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Selwyn Times: June 06, 2018

30 Wednesday

30 Wednesday June 6 2018 Latest Christchurch news at www.star.kiwi Get your tickets online and be in to win a $500 Resene gift voucher SELWYN TIMES SPECIAL ONLINE TICKET PRICE $6 or 2 for $10 Door entry $8 Children under 12 FREE JUNE 29 – JULY 1 2018 Horncastle Arena BOOK NOW: www.starhomeshow.kiwi Friday, Saturday, Sunday, 10am-5pm

SELWYN TIMES Latest Christchurch news at www.star.kiwi Wednesday June 6 2018 31 Gardening Plant strawberries for summer • By Henri Ham IN MY opinion, strawberries, like many fruit and veg, just seem to taste juicier and better when you’ve grown them yourself. So, every winter I like to ensure we have a good strawberry patch set up to enjoy in summer. Sometimes that means creating a whole new strawberry patch and other years I just top up my existing patch with new plants. Three popular varieties of strawberries are Chandler, Camerosa and Ventana, they can be described as good homegarden varieties that produce sweet, medium-sized fruit but the Ventana strawberries have more of a conical shape to them. Some gardeners like specific varieties, but if you’re starting out and have no preference I would recommend any of these varieties. Each regular-sized bundle has around four plants which should produce between 60 -100 strawberries come Christmas. I recommend planting as many strawberry plants as you can fit – I don’t think you can never have too many strawberries. Once you’ve got your plants you need to decide where to plant them. The great thing about strawberries is they can be grown in pretty much any sized garden. Maybe you’re lucky enough to have a big raised garden box you can grow them in. But if you’re not, there are still plenty of options for growing strawberries. They grow well in hanging baskets, cut-off drain pipes, pots, wooden pyramids and more. As long as they can see the sun, VERSATILE: A raised garden is perfect for growing strawberries. and where you’re planting is welldrained, you can expect healthygrowing plants that produce lots of fruit. When you’ve found just the right spot or spots, prepare the soil by digging in a general fertiliser that’s rich in potassium. This will help stimulate plant growth and big, juicy fruit. If you’re planting in a pot or hanging basket, use a good potting mix and an extra boost of liquid fertiliser. Before planting in the garden raise your bed by mounding the soil. This will encourage circulation, drainage and can add depth to shallow soil. Plant your seedlings around TASTY: Strawberries always taste sweeter when you have grown them in your own garden. the edges of your garden or pots to encourage the strawberries to hang over the sides and prevent the fruit from touching the ground and rotting. Dig a hole 10cm deep and place the seedling inside. A deep hole is required to give the roots plenty of room to spread out and grow but be careful not to bury the plant. Pack the soil firmly around each seedling and surround with peastraw or newspaper to help keep away weeds. Place netting or wire over you plants when they begin to produce fruit. This will block out birds and ensure you get to eat the strawberries yourself. In spring, add another dose of general fertiliser or strawberry food to your strawberries to encourage sturdier plants that are more disease resistant heading in to the warmer months. Come Christmas you’ll be able to put your strawberries to the test and decide for yourself whether home-grown really does taste better. And remember your strawberry plants will be most productive in their second year. IF YOU’RE after a cottagegarden or wildflower vibe in your garden then look no further than cornflowers. Their ruffled and colourful flowers will add an easy-care, pretty look to any home and garden. Typically cornflowers are blue but you can get mixed bundles of seedlings which includes pink, lilac, white, purple and blue flowers. Other flowers that also grow nicely with cornflowers and will create a lovely effect when grown together in your garden are delphiniums, poppies, lavender and roses. If you don’t have much of a garden, never fear, cornflowers also grow very well in pots HORNCASTLE ARENA June 29 - July 1 10AM - 5PM TICKETS ONLINE: starhomeshow.kiwi VIBE: Traditionally cornflowers are blue. Cute and cottagey cornflowers • By Henri Ham and look particularly nice when grown with lobelia in containers. If you’re planting in the garden, look for a sunny, welldrained spot with soil that isn’t too sour. Before you start, I recommend adding a good general fertiliser or blood and bone to help give the seedlings a good kick-start. If you’re growing your cornflowers in a pot, as always, I recommend tipping out any old soil and replacing with new potting mix. Then dig a little hole and plant each seedling around 10cm apart. They’re quite upright growing plants and planting at this space apart will allow them to support the weight of each other. In around six to eight weeks your cute and cottagey plants will start to flower and provide a splash of colour to your garden. now bigger than ever growing with you SprIng Is here – It’S Sow Time how to get the best results from seeds and seedlings 100% NatIve In The capItal Unravelling the secrets of Otari-wilton Bush The New Zealand landscape awards The people behind the projects September 2016 | 100% It’s time to grow! New look and more content than ever! MeeT LeSTer Brice A Garden coach The magazine for gardeners who like to get their hands dirty $7.90 incl. GST Save our roSeS How a rose register is protecting our heritage auckland Botanic GardenS Why we love our public grounds SubScribe from $43. 50* *6 issues/6 months ISSN 2423-0219 SUBSCRIPTIONS FREEPHONE 0800 77 77 10 www.gaRdeNER.kiwI