December 2011

Short on space?

Got limited space for gardens at your school or kindy? Why not try a gutter garden? Stack the gutters above each other and allocate them depending on the age (and the height!) of the students.


Seating that grows
on you


Looking for some outdoor seats? How about these fantastic lawn stools? Made out of recycled tyres with grass grown in the middle, they are part of a public park in Lima. We bet they’re comfy to sit on!
December is the
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.

Read on for more details. Portulaca

Happy festive gardening

Welcome to the second edition of Gardening Gazette. As we mentioned last month, it’s a newsletter designed specifically for school and kindergarten teachers – though we know plenty of parents will subscribe too! This is the last edition for 2011 and we’ll be back with the next one in February. We hope you enjoy getting our tips and advice on gardening with kids. And, remember, if you have topics you want us to cover simply email us and we’ll do our best. We hope you have a safe and well-deserved break over summer. The team at Awapuni wishes you a merry holiday season and look forward to growing your kids’ interest in gardening in 2012.

Henri Ham
Awapuni Nurseries
     

Crazy about courgettes

Getting kids crazy about courgettes - sounds a bit like the impossible doesn’t it? But it doesn’t have to be. Half the battle of getting children to eat vegetables can be solved by simply getting them involved in the planting process. I’ve said it before, but you’d be amazed what the little rug rats will eat if they’ve grown and harvested it themselves. Courgettes – otherwise known as zucchini – are a great vegetable to grow with kids because they can be eaten in so many different ways. Stuffed, roasted, baked, barbecued, thrown into a simple stir-fry, or grated into a mixed vege mash.

And if you’re still not convinced, leave one courgette from your crop to continue to grow after you’ve harvested the rest. Get your kids or students to track and record its growth and see if they can beat the world record. You can bet they’ll be more interested in tasting the results of next year’s harvest if they’ve grown a giant marrow (courgettes or zucchini are baby marrow)!

So, now you’ve decided to plant courgettes grab some seedlings from your local supermarket, Bunnings or The Warehouse. Or head to our online store and get them delivered direct to your door. Order six or more items to a non-rural address and we’ll deliver free, or for just $4 if we deliver to a rural address.

The important thing to note about cultivating courgettes is they like to be in a nice, sunny spot with plenty of drainage. But, I have to say, they're a little fussy - they don't like getting their leaves wet because it tends to spread diseases, so stay away from overhead watering.

Read on for more details.
     
     
  Watch out for watering this summer

If you want to ensure your students’ hard work in the school garden doesn’t go to waste these holidays, remember to organise someone to water the plants. Same goes if you and your kids have planted a garden at home. Rope in a neighbour to keep an eye on your house, and your garden, and ensure there’s something to harvest on your return.
 

     
  Burning question

When and how much should we water our tomatoes?

Cover the soil where you planted the tomatoes with pea straw to keep the moisture in and water often. But avoid over-head watering because this can cause blight. Get the kids to water the base of the plants in the morning when they arrive at school or kindy. And during the school holidays, if it’s easier, they can be watered in the evening.

Click here to email Tod your burning question today.
 
     
     
Gifts for the gardener

If your class or kids are stuck for festive season gift ideas why not keep them busy making garden markers. All you need is some stones and water resistant paint – house paint test pots work well. Nobody loves a gift more than a homemade one!
     
     
  Did you know?

Even though zucchini (otherwise known as courgette) is often used as a savoury food, it’s actually an immature fruit? Did you also know most zucchinis grow to nearly a metre if left in the garden.

And, the world record for the heaviest zucchini was nearly 30kgs? But did you know the world’s longest zuchinni was a whopping 176.53 cm? That’s probably taller than most of the students in your class!
 
     

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

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P: 64 6 354-8828 F: 64 6 354-8857 W: www.awapuni.co.nz E: sales@awapuni.co.nz