Root crops to sow now could include carrots, beetroot, radish, parsnip and similar.
Recommended best days for planting seeds to grow great root crops are
- Friday October 26th
- and again Monday arvo 29th through to Wednesday 31st October 2018
Often planting charts talk generally of sowing these seeds during the week after the full moon on Thursday 25th October, as it appears to get smaller.
This is a great time to start sowing heaps of root veg for maturing later and storing.
This is a good time for us to actually get them to grow if the ground is still moist here in Auckland.
Germination can be erratic and carrot seeds are tiny so are best planted just at the surface with a very thin covering of fine soil. Which means they dry out quickly too so keep a close eye on them and nurture the babies well so they grow good roots for later.
Some people like to cover the sown seeds with protection from drying out. Hessian, newspaper, boards and whatever is available can work well. Do keep a close eye on the seed bed and remove these covers when the tiny sprouts appear – they need light to grow. Without light they grow lank and spindly – and are loved by pests.
Aren’t the ferny fronds of carrot leaves so delicate compared to the fleshy root we eat? This patch has garlic, carrots and beetroot. Which are invisible below the ground. We never quite know what the harvest will be like, so a sense of adventure and optimism always helps explorations.
We ‘mix and match’ different plants for diversity, pest minimization, and just for the fun of it.
Here the carrots are paired with garlic [taller spikes of leaves at the back] in the hope that the stronger garlic smell will cover the scent of carrots which attract carrot fly [which eat the roots].
These are ‘Egmont Gold‘ carrots which were said to be more resistant to these pests than other varieties in trials carried out by friends. Worth a try.
Do we plant tubers such as potatoes or sweet potato [kumera] now?
This is late for us to plant potatoes [we plant them to crop before the psyllid bugs are out in force when the weather warms up]. If you plant now, maybe a mesh cover could protect them?
Kumera likes heat so choose a warm site or they would like a ‘mini hot-house’ over the green shoots for protection still.
These kumera were sprouted on the kitchen bench. The shoots were cut off well above the tuber [so no disease was included] then placed into a jar of water to see the tiny new roots form. I find it amazing each time I see such wonderful growth which is usually invisible in the soil – roots astonish me with how fast they can grow!
For more about our kumera growing experiments, here’s a previous post.
kumera [sweet potato] slips in a jar of water – day 3 growing roots
We will also plant
Beetroot Eg, this is ‘chiogga’ which grows alternating layers in circles of pink and white flesh. Sweet and very nice.
Beetroot seed is really a group of seeds joined together so they tend to grow in a clump.
Often directions say to thin out the smaller seedlings to leave the bigger one to grow.
We leave them all to grow usually, until one root is big enough to pick, remove it, and leave the smaller ones to grow bigger. Less effort and easier all round. Mostly it works.
Daikon radish is a long Asian variety
Young ones like this are a tasty addition to stir-fries or curries or soups or casseroles.
We eat the white root part – nicest when small as older ones can get strong-tasting. The green leaves are also edible and treasured in some Asian cooking.
Said to be great support for liver function – so I think that means it helps our liver deal with all the variety of other chemicals it processes – everything from food and drink to contaminants in these or in the air or water we consume. Seems a simple way to support our well-being so we try different options.
We also use them also for loosening heavy soil [aka the clay of the suburban yard where we live]. The bonus is also getting a harvest to eat.
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!