a drink, and sit there gently spraying the carrot patch often until they sprout and grow big enough to fend for themselves.

carrot-growing in hot times

Urban myth?

Or cover the seed with a plank of wood or hessian bags or similar. Check often and remove cover when they sprout. We find seed beds need covering with bird netting as blackbirds create chaos digging for worms, or the local cats think its a spot for them.

 

Why do carrots so often make odd-shaped roots?  When the ground is

  • hard,
  • clay,
  • rocky,
  • too rich with compost/manures/fertilizer.

The delicate seedlings are programmed to send roots downwards. As they grow down, when tiny roots contact hard spots [like rocks], they go round and grow more options [= forked roots]. They also avoid anything too rich in nutrients for the rootlets to process.

 

PS Seeds like ‘real’ water – preferably rain. Otherwise the nearest is tank water of stored rain. Then maybe bore water, last treated water from a mains supply.

One older gardener we knew would place all sorts of containers outside to catch the rain to water her seedlings. She used all sorts from teapots on – she also grew great veg!

We focus more on caring for crops already growing.

Best wishes for your garden at this time
Cheers
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!

 

 

Time to sow seeds for fruits and flowers after 16th December

Time to sow seeds for fruits and flowers after 16th December

Down-under this week we can sow seeds for optimum growth of fruits and flowers,

  • especially Wednesday 19th and Thursday 20th  December 2018 [here in New Zealand].

Before the full moon on Sunday 23rd December 2108.

 

Keep plants and seeds well-watered to thrive!

 

If we want to harvest fruits [and veg] in future, it’s a week to plant for above-ground fruits, flowers, seeds.

 

 

Down-under we are in summer. Here in Auckland, NZ, the weather is warm so seeds germinate quickly [when kept moist]. It has been dry, with ‘showers’ rather than soaking rain so seeds and seedlings need watchful attention to maintain soil moisture levels so they grow well.

 

Pumpkins/squashes/zucchini [courgettes] 

We have a sequence to provide these over a longer time span:

Still a good time to plant 1-2 bush type zucchinis into a rich, protected garden bed when the soil is warm. These are amazingly hardy and prolific.

2014-11-22 15.03.59
Zucchini plant growing strongly

Cucumbers – the first 2 lots we planted are growing well.  The Lebanese varieties are getting bigger!

20161214_174257

 

Beans [I sow direct and protect from snails and slugs] We will plant more climbing ‘Emu’ beans. [PS -As the young beans appear with their first leaves is a great indicator to me to plant the next generation seeds for a continuous supply.]

20160927_172314

 

Tomatoes [also heat-lovers]. Getting a bit late so maybe plant seedlings. The cherry tomatoes we planted in spring are fruiting. Other varieties we planted late October are growing and some have fruit – there’s hope for them yet, even through there has only been 4 ml rain in December! I wonder what will grow best this season? For more on our tomato experiments, go here and here.

cherry tomatoes harvest!
cherry tomatoes harvest!

 

If you want chilies, capsicum peppers or eggplants [aubergines], plant seedlings rather than seeds. They need heat and a long growing season to fruit well.

 

 

Corn!  Plant into really rich ground. Early Gem and Bantam have grown well here in the past so we’ll see this year. They like lots of water, and our small tanks are nearly empty – we’ll have to use mains water instead soon.

2013-12-18 19.39.52
Raised bed growing prolific corn, beans, pumpkins!

Flowers. More flowers. Just because…

 

 

Seeds – Amaranth, Chia, Quinoa, and whatever you like to experiment with. Chia grew well here last year.

 

Hopefully some of what we plant now will do well so we will have a harvest no matter what the weather does – hot/dry/cold/wet.

This week the moon is growing towards full and the days listed are when many aspects line up to give optimum good germination for strong seedlings if the outside climate is provided for their needs.

May the weather support growing great plants! 
Cheers
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!

It’s time to plant for strong root growth after 23rd November

It’s time to plant for strong root growth after 23rd November

Here in New Zealand, it’s good to sow seeds for strong root growth next week [which is after the full moon on Friday 23rd November 2018].

  • Especially good on Monday 26th and Tuesday 27th November 2018.

 

The ground is warm here in Auckland, maybe sow some root crops? Can you keep them watered when the weather turns hot and sunny in summer?

 

I might sow some more

  • daikon radish – larger seeds can be sown deeper so will stay more moist than smaller seeds nearer the surface and drying out [like carrots]. The white root is great to eat. Some people use the top green leaves too.20160927_172201
  • beetroot – ‘seed’ is a largish cluster of seeds so can also be planted deeper.  ‘Bulls blood’ or ‘Detroit red’ are some tried and true heritage varieties we use.
  • carrots

It’s a delight when we do grow carrots. The tiny seeds need to be planted close to the surface and kept moist.  Hot sun dries them out quickly – and they die fast.

One strategy I’ve heard when sowing carrots in hotter weather was to take 2 weeks off work, put a deck chair and sun umbrella by the carrot patch, take the hose and a drink, and sit there gently spraying the carrot patch often until they sprout and grow big enough to fend for themselves.

carrot-growing in hot times

Urban myth?

Or cover the seed with a plank of wood or hessian bags or similar. Check often and remove cover when they sprout. We find seed beds need covering with bird netting as blackbirds create chaos digging for worms, or the local cats think its a spot for them.

It’s best to sow carrot seeds directly in the ground as they dislike root disturbance being transplanted [they are very likely to bolt straight to seed and make no root for us to eat].

Why do carrots so often make odd-shaped roots?  When the ground is

  • hard,
  • clay,
  • rocky,
  • too rich with compost/manures/fertilizer.

The delicate seedlings are programmed to send roots downwards. As they grow down, when tiny roots contact hard spots [like rocks], they go round and grow more options [= forked roots]. They also avoid anything too rich in nutrients for the rootlets to process.

 

PS Seeds like ‘real’ water – preferably rain. Otherwise the nearest is tank water of stored rain. Then maybe bore water, last treated water from a mains supply.

One older gardener we knew would place all sorts of containers outside to catch the rain to water her seedlings. She used all sorts from teapots on – she also grew great veg!

 

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!

Time to sow seeds for fruits and flowers before 23rd November

Time to sow seeds for fruits and flowers before 23rd November

Down-under this week we can sow seeds for optimum growth of fruits and flowers,

Best days for fruits and flowers are said to be

  • Saturday 17th Nov and Sunday 18th,
  • and again from the afternoon of Wednesday 21st through Thursday 22nd November 2018 [here in New Zealand].

Before the full moon on Friday 23rd November 2018.

The ground is warm! hooray! It’s dried out heaps so keep checking soil is moist and water as required.

Still time to plant more

  • tomatoes – hopefully the ground is warm enough for them to grow well outside where you are. Maybe seedlings would be better to plant now?

    cherry tomatoes harvest!
    cherry tomatoes harvest
  • pumpkins/squashes/zucchini [courgettes]/cucumbers/melons/gourds – if you have lots of space, compost and warmth

    12898258_900147743416881_1502145590120298891_o
    pumpkin/squash harvest
  • legumes – such as beans Beans 20170111
  • Flowers – check requirements – there are so many options – find which ones you like which are good to sow now.

    20161220_172118
    Vanilla passion-fruit – delicious

 

This week the moon is growing towards full and the days listed are when many aspects line up to give optimum good germination for strong seedlings if the outside climate is provided for their needs.

May the weather support growing great plants! 
Cheers
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!

How we grow tender food seedlings – in spite of gale winds!

How we grow tender food seedlings – in spite of gale winds!

Auckland has gale winds just now – gee this is tough for seedlings!

Ingenuity is needed to grow tomatoes, chilies, eggplants [aubergines], pumpkins, zucchinis [courgettes], peppers, cucumbers, etc in howling gale winds.

Here are some creative ways we tried.

 

Each year we plant some seedlings in spring

  • in a place which is protected from the cold southerly winds
  • beside the patio of pavers
  • near the brick house so they have a thermal mass behind them.

The ground warms up faster here than anywhere else on our place.

 

Then we run out of space and plant elsewhere – gee the winds are strong and cold here in South Auckland near the Manukau Harbour! So new seedlings are given a shelter of some sort.

Any clear[ish] plastic bags over some sort of frame can protect baby seedlings until they are big enough to withstand adverse conditions. These are on wire frames.

Here we are trying for early zucchinis – and they still have whole leaves in spite of gale winds – I love shelters like this in Spring! In years past, before we made these shelters the large leaves of zucchinis would be shredded by winds – really set them back. We are looking forward to new season zuccs now – its been a long winter since we grew any so we give them shelter to grow and produce for us.

These zucc seedlings are growing so fast they will need a wider frame and bag soon.

 

For tomatoes, we have taller frames

– which is just the right size for a dry cleaning bag – my favourite wind protection as it is really tough and clear. It is the perfect size to go around the frame. We save them from year to year. [I’m thinking of asking local people who use dry-cleaners to save bags for us!]

Tomatoes really seem to love being protected in these mini hot-houses.

20161011_122816

These frames are ‘tomato frames’ from hardware/nurseries. They have clip on horizontal supports which work we for us. Some of ours are years old.

As the weather warms up I cut the top of the bag completely open and make holes around the side so there is airflow. The long staking tomato varieties grow out the top – up, up and away!

 

We leave the plastic bags around the plants for the whole season. We’ve had great success using this technique in other windy marginal sites in past years. Let’s see if it helps grow great crops now.

The frames are too flimsy for strong winds so are tied to star pickets (strong sturdy metal posts) with rope.

Our garden looks like we are growing plastic shelters and bird-netting!

20181105_141707

The bird net goes up and over the whole lot – bed, plants, frames, the works – so the very active black-birds don’t dig the lot up immediately! They are very interested whenever we work in the garden – they know there are worms and interesting things in these garden beds.

20161009_171502

Bird netting also helps reduce wind speed we have found. Every bit helps!

Also the real wind-break stuff – we use it around new baby trees when planted – seems to help too.

Each year conditions change and so the varieties we have most success with also changes.

 

The weather prediction for Auckland this summer:
warmer and more windier than normal.

I wonder which variety will do best this year?

 

Best wishes with your explorations growing crops outside their climatic comfort zones too!

To your flourishing garden
Heather

For more on how we grow early tomatoes, here’s the link.  If you’re interested in the results of quality, quantity and disease resistance experiments we have run in the past here’s a link.

 

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!