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Close up of a strawberry plant.
The temperature might be a bit nippy in the North Island in August, but that's no excuse to stay inside - it's still a really good time to get out into the garden.

Plant of the month: Strawberries

August is a great time to plant strawberries. Get them in now and they'll be ready to harvest at Christmas.

Good varieties to plant include:

  • Camerosa: an early producer of large, deep red fruit.
  • Temptation: a compact grower that's perfect for hanging baskets and pots
  • Roman: a juicy variety that has rose pink flowers

Strawberries grow well from the tropics to cooler climates and even love a cold snap. They need a sunny position and well-drained soil. Plant them about 30 centimetres apart and mulch to stop weeds, maintain moisture and help keep the fruit clean. Strawberries also do well in hanging baskets and in pots.

Planting some strawberries is a great project to get kids interested in gardening. The best part, of course, is picking and eating them straight from the bush.

A person planting strawberry seedlings in a pot.

What else to plant

There are some shrubs to plant too in August. Camellias, azaleas, lavenders and some New Zealand favourites, hebes with their pretty flowers and hardy growth habit. Many commonly grown hebes are native to New Zealand. 

With their attractive evergreen foliage and delicate flowers, camellias are a great plant. They have a long flowering season, are hardy, and can be grown in pots, as specimen plants or hedged. 

Azaleas are another popular choice. They like a semi-shaded position, prefer morning sun and like good drainage. Remember, over-watering is a potential azalea killer and keep an eye out for insects and diseases.

Also, it's a good time to put in some beans and carrot seeds. A good tip for planting carrots is to keep them moist. Laying a plank of timber over the planting row helps keep the moisture in. Just remove it when the carrots have germinated. It's also a good time to put in lettuce, silverbeet and there's still time to plant deciduous fruit trees while they are still dormant. 

An azalea plant. 

Maintenance

First up, pruning. Start with salvias and other perennials. Cut back, tidy them up and remove any spent flowers. This will encourage spring growth. 

In warm areas fertilise fruit trees, and especially citrus. If you're unsure about what fertiliser to use, pop into your local store to get some advice. 

It's a good time to prepare vegetable beds. Do this by blending a mixture of compost and sheep manure, This will make an ideal growing environment for your garden. 

Finally, don't forget to pull those weeds, they are easier to remove when the soil is moist.

Harvest

In August it's a great time to be harvesting too. Keep picking your silverbeet and spinach. Picking the leaves helps promote growth. Pick broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cabbage and celery. 

Our perfect plant promise

Remember the Perfect Plant Promise. All our plants (except seedlings) are guaranteed for 12 months. If you're not 100 per cent happy, return your plant (with receipt or tax invoice) and we'll refund it.

Start planting today

Check out the wide range of plants available at your local Bunnings Warehouse and bring your garden to life.


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Health & Safety

Please make sure you use all equipment appropriately and safely when following the advice in these D.I.Y. videos. You need to be familiar with how to use equipment safely and follow the instructions that came with the equipment. If you are unsure, you may feel it is safest to consult an expert, such as the manufacturer or an expert Bunnings Team Member.

Grave health hazards are linked to asbestos, which may be in homes built up to 1990. Health hazards may result from exposure to lead-based paints in older materials and copper chromium arsenic (CCA) treated timber. For information on the dangers of asbestos, lead-based paint and CCA treated timber and tips for dealing with these materials contact your local council's Environmental Health Officer. You can also use a simple test kit from Bunnings to indicate the presence of lead-based paint.