August 1, 2013

Planting Strawberries

Happy 1st of August.  I'm so happy August is here.  It feels like we're turning the corner and starting the slow climb back towards summer.  Have you noticed how its getting a little lighter in the mornings now?

I am looking so forward to this summer with our girls and am planning ahead for a fun filled one.  And what is summer without strawberries!  According to Tui "planting strawberries in New Zealand’s winter temperatures will increase vigour and produce a higher number of berries over the season".  So in other words, now is the time to plant them to enjoy a good summer crop.

In the weekend I completely emptied my vegetable garden so I could get my summer planting under way.  I had ordered some Zoo Doo compost earlier in the week to dig in when I turned over the soil.  It's on special at the moment for $7.90 per bag with free delivery and my order was waiting outside our garage door on Saturday morning.  What wonderful service!  Our particular bags of compost came from Orana Wildlife Park in Christchurch which I thought was a nice detail :)

Last summer I absolutely loved watching Maddy pick and eat fresh strawberries from our vegetable garden while she played in the sun.  This year there will be a second set of chubby little fingers reaching in for those delicious red berries so I knew we were going to have to increase the number of plants but without taking up too much extra space.  My super clever husband, who was busy building our outdoor fireplace, stopped what he was doing and knocked together this for me...

It was the perfect solution.  This clever design holds 25 strawberry plants in a 0.8 sqm space, twice the amount I usually plant.  It also does away with the need for straw which annoyingly starts sprouting in your garden or gets blown around.  And it is easily dismantled if I want to remove it.

I really enjoy growing heritage fruit and vegetables.  The Koanga Institute is one of my favourite places to purchase heritage seeds and seedlings but I was too late for their strawberry plants this year so I settled on Chandler and Camarosa which are more commercial varieties.

I planted my garlic on the winter solstice (or the shortest day of the year which was in June) and am germinating my Italian tomatoes from Franchi to be transplanted on labour day (on 4 October).  I also plan on planting some peas to shell with the girls (it's a lovely memory from my childhood rather than for its yield) plus lots and lots of different varieties of lettuce.  I absolutely love fresh herbs but they are in another garden.  Ooohhh... I love planning out my summer vegetable garden.  Are you planning on growing anything this year?


  1. Penny , i love your strawberry planting idea , how did u think of this design ?

    Reading your plans for creating your vege & herb garden makes me long to make one for our garden..... my mum n dad have always had a brilliant vege , herb & fruit garden. Sadly i did not inherit the green fingers to do it myself.

    But looking at your ideas & reading what you do , plus what i see in Pinterest gardening , im begining to think of basic ways i can do one.

    Just wish my hubby could wip up cleaver wooden planting creation like yours did.

    Love your gardening ideas :-)

  2. It was the perfect solution. This clever design holds 25 strawberry plants in a 0.8 sqm space, twice the amount I usually tree nursery