Strawberry Maintenance as Winter Approaches
I take my strawberries very seriously, like over 300 plants seriously!
The past year I harvested over 40 kilograms of strawberries from my patch, that’s not including all that were gobbled along the way, which was many.
As Winter approaches and garden jobs tend to ease off, now is the perfect time for the scraggly strawberry patch to get some much needed attention from me.
Firstly I lift all the plants, seperate the runners aka baby plants, and soak in a wheelbarrow or bucket full of seaweed tonic or homemade fertiliser (like comfrey or nettle tea) for as little as 2hrs to a much as 48hrs, depending on how speedy I am at prepping the bed to replant them.
I’ll prepare the strawberry beds, always located in full sun, with what resources I have, which are alpaca manure & dried willow leaves mixed into the existing soil and topped with pine needles for mulching. Any aged manure and fallen leaves will do (not walnut), alternatively a top up of compost if you have some handy, and a mulch with pea straw would work equally as well.
Then time to get those well hydrated and fed strawberry plants back into the soil, nice and tucked up with mulch. That’s it for Winter.
Come Spring I’ll give them a feed of seaweed tonic, and again a couple more feeds during Summer to keep them flowering and fruiting into Autumn.
Biggest tip, bird netting from early Spring! They will find and devour them, and invite all their mates to the party.
I frequently share tips on strawberries and various other vegetable garden related topics on my Instagram page @nzgardener, I love sharing my North Canterbury 1000m garden, harvests, flowers, alpacas and sunken glasshouse (walipini) on there, so feel free to hop on over and take a look.
Happy garden days!
Words and pictures: Candice Harris
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