I was not expecting to get any strawberries until spring, but one of my Chandler plants, planted only about six weeks ago, has surprised me with some winter fruit. I waited eagerly while the first strawberry slowly turned bright red, hoping no birds or children would steal it. And then came the day of eating. It was deliciously sweet and juicy! Good investment in Chandler then. I know I should probably pinch off the flowers and let the plants put energy into growth for spring, but I can’t help myself! My strawberries never fruited in winter in Christchurch and I didn’t expect them to in Hamilton either.
I have also filled the rest of my long planter box with four Camarosa strawberry plants. I had been um-ing and ah-ing about which other cultivar I should try, which was continuously thwarted by the distinct lack of cultivar choice or even strawberry plants in various garden centres. I’m not sure what’s up with the strawberry plant growers at the moment, but there seems to be a very limited supply. Finally, Bunnings had some strawberry plants when I went in on Saturday, and they were cheap, so I got four. They are rather small plants too, so will take a while to catch up to my thriving Chandlers. Now I will have to indulge in some extensive taste-testing in spring and summer. How strenuous!