Cheer yourself up this week by planting strawberries.
The camarosa variety is always reliable but this year I'm going for something different. Strawberry Temptation is the first New Zealand-bred, day-neutral strawberry.
"Day neutral" means it will flower regardless of how long or short the days are, extending the harvest from October to March. Plus, the strawberries are heart-shaped. How cool is that?
You can get Strawberry Temptation from Incredible Edibles (edible.co.nz) or most garden centres.
When you plant strawberries, don't put them where you grew potatoes or tomatoes last season - diseases could be spread.
Cut off any runners that grow before the flowers form. In the spring, mulch the plants with straw to mop up the rain because too much moisture can encourage fungus and attract whitefly.
Cover the ripening fruit with shade cloth or anything that will keep the birds away. Pick the fruit as soon as it's ripe.
Strawberries are ideal to grow in pots, hanging baskets, old colanders and wicker baskets. Tui Strawberry Mix is a good planting mix for them.
For a decadent atrawberries and cream filling for crepes, check out the recipe on the Awapuni Nurseries website: awapuni.co.nz.