November 2013

November is
a good time to...

Keep planting anything and everything. If you replant veges and herbs like lettuce, rocket and spinach every four to six weeks you'll have a continuous supply to last you all through summer. And don't forget to mulch. This will prevent light getting to any weeds and germinating.

Read on for more details...

Burning question

The leaves on my roses have yellow patches on the topside and orange lumps on the underside. What's going on and what can I do to fix it?

Sounds like your roses have rust, a fungal infection, which is exacerbated by humid, still weather. Remove any signs of infected matter from your plants and burn - ensuring not to let any of your other plants come into contact with the material. Next winter give your roses a good prune to encourage airflow. Avoid any overhead watering to reduce the spread of the infection. You can try spraying with Shield, or for a more organic approach mix one tsp baking soda, three cloves crushed garlic and one tbsp olive oil with one litre of water and spraying over the plant once every fortnight until summer officially arrives.

Click here to email Tod your burning question today.

Did you know?

Fennel is one of the primary ingredients of the alcohol spirit absinthe? Typically absinthe is made from three herbs - fennel, green anise and grande wormwood. Interestingly, fennel is also used to treat both humans and animals (typically dogs) with flatulence and babies with colic.

Bountiful beans

Is your garden or freezer overflowing with broad beans and peas at the moment? Try making use of them in this tasty, and got to be good for you, broad bean, pea and mint salad. While we confess the peas in this pic came from a packet, the broad beans are completely home grown.

The ups and downs of spring

Spring, the time of year when everyone wonders 'do I need a jacket today?' and 'is there going to be another cold snap if I plant my veges now?'

The weather in Manawatu has been incredibly up and down over the last month, which makes it tricky getting our seedlings out for you to get them in your garden.

But after working in the nursery for 30 years and running it for the past 15 years, I like to think we're able to handle a few seasonal changes. Hopefully the wide variety of herb, vege and flower seedlings currently available in our online store is evidence of this.

Speaking of online store, congratulations to Gill Lockhart, Anna Hunt, Jacqui Ramke, Jo Macklin, Richard Leete and Quentin Ginever who purchased Awapuni seedlings during October and won six more bundles each.

Lastly, I always like to include a pic of what's happening at the nursery in Cultivated News. The shot to the right, not very clearly, shows the babies of a swallow who built her nest in one of our sheds.

Happy gardening

Henri Ham

Turn up the heat with capsicums

We're on the tail end of spring and the weather is warming up (well it should be), which means now's the time to get busy planting capsicums.

Jalapeno, bell peppers (otherwise known as capsicum in New Zealand), and chilli are all part of the capsicum genus and can be planted now.
The great thing about capsicum plants is they don't need a lot of love and attention. They grow well in confined spaces and thrive with little watering.

Just look for a well-drained, sheltered and sunny spot in your garden - the same type of place you'd grow tomatoes. That's a reminder for those who haven't got their toms in the ground yet. Other plants you could grow your capsicums with are basil and parsley - the three are good companions because they like the same conditions.

If you don't have acres of space try growing these colourful fruit in pots. Awapuni has a great mixed colour capsicum bundle, which includes red, green, yellow and purple seedlings.

Grab your Awapuni Nurseries capsicum, chilli or jalapeno seedlings from our online shop or from your local supermarket, Bunnings or The Warehouse.

Read on for more details.

Flavoursome and flexible fennel

For those of you who regularly read my gardening columns it probably feels like I've extolled the virtues of quite a few vege and herb garden 'must haves' in the last few years.

If I had to name my top three must haves (lettuce, basil and courgettes in case you're wondering), fennel wouldn't be in the list.

While I tend to eat fennel like I would a leek, peel off the harder outer layers and slice up the white base of the plant to use in pies, salads or stir-fries, you can in fact eat the whole plant.

The only downside to this herb masquerading as a vegetable is that it requires a bit of space to grow. But if you can grow tomatoes, you can grow fennel. They like the same type of conditions (sunny, dry and well-drained) but unlike tomatoes only grow to about as high as your knees.

Fennel also grows nicely next to parsley, mint and thyme for the same reason.

Grab some fennel seedlings from your local supermarket, Bunnings or The Warehouse. Alternatively, purchase them from our online shop and have them delivered direct to your door.

Read on for more details.

Know your soil

Understanding what type of soil you have in your garden is the first step to successfully growing plants. Here are few tips from Tod on identifying your soil type and what to do about it.

Identifying your soil:

Grab a handful of damp dirt and rub it around in your hand. Sandy soil will feel gritty and be difficult to roll into a ball. Clay loam will feel sticky and roll into a ball or a ribbon. Loam will feel gritty but roll into a ball when damp. And clay will not only roll into a ball but also stretch out without breaking.

Once you've worked out which soil type you have visit this page for tips on how to get the best out of your type.

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: