Take a rest from sowing seeds this week

Take a rest from sowing seeds this week

 

This is a time to wander around and really LOOK at:

  • what is doing well,
  • what isn’t,
  • what is ready for harvesting,
  • where you will soon have space for new plantings,
  • where you would like more screening from un-wanted sights,
  • where your lovely views are being covered by previous plantings,
  • where the cold/hot winds usually come from so you can screen, diffuse and moderate them

 

Do other garden stuff instead of sowing seeds this week. Eg, renovate your garden beds ready for Spring planting.

From Sunday 18th June until after the dark of the moon on Saturday 24th June 2017.

 

Add into the mix – the solstice, which, in the southern hemisphere, is on Wednesday 21st June 2017. Then days will lengthen again hooray! How might this affect our crops?

 

As the moon nears its smallest visible ‘dark of the moon’ phase, it is best to take a week off from planting or sowing seeds at this time as it is associated with spindly, weak growth.

For more information about moon planting, this post may help, or Organic Lesson gives a different, reasonably clear over-view. I like exploring such ideas for myself rather than just trusting and believing.

If you like experiments about when to plant for best results, check out the idea from a past month to 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.

 

At the minimum, these moon planting guides remind me to

  • plant SOMETHING,
  • plan a little,
  • and help me have a continuous supply!

 

Enjoy your garden and whatever it offers now!

A week to grow below-ground crops

Here in New Zealand, the outside ground has cooled down and germination will be slow, if at all, before seed is eaten by beasties. We wait until the soil warms up to sow seed outside.

If you have a hot-house or tunnel-house, or conservatory then these are good times to sow root crops:

  • Sunday 11th June through to Tuesday 13th morning June 2017, then again from Friday 16th to Saturday 17th June.

after the full moon on Friday 9th June.

 

 

 

 

 

Leafy greens time now

Leafy greens time now

Lettuces love cooler weather.

And other leafy greens – endive, miners lettuce [not really a lettuce], gotu kola, parsley, rocket, chervil, coriander, etc.

There are so many ways to have the benefit of raw, leafy greens, even in winter.

This is a good time to plant a new lot of lettuce and other greens to provide lovely leaves for many months now the weather is cooler as the days are shorter. And it’s too cold for the caterpillars!

It’s such a balancing act – too much moisture [either from over-head rain or watering] makes for constantly wet leaves which touch each other, hold moisture and become slimy or mush – not nice!

Keep them just moist so they can germinate and grow strong roots. Sometimes a tunnel-house or cover can grow  greens well when there is too much rain about.

Soil temperature

Too cold  and seeds take ages to start to grow.

Try an experiment some time and go out at mid-afternoon and put your hand flat onto soil in full sun and notice how cold/hot it is. Now feel soil in a shaded place.

Best times for planting seeds of greens?

After the new moon on Friday 26th May is the best week to plant for lush leafy greens.

The best days are Sunday 28th, Monday 29th May 2017. 

Take a rest from sowing seeds this week

Take a rest from sowing seeds this week

Do other garden stuff instead. Eg, renovate your garden beds ready for a green-manure crop or for re-planting.

From 19th May until after the dark of the moon on Friday 26th May 2017.

 

This is also a great time to enjoy the garden, and see it from a broader perspective than just working in it – one thing after another. What does yours offer you? What gifts – large or small – has it for you now:

  • Scent of flowers?
  • Beauty of flowers to gladden and lift the heart [a wonderful balance to the ‘heady’ world many of us live in]?
  • Something to harvest – a great bounty or a few dandelion leaves [small new ones, un-sprayed, can do great things for our livers and digestion]?
  • Butterflies to remind us of the importance of joy in our lives as they flit here, there and somewhere else for no apparent reason? Are any still around?
  • Birds which are great friends in the garden [clearing up pests on our plants] and how can you encourage the helpful ones [and discourage the nuisance ones]?
  • Worms! growing rich soil to grow great plants?
  • A seat to sit on and reflect
  • Views to enjoy
  • Space
  • Energy and vibrancy of growing things

 

Here are a few areas we turn our attention to:

  • Remove annuals which are past being useful [read – scrawny silver-beet, lettuces, other greens heading to seed and not needed as future seed stock] to prepare a bed for planting come spring.
  • Plan to create optimum conditions to grow GREAT crops of your favorite veg or fruit. Check their needs – do they want very rich soil or less nutrients?
  • Plan your next seed sowing, your garden layout, or crop rotation to minimize pest and diseases.

 

Harvest the fruits of your efforts from past months – this is a time to enjoy results. Store mature pumpkins, squash, Tromboncino squash [ like zucchini but tastier], chokos, lettuce, endive, chilies, broccoli, kale [which is pretty well perennial here now and self-seeds well], silver-beet, bright-lights beets, beetroot, daikon radish.

 

As the moon nears its smallest visible ‘dark of the moon’ phase, it is best to take a week off from planting or sowing seeds at this time as it is associated with spindly, weak growth.

For more information about moon planting, Organic Lesson gives a reasonably clear over-view. I like exploring such ideas for myself rather than just trusting and believing.

If you like experiments about when to plant for best results, check out the idea from a past month to 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.

At the minimum, these moon planting guides remind me to plant SOMETHING, plan a little, and help me have a continuous supply!

Enjoy your garden and whatever it offers now!

Sow below-ground crops

Sow below-ground crops

Recommended best days for sowing seeds to grow great root crops are

Monday 15th, Tuesday 16th May

Here in Auckland, New Zealand, the ground is getting too cold for good seed germination. We will not sow seeds for some months.

Often planting charts talk generally of sowing these seeds during the week after the full moon – which will be on Thursday 11th May.

If you live in a warmer region, or can grow in a hot-house/tunnel-house/conservatory then these are said to be the days for best results.

 

This is a time of year when we clean up remnants of crops, organize next seasons beds and plantings and generally do other things than plant seeds.

Now is a time to harvest the results of past garden sowing and planting instead.

For example,

Below-ground tubers such as the

2017-04-07 12.27.01
Yacon – stems and leaves

Yacon [Smallanthus sonchifolius]

 provide a different food source in the colder months. We dig up some to eat and re-plant some for next year’s crop.

Yacon is in the daisy family and has flowers like a small sun-flower on long stems. They are a bit similar to Jerusalem artichokes.

Yacon flowers
Yacon flowers

 

More Yacon info if you are interested in growing perennial food crops which give a harvest with very little work involved – go here.

 

Best wishes for your garden

 

 

For more ideas about what to sow now in New Zealand, have a look at http://gardenate.com

Maybe northern hemisphere plantings may be good? Warmer now?

Grow great leafy greens this week

Grow great leafy greens this week

We love lettuces for salads, especially the frilly types.  

 

And other leafy greens – endive, miners lettuce [not really a lettuce], gotu kola, parsley, mizuna, etc.

This is a good time to plant a new lot of lettuce and other greens to provide lovely leaves for many months now the weather is cooler as the days are shorter.

 

Soil moisture is still important – even if it rained recently, is the new lettuce bed really moist and easily worked?

If the soil is very dense there is less air for the roots and seedlings ‘damp off’ with root rot instead of growing well – they need air as well as water. Add loose, friable material such as good compost

If there is an ants nest there, they keep soil dry around their home and its amazing how dry such patches can be!

 

We check soil moisture each day [move mulch aside and feel below the surface with a finger to decide if they need water]

It’s such a balancing act – too little moisture or too much [specially from over-head rain or watering] cause stress. Too wet can cause leaves which touch each other to hold moisture and become slimy or mush – not nice!

Keep them just moist so they can germinate and grow strong roots.

 

We generally plant seeds rather than seedlings. If you let one lettuce plant produce seeds, there will be hundreds, even thousands. We spread them around all over and leave some to self-seed.

 

 

Another point for good germination is soil temperature

Too cold  and seeds take ages to start to grow.

Try an experiment some time and go out at mid-afternoon and put your hand flat onto soil in full sun and notice how cold/hot it is. Now feel soil in a shaded place.

 

Pests

Ants will carefully carry away lettuce seeds to feed their colony! It is amazing watching a tiny ant maneuver a much larger lettuce seed off to their nest!

Snails and slugs love tender new lettuce seedlings – we put a barrier around them for protection

Caterpillars – especially ‘Green-Looper caterpillars’ love tender leaves and can decimate plants when the caterpillar is 2-3 cm long it has great chomping ability! And they are so well camouflaged! I pick them off by hand when I find them. Neem spray or granules are a deterrent as they stop insects, bugs etc eating.

Black-birds dig for worms etc and throw seedlings all over the place – not good for their survival when their roots are in the air! We place bird netting over new beds as we have LOTS of black-birds!

 

Best times for planting seeds of greens?

After the new moon on Wednesday 26th April is the best week to plant for lush leafy greens.

The best days are Thursday 27th and Friday 28th April 2017. Also Sunday 30th afternoon and Monday 1st May to Tuesday 2nd May – time to sow lots of lovely greens!

 

 

 

Take a rest from sowing seeds this week

Take a rest from sowing seeds this week

Do other garden stuff instead. Eg, renovate your garden beds ready for a green-manure crop or for re-planting.

From 19th April until after the dark of the moon on Wednesday 26th April 2017.

Here are a few areas we turn our attention to20141225_171548:

  • Weather is getting cooler here in New Zealand, so check soil temperature when sowing seeds. Simplest way is to poke a finger into the soil – is is warm still or not? Some areas of the garden will get sun and be warm. Some areas in shade will be cooling down too much to grow seedlings well.
  • Remove annuals which are past being useful [read – scrawny silver-beet, lettuces, other greens heading to seed and not needed as future seed stock] to prepare a bed for planting maybe broccoli? Cabbage? Kale? Cauliflower? Brussels sprouts?
  • Plan to create optimum conditions to grow GREAT crops of your favorite veg or fruit. Check their needs – do they want very rich soil or less nutrients?
  • Plan your next seed sowing, your garden layout, or crop rotation to minimize pest and diseases.

 

Harvest the fruits of your efforts from past months – this is a time to enjoy results. We are harvesting Tromboncino squash [ like zucchini but tastier, chokos – in bulk now!, lettuce, endive, chilies, broccoli, kale [which is pretty well perennial here now and self-seeds well], silver-beet, bright-lights beets, beetroot, daikon radish, beans [including snake-beans/’yard-long beans’ which are giving a great harvest this year]

 

As the moon nears its smallest visible ‘dark of the moon’ phase, it is best to take a week off from planting or sowing seeds at this time as it is associated with spindly, weak growth.

For more information about moon planting, Organic Lesson gives a reasonably clear over-view. I like exploring such ideas for myself rather than just trusting and believing.

If you like experiments about when to plant for best results, check out the idea from a past month to 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.

At the minimum, these moon planting guides remind me to plant SOMETHING, plan a little, and help me have a continuous supply!

Enjoy your garden and whatever it offers now!