Kua uru ngā kai kai te rua, kua mutu ngā mahi a te tangata.
Crops have now been stored in the store pits. The tasks of man are now finished.
Haratua, the 12th month of the Māori year… Depending on what climate pocket you live in you may still have some planting to do but this month is more about prepping and putting things to bed.
Whiro, 13th May, day after New Moon
He rā kino tēnei mō te ono kai mā tehī ika, hoki. A bad day for fishing or planting, the moon is out of sight.
Tirea, 14th May – Ōkoro, 17th May
Prepare your strawberry beds, your garlic beds and shallot beds. You’re prepping with food for the soil, compost +manure, but you’re also making sure you have superior drainage – this is paramount for these crops. If you’re in a reasonably warm area you can still plant out your compost and/or green manure crops.
Tamatea whakapau, 21st May
Plant out your strawberry runners, remember to keep the crowns clear of any soil or mulch (pine needles makes a great -free- mulch for strawberries).
Rākaunui + Rākaumatohi, 27th + 28th May
- Get your garlic in, tree onions, shallots and potatos onions too if you have them (Setha Seeds is a good source of these).
- Mulch, mulch, mulch!
- This is the time that I start doing my hardwood cuttings. I have an article here on propagating plants by this method.
- If you have a tree that you’ve decided would be better in a different place and it’s a fairly decent sized tree, wrench one side now. The art of wrenching is cutting the roots in stages, well before you actually move the tree. It will shock the poor thing but not as shocking if you lifted the whole thing in one fell swoop. It will though encourage it to form fresh new roots. I have a 3-4 year old apple tree that I’ll be wrenching at this time and then moving in 2-4 weeks…weather dependant.
- Mulch, mulch, mulch!
- Make compost for Spring.
Korekore tūroa, 2nd June – Ōrongonui, 7th June
The last quarter period is hands down my favourite time of the moon calendar. It’s such a productive time, but at this time of year, not a lot of that productivity will be used in the garden. Of course, weed + mulch what is left to be done – if you have cloches’ or cold frames’ (and live in a warm-ish area) you could sow the last of your salad greens. Plant out the last of your seedlings. Move trees if need be.
Think about how else you can use this productive energy; is there something you can do together with your whānau or your community (stack firewood?) Do things that need to be done.
BTW, 2nd June is when Matariki will be setting, the stars will rise again in a months time. Ōrongonui (7th June) is a good day for business.
Mauri, 8th June
The world is moving into darkness as we get closer to the New Moon. Take a load off, keep warm, have you ordered or looked into what fruit trees you would like to plant this winter? New Moon is the 10th June.