May 2013

May is a good
time to...

Now’s the time of year when everything is finishing but not quite started. The weather is cooling down but the soil is still warm enough to kick-start your next round of planting. So, apply to your flowerbeds and vege gardens compost, fertiliser and a dressing of lime to sweeten the soil, encourage plant growth and prevent club root.

Then plant broccoli, broad beans, carrots, onions, peas, spinach and cauliflower. Lastly, rake up your leaves for composting.

Read on for more details...

Burning question

Why does my grass have bare patches and won’t grow?

Sounds like you have grass grub. Sprinkle with a soil insect killer from your local garden centre and then sew over the bare patches with grass seed.

Click here to email Tod your burning question today.

Saving hands

We like the look of this hand saving garden salve made of lovely sounding ingredients like olive oil, beeswax and essential oils. Try it out and let us know what you think.

Check out Ashley English’s Small Measures blog for this recipe and lots of others.

Tips of the trade

It’s that time of the year again. The time when every good gardener turns to one of the best little ‘trade secrets’ in the gardening book – mulch. For Tod’s top tips on everything you need to know about mulch check here.

Make mum happy

What mum doesn’t love receiving flowers? If you’re running low on flowers in your own garden to give her, this mothers day why not give her the gift that grows – a potted plant. Herbs, flowers and some veges all grow well in pots. Get the kids or grandkids to decorate them with house paint from test pots. Or simply give her a bundle or two of seedlings so she can plant them in her garden wherever she wants.

It’s germination time!

The temperatures are starting to fall and it’s the time of year when many gardeners head in doors for a while. At the nursery, we’re no different. We have several insulated shipping containers which we use to maintain a temperature of 21 degrees Celsius to give our seedlings the kick-start they need to get going.

We also create a high level of humidity in the containers by wetting the trays before they go in the container. It only takes around four to five days for the seeds to germinate and then we send them out into the open until they’re ready to be sold in around eight weeks.

In the photo are some seeded trays of perpetual spinach which we've had lots of customers asking if we can grow. It will be interesting to see how they turn out! And, after many, many attempts over the years, we’ve finally managed to get rosemary to germinate. Look out for this herb in your local supermarket in around 10 weeks.

Happy gardening
Henri Ham
Awapuni Nurseries

Vibrant violas

With the nights starting to get longer and the temperatures dropping, it feels like autumn has finally arrived. And with a new season only a few weeks away, now’s a great time to plan your winter garden. Why not embrace the winter blues (and yellows and creams and apricots...) by choosing violas?

Violas do, as the name suggests, come in violet, but also a whole load of other great colours and combinations, which will brighten up any garden over the colder months.

They have a love of wide-open spaces so they’re perfect for growing along your crazy paving or patio. You’ll also often see them in hanging baskets. And with the rain that’s finally arrived in some parts of the country, and the still warm temperatures, it’s a perfect time to plant.

To get started, simply pick up some Awapuni Nurseries viola seedlings from your local supermarket, The Warehouse, Bunnings or from our online store.

These petite plants like pots, so why not grow them around the outside of your potted shrubs or citrus trees? Just make sure you use a good potting mix to provide all the nutrients they need. Nurture their love of space and, in particular, good air circulation, by keeping your pots away from places like under the eaves of your house. This will help prevent them getting downy mildew.

Violas also look fantastic in borders around spring bulbs or roses – particularly as the roses go dormant and lose their leaves.

Once you’ve decided on the perfect spot to plant, simply dig in a balanced fertiliser, such as nitrophoska blue. Then plant your seedlings in small holes, about 20cm apart.

Your vibrant violas should bloom in about four to six weeks after planting. Once they’ve arrived, it’s a good idea to pick off the dead heads to encourage them to flower longer. And speaking of flowers, did you know you can eat viola flowers? Before you take a bite, check here for some tips on edible flowers.

Finding the potential in peas

I’m going to be completely honest, there are some vegetables that I often wonder if it’s worth the effort to grow them. Peas are one of these. For less than $3 you can buy a kg of frozen peas from the supermarket.

But then I plant them, wait a month – stake them if I feel like it, wait another month and then am so glad I did make that effort. It’s such a satisfying feeling eating peas picked right off the plant.

Even if you’re not particularly fond of peas, if you’ve got kids or grandkids you can’t go past this plant for your vege garden. They require almost no care so are easy for small people to plant and grow. And eating something direct from the garden without cooking teaches them a lesson in food you just can’t find at a grocery store.

My youngest is 12 and still a fan of checking to see if the peas are ready. I’m going to be honest again, not a lot of those pint sized veges make it from the garden to the kitchen.

You can grab your Awapuni Nurseries pea seedlings from your local Bunnings, The Warehouse or supermarket. Alternatively, head to our online store and have them delivered direct to your door.


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


P: 64 6 354-8828 F: 64 6 354-8857 W: E: