The six-packs of small strawberry plants and bundles of bare-root runners available at garden centres now are much cheaper than the larger plants you’ll see in spring. Strawberries are at their peak for just two or three years, so keep replacing any old, tired plants with vigorous youngsters to maintain your yield. Plant in a sunny spot with free-draining soil. If your soil is prone to waterlogging, plant on mounds, in raised beds or in containers. Aim for 6-8 plants per person to see you through summer. Lay black plastic to act as mulch and keep berries clean.
Stake young trees pronto if high winds are a risk. Tamarillos are notoriously brittle, as well as being shallow-rooted. If yours is laden with ripening fruit, it may need a little extra support or you could lose your crop – and half your tree – in a winter storm. When harvesting fruit, pick with the stalks still attached.
Crops for chooks
Plant New Zealand spinach for happy hens – and happy humans – in winter. Unlike upright standard spinach, New Zealand spinach sprawls and rambles. Let it trail over the edges of your raised beds or retaining walls, or plant it especially for your chooks. They will peck its fleshy stalks clean.
Cultivate, but only if the soil is dry enough to stand on. New moon 07:45 AM Plant more garlic, shallots and Jerusalem artichokes. Gardening by the moon