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.
1. The better the soil, the better your plants will grow. If you are starting with an existing garden bed clear the area before planting and 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 to ensure your strawberries thrive. Lack of sun will mean little or no flavour for your summer berries. 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 Tui Organic Seaweed 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. Blend in an application of Tui Strawberry Food. Apply 300g (approx. 1 cup) per square metre of garden and mix thoroughly into the soil.
7. Make mounds about 10cm high for strawberries to be planted on. Mounding improves drainage and increases air circulation around plants.
8. Gently loosen the root ball of your plant.
9. Plant 150mm apart on the top of the mounds.
10. Press soil gently around the base of the plant.
11. Water your plant well.
Directions for planting in pots and containers:
- Before planting your strawberry plants, soak in a bucket of Tui Organic Seaweed 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.
12. 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.
13. Keep your strawberries well watered. Well watered, well nourished strawberries will have a better chance of keeping insect pests and diseases at bay.
14. 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.
- 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.
- Birds love juicy strawberries – to avoid them stealing yours, put up netting to protect your strawberries once they start fruiting.
- At the end of fruiting, remove runners and then plant them out for next season's crop
Try our Strawberry Straw Bale Gardening Hack below!