October 2013

October is
a good time to...


Water, feed, spray and weed. As the weather warms up your garden will start to kick into action. So now's a good time to plant just about anything. Try growing summer veges, herbs and flowers like carrots, beans, peas, lettuce, courgettes, basil, tomatoes, garlic, impatiens and pansies. Once they're planted, water regularly and add mulch in dry areas. It's also a good time to sprinkle a good general fertiliser, such as nitrophoska blue, on your lawns and garden beds.

Read on for more details...



Burning question

I planted a coriander seedling a couple of weeks ago and it just shrivelled up and died. Any ideas what might have happened?

Coriander can be a very finicky plant to grow. It's very particular about what it likes and can go to seed quite quickly. It sounds like your seedling might have been planted too deep or too shallow. If it were planted too deep it would have 'drowned' when watered. And if it were too shallow its roots would have been exposed. Make sure you ensure the roots are covered with soil but not the stems. And be sure to pick the leaves regularly to ensure it doesn't go to seed...

Click here to email Tod your burning question today.



Baskets of colour

Hanging baskets are the garden for anyone. Whatever the size of your garden, or whether you have a garden at all, almost everyone can find somewhere to hang a basket. For Tod's tips on what to grow and how to plant your basket visit here.



Spaces for saving seeds

We're not sure who should be credited for this idea, but if you're into saving your seeds to plant next season here's a great idea for where to keep them - tic tac containers. Other small containers that you might have lying around include pill and vitamin bottles (clean out to remove any residue).



More seedlings in selected herb bundles

As most of you will know, we ran a survey earlier in the year asking questions about your seedling habits. As a result of your answers we introduced bulk bundles which contain at least 25 seedlings for just $8. And now, thanks to your feedback, we've increased the number of seedlings in each basil, parsley, chive and coriander bundle from four to nine. And what's best, we haven't changed the price!




The time to plant anything and everything

The biggest gardening weekend of the year is almost upon us. Labour weekend is traditionally the time when anyone who's at all interested in gardening heads out to plant. As Tod says, the best thing about gardening at this time of the year is the weather is warm enough to grow virtually anything and the extra day off work means there's no excuse for running out of time. So, if there's something you've always wanted to try growing - now's the time to give it a shot. And for an added incentive, if you order seedlings from our online store before Labour weekend you'll go in the draw to win one of six lots of six seedling bundles.

Next time you're driving through, or are out and about in, Paraparaumu be sure to take a closer a look at the hanging baskets. We have just won the contract for planting the baskets. Be sure to let us know what you think and check out the story further down in the newsletter for tips on how to make your own.

Lastly, congratulations to Deb Wallace of Titahi Bay who was drawn as the winner of our year's supply of seedlings competition for simply being subscribed to Cultivated News.

Happy gardening this labour weekend

Henri Ham of Awapuni Nurseries
 

School your kids on gardening

School holidays are upon us, we've had an unseasonably warm winter, and spring has arrived...sounds like time to get the kids in the garden! Our top tip for gardening with kids is plant something that grows quickly - peas, lettuces, basil...that kind of thing.
 
To ensure your planting establishes well, choose seedlings next time you're at your local supermarket but grab a packet of pea seeds too. Throw your pea seeds in the garden in a sunny spot and get your kids to take a photo every day.

They'll be amazed how quick the seeds develop into seedlings and then plants. Maybe they can even make a 'motion picture' with the photos. Lastly, encourage your small fry to harvest their gardening results.

Even if it's just a few leaves of coriander for a stir-fry, some lettuce for a salad or a few tomatoes, it will all taste better if they've grown and harvested it themselves.



Lobelia - the colourful filler

Every month I talk about finding the perfect spot to grow a specific plant. Some flowers like shade, some veges like sun, some herbs like moisture, and the list goes on. But often in gardening you know the spot you want to plant in before you find the plant you want to plant.

The point I'm trying to get across with the previous tongue twister is lobelia is a wonderful, low maintenance, garden space filler. With its small but numerous flowers, lobelia provides a colourful coverage and its bushy shape suits most garden types. Not only does it grow well in garden beds, it's ideal for planting around the outside of pots and tubs, along walls, between pavers and in hanging baskets.

If you've got the spot to plant, then lobelia is the plant to plant!

Choose from a selection of lilac, blue, pink, white or mixed Awapuni Nurseries lobelia seedling bundles at the Warehouse, Bunnings or your local supermarket. Otherwise, head to our online shop and have these colourful plants delivered direct to your door. Got a big space to fill? Buy some of our bulk lobelia bundles, which contain at least 25 seedlings.

If you're planting in the outside of a tub or hanging basket try the cascading varieties, which will hang down the sides. Otherwise to fill bare patches in your garden, grow the regular, non-cascading variety, which will reach around 10cm high.

Growing in tubs, pots or baskets? Add a good quality potting mix before you plant. Planting in the garden? Dig in some nitrophoska blue or garden galore fertiliser through lightly composted soil.

Lobelia is a great flower to grow with kids. It's quick to mature and provide results and once planted requires virtually no care - all of which are good for those with limited attention spans or, if you're like me, those who don't want to worry about their garden too much during summer.

Read on for more details.
 

Climbing cucumbers

In my mind cucumbers are a classic summer fruit.
The telegraph and short green varieties taste great in salads and sandwiches and, the apple variety tastes so good on its own all I do is slice and add a little bit of salt to eat. If you're keen to add this vine-growing fruit to your meals this summer, then now is the perfect time to plant.
 
Grab your cucumber seedlings from your local supermarket, the Warehouse or Bunnings. Alternatively, head online to www.awapuni.co.nz and get your seedlings delivered direct to your door.

Once you've got your plants, look for a warm, sunny and dry spot in your garden. If you're not prepared to stake your telegraph and short green as they grow, make sure you plant them near something they can grow up - like a trellis.
Apple cucumbers will grow along the ground and work nicely next to zucchini because they like the same conditions. Sometimes cucumber can have a little trouble fruiting because they haven't been pollinated due to a lack of bees. So, I like to grow mine next to plants like lavender that attract their fair share of our honey making friends.

Dig in some compost or leftover potting mix to the soil making sure it's friable or breaks up in your hand. Then plant your seedlings.

If you do end up having pollination problems (you can tell because the flowers will fall off but no fruit will have developed) then put a paintbrush on the pollen in the flowers on each plant. This will spread the pollen from one flower to the next pollinating your plants.

Read on for more details.


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

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