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!

Sow seeds for fruits and flowers before 11th Jan 2020

Sow seeds for fruits and flowers before 11th Jan 2020

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

  • especially Sunday 5th January 2020 through to Tuesday 7th 3 pm 
  • then again Friday 10th January  [here in New Zealand].

Before the full moon on Saturday 11 January 2020.

 

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!

 

Sow seeds of summer leafy greens the week after Dec 27th

Sow seeds of summer leafy greens the week after Dec 27th

We aren’t the only ones who eat parsley! Also, green looper caterpillars, snails and slugs. Keep an eye out for these herbivores oh and the neighbors rabbit, who is very discriminating and prefers parsley to other greens.

This is generally a better time for us to grow Amaranth, Magenta Spreen, Orach, NZ Spinach, Asian greens. As long as it keeps raining and cloudy lettuce, coriander etc won’t bolt to seed. I wonder what summer will do this year?

Sow seeds for leafy greens after the dark of the moon [Thursday 26th December 2019]. Best days are

  • Friday 27th and Saturday 28th Dec, then again
  • Tuesday 31st Dec 2019, Wednesday 1st January 2020 and Thursday 2nd too [here in New Zealand].

Planting at these times gives the best chance for getting some leaves. In hot weather leafy greens have a strong tendency to bolt straight from seedling to flower and set seeds. So if planted at other times of the moon cycle, this tendency can over-ride leaf production.

This is a challenging time to grow leafy greens!

If you do plant, go for heat-lovers and know that cool-loving lettuce, spinach, coriander [cilantro] take more care and attention at this time – can you give it to them now? Especially water – I wonder if the rain will continue throughout summer?

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]. Automatic watering systems are wonderful now.

Leafy greens are best in semi-shade now. Strong sun and dry soil are catalysts for seed production – survival is the primary directive and seed protects the plant line through hard times for the leafy phase of the plant’s life.

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

  • Parsley – these self-seed around the garden. I help them along by leaving some plants to flower and seed, them shaking seed heads around where I want more plants to grow.
  • Lettuce – maybe I’ll spread around seed-heads from a number of summer varieties in shade, so hopefully some will do well no matter what the weather does this year – hot/dry/wet.
  • 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.
  • Rocket [Arugula] – maybe lucky to get some leaves before they bolt to seed – in which case, the seeds will be waiting there for cooler weather. Or check out the perennial version which is stronger tasting, and has finely divided leaves. It seems to survive the heat better.
  • 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 [use just the new leaves from the growing tips and cook in 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] .
  • 20160228_081413
  • Hot-climate ‘greens’ including:
    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 [leaf coriander] is one I have more success if I plant in cooler weather as it bolts to seed so quickly in the heat. If you plant some, maybe sow more seed over a few days?

20181024_120742

This pik shows all stages for cilantro – bottom center are new, young leaves which are tender to eat.

Above these leaves are the 2nd gen leaves produced by a bolting stem – leaves are divided and ferny-like.

And to center-left is a little flower-head – with many tiny white flowers growing together. Insects love these sweet flower-heads so we leave them to feed the predatory insects who reduce the pest populations here. Eventually the flowers fall off and round seeds form and dry into coriander seed for use in curries etc.

 

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

Grow hot-climate greens instead now.

 

Best wishes and enjoy the warm weather and 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!

Happy longest day down-under!

Happy longest day down-under!

The Solstice is on Sunday 22nd December 2019, at 5.19 pm [NZ time]. Longest day here in NZ.

There is something about the turn of the seasons. This is the time when each day has a little less sunlight and nights become a little longer. There seems to be a lag with temperature. Days maybe getting shorter, but summer really only arrives in January for the next 3 months.

Harvest garlic around the longest day. Here’s a post I wrote about growing garlic.

Now the weather can warm up and give blue skies and sun for our tomatoes, peppers, aubergines, chilies, cucumbers, pumpkins [I keep trying to grow butternuts as we really like them. They need heat so here’s hoping for this year!]

 

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 a rest from sowing seeds after 19th Dec until 26th

Take a rest from sowing seeds after 19th Dec until 26th

Happy Festive Season!

Take time out from sowing seeds from Thursday 19th until after the dark of the moon on Thursday 26th December 2019. What a great week to have free to enjoy the festive season!

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.

 

This is not a time to sow/plant – and, it is also the holiday season so it’s nice we can enjoy it.

It’s great we can focus on the holiday events, and keep garden maintenance just ticking over for a bit. And it’s even rained in Auckland so we can ease up on watering! It has rained so much we haven’t hardly watered the garden so far.

The garden can still get out of hand when plants grow fast from warmth + moisture.  Keep it simple now and know you can catch up later. Watering can still be important so keep an eye on soil moisture still – automatic waterers are wonderful.

And spend time enjoying the output from plants you put in before.

A garden can be a great place to spend a few moments to reduce the holiday-season hectic-ness. Take a few minutes to sit and enjoy the garden – really sit and savor it.

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.

 

Best wishes for the holiday season.

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!

 

 

A week to grow below-ground crops after 13th December

A week to grow below-ground crops after 13th December

Even though the ‘busy season’ has arrived, if you can squeeze in sowing root crops – and you can keep soil moist, the best days to sow root crops are:

  • Friday 13th until Sunday 15th December 2019.

after the full moon on Thursday 12th December 2019. [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 before 12th December

Time to sow seeds for fruits and flowers before 12th December

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

  • especially Thursday 5th and again on Monday 9th and Tuesday 10th  December 2019 [here in New Zealand].

Before the full moon on Thursday 12th December 2109.

This is a wonderful time to sow as seeds can burst into life so quickly when there is warmth and moisture.

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!