January 2014

January is
a good time to...


Deadhead flowering plants like marigolds and petunias. Cut back roses, water, mulch and keep planting your fast growing veges like fancy lettuces, rocket, basil and spinach.

Read on for more details...



Burning question

Some of the plants around the house are being damaged by what looks to be tiny red spiders. What are they and what should I do?

Sounds like you have spider mites. These little red bugs love to hang out on plants where its sheltered and warm - like around a house. You could try hosing them off with a strong stream of water but it's likely you'll need to spray a natural insecticide like neem or an insect and mite spray from your local garden centre to really get rid of them.

Click here to email Tod your burning question today.



Lots to do with lavender

Once your lavender flowers are ready to pick there's plenty you can do with them. Making lavender soap is a popular project. Producing it from scratch can be quite complicated and you need to use safe practises. But if you know what you're doing check out Erica Pence's blog for a lovely recipe. If you've never made soap or you want to get tweens or teenagers involved, try this recipe, which uses a ready-made base available from many Kiwi online stores (google soap kit).

Lastly, did you know you can even use lavender in cooking? Here's a tasty looking Lavender lemon shortbread recipe. Just make sure you use the right type of edible lavender for your recipe.



Load up on leeks

Now's the time to get plenty of leeks into your vege garden for winter harvesting. This national emblem of Wales is packed full of prebiotics and, importantly, tastes great in stews, soups, risotto, vege pies and more. Visit here for Tod's guide to growing leeks.


Happy New Year!

Welcome to 2014. I hope you all had a safe and enjoyable summer break. To celebrate the start of a new year we're going to giveaway six lots of seedling bundles to six randomly drawn subscribers. We'll contact the winners this week via email and announce their names in the next edition. And what's better we're going to give away the same every month for the rest of the year.

So be sure to stay subscribed to Cultivated News. And, remember we're always keen to get your feedback on the newsletter and what you want us to include. Just flick me an email with your comments.

Enjoy the rest of summer and happy gardening.

Henri Ham

Awapuni Nurseries
 

Simply spring onions

Ever heard of salad onions, green shallots or gibbons? Well thanks to a quick search on the internet, I now know they're all names for spring onions.

Technically called scallion, it seems every country has a different name for what us Kiwis refer to most commonly as spring onions.

Luckily, even though there are a myriad of names for this mild onion tasting vegetable, there are only a few steps involved in growing them.
 
And, the first step is simply purchasing some Awapuni Nurseries spring onion seedlings from your local supermarket, Bunnings, or The Warehouse. Alternatively, head to our online store and have them delivered direct to your door.

As always, once you've got your seedlings you need to find a place to plant them. The good thing about spring onions is you can grow them pretty much all year round, and plant them virtually anywhere you have the space.

Got a spare pot? Pop in a whole lot of spring onion seedlings to create a great visual effect. Simply dig a little hole and plant each seedling around a few cm apart. Otherwise just look for a small empty space, like the corners of your vege bed, and plant them in amongst your other vegetables.

In around six to eight weeks your spring onions will be ready to harvest. I like to add them to summer salads, and then move to Asian style stir-frys as the weather gets cooler.


Lovely lady lavender

In the past when I've written about lavender, I've tended to focus on French lavender, otherwise known as denata. This type of lavender is great for hedging and perfect for shaping into standards (basically, big balls of leaves and flowers on stick-like trunks).

There are also other types of lavender worth considering, but this month I'd like to draw your attention to lady lavender.

Just like the other varieties, lady lavender has blue/purple flowers, oil that can be extracted, a lovely fragrance, and is great for attracting bees to your garden. But where it shines is in its compactness and its seemingly never-ending flowers.

It's the perfect plant for those without room for a typical lavender hedge, it looks amazing in pots, and, more importantly, it grows well in a pot because it doesn't mind getting a little dry.

To add some scented colour to your potted plant collection, grab some Awapuni Nurseries lady lavender seedlings from your local supermarket, Bunnings, or The Warehouse. Alternatively, head to our online store and have them delivered direct to your door. 

Because lady lavender doesn't have a large spreading root system like some of the other varieties, you can plant it any pot that takes your pick. If you're potting up one of the other types of lavender be aware of the root system and use a pot big enough to accommodate its growth.

Fill the pot with a good quality potting mix from your local garden centre to give the seedlings a nice kick-start. If you're planting in the garden, lavender grows well next to irises and roses because they all like the same sunny, dry conditions. Just add a bit of lime and a general fertiliser like Nitrophoska Blue to the soil before you plant.

Once you've got your base ready, dig a small hole (around 3 cm deep) and place your seedling inside. Plant your lady lavender seedlings around 20cm apart from each other but no further so they grow tightly together for a better look.

In not too long at all the flowers on your lady lavender will be ready to harvest or simply enjoy on the plant.

 

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

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