Sow seeds of leafy greens this week

Sow seeds of leafy greens this week

Sow seeds for leafy greens next week,

especially Sunday 25th June and early morning of Monday 26th June [here in New Zealand]

After the new moon on Saturday 24th June 2017.

And we are after the solstice too so new beginnings call us.

In Auckland the cold weather has set in and plants in the open ground are only growing slowly, if at all.

I still can’t resist planting, its such an optimistic effort, even at this colder time of the year. I plant seedlings rather than seeds now. Then cover them with a plastic tunnel to warm the ground and protect the delicate seedlings from the cold winter winds.

Beans growing in winter under a plastic tunnel 20170529
Growing in winter under a plastic tunnel 

The seeds sown in autumn of silver-beet, red-stemmed beets, parsley and rocket which are beside the covered bed are green, vibrant and able to withstand winter now. They will feed us through until spring.

This is a time to harvest what was sown earlier in the year:

  • Lettuce – a number of varieties mature in cooler weather – which they like.
  • Endive – we like the ‘tres fine maraichere‘ variety with its fine frilly abundant leaves – and is tasty rather than bitter for a long time – and forms a lovely ground cover if planted close together
  • Silver-beet and ‘bright lights beets’ [with beautiful colored stems – red, pink, yellow – sometimes they simply glow with color]
  • Giant Red Mustard is nice when young, gets hotter as it ages. [More info] It can grow as tall as me and leaves can grow up to about  50 cm [2 ft]!
  • Radicchio is tender and sweet to eat in cooler months so we enjoy them now
  • Asian greens – such quick growers! Must remember to keep an eye on them or they bolt to seed before we get to eat them.

 

From now on we can plan for Spring planting, enjoy seed catalogs and organize our gardens to be ready when the weather and soil warm up.

 

 

 

 

 

Down-under sow seeds for fruits and flowers this week

Down-under sow seeds for fruits and flowers this week

It’s time to sow seeds for fruits and flowers this week until the full moon on Friday 9th June 2017.

Especially good days include Saturday arvo 4th June through to Thursday 8th morning [here in New Zealand]

In the northern hemisphere, this is a great time to sow heaps for summer crops.

Here in New Zealand, the weather is cool/cold. Less day-light as we approach the shortest day means the ground is also cool. This is a time to plan more and sow less until the ground warms up. Or sow under shelter, such as a hot-house or tunnel-house.

We may still plant a crop of green manure into vacant garden beds. It can grow until the plants start to flower then we will chop them off and either dig them into the soil or, more likely, cover the lot with mulch and leave the worms to turn it all into lovely new rich soil for spring planting.

 

This week the moon is growing towards full and from Saturday through to Thursday are when many aspects line up to give optimum good germination for strong seedlings. Worth a try I think.

Down-under sow seeds for fruits and flowers this week

Down-under sow seeds for fruits and flowers this week

It’s time to sow seeds for fruits and flowers this week until the full moon on 11th May 2017.

Especially good days include Sunday 7th to Wednesday 10th [here in New Zealand]

In the northern hemisphere, this is a great time to sow heaps for summer crops.

Here in New Zealand, the weather is getting cooler and with less day-light so the ground is also cooling down. We may still plant a crop of green manure into vacant garden beds. It can grow until the plants start to flower then we will chop them off and either dig them into the soil or, more likely, cover the lot with mulch and leave the worms to turn it all into lovely new rich soil for spring planting.

 

This week the moon is growing towards full and from Sunday through to Wednesday are when many aspects line up to give optimum good germination for strong seedlings. Worth a try I think.

 

Sow seeds of luscious leafy greens this week

Sow seeds of luscious leafy greens this week

Tender luscious, tender leafy greens are easier to grow now the weather is milder. Plant seeds next week – especially Thursday 30th – Friday 31st March 2017 and Monday 3rd April too [here in New Zealand].

In Auckland the sun has lately been supported by rain – yay! The seedlings might grow!

I will sow seeds throughout the week of

  • Lettuce – I’ll sow a number of varieties so hopefully some will do well no matter what the weather does this year – hot/dry/cold/wet.
  • Endive – lovely and sweet in cooler weather
  • Silver-beet and ‘bright lights beets’ [with beautiful colored stems – red, pink, yellow – sometimes they simply glow with color]
  • Giant Red Mustard [nice when young, gets hotter as it ages. More info] It can grow as tall as me and leaves can grow up to about  50 cm [2 ft]!
  • Parsley – we like the ‘triple curled’ variety.
  • Mizuna – an Asian green – crunchy stem and divided leaf.
  • Miners lettuce is coming up all over – self-seeding wonderfully.

From now on we can plant lettuce and other greens out in the open again in cool, moist conditions. Lovely.

Sow seeds of leafy greens this week

Sow seeds of leafy greens this week

Sow seeds for leafy greens next week –

especially Tuesday 28th February and into March, Friday 3rd to Saturday 4th too [here in New Zealand]

In Auckland summer has been dry. It takes effort to keep new seedlings watered and happy. Automatic watering is a wonderful invention!

As we move into autumn we are looking forward to more rain and will sow seeds of

  • Lettuce – a number of varieties now as they will mature in cooler weather – which they like.
  • Endive – we like the ‘tres fine maraichere‘ variety with its fine frilly abundant leaves – and is tasty rather than bitter for a long time
  • Silver-beet and ‘bright lights beets’ [with beautiful colored stems – red, pink, yellow – sometimes they simply glow with color]
  • Giant Red Mustard [nice when young, gets hotter as it ages. [More info] It can grow as tall as me and leaves can grow up to about  50 cm [2 ft]!
  • Asian greens – such quick growers! Must remember to keep them moist or they bolt to seed before we get to eat them.

 

 

From now on we can plant leafy greens such as lettuce, endive, coriander and beets in open ground if the weather is cooler and moist. Hooray!

 

 

 

 

Sow seeds for fruits and flowers this week

Sow seeds for fruits and flowers this week

February is mid-summer down-under – and as germinating seeds need constant moisture to grow and flourish – this can be the main issue to grow new seedlings. Autumn is not too far away so maybe I’ll leave sowing seeds for a month.

If you really want to plant now, it’s time to sow seeds for fruits and flowers this week. Best days are Sunday 5th February, + Wednesday 8th + Thursday 9th February 2017 [here in New Zealand] before the full moon on Saturday 11th February 2017

This is the time of year when seeds in compost sprout and grow happily!

  • tomatoes – well, they come up by themselves in compost so thin/transplant/return to compost
  • pumpkins/squashes/zucchini [courgettes] – these often come up by themselves too.
  • Beans [I might sow some more – directly into the ground and put out snail bait or surround them with plastic cut-off bottles to protect from snails and slugs which love baby seedling legumes]
  • Flowers

Is it too late to plant corn and melons now? Maybe worth a try still – directly in the ground.

 

This week the moon is growing towards full and the days  of Sunday, Wed, Thurs are when many aspects line up to give optimum good germination for strong seedlings if you’d like to plant now. Do keep them well watered – when seedlings are tiny, one dry spell can end them.

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

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

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

 

Best days are Saturday 7th – Sunday 8th January 2017, + Wednesday 11th  [here in New Zealand]

Before the full moon on Thursday 12th January 2017.

 

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]

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.

 

Now is a great time to talk about

Pumpkins/squashes/zucchini [courgettes] 

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

First we plant 1-2 ‘Zorro’ zucchinis in pots in early spring, inside a plastic-bag ‘mini hothouse’then transplant them into a rich, protected garden bed when the soil has warmed up. These are amazingly hardy and prolific [and they are bushes rather than rampant vines].

2014-11-22 15.03.59
Zucchini plant growing strongly

Second, we plant a number of ‘tromboncino squash’ seeds into rich, warm soil in the garden in late Spring. These rampant vines will start fruiting later than the Zorro zucchinis – and keep going longer too.

 

They produce ‘crook necked’ type squash which are wonderfully tasty when small [less than my hand long] – even better than ordinary zucchinis! Sweeter.

A.N.D the ones we miss grow and grow and grow some more so quickly! There’s an in-between stage which is meh – so they go into soup. We leave most of them on the vine to mature. When the vine dies back the squash skin gets harder and harder – these fruit store well. And the flesh gets sweeter and richer – we think they are best baked or made into soup.

There are a number of varieties and we have tried 3 so far:

  1. Our favorite ‘tromboncino squash’ is from Running Brook Seeds [only available in NZ]. It is long, tasty, has a dark green skin and stores well too.
  2. Second is from ‘Diggers Seeds’ in Australia – nice taste, with light-green skin.
  3. Another is called ‘rampicante squash’ [here in NZ] with dark-green skin.

 

Third, main-crop pumpkins/squash go into warm, rich Spring soil. Their fruit will form hard skins and keep well. There are so many varieties to try!

We do love butternut squash – and some years it’s hot enough to grow some here. Some years not.

We found a standard pumpkin here is a ‘grey’ and can form a nice tasty fruit which keeps well. This one is reliable for us.

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pumpkin/squash harvest

 

Some varieties we used to grow well in Australia do poorly here or are not available at all. This reminds us to choose varieties adapted to local conditions where-ever we are.

 

Fourth, we use chokos [not a zucc] when and tromboncinos have finished. The chokos are just starting and, when they are very small, thumb-sized, they are delicious replacements for zuccs.

 

If you wish to save seeds from pumpkins, squash or zucchinis, many cross-pollinate so check out options before beginning.

I’ll put together a post about how to save their seeds to get true-breeding results.

 

We will also sow

  • 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 wonderfully well. Other varieties we planted late October are growing and some have flowers – there’s hope for them yet. I wonder what will grow best this season? For more on our tomato experiments, go here and here.
  • Corn!  Plant into really rich ground. Early Gem and Bantam have grown well here in the past so we’ll see this year.
  • Flowers. More sunflowers. Just because…

 

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!