Strawberries have always been popular. They are great tasting, and are relatively easy to grow, even in a small area. They grow well in most soil types, but prefer free draining soil.
Where To Plant
Choose a warm sunny position, sheltered from strong winds. Strawberries require a free draining soil with lots of compost. This is particularly important in lighter and sandy soils. In clay soils, raise planting beds and add lots of compost.
How To Plant
Work into the soil before planting, a couple of handful’s of lime and a general fertiliser, (ican Organic Vegetable Fertiliser & Tui Strawberry Food are good options). Plant on raised mounds so that the crown and roots never become waterlogged. Plants should be about 300mm apart.
When growing in pots and containers we recommend Tui Strawberry mix. This can also be used in the garden.
This is a highly recommended practice as it suppresses weeds and conserves moisture in the soil. A layer of mulch, (straw, sawdust or similar) laid on the surface in October will prevent moisture loss, benefiting the plants, and providing a clean surface for the fruit as it grows and ripens. Weed mat is an option preferred by many.
This strawberry produces large firm berries with a medium-red colour. The flavour is excellent and the fruit is relatively resistant to wet weather. This ‘short day’ type produces a large flush of fruit in late Spring through to Christmas.
Albion Produces large, uniform shape, sweet berries throughout the warmer months of the year. This is a ‘Day Neutral type, fruiting during the months of November through to March.
Feeding and Maintaining
Strawberries benefit from an annual dressing of lime or gypsum plus fertiliser at planting time, followed by an application of again in September or October. Ican Organic Vegetable Fertiliser or Tui Strawberry Food is a good option.
Strawberries like a good moisture level but not wet conditions. Watering in dry periods is beneficial. Water early in the day or at a time when foliage and fruit dry quickly so as to minimise botrytis fruit rot.
Soil diseases of strawberries are best avoided by not growing them in the same soil for more than two consecutive years. To prevent Leaf spot and botrytis (grey mould), avoid overhead watering. If botrytis is observed, then spray with Kiwicare Thiram (in wet periods) observing the 7 day withholding period.