September 2013

September is
a good time to...

Add colour to your garden with larkspur, livingstone daisies, lobelia and more. Start making your own compost and mulch all your flowerbeds to keep out weeds and protect your plants from cooler weather. Protect your zucchini, capsicum and tomato seedlings from late frosts. Lastly, plant scarlet runners and dwarf beans.

Read on for more details...

Burning question

The leaves on my pea plants are puckered and distorted. What's happening?

Are there insects under the leaves or on new growth? Because it sounds like you have aphids, which a common problem at the moment. Firstly, hose the bugs off with a strong stream of water. There are several ways to get rid of aphids but two more natural approaches are to spray the plants with neem oil or this citrus spray.

Click here to email Tod your burning question today.

Good enough to eat

Sometimes when planting a vegetable or herb garden it can be easy to focus on function over form. But there's no reason why a kitchen garden can't look beautiful too.

Check out this article from for tips like planting in blocks of colour and creating decorative boundaries to make your vege garden look good enough to eat.

Dip into your beans

Are your broad beans and peas ready to harvest? How about making them into this tasty sounding broad bean, pea and mint dip. We haven't tried it, so let us know what you think on our facebook page. And we'd love to see some pics too.


Last month in our article about Canterbury bells we mistakenly said they are bi-annual plants instead of biennial. This was a typo, which was pointed out to us by a reader from Riverton. Everything else mentioned in the article was correct - including the definition of a biennial - a plant that flowers for two seasons, dying down in between.

Celebrating spring

Spring has officially arrived. As you'd imagine, this is the nursery's busiest time of the year. Every day we have more and more seedling varieties becoming ready to sell online and in store.

For one lucky person, it's the perfect time to start receiving their year's supply of seedlings. Unfortunately, we haven't been able to make contact with that person yet. We'll make a couple more attempts at contacting the winner and then we'll draw another.

So, check your inbox for an email from me to see if you're the winner of our August competition for Cultivated News subscribers. We'll announce the winner in the October edition of this newsletter.

When we were randomly selecting our winner from the Cultivated News database we discovered some of you might not have received a newsletter from us for a while. We've fixed the problem, and you should receive all editions of Cultivated News from now on. We apologise for this inconvenience and hope you decide to stick with us! If you'd like to unsubscribe the link is at the bottom of this newsletter.

Lastly, during August we had 25 Massey University students visit the nursery as part of their horticulture course. In the pic you can see me in my gumboots thinking hard as I attempt to answer some very good questions. It was great to meet young people who are so interested in horticulture.

Happy gardening.

Henri Ham

Low care cultivating

There's a reason why people say a garden is a labour of love. Many plants require regular care to get the best out of them. Deadheading flowers, pruning branches, and watching out for pests and diseases are just a few of the jobs I regularly undertake in our backyard.
But I know some of you out there may harbour a lot of love for having a garden but a little less love for the labour involved. Never fear, there are also plenty of plants that require very little care to thrive. Livingstone daisies are one. And Dianthus is another. Both are ideal for the low care garden and are perfect for planting at this time of year.

The great thing about dianthus and livingstone daisies is they don't need a lot of water. This makes them perfect for growing at a holiday house, a farm garden, or anywhere that uses tank or rainwater during summer.

They both like to be planted in full sun with free-draining, slightly alkaline, soil. And, they're good for growing with marigolds, roses, and petunias because they all like the same conditions.

Got a raised area in your garden or an area that needs some colour? Then fill it with lots of dianthus seedlings - they're a perfect bedding plant and they come in vibrant colours with tasty sounding names like Blueberry and Double Grace. That's purple/pink and red and white respectively for those not in the know.

Grab these bright flowering seedlings from your local supermarket, The Warehouse, or Bunnings. Remember you can also purchase your seedlings from Awapuni Nurseries online shop and have them delivered direct to your door.

Once you've got your seedlings home and found the perfect spot to grow them simply plant each seedling around 25cm apart. They'll grow to around 25-30cm high and should start to flower around late spring and during summer. Enjoy them in the garden or showcase some in vases in your home - they make a great cut flower.

Turn your back on tins with fresh tomatoes

I'm sure most pantries have at least one can of tin tomatoes in the back of them. They're perfect for adding to casseroles, sauces, relishes, and the list goes on. But there's something about fresh tomatoes, which just makes a dish taste, and feel, that little bit better.

While I'm not advocating turning your back on tinned tomatoes completely (there will always be a place in my heart for the ease and convenience of cans), I do recommend growing your own if you can.

Toms straight out of the garden are a perfect addition to any summer snack. Salads, sandwiches, even plain old tomatoes on toast, just taste better with harvest from your own garden.

Grab your Awapuni Nurseries tomato seedlings from your local supermarket, The Warehouse or Bunnings store. Alternatively, order some from our online shop and get your seedlings delivered direct to your door.

Tomato plants prefer to grow in a sunny area sheltered from strong winds. If you're already a fan of growing tomatoes, plant them somewhere different from where you planted them last time. This will decrease the chances of your tomatoes developing nasty diseases such as blight. If it has been a wet winter where you are, add a bit of lime to your soil as tomatoes thrive in soil with a moderate pH and large amounts of rain tend to lower your soil's acidity level. Dig in compost to improve soil conditions.

Dig a hole, approximately 3cms deep and space tomato seedlings roughly one foot apart. Fill in the holes with soil. Once planted, spray your tomatoes with liquid copper to prevent fungal diseases. Add a general fertiliser, such as nitrophoska blue, to the soil surrounding the tomatoes to encourage large, juicy fruit.

Avoid overhead watering because it can leave your plants more susceptible to diseases like downy mildew, rust, and blight. So, layer newspaper around your plants, and then cover the newspaper with peastraw. This mulch will prevent your plants drying out during the day and in between watering sessions.

Read on for more details.

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: