January 2013

Lettuce, lettuce and lettuce

Summer is all about salads. And salads are all about lettuce. Keep planting new lettuce seedlings every couple of weeks to ensure you have a continuous supply. They should be ready to harvest in around four weeks. Visit this page for Tod’s top tips on how to grow this leafy vege.
Fantastical fairyland

This project is not for the faint-hearted. But will keep creative kids interested during the making and grow the imaginations of younger minds who visit or play in your garden. For tips on how to create your very own fairy garden in a bucket visit this blog. Sweet strawberry sensations

Strawberries make tasty smoothies the whole family will enjoy. Create a smoothie with fresh strawberries or cut up and freeze your bountiful crop for use at a later date. Place 1 cup of sliced strawberries in a blender with 1 banana, 2 cups of milk, 2 scoops of vanilla ice-cream, 2 tablespoons of honey and a squeeze of lemon juice and blend. The great thing about smoothies is anything goes. Got other left over fruit? Add that in too.
January is a
good time to...


Mulch, water and keep planting your gourmet veges and herbs. Watering your fruity plants – like tomatoes and berries – will ensure they ripen faster and become juicy. And if there’s a certain variety of seedling you’ve been keen to try growing – now’s the time. There are 100s of different varieties of seedlings available at Awapuni at the moment.

Broadening our horizons

We’ve been trying something a little bit different at the nursery lately. If you’ve purchased seedlings from us before you’ll know we specialise in herbs, veges and flowers. But a little while ago a company that does native forest restoration approached us. They wanted to know if we could help them propagate native plants. So, the team at the nursery have been busy trialling the germination of all sorts of natives. And we’ve discovered there’s a lot we don’t know! We’ve had good success with poroporo – see the pic – and flax, and we’re going to keep working on other varieties.

We’ll let you know how we get on!

I hope you had a merry Christmas and a happy new year and are enjoying a safe summer with your families.

Happy gardening
Henri Ham

Holiday mode

January is the time of year when many of you will take a break and get away from home. And, if you’re lucky – the sun will shine and the weather will be warm. But what are you going to do about your garden while you’re away? How are you going to ensure it looks in the same top form when you return?

You’re going to mulch, that’s what you’re going to do. Mulch protects the soil from heat and provides a cooler soil temperature, which enables roots to pump water efficiently. This means it can survive a bit longer without watering. Though, if you’re going on holiday for a significant period of time you may need to look into self-timer sprinkler watering.

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Leeks – the lifesavers

It’s probably a stretch to say leeks are lifesavers. But did you know they’re jammed packed full of prebiotics – the carbohydrates needed to feed the probiotic bacteria that helps keep our intestines healthy? Up until not too long ago, I didn’t know this either.

I’ve never needed much convincing to give leeks a shot, but it’s good to know they’re also helping to keep me healthy. More importantly, leeks taste good. Our family like to add them to stews or soups, risotto and vege pies. Kids not a fan? Steam your leeks and wrap them in ham or bacon, cover in cheese sauce and grill lightly until golden. Yum!

Right, get down to your local supermarket, Bunnings or The Warehouse and grab yourself some Awapuni Nurseries leek seedlings. Remember ours are the only seedlings you’ll see wrapped in newspaper. Once you’ve planted your seedlings, simply bury the newspaper wrapping and let the worms enjoy. Alternatively, head to our online store and get them delivered direct to your door.

Once you’ve got your seedlings you need to pick a spot to plant. Leeks can be a little particular about the conditions they like so look for a patch that is sunny and well drained. They also like the soil to be sweet, so if you know your soil is acidic or you’ve had a bit of rain lately, add some lime to the soil a few days before you plant to help raise it’s pH level.

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Burning question

My tomatoes aren’t ripening properly. Parts of them are yellow or orange. What’s the problem?

They may be too hot and have too much water. Put up a shade over your tomatoes in hot weather to prevent them getting too hot and be sure to water moderately and regularly.

Click here to email Tod your burning question today.

Henri and Paul Ham, Awapuni Nurseries Ltd
Pioneer Highway PO Box 7075 Palmerston North 4443 NEW ZEALAND

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