When to plant?

when to plant is a question that I'm

often asked it's often in relation to a

specific vegetable but it's sometimes

the general question in terms of

gardening and particularly spring

planting now it's a little bit like

asking how long as a piece of string

because there are so many variables

particularly in relation to climate

where you live in the world often your

microclimate in terms of your own home

can make a difference and also in

relation to the specific vegetable which

you're planting each has its own time of

course choosing the right time is really

important because getting the time right

can make the difference between success

and failure

if you plant things too early they often

sit they can stagnate for quite some

weeks or if you plan too late you can

run out of season so getting the time

right there is a perfect window in terms

of planting I think in any area

sometimes it's quite a large window and

others it's quite small so getting that

time right is important particularly

seeds often if you put seeds in the

ground too early they can actually just

rot instead of grow and you've

completely wasted your seed and your

time so what I wanted to give you in

this video was a few tools and some

ideas how to choose when is the right

time to plant in your locality

the first advice that I can give is ask

your neighbor now I know that in today's

world a lot of people don't grow

vegetables and so often your neighbor

may not be growing food and that creates

a problem in the past when everybody

grew it it was simple if you moved into

a new area you just asked your neighbors

when do I plant and they would tell you

but today of course so many people don't

grow their own food so sometimes you

have to work it out for yourself

climate as I said is so important and it

can vary greatly here in Tasmania in

this island we have a number of

different climates we have a coastal

climate where people are right against

the sea and may not even get any frost

we have the other extreme which is the

Alpine climate where you can get snow in

winter and in between that we have what

covers probably the bulk of the island

which is inland a little bit even from

the sea it still

once you rise up into a little bit of

highlands you can get quite a bit of

wind that is cool coming across the

island now if you're in the forest like

I am and more sheltered it creates

another difference so each one of these

areas has its own climate if I ask

somebody down by the sea when they plant

and followed their guide I would

probably get into some trouble because

their planting would be quite a lot

earlier than mine I had a friend that

lived down by the sea he would plant his

Tomatoes at the beginning of September

very early spring the very beginning of

spring here in Tazi I plant mine at the

end of October which is late spring and

if I planted mine in September I would

get a frost which would kill them so

this is where I say you really need very

local advice otherwise you've got to

work it out for yourself

now there's a few ways of doing that now

the first two years the scientific

method and that is to look at the soil

temperature now there are guides on the

internet that will tell you the soil

temperatures that you need for planting

seeds and transplants there are a number

of these around I'll put links to a

couple down below

so I won't actually give you the details

in the video so you can go and look at

those and actually check against what

you want to plant in terms of what soil

temperature should be occasionally you

will even see like this one on a seed

packet where it actually gives you the

soil temperature that's ideal very few

seed packets ours have helpful as that

to measure the soil temperature you're

going to need a probe thermometer

something like this that you can

actually put into the soil and measure

that temperature you want to measure it

in the morning before the Sun has got on

it so that it hasn't been particularly

heated by the Sun you're actually

getting the true temperature of the soil

the other thing to look at and

particularly this is important when

actually putting out seedlings is the

overnight temperature if the plants that

you're planning out are frost sensitive

you need to make sure that you have no

chance of frost coming if you're not

sure about when the last frost occurs

anywhere check your weather Department's

guides they will usually have records as

to the minimum overnight temperatures

and that will give you an idea as to

when the last frost is likely to occur

and then allow a couple of weeks for

safety before actually planning out

frost sensitive plants other things of

course like beans and pumpkins and

cucumbers that like it quite warm you'll

need to allow probably at least a month

away from the last likely frost the

other way to determine when to plant

things is to look at when things begin

to grow in your area for example this

silver beet has been sitting from the

previous year and as the temperature has

risen in the soil even though it was

quite dormant overwinter it has now

began to come to life and move and go to

seed now as soon as it began to grow it

told me that it was the right time for

me to actually start planting my silver

beet seeds an example again is these

tomatoes that I see the tomato seeds

naturally germinating out of the soil

where they've fallen into the soil and

sat there all winter and when they start

to grow it tells me it's a safe time to

go and plant some tomato seed

here again is a volunteer it's a pumpkin

which is started to germinate all on its

own out of the soil and the fact that

it's germinated tells me that it is a

good time again for me to come and plant

my pumpkins because the seed itself is

the best guide to the soil conditions I

recently had a presenter on a popular TV

program here in Australia say that when

seedlings were available purchased from

nurseries etc that it was about the

right time to plant well I'd have to

really emphasize the about because as I

was saying before it's again very much

dependent on your local conditions

stores bring them out based on probably

the earliest conditions and people that

are much later really should wait so

what do you do that are available in the

stores and there might be sales on and

you want to buy some seedlings but you

know that you can't put them out and

you're going to have to wait if well 4-6

weeks before it's safe to put them out

what do you do well what I do is

actually to buy them get them at that

best price when they're small seedlings

and then to pop them on and that allows

them to grow you can then if you have a

greenhouse you can grow them in a

greenhouse the result is that after

about four weeks you're going to have

instead of a couple of pallets of small

seedlings you're going to have nice big

plants like this ready to go out now if

they've been inside it is advisable to

harden them off for a few days depending

on your conditions I think if you wait a

little bit longer until it's warmer they

will continue to grow well and I've

successfully just put them outside and

not harden them off and they do just

fine picking those right conditions is

the key wait until it is warm enough I

think it's always better to plant two

weeks later than two weeks earlier two

weeks too early is really a problem and

the plant will stagnate and it really in

peds its development the plant that is

put out a little bit later will often

overtake the earlier plant and give you

fruit sooner and be a healthier

in the long-term the final factors to

consider is the actual weather at the

end of time in terms of rainfall if you

put out plants particularly seedlings

this is the case but also when you're

planting seeds then if you can put them

out when there is some rain coming one

or two days it's a nice light rain

that's going to really moisten the soil

and ensure that those seeds get good

moisture to germinate and then it's

going to be followed by a few days of

nice warm sunshine you'll get the

optimum growth now a lot of people like

to plant by the moon and believe that

following lunar cycles will actually

enhance germination and I believe there

has been some tests and say that yes

there is a small advantage in doing that

my observation of the moon in relation

to weather and growing is that there are

rainfall cycles that will follow the

moon there's a number of various cycles

that can occur one common one is that

the rain will space out at around about

a week apart and this is following the

lunar cycle it's a little bit more than

a week but in a little creek because the

lunar cycle is just that a little bit

more than 29 and a half days so on one

week it will rain on Monday the next

week got all rain Monday again and then

the third week it will move to a Tuesday

and it'll just creep along this is a

cycle that's related to the moon and if

you can identify this and see this

happening you can use it to your

advantage and plant accordingly your

seeds or seedlings will get watered

seedlings love getting that day of shade

and the opportunity to settle in before

the hot Sun and when the Sun does come

everything will jump out of the ground

and really grow well so I hope this

video has given you a few ideas as to

how you can read your climate and read

the soil and choose the right time to

plant your vegetables