Spring: September In The Garden – Chasing Crusoe.

Spring – September

North Island New Zealand

Temperate With Frosts

First month of Spring! Probably thee most anticipated time of the year for gardeners. A time when all your dreaming and planning can come to fruition now that the soils are warming & the sun is shining.

This year my gardening areas have grown with the addition of another big garden bed and a greenhouse that we have saved for, for a long time.

I had fun planning my gardens. Not only to be sure that everything could be fitted in, but with consideration of 6 factors: companion planting, rotating, spacing, shade of other plants, sun and wind. Read more about it here.

To plant this month…

Beetroot, blueberries, broccoli, citrus trees (grapefruit, lemon, lime, orange, tangelo), feijoa trees, lettuce, parsley, peas, potatoes, radishes, silverbeet, spinach…

My top 5 in the garden for September are…

Continue reading “Spring: September In The Garden – Chasing Crusoe.”

Winter: August In The Garden – Chasing Crusoe.

 August – Winter

North Island, New Zealand

Temperate with Frosts

The last month of winter! We are well into the month of crisp mornings, sunny beautiful days and then frosts at night that so readily catch us out. The frosts always leave me uneasy and I wonder how my garden will cope. So far, so good!

This month there is plenty to do in the garden as we look towards spring and planning the spring/summer garden. There is still lots of options for planting in August though to ensure you have a steady supply of in-season fruits and vegetables…

To plant this month:

Beetroot, blueberries, deciduous fruit trees (apple etc), lettuce, onions, pak choy/bok choi, parsley, peas, strawberries, silver beet, spinach…

Continue reading “Winter: August In The Garden – Chasing Crusoe.”

Getting The Most Out Of Your Avocado – Chasing Crusoe.

A guide to the ripening process & getting the most out of your avocado+ some faq’s…


Avocados are classed as a super food – packed with over 20 vitamin and mineral nutrients, it’s easy to understand why.

They are full of monounsaturated fatty acids (the healthy type of fat) as well as being high in fibre.

Avocados are delicious, filling and enjoyed au naturale through to in en trend recipes such as avocado cheesecake and avocado mousse.

But avocados also have a reputation for being hard to manage…thankfully it really isn’t that complicated with a little background knowledge…here I address some faq’s… Continue reading “Getting The Most Out Of Your Avocado – Chasing Crusoe.”

The Strawberry Patch – Chasing Crusoe.

A step by step guide to winter strawberry planting.🍓


Winter is the time to get those strawberry patches prepped and plant your strawberries. This early? Yip. Strawberry plants thrive in the cool of winter and you are more likely to have a bumper crop come spring/summer.

This is my step by step guide…

Continue reading “The Strawberry Patch – Chasing Crusoe.”

Winter: July In The Garden – Chasing Crusoe.

July – Winter

Location: North Island, New Zealand

Climate: Temperate with Frosts

Winter is definitely upon us. We have had several frosts so far, that always leave me uneasy, wondering how my garden will cope. So far, so good!

To plant this month:

Asparagus, broccoli, carrots, fruit trees (apple, citrus, feijoa…), garlic, lettuce, onions, pak choy, peas, radishes, strawberries, silver beet, spinach…

Continue reading “Winter: July In The Garden – Chasing Crusoe.”

Pruning Grape Vines – Chasing Crusoe.

Early winter is a perfect time to prune your grape vines. By now you would have enjoyed a delicious summer/early autumn crop and all of the leaves will be falling off, leaving the plant dormant until spring.

Pruning is important to maximise your chances of a successful harvest next season, so that the energy is going into developing grapes, rather than developing woody grape vines, of which most parts are unproductive.

Pruning also helps to protect from disease and pests, as grape vines thrive best with lots of air circulation throughout the vine.

Thirdly, pruning helps with access and harvesting and aesthetic reasons – to avoid a tangled web of trunks and foliage that can result from leaving your grapevine to go au naturale.

There are two types of pruning – cane pruning and spur pruning. Cane pruning is the typical method used for home grape vines in New Zealand. Continue reading “Pruning Grape Vines – Chasing Crusoe.”

June In The Garden – Chasing Crusoe.

June and it’s officially winter!❄ Still remarkably mild in the Bay of Plenty, New Zealand, with beautiful sunny days but cool nights.

Growth in the garden is slowing down, however, there are still plenty of vegetables that can be grown in June:

Beetroot, bok choy, broccoli, brussel sprouts, cabbage, cauliflour, garlic, kale, lettuce, parsley, radish, rhubarb, rocket, silverbeet, spinach…

Continue reading “June In The Garden – Chasing Crusoe.”

Up & Coming Chokos – Chasing Crusoe.


Chokos…easy to grow, prolific producers and so versatile! They may just be the new ‘black’ of the culinary world.

Chokos are part of the gourd family and have a mild taste, similar to cucumber or zucchinis. They are nutritionally beneficial and contain fibre, vitamin C and manganese.

They are ready to eat in autumn/early winter, so the perfect time of the year when similar summer vegetables such as cucumbers and zucchinis are no longer readily available.

Continue reading “Up & Coming Chokos – Chasing Crusoe.”

Growing Garlic – Chasing Crusoe.

Garlic is a culinary must have. It takes our meals up a notch and is also beneficial as an antioxidant. It provides some of our basic vitamins and minerals – manganese, selenium, vitamin B1 & C.

It is not just a super-food, but it is easy to grow!

Garlic can be planted in either Autumn or Winter. Traditionally though, it’s planted on the shortest day, which will be 22nd June 2019 this year and harvested on the longest day, 22nd December 2019. Continue reading “Growing Garlic – Chasing Crusoe.”