Strawberries work hard all summer. If you’re lucky you might have picked a few recently due to some sunny weather and plenty of rain. I renew my strawberry beds every three years with the second season being the most productive one. That means I pull out one third of my strawberry plants each autumn and in the spring plant a similar number of plants somewhere new. They need a reasonable amount of sunshine and don’t like wet feet but don’t mind the acid soil we tend to have in Wellington. I also cut off all the runners from the plants I’m keeping, dig them up and pot them up to replant in spring or give away. I tried buying plants from the garden center last year, but they were far inferior to the ones I grew myself. I’ve tried replanting them in autumn but found they did better with some TLC in the pots and I could choose the healthiest ones to keep. Once I’ve pulled out all the runners and removed any plants that aren’t looking happy I give the whole bed a good layer of mulch to keep the soil warm and weed-free during winter.
The Taupo Native Plant Nursery catalogue has just arrived. Full of valuable information even if you don’t choose to order any plants. I’m not sure how many plants you have to buy to qualify for a free catalogue, but I suspect if your plants arrive in a truck, not a box, you’re a safe bet for another order. Well worth an evening in front of the fire planning the next purchases.