February 2014

February is
a good time to...


Grow celery, leeks and Chinese lettuce (watch out for birds with your Chinese lettuce). Keep planting lettuce for summer salads. Trim back your oregano. And water your garden regularly.

Read on for more details...



Burning question

I have lots of passion vine hoppers feeding on my plants at the moment. How can I get rid of them?

Passion vine hoppers are small wingless insects with white fluffy tails when in the nymph stage. As adults they look like small moths with transparent wings. Both nymphs and adults thrive in warm, sunny, dry areas and suck the sap from a variety of plants. To get rid of them spray the plant and bugs with neem oil.

Click here to email Tod your burning question today.



Tod's top tip

While the weather is warm, avoid overhead watering and instead water the base of the plants in your vege garden. The combination of hot temperatures and overhead watering will create the perfect conditions for fungal diseases like downy mildew and blight.



Bountiful basil

Got loads of basil in your garden at the moment. Try making your own basil pesto. There are loads of recipes available on the web but we like the look of this one from Kiwi chef, Annabel Langbein. Don't have any basil in your herb garden? Don't worry, there's still time. Head to our online shop and get some delivered direct to your door. Regular sweet basil is always good to have in the garden, but there are plenty of other varieties worth giving a shot like cinnamon, red rubin, thai and more.



Colourful flower fillers


If you're looking to add a burst of colour to your garden, look no further
than snapdragons (antirrhinums), lobelia, asters and cornflowers Now is the perfect time to plant all of these pretty flowers.


Reaping what you sow

The great thing about having a vegetable garden is having access to fresh, healthy veges for meals. In my opinion, for some reason homegrown veges just taste better.

But just because we run a large-scale nursery growing vegetable seedlings, it doesn't always mean we get around to planting them in our own garden!

Happily for Monique (see the pic), who's a big fan of eating freshly grown produce, a few broccoli and kale seedlings fell out of the tray and made themselves at home in the nursery.

Monique, my daughter and member of the Awapuni team, has been busy recently experimenting with new seedling ideas. If you haven't already, check out the photo of her and me on our facebook page showcasing the success she had grafting a tomato seedling to an eggplant. We look forward to sharing some pics when it, hopefully, begins to fruit.

Remember to keep watering, and happy gardening
Henri Ham
 

Sweet tasting sugar snap peas

Sugar snap peas are tasty, easy to grow and perfect for planting with kids. Because they're quick growing they fit well with the attention spans of children and they can be eaten straight from the garden.

You don't need heaps of space to grow these sweet tasting peas but I recommend having something for them to grow up like a trellis or netting.
 
Grab your Awapuni Nurseries sugar snap seedlings from our online store or throw a couple of bundles in your trolley next time you're at your local supermarket, Bunnings or The Warehouse.

Once you've got the perfect spot to plant, dig in a little fertiliser or compost to give the seedlings a good kick-start. Then make a little hole and pop a seedling in. I recommend planting each seedling around 20cm apart from the next.

Your peas will grow in a pod like beans and will be ready to harvest in around eight to 10 weeks. Not sure if they're ready? Just taste-test them!


Love is in the mist

Valentines Day - the day when cut flower prices go through the roof and florists line their pockets for the rest of the year. This time around why not, save your pennies and pick homegrown flowers for your special someone?

Don't have anything flowering? Beg, steal or borrow from your friends and family's gardens! A handmade posy or bouquet is cost-effective and has the bonus of being a gift straight from the heart.

Even, if you're not into the so called 'day of love', it's nice to have flowers in your garden that can be picked and given away or added to vases in your home. And so, on that note, what more appropriate flower could I write about this month than Love in the mist?

Love in the mist has fine green foliage, different shades of blue flowers and makes a perfect cut flower. It has a wild and soft look to it much like cosmos and alyssum.

It's ideal for planting in with your roses, as it likes the same sunny, dry conditions. All you have to do is dig a small hole and plant each seedling around 15cm apart from the next. The trick is to plant each seedling far enough away to allow room to grow without the plants being too spread apart so you end up with gaps.

You can pick up your Awapuni Nurseries Love in the mist seedlings from your local supermarket, Bunnings or The Warehouse. Alternatively, order them from our online store and have them delivered direct to your door.

While, these flowers won't be ready in time for Valentines Day, they will add colour to your garden or home in around six weeks when they begin to flower.
 

Easing the load

We saw this moveable chair on Pinterest and thought it was a great idea for anyone with raised gardens. For a list of what you'll need to make it and step-by-step instructions visit the Vegetablegarden.com

Greg Holdsworth
   

Winners

Congratulations to the following Cultivated News subscribers, Diana Dutoit, Lynda Grieve, Sharon Scott, Alena Willis, John Hewitt and someone from the office at Lichfield school who have won Awapuni Nurseries seedlings simply for being subscribed during January.

We haven't been able to contact all our winners yet, so if you see your name listed check your inbox to see if you've received anything from us and contact Monique to arrange delivery of your prize.

Remember, we're giving away seedlings bundles to Cultivated News subscribers every month so stay subscribed for your chance to win.

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

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