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.”

The Worm Composting Farm – Chasing Crusoe.

Having a worm composting farm is not just fun but beneficial. On the home front, it simply provides a straightforward way to get rid of excess food scraps from your household. On a larger global scale, you are making a contribution to help reduce the detrimental environmental effects from the millions of tonnes of food waste entering our landfills worldwide each year.

In the process, worms are producing incredible nutrient dense fertiliser in the form of vermiculture (worm castings or worm manure) and a liquid byproduct (for worm tea) for your plants and soil.

Continue reading “The Worm Composting Farm – Chasing Crusoe.”

May In The Garden – Chasing Crusoe.


May – officially the last month of Autumn in New Zealand. 🍂

I’m loving being outside while the temperature is still mild, surrounded by beautiful Autumn colours & the most amazing sunrises & sunsets.
Even though it is cooling down, there are still p-l-e-n-t-y of options of what to grow:

Beetroot, Blueberries, Bok Choi, Broccoli, Cabbage, Carrots, Cauliflower, Kale, Lettuce, Parsley, Parsnip, Peas, Radish, Rhubarb, Rocket, Silver beet and Spinach

My top 5 in the garden for May are…

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

Growing Hydrangeas From Cuttings – Chasing Crusoe.

Old fashioned, romantic Hydrangeas…vintage cool, country chic and they stir up memories of Nana’s garden. ❤


I recently purchased a new Hydrangea from a local garden centre. It’s called Bridal Bouquet and has white flowers. I happily paid $15 for it and can’t wait to see it in Summer b-u-t it really inspired me to make more effort after being reminded how easily many flowers & plants can be propagated.

Hydrangeas are easily grown from an established plant. Here’s how… Continue reading “Growing Hydrangeas From Cuttings – Chasing Crusoe.”