In New Zealand it is perfect timing now to plant out your strawberries, The new moon was on Sunday so now is the time to plant via the moon any crops that grow above the ground.
A good rule of thumb is to plant 5 strawberry plants per family member but umm I planted 60 strawberries as strawberries are listed as one of the “dirty dozen” food that has the most pesticides. If your family is on a tight budget and buying only organic food is not realistic, try and buy organic fruit and vegetables that are listed in the “dirty dozen”.
The dirty dozen
Food in New Zealand more likely to contain pesticide residues ranked according to number of pesticides detected in total samples and percentage with pesticides.
Food % with residues no. of pesticides sample size
1. Grapes 98.2 35 6
2. Celery 100 19 51
3. Bok/pak choi 95.7 21 47
4. Nectarines 100.0 15 36
5. Oranges 98.2 16 56
6. Strawberries 100 14 8
7. Spring onion 97.9 15 48
8. Lemons 92 20 50
9. Wheat: bread/all products 87.3 23 150
10. Cucumber 82.1 27 56
11. Pears 100 9 8
12. Broccoli 92.9 10 57
Bed preparation is soo worth while by digging in compost or old sheep manure. Strawberries need full sun and good drainage.
For planting I prefer rows but some people like to mound or hill up their strawberries
Ever so hard but one needs to pinch off any flower buds or little baby strawberries that are growing so that a healthy root system will develop.
I love wet newspaper in the garden - never glossy flyers just plain old newspaper that I tear into strips and wet then lay down on the ground. Worms come for miles to the garden for newspaper plus it helps keep down weeds and helps mulch keeping in the water which is a good thing as strawberries need a lot of water.
Water well and keep up the watering over summer months. I also give worm wee about once a fortnight.
Come the Strawberry Full Moon on 7th November hopefully we will have our first crop of tasty organic home grown strawberries for the season..
Plant the herb borage in or around your strawberry bed as a favourite companion but don't plant your strawberries near tomatoes. pepper, potatoes, eggplant (the night shade family)