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!

Below ground crops seed-sowing week

Below ground crops seed-sowing week

Good root crops of carrots, beetroot, parsnip, radish, etc.

The moon is appearing smaller in the sky as it moves past full on Sunday 26th August 2018.

Best sowing days will be Monday 27th, Tuesday 28th and again Friday 31st August until Sunday 2nd September 2018 [in Auckland, NZ] .

Spring has nearly sprung and this is a great time to think about sowing seeds for the below-ground crops you enjoy. If not this month, then maybe next month so its time to prepare.

Here we will think about sowing carrots, daikon and beetroot [because these are the root crops our family eat mostly].

I use ‘Egmont Gold‘ carrots as they appear to be less troubled by carrot fly.

20170528_154908

We also love ‘Chiogga‘ beetroot. These are 2-tone globes with concentric circles of red and white – very pretty. They also taste sweeter than other beets – maybe they are a cross between original beetroot and sugar-beet?

20160924_121549

 

Daikon radish – a staple in curries and stir-fries for us.

20160927_172201

 

Our garlic crop went in last autumn and is growing away.

 

Garlic cloves for planting with small ones for eating 20160314
The larger garlic cloves are for planting and small ones are for eating

 

Will harvest it around the end of the year. It often is said to “plant garlic on the shortest day and harvest on the longest day”. We find it better here to give it longer so plant in autumn and it has good growth before slowing in the colder weather – when weeds can take over if the garlic is smaller.

Only issue we find planting earlier, is with garlic rust which saps the energy from the plant. Some years it takes over more than others and reduces size of bulbs. We give garlic air space around the plants and try for a breezy area. This seems to help. Also feed the ground well before planting, weed out competition and generally give them TLC are our strategies.

For more about garlic, here’s a post I wrote.

 

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 below-ground crops

Sow below-ground crops

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!

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

Friday 1st June, Saturday 2nd, then again on Wednesday 6th June 2018 

Often planting charts talk generally of sowing these seeds during the week after the full moon – which will be on Wednesday 30th May 2018.

 

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]

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!

Seed sowing this week is best for below ground crops

Seed sowing this week is best for below ground crops

Good root crops of carrots, beetroot, parsnip, radish, etc.

The moon is appearing smaller in the sky as it moves past full on Wednesday 6th September 2017.

Best sowing days will be Thursday 7th and Sunday 10th, Monday 11th September 2017 [in Auckland, NZ] .

Spring has sprung and this is a great time to look at sowing seeds for the below-ground crops you enjoy. Here we will think about sowing carrots, daikon and beetroot [because these are the root crops our family eat mostly].

I use ‘Egmont Gold‘ carrots as they appear to be less troubled by carrot fly.

20170528_154908

We also love ‘Chiogga‘ beetroot. These are 2-tone globes with concentric circles of red and white – very pretty. They also taste sweeter than other beets – maybe they are a cross between original beetroot and sugar-beet?

20160924_121549

 

Daikon radish – a staple in curries and stir-fries for us.

20160927_172201

 

Our garlic crop went in last autumn and is growing away.

 

 

Will harvest it around the end of the year. It often is said to “plant garlic on the shortest day and harvest on the longest day”. We find it better here to give it longer so plant in autumn and it has good growth before slowing in the colder weather – when weeds can take over if the garlic is smaller.

Only issue we find planting earlier, is with garlic rust which saps the energy from the plant. Some years it takes over more than others and reduces size of bulbs. We give garlic air space around the plants and try for a breezy area. This seems to help. Also feed the ground well before planting, weed out competition and generally give them TLC are our strategies.

The garlic we planted in some beds which had nutrients added over many years is growing well, with no rust.
The garlic planted in a newer bed which has had less nutrients yet has rust.

Garlic planted in pots also shows rust.

There’s something valuable in the ‘feed it well and give it space’ idea.

For more about garlic, here’s a post I wrote.

 

May you and your garden flourish
Heather

Grow great garlic – harvest bulbs down-under, or plant them in the northern hemisphere!

Grow great garlic –  harvest bulbs down-under, or plant them in the northern hemisphere!

We planted out garlic cloves last autumn (April and May here in NZ).

6 months on, we harvested lovely big bulbs from those plants we cared for.

20161207_171407

And … smaller, poorer quality from cloves I ‘bunged in’ amidst other plants and left. These grew l-o-n-g strappy leaves reaching up for light. The plants competed for nutrients with roots of other plants in the soil so the bulbs are less well fed and smaller.

garlic - good and small cloves

 

How did we plant for great results?

Some of our bulbs from the previous year were lovely and big and some were itty biity small ones. See the difference in the size of the cloves? We chose the larger cloves to re-plant and the littler ones went into our dinner!

Seems strange to not eat the big, juicy cloves – unless you are looking far ahead to next year’s harvest too!

Big cloves provide a bigger store of nutrients for the new plants to grow and have the best chance to make lovely strong leaves and new bulbs.

20160314_145811

Where possible, we kept them well fed and watered, in a sunny, protected spot.

And the mulch was kept weed-free. Garlic grow best with clear space around themselves. They struggle if covered by other vegetation. Their smallish root system is easily overwhelmed by more vigorous plant roots. Give them space and TLC and lovely big bulbs can form.

Early growth was doing well:

20160910_155830

Over the next few months, these garlic cloves we planted produced abundant leaves – doing well.

20161024_114207

A tip:

The amount of sunlight/night time our garlic plants experience – ‘day-length’ is important to them.

When the days start to lengthen [after the shortest day], the garlic is triggered to form a bulb at soil level.

Cloves planted in autumn have time to make lots of leaves [which make food for the developing plant to grow] before the shortest day arrives and the plant is triggered to form a bulb.

Cloves planted at the shortest day will form fewer leaves before starting to produce the bulb – often leading to less nutrients available and hence smaller bulbs.

I used to use the old folk wisdom to ‘plant garlic on the shortest day and harvest on the longest day’ each year. Now I plant bulbs in mid-Autumn to give them the best chance to grow lovely, big bulbs.

Harvest time!

Harvest garlic when most of the leaves are drying off and you can still see a few green leaves. Or, as we did here, harvest when you need the space for other crops and let them dry off in their own time.

Dry thoroughly so it stores well and provides high quality supplies for your kitchen.

Some people like to plait the stalks and hang the plaits up.

I tend to leave the individual plants laid out to dry in a sheltered spot where there is a breeze and no rain. When really dry, I cut the bulbs off with a good length of stem [it takes ages for the inner leaves to really dry off] and put them in a paper bag in a dry, cool place for storage.

For more information visit Wikipedia’s article about garlic

Using your own garlic harvest

First, enjoy knowing YOU grew it!

Then bring a few bulbs into the kitchen and place them where you will remember to use this precious, vital resource.

When gently cooked in oil/butter, it becomes sweeter and has far less after-effects.

We add a clove to many savory dishes for the health-giving vitality of this wonderful live food.

If you are looking for health benefits, the active constituents are stronger in the raw garlic.

One of the nicest ways to get these is enjoying garlic bread [crush a clove into some butter and spread over a sliced bread stick], wrap in foil and heat gently – delicious!

Or in hummus. Mix some well-cooked chick peas [your own? or from a can], a clove of garlic, juice of a lemon, salt and pepper [if those are your thing] and some tahini [ground sesame seeds formed into a paste] to thicken the dip. Eat with salad or home-made chips or carrot-sticks or as a side dish with your main meal. [We often add a pinch of stock powder and curry powder for a different flavor]

Or in salad dressing if that’s your thing.

Garlic’s reputation for leaving a lingering ‘odor’ can be neutralized: 

A story I read:

About a woman who loved garlic and her boss who didn’t love the smell! So he told her to quit garlic or her job.

She knew she wouldn’t quit garlic so had a final big binge and ate many cloves in her meal [was it 24?].

Then she went to work expecting to be told to leave. She was amazed when the boss said “I knew you’d have sense and quit the garlic“! He didn’t smell garlic so she found out that, with enough garlic, all the toxins it combines with to create the odor are finally removed and leave a clean breath and odor!!

So she could have her garlic and eat it too – as long as it was lots of cloves!

If you experiment, I’d love to hear about the results!

Another remedy for garlic odor: eating raw parsley is reputed to neutralize garlic odor.

I sometimes use this option – and my family tell me it works.

Another experiment for you?

May you have fun growing, harvesting and eating your year’s supply of garlic too!

cheers
Heather