The great Kiwi pavlova just woul
The great Kiwi pavlova just wouldn’t be the same without a generous topping of delicious red strawberries. Grow your own this season and you’ll be the family favourite! Plant in garden beds, pots and containers and harvest a bumper crop of homegrown strawberries this summer. Here's a step by step guide as seen on Kiwi Living with Tony Murrell. Click here for the guide to growing strawberries in guttering.
Shopping list: Strawberry plants, Tui Strawberry Mix, Seasol, Tui Strawberry Food if planting in the garden, or Tui NovaTec Premium fertiliser if planting in pots and containers, Tui Strawberry Straw and Tui Insect Control for Fruit & Veges.
1. The better the soil, the better your plants will grow. If you are starting with an existing garden bed dig in organic matter like sheep pellets and Tui Compost to your soil.
2. A good rule of thumb is to plant five strawberry plants for each member of the household. Research shows that planting strawberries in New Zealand's winter temperatures will produce a larger crop over the season, so don't be afraid to plant early.
3. Choose a spot in full sun. Plant early in the morning or late in the day so plants aren't exposed to hot sun straight away.
4. Before planting your strawberry plants, soak in a bucket of Seasol seaweed based plant tonic and allow to drain. This will help prevent transplant shock.
5. Add a layer of Tui Strawberry Mix to the planting area. Tui Strawberry Mix is specifically formulated with extra potassium, just what your strawberry plants need to encourage a plentiful harvest of big juicy fruit.
6. Make mounds about 10cm high for strawberries to be planted on. Mounding improves drainage and increases air circulation around plants.
7. Gently loosen the root ball of your plant.
8. Plant 150mm apart on the top of the mounds.
9. Press soil gently around the base of the plant.
10. Water your plant well.
Directions for planting in pots and containers:
- Before planting your strawberry plants, soak in a bucket of Seasol seaweed based plant tonic and allow to drain. This will help prevent transplant shock.
- Partly fill your container with Tui Strawberry Mix.
- Gently loosen the root ball of your plant and position the plant in the container.
- Fill your container with Tui Strawberry Mix up to 3cm from the top.
- Tap the container gently on the ground to settle the mix.
- Press soil gently around the base of the plant.
- Water your plant well.
11. Feed your plants and they will feed you. Replenishing nutrients used by your strawberries ensures they will grow to their full potential. For strawberries planted in garden beds feed every four weeks during key growth periods of spring and summer. Tui Strawberry Food is a balanced blend of nutrients to encourage fast establishment and growth of strawberry plants, and make plants stronger and more disease resistant, while increasing fruiting potential for large, succulent strawberries. For strawberries in pots and containers use Tui NovaTec Premium fertiliser.
12. Keep your strawberries well watered. Well watered, well nourished strawberries will have a better chance of keeping insect pests and diseases at bay.
13. The weather, weeds, pest insects and diseases can all impact on the success of your strawberries. Protect your plants from the elements with layers of Tui Strawberry Straw, to help keep their roots moist in the warmer months, to keep fruit off the soil and to help keep your patch weed free.
14. Be vigilant and stop unwanted insects and diseases from ruining your plants. The Tui Plant Protection range will help you put a stop to any problems that arise. Treat powdery mildew on strawberries with Tui Disease Control for Fruit & Veges. To treat common insects found on strawberries such as aphids, whitefly, scale and two-spotted mites, use Tui Insect Control for Fruit & Veges.
15. Birds love juicy strawberries – to avoid them stealing yours, put up netting to protect your strawberries once they start fruiting.
- If you're short on garden space, strawberry plants grow well in hanging baskets, or you can plant straight into a bag of Tui Strawberry Mix – just remember to make small drainage holes underneath. Five or six plants will fit in a bag when it is lying flat.
- At the end of fruiting, remove runners and then plant them out for next season's crop.
Visit the Kiwi Living website