NZ Gardener - Garden Diary 2018 - - Sow & Grow -

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.

Ta­mar­illo time

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

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