December 2011

Off the wall

Keen for a garden but space at a premium, or just keen to try something a bit quirky and different? Click on the pictures for instructions on how to make these two creative gardening ideas.

Burning question...

I planted strawberries and Im ready to put straw around them but I only have hay. Will hay work the same as straw?

Hay will work just as well as straw. It rots down well and will improve the soil but there will be a lot more weeding to do because of seeds in the hay!

Click here to email Tod your burning question today.


December is a
good time to


Start harvesting your strawberries, capsicums and cucumbers depending on how warm the weather is where you are. Dig up your new potatoes. Plant marigold, impatiens and portulaca seedlings. And keep moisture in the garden by adding a layer of mulch or compost. Lastly, remember to water your plants in the evening so they dont dry out.

Read on for more details.

Compostable trainers and t-shirts?

Its true sporting brand, Puma is aiming to produce sneakers and t-shirts that can be added to your garden compost. Read this Guardian article for more details on this creative, sustainable idea.


Happy festive gardening

As many of you will know only too well, the lead up to the holiday season can be a very busy time for businesses. In the few weeks since our last newsletter weve been flat out at the nursery. Weve managed to get our tractors stuck in the mud see the picture to the right. Weve secured a new supplier (APN in Hastings) of newspaper for our biodegradable packaging. And, weve just received a massive 130kg shipment of flower and herb seeds from Holland all of which needs to be planted!

As frantic as its been lately, I love this time of year. Its the time when everyones gardens truly look at their best. Roses and sweet peas are in full bloom, strawberries are ripening, and you can plant just about anything. I hope your garden reflects all the hard work youve put in and that our newsletters have been of some help in assisting your planting. The team at Awapuni thanks you for your support during 2011 and we wish you a merry holiday season and happy gardening in 2012.

Henri Ham
Awapuni Nurseries


Gifts for the gardener

Around this time every year, we suggest giving the gift that grows to gardening friends or family this Christmas. Any avid gardener would love to receive seedlings but sometimes it can be tricky knowing which ones to choose. So, if youd rather let them choose their own seedlings but still want to give a gardening gift take a look at this list of suggestions: gardening magazine subscription; plant-related book; garden-themed jewellery; bird feeder; chimes; bird bath; gloves; gardening shoes; tools like rakes, hoes or loppers; plant tags; and a kneeling pad. Alternatively, leave the list lying around as a hopeful hint for family looking to buy you a gift!


The sweet smell of successful basil

I love the smell of basil. Actually, let me correct that, I love the smell of cinnamon basil, thai basil, greek mini, red basil, basil bush AND your general, garden-variety sweet or giant basil.

Did you even know there were that many types of basil?

Yes I cook with basil. I enjoy a snack of tomato, red onion and basil (all home-grown of course) on bruschetta. The kids and I make basil pesto for more yummy snacks. And, I always add a few leaves to garnish my tasty pasta dish.

But even if I didnt harvest basil for cooking, Id still grow it for the fantastic aroma it provides.

So this month Im going to tell you how to plant basil in pots for a tasty, delicious smelling and long-lasting alternative to displaying cut flowers in your home. But because I think you can never have enough basil, Ill also give you a few tips on planting in your garden.

As I said earlier, basil comes in a variety of different flavours. So, actually, the hardest part of growing it, is working out which type to plant!

Im a bit of a traditionalist so I always plant a good crop of sweet basil one plant for a pot inside, and the rest in the garden. And then add to my bounty with a selection of other flavours like cinnamon, perfect for cinnamon basil chutney.

Grab some seedlings from our online shop at and get them delivered direct to your door. Remember, order six or more items and well deliver for free to an urban address, or for just $4 if you live rurally. Alternatively, head to your local supermarket, Bunnings or The Warehouse to purchase your plants.

Click here for more details.


Too much tomato?

Depending on when you planted, you might be starting to harvest your tomatoes in the next few weeks. Not sure what to do with them all? Tomatoes freeze really well in their skins. When youre ready to use them, simply put the frozen tomatoes in hot water for a few moments and watch the skins slide off ready to be added to stews, sauces or soups.


Get pretty with petunias

Keen to add some pizzazz to your garden this summer? Or just want to pretty up your porch or deck a little? Why not try planting petunias. This vibrant coloured plant loves a sunny, well-drained spot but doesnt require any shelter so is perfect for planting alongside garden paths or in hanging baskets.

Order some seedlings from our online shop today and have them delivered direct to your door. Or grab some plants next time youre down at your local supermarket, Bunnings or The Warehouse.

Petunias come in such a wide variety of colours the hardest part to growing them is choosing which shades to plant!

Click here to read more.

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

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