Tag Archives: plant plants

Full moon October

Protecting young plants

From my last few posts, and probably your own experience too, you gather the importance of good care for your young “babies” freshly planted out in the garden. Wellington weather in this season varies wildly, and a night of southerlies can check the growth for several days or even weeks.

This coming week, we have quite stable temperatures, although windy and dry. This is a good thing! Hopefully, the soil will warm up – especially if you have cloches or black plastic out – and be ready to welcome some heatlovers in a couple of weeks: zucchini, green beans, and the first tomatos.

To do 14th – 21st October (Full moon Sunday 16th)

  • Prick out & plant out leafy plants: lettuce, chard/silverbeet, spinach, cabbage, kale, cavolo nero… Best done 14-16th.
  • Foliar feed today Friday if you didn’t yesterday, and then again Wednesday 19th – seaweed is ideal with all the micronutrients.
  • Prick out tomatos, eggplants, zuccinis and other fruiting plants Monday 17th and Tuesday 18th.
  • Sow lawn seeds on prepared areas on the day of the full moon for quick germination.
  • Wednesday 19th October is ideal for seed sowing too:
    • plant main crop potatos
    • sow seeds to grow seedlings for planting out in December.
    • direct sow beetroot, carrot and turnips
    • sow autumn flowers and leafy greens – can also be done on the following weekend
  • Set up protection systems for young newly transplanted seedlings: cloches for warmth, netting against the birds, foliar feed for extra nutrients, diatomaceous earth to deal with snails and slugs…
  • Hoe all the newly planted beds so the soil surface doesn’t crust over and young weeds don’t get established.
  • If you have access to a good source of mulch (cacao husks is my favorite), apply some now: make sure the soil is moist, then water while you’re adding thin layer after thin layer of mulch. Otherwise it either blows away or stops the rain from getting through to the roots! Then be extra vigilant in snail/slug patrol at night, as they tend to move in to the mulch and breed there.

To prepare now for next week

  • Check your irrigation system and make sure it’s practical for you – you’ll start using it soon! If you have young fruit trees, how will you water them?
  • If you don’t have comfrey in your carden, try and get hold of some roots to to plant!
  • If you do have comfrey, it has probably sprouted now and the shoots show you where the different roots are. If they’re close together, dig some out to make more space and either transplant to another area where they can spread, or make them root in some potting mix and give away to other gardeners 🙂
  • Source mulch for your tomatos, zuccinis and other bigger plants
  • Get nets and hoops ready for berry beds

My workshop series on how to grow food efficiently on a small surface, “Grow More Veges” runs on Wednesdays from 19th October – still spaces left, so sign up now! You can register for one workshop or the bundle of six, up to you. As always, 2 spots are available for Timebank credits.

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Activism and food production

Yes, quite tightly linked actually, those two things. The more I get involved with growing food, the more I understand its inherent importance for our ability to stand up for our rights and freedoms, and being able to support others to do so.

All movements of resistance need food. Through history, their capacity to procure themselves with food and shelter has been directly related to how successful they were – and also showed how supported they were by the general population (or how brutal they had to become to get those two things…).  In a very clear example, when people went on great strikes for their rights as workers, they had food gardens, alottments, maybe some family still lived on farms. They didn’t rely solely on their money-income to eat.

My thinking is that we need to make sure we have good, nutrient dense, locally grown and raised food, that we pay for in order to give the producer a decent income. We need this, not just because it’s a “good thing” and ethically morally right. We need it because without proper food, we don’t think straight. And without a fair food production system, we’re slaves to mass-produced industrial toxic foodlike substances… well you see where I’m heading. Not gonna go any further today.

As activists, or simply as citizens or fellow humans, we need independent, local food. Simple as that. And we need to know that we can do it ourselves, as that gives us the strenght and freedom to make our voices heard.

For more of my ramblings (on activism), check out this great blog where I’ve got the honour to free flow my words. Plenty other activists too, well put together by the great Renée Gerlich. Respect.

Next workshop is this Thursday: Plant Plants, part of the bio-intensive series “Grow More Veges”. Sign up below!

 

 

Undressing for the blackbirds

Today, I dared undress my beds  –  by which I mean I took off the netting. Soon I’ll see if the blackbirds are still as keen to dig the whole place up. The peas had already attached themselves with their little tendrils, which are surprisingly strong and have kept them upright through the last few stormy days we’ve had. Explaining patiently to them that they’re supposed to attach to the chicken wire frame I’ve put up on the other side… and apologising for ripping them off their nice netting. I find using bird netting over the vegetable beds as long as the seedlings are small is a great help to get them established, as the blackbirds seem to prefer the worm hiding directly under the plants and thus absolutely has to dig them up.

In next weeks workshops, I’ll share some other tips and tricks on how to deal with the different hazards when the seedlings are new to outdoors life. It all starts with the art of growing strong seedlings – which, of course, starts with the seeds and the seed raising mix you use. The first Sow Seeds workshop in the “Grow More Veges” series will take place next Tuesday (18th), followed by Plant Plants on Wednesday 19th. If you’re interested but the time doesn’t suit you, please let me know so I can choose a better schedule next time!

Of course, people with gardening experience are also most welcome to come and share experiences and ideas. Email me on rego @ edibleoasis.net or head over to Chalkle to register there.