(Best months for growing Strawberry Plants in New Zealand - cool/mountain regions)
September: Protect from frost
Strawberries are low-growing leafy plants which grow 12-15cm (about 6 inches) tall and will spread to about 50-100cm (20-40 inches). They have five petalled white or pink flowers. The flowers are followed by the delicious red fruits (which have their seeds on the outside).
Later in the season the plants send out runners like thin stems across the garden which will take root to form new plants. Cut them off and leave the parent growing. You can transplant the runners or let them grow where they rooted to produce new plants.
At the end of fruiting, trim off old yellow leaves and clean up any mouldy fruit still attached.
Strawberries like well drained soil with plenty of humus. To prepare your bed, dig in some compost before planting and possibly use a liquid fertiliser during the growing season. Well fed strawberries taste better.
To protect the fruit from moulds and mildew use some form of mulch around the plants. Straw, pine needles, or black plastic are all suitable. Mulch will also help suppress weeds.
Protect your plants with some sort of netting or bird scarer or you will lose most of your crop!
Strawberry plants often need replacing after a few years as they get affected by viruses and stop producing well.
Pick strawberries and eat them straight from the garden warm from the sunshine - delicious!
Strawberries can be used in any dessert needing soft fruit or berries. Summer pudding (which also has raspberries and blackberries or boysenberries), mousse, trifle, dipped in melted chocolate or just with cream.
Sprinkle a bowl of strawberries with balsamic vinegar and a little sugar to enhance the flavour and colour.
A quick jam of diced strawberries cooked in the microwave with an equal weight of sugar until completely soft won't keep but can be used right away.
This planting guide is a general reference intended for home gardeners. We recommend that you take into account your local conditions in making planting decisions. GardenGrow is not a farming or commercial advisory service. For specific advice, please contact your local plant suppliers, gardening groups, or agricultural department.
The information on this site is presented in good faith, but we take no responsibility as to the accuracy of the information provided.
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