Hey ho! Kia ora and haere mai to this lunar months gardening guide. Mahuru is the fourth month of the Māori lunar year starting with the New Moon on the 7th September (Hepetema), running this guide to the 6th October (Oketopa).
I hope you have been holding yourself well during this lockdown, it’s felt a bit rougher this time hey.
But. Weren’t we lucky to have that stunning weather for the Last Quarter moon just been; hope you were busy in the māra making the most of it.
Haohaoata, 9th September
You’re good to go for seed sowing today. If you do successive sowing (sowing say, lettuce + spinach every 2-3 weeks so you have your food continuously and not in one glut) the moon has your back. According to the Maramataka Māori , ideal seed sowing days are Haohaoata (third day after New Moon), Rakaunui (Full moon) and Tangaroa piri a roto (one day after last quarter). Quite nicely spaced out aren’t they.
Ōuenuku, 10th Sept – Tamatea angaanga, 13th Sept
These are good days to be planting out, but only if you live in frost free areas or have cloches for your wee plants. Prick out seedlings into more nutritive potting mix.
Weed, weed, weed, keep on top of it- spring growth can make weeds grow bigger than your intentional plants!
- A lot of herbs are prolific self seeders, you might have some catnip, lemon balm, motherwort, clary sage etc popping up. Let them be if they’re not going to overcrowd less rambunctious plants or pot them up and give away to friends.
- In your weeding do remember that plants that have been dormant over winter will be coming up, echinacea, lady’s mantle, lovage and French tarragon for example, so don’t pull them up as well.
- If you are weeding someone else’s garden please confer with the owner. One persons’ weed is another persons’ treasured plant. Plus they’ll be able to tell you where dormant plants ought to be.
- And hey, how about checking out a foraging guide – those weeds might make a beauts spring soup or salad!
Māwharu, 18th Sept
He rā tino pai tēnei me te ono kai, he nunui te kūmara engari kaore e roa ka pirau he rā pai ki te hē ika.A very good day for planting but the produce does not last for very long. A good day for fishing.
This is the day that I will be planting my early taewa (potato). The Jersey Bennes that will be eaten at Christmas and throughout summer for our potato salads. Early potatoes are called as such because they generally take 90 days from planting to harvesting, main crop potatoes take up to 120 days. Really, they should be called fast potatoes (earlies) and slow potatoes (main)… Just don’t be a couch potato! (sorry, couldn’t help myself!) Especially on this day; we’re three days away from the full moon and it’s swell timing to be foliar feeding the garden and fertilising your fruit trees too.
Rākaunui (Full Moon), 21 Sept + Rākaumatohi, 22 Sept
Sow carrots, beetroot, parsnip, radish, all those tap root vegies. Keep prepping your garden beds with compost and digging in your cover crops. Mulch any citrus trees you have. After Rākaumatohi have a wee break before we get to the Last Quarter period. Spring Equinox is on the 23rd, do something special perhaps.
Tangaroa piri a mua, 29 Sept – Ōrongonui, 3rd Oct
Last Quarter… If you can imagine me rubbing my hands together in glee, this is me every Last Quarter. It is a super productive time; harness the energy of this marama phase and get busy! From here until Ōrongonui all days are very good days for planting, sowing seeds, taking divisions, making compost and prepping beds.
As I said earlier, Tangaroa piri a roto (30th Sept) is the day of all days during this period, not only for sowing seeds but also for planting out your kūmara and main crop taewa (potato). If there’s still risk of frost in your area have frost cloths at the ready, potato plants have zero tolerance to frosty weather.
Mauri, 3rd October
And we rest. As the moon moves into its darkness it is time to take stock on what we’ve achieved, or not, rest and relax.
And that folks might be me. I’m in the process of slowing things down here at Stoney Ground Herbs with my eye on following a different path… More news to come~💚