Sow seeds of summer leafy greens the week after the new moon

Sow seeds of summer leafy greens the week after the new moon

We aren’t the only ones who eat parsley! Many of our plants are bolting to seed now so I collect the seed for next season when it’s cooler.

This is a better time for us to grow Amaranth, Magenta Spreen, Orach, NZ Spinach, Asian greens.

Sow seeds for leafy greens after the dark of the moon [17th January 2018]  – best days are Saturday 20th through to Monday 22nd January 2018 [here in New Zealand]. best chance for getting some leaves is by sowing this week. In hot weather they 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!

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 is one I usually only 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?

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 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!

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Take a rest from sowing seeds this week

Take a rest from sowing seeds this week

Take time out from sowing seeds from Tuesday 9th until after the dark of the moon on Wednesday 17th January 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.

Maybe enjoy feasting from what was sown before? Strawberries, other berries, plums, nectarines, peaches, apricots! What a wonderful season it is here in Auckland.

 

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!

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 has been important until now so keep an eye on soil moisture still – automatic waterers are wonderful.

And spend time enjoying produce 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, and I hope you can enjoy your garden with whatever it offers now!
Heather

 

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

A week to grow below-ground crops

Welcome to 2018 everyone!

 

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.

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

  • Wednesday 3rd January and Monday 8th January 2018.

after the full moon on Tuesday 2nd January 2018. [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 only had success when sown directly into the open ground of warm soil with constant moisture.

We focus more on caring for crops already growing.

Best wishes for your garden at this time
Cheers
Heather

 

 

 

Of pumpkins/squash, fruits, seeds and flowers for next week seed planting

Of pumpkins/squash, fruits, seeds and flowers for next week seed planting

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

Best days are Friday 29th – Saturday 30th December 2017 [here in New Zealand – or GMT +13]

Before the full moon on Tuesday 2nd January 2018.

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.

For those of you in northern parts where it is cold, either sow indoors in pots/trays [a glass-house is wonderful for extending the season]

Pumpkins/squashes/zucchini [courgettes] 

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

Still a good time to plant 1-2 ‘Zorro’ zucchinis into a rich, protected garden bed when the soil is warm. These are amazingly hardy and prolific [and they are bushes rather than rampant vines].

2014-11-22 15.03.59
Zucchini plant growing strongly

Cucumbers – the first 2 lots we planted are growing well. The ‘homemade pickle’ has provided 2 jars of gherkins already.  Much earlier than last year. 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…

20170603_111916

 

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.

May your food garden flourish!

Sow seeds of summer leafy greens next week

Sow seeds of summer leafy greens next week

 

 

Sow seeds for leafy greens next week – Tuesday 19th through to Thursday 21st December 2017 and then again from Sunday 24th through to the morning of Tuesday 26th [here in New Zealand].

This is a challenging time to grow leafy greens – through the festive season and summer!

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?

Leafy greens are best in semi-shade now as they bolt to seed in strong sun and dry soil. 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.

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

  • Lettuce – maybe I’ll spread around seed-heads from a number of summer varieties so hopefully some will do well no matter what the weather does this year – hot/dry/wet. In shade!
  • 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 [needs 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]
  • 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.

 

 

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

Grow hot-climate greens instead now.

 

Enjoy the festive season, the garden will be waiting for you later when there is time and you can enjoy it too.

 

Best wishes and enjoy the warm weather, the festive season and your garden!
Heather

 

 

 

Take a rest from sowing seeds until after 18th

Take a rest from sowing seeds until after 18th

Take time out from sowing seeds from Thursday 7th until after the dark of the moon on Monday 18th December 2017. 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 know that 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 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

It’s time to plant for strong root growth

Here in New Zealand, it’s good to sow seeds for strong root growth next week [after the full moon on Monday 4th December 2017].

  • Especially good on Tuesday 5th and Wednesday 6th December 2017.

 

If you can squeeze in a little planting time amidst the busy December time, the ground is warm, we’ve had a strange assortment of rain – very localized – here in Auckland, maybe if your ground is moist, sow some more root crops?

They’ll need watering to germinate and grow so if that’s a challenge in the December busy-ness, wait for another time. We do not sow carrots now for that reason. The larger seeds of beets and daikon radish can be sown deeper in the soil so are less prone to drying out – much more likely to be successful.

 

 

I might sow some

  • 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. 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.

 

  • Ginger! We can even grow small ones here in Auckland. Joy! First time we have actually got a harvest – it might be small but it broke from the rest of the root and it gives hope we can grow even bigger ones.

    Ginger from our garden 20170417
    Ginger from our garden 2017 04 17

 

PS Seeds and plants like ‘real’ water – preferably rain. Otherwise the next best 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!