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!

Take a rest from sowing seeds until after 7th December

Take a rest from sowing seeds until after 7th December

Take time out from sowing seeds from Friday 30th November until after the dark of the moon on Friday 7th December 2018. 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.

 

This is not a time to sow/plant – and, it is the ‘busy holiday season’.

 

It’s great we can focus on the holiday events, and keep garden maintenance just ticking over for a bit.

The garden can still get out of hand when warm weather gets plants growing fast.  Keep it simple now and know you can catch up later.

A garden can be a great place to spend a few moments to reduce the frenetic holiday-season state which is around so much at this time. Have you noticed?

Take a few minutes to sit and enjoy the garden – really sit and savor it.

Life is about more than ‘getting stuff done’ and at this time of year it’s easy to forget that as we see so many things to do [and urgently as the weeds take over our prized beds]. And there is a tug to be part of all the events happening at this time. 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.

And prioritizing your well-being over dealing with holiday season happenings and weeds is how you can enjoy all.

alternative ways to have great thoughts and solutions

Best wishes for the holiday season, and I hope you can enjoy your garden with whatever it offers now!
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!

Sow seeds of below-ground crops after 25th October

Sow seeds of below-ground crops after 25th October

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.

 

Carrots!

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.

 

20170528_154908

 

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.

 

We will also plant

Beetroot  Eg, this is ‘chiogga’ which grows alternating layers in circles of pink and white flesh. Sweet and very nice.

20160924_121549

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

20160927_172201

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
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, flowers and seeds before 25th October

Sow seeds for fruits, flowers and seeds before 25th October

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 Thursday 25th October 2018.

Best days for fruits and flowers are said to be Saturday 20th October through to Monday 22nd October 2018.

 

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]

 20170902_143700

Labels!

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.

20170901_160036
Seed sorting time

 

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.
    20160413_090609
    Tomato harvest – golden and cherry varieties

     

  • pumpkins/squashes/zucchini [courgettes] – if you have lots of space, compost and warmth these can be generous crops

    12898258_900147743416881_1502145590120298891_o
    pumpkin/squash harvest
  • cucumbers – we grew heaps last year – a wonderful feast  20161214_174257
  • corn! It seems ages since we had our own corn – well, at least last year. 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 sugars to starch.]
  • chilies, capsicum, eggplant – these like it even warmer that tomatoes so give them the warmest spot available. 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.
  • legumesbeans 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.Beans 20170111
  • Flowers – check requirements: some grow brilliantly now for summer display. Some are better to plant in autumn when cooler, moister weather arrives again.

20170603_111916

 

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.

2014-01-01 11.52.58

 

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.

Vibrant food garden beds

 

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!