Thursday, 31 July 2014

Planting strawberries

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
 Give your strawberries a good drink before planting. Gently spread out the roots of the 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.

 Plant the strawberry plants with a big enough hole so the roots won't bend and cover to the crown of the plant so it is slightly above ground level

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.

Strawberries thrive tucked up in a bed of pine needles as they raise the acidity level of your soil as they break down which strawberries LOVE

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..

Companion planting
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)


  1. the birds got my strawberries before i did. i think i got about 3 of them. i even netted them and when i went down the next day, there was a bird inside the netting chomping away. i plant berries for birds.

    1. know the feeling! October my netting will be in place. You would think with me feeding them seed they would leave my worms in garden and fruit alone.

  2. I've got my's a beautiful sunny day here so might just have to get out and get them planted :-)

  3. We had the most wonderful tasting strawberries frowning here. Just what they used to taste like. And as for broccoli. My daughter would not eat it, until I grew it. Then I couldn't grow enough. To this day she cannot eat bought broccoli unless it's organic. She can taste the difference. I wonder if more kids would eat their greens if it was organic?

  4. A wonderful post, loved all the photos and the info. I absolutely love strawberries!