I hope you are having a special Matariki time (Matariki period is from the 2nd July to the 10th) and got up early at least once to see the stars~ ✨ I made a decision on the rising of Matariki to have a 30 day break/detox from social media. So far (on almost laughable day 4!) it’s been really interesting on what’s going on in my head, and I’m not even that much of a high end user. Quite the trip!
Anyway, we’re really into hōtoke (winter) now hey. That polar blast we had on the 29th June really cemented it for a lot of people, us included, with flurries of snow coming down randomly throughout the day.
Reminded me of when I was 18 and moved to Queenstown from Nelson ~ the first day it snowed I finally realised what the point of winter was; to watch snow gracefully drift down from seemingly nowhere!
So. What is the Maramataka Māori guiding us to do in the māra this month? Thankfully it’s mostly huddling by the fire still!
Kua tino mātao te tangata, me te tahutahu ahi, ka pāinaina.Man is now extremely cold and so kindles the fire before he basks.
For most of us there’s a lot of relaxing to be doing- hopefully eating well from our winter plots, planting trees and if fruit tree pruning hasn’t been tackled yet this should be done this month. There’s a few other bits and bobs jobs to do though, so let’s look into the second month of the Māori year, Hōngongoi, the first day of which is on the 10th July (Whiro).
11th July, Tirea
The new moon period is a great time for taking it easy but if you’re itching to do something and the weather is nice, weeding is very satisfying during this time.
15th July, Tamatea kai ariki (and my big brothers birthday!)
Start of the first quarter period; you could start tidying up (or building) your covered growing areas- greenhouses, glasshouses, cold frames etc. Check for slug and snail families hiding under rubbish and pots.
How’s your indoor houseplants going? Keep their leaves dusted so they get as much light as they need. Most don’t as much watering during winter, unless of course they’re in a very warm room. It’s totally OK to moddle coddle and give them slightly warmed water instead of straight from the tap cold water!
Winter-less North; you can start prepping early potato beds. Everybody; Are seed potatoes available to buy in your area or online yet? Or, gulp, are they sold out already like Setha Seeds?!
22nd July, Atua
Great time to be thinking about what grew well for you in the past and what was eaten (radishes always grow well and easy, but do you and your whānau actually eat them?) and what you would like to plant this year.
I want you to really think about diversity in your garden – make sure you have plans to plant for our pollinators and our predator insects. Go here for ideas of herbs to grow for bees. Go here for aphid battle plans.
Check out your favourite seed supplier to see if they have what you want. From August/September more of my plants will be coming available. But there’s no planting of anything just yet, dreaming, planning, plotting and scheming…
2nd August, Tangaroa piri a roto
Well now, depending on your climate, what’s happening with the weather and what resources you have (cold frames, glasshouses, heat pads) you may want to start sowing seeds. It’s dicey times this early in August, if you’re a beginner gardener hold fire until next month for greater success. Moon wise it’s a great time to sow seeds but weather wise it may not be so.
Prune your fruit trees from now until the 6th August (Mauri), I wouldn’t want to do it any later. Get your berry sections in order now too if you haven’t already; prune, de-sucker, tie-up, manure…. Who wouldn’t want a bumper crop; do the mahi, get the treats!
6th August, Mauri
Tools down! We’re coming up to the end of the Māori month. Soon (depending on where you live!) all this relaxing and wintering will be all but a dream and you are going to be busy in the garden, making it your favourite place to be~
Hereturikōkā, the third month of the Māori year begins on the 9th August.. til then, stay warm!