March 2014

March is
a good time to...


Pick the last of your runner beans. Plant leeks and spinach now, towards the end of the month grow winter veges like broccoli and cauliflower, and at any time add some beetroot to your garden plantings. Lastly, don't forget to water!

Read on for more details...



Burning question

White butterfly are destroying my veges at the moment. What can I do about it?

Hose off as many of the eggs, caterpillars and butterflies as you can from the plants. Then spray the affected plants with neem oil. Lastly, you could cover the plants or garden with white netting from your local garden centre - the kind that covers but doesn't shade - which will also protect against birds.

Click here to email Tod your burning question today.



Simply splendid spring bulbs

For spring flowering bulbs to brighten up your garden, you can't go past the wide range offered by NZ Bulbs. Located in Feilding, not far from us, they have spring flowering bulbs available for ordering right now. From anemones to tulips, NZ Bulbs have the widest range and latest releases available.

Visit their website and shop online or call them on 06 323 4516 to request a free catalogue. For Tod's top tips on how to plant your bulbs, alongside some complimentary Awapuni annuals, visit here. And be sure to also check out this great fact sheet from NZ Bulbs on how and why to chill your bulbs for great flowering tulips.



Grow great hyacinths in glasses

Bring the fragrance of hyacinths inside by growing one or more in glasses.

Growing them in glasses is a great way of encouraging (otherwise known as bulb forcing) the bulbs to flower earlier than their natural time. It's also a fun activity for kids to get involved with as they watch the bulb go from developing roots to flowering. Check out this fact sheet from NZ Bulbs on how to create your own hyacinth in a glass.



Getting festive early

If you're a regular reader of Cultivated News you've probably realised by now we like to experiment with new things at the nursery. In the February edition we talked about Monique's grafted tomato and eggplant, and this month we thought we'd show you a pic of our latest project - Christmas trees! We imagine they will take around two years to turn into nice little, manicured, Christmas shaped trees of around 70 to 80cm tall. We will keep you updated of our progress, but so far so good.


Happy gardening
Henri Ham

 

Quick and easy cottage garden

If you've been hankering for a cottage garden feel in your backyard then hanker no more.

Awapuni has all the flower seedlings you need to create a cute, carefree cottage garden.
 
You can purchase separate bundles of pretty flower seedlings like stock, antirrhinums, carnations, love in the mist and carnations. Or make it easy on yourself by grabbing a couple of Awapuni's Cottage Garden Mix bundles which, depending on the season, include a selection of the above seedlings and others such as Canterbury bells, polyanthus and pansy.

Once you've got your flower seedlings, look for a sunny, well-drained area in your garden. To ensure your flowers really take off, I recommend digging in a bit of compost to the soil before you plant.

Then, when you've got the conditions just right, simply plant each seedling around 20cm apart. The trick is to space them far enough away from each other to ensure they have room to grow but not too far apart to create a 'gappy' look. And remember to mix all the seedlings in together. Planting each variety of seedlings in groups or lines won't create the messy, flowery look we're after!

If you don't have the room for a cottage garden but are still after the look and feel, you can plant these types of flowers together in pots. The bigger the pot the better - something like half a wine barrel is perfect.

Read more.



From plant to plate

March is the time of year when a good gardener really starts to reap what they have sown. Lots of plants like tomato, basil, eggplant, beans, zucchini, peppers and more are ready to be harvested. If you're looking for a one-stop shop meal for all of your homegrown veges, then look no further than ratatouille. This traditional French dish can be eaten as a main or a side, served straight away or frozen for later.

Check out our recipe section on the Awapuni website for one version of ratatouille. While you're there you might want to take a look at the zucchini and pepper relish recipe too.
 

Parsley - more than just a pretty plant

Who remembers the days when parsley was the go-to garnish? Mashed potato, white bread sandwiches, curried eggs, asparagus rolls and more, apparently all tasted, and looked better, with the addition of parsley. Greg Holdsworth

Luckily time moved on and, thanks to various reality cooking shows, we now know there are plenty of other ways to create visual appeal when presenting a meal.

While parsley's abilities as a garnish may have waned in popularity, there's no denying its still a must-have herb for the herb garden.

I like to have both flat-leaf and curly leaf parsley on hand in my vege garden. And even though some recipes specify which parsley to use I mix and match as I see fit at the time.

Parsley can be grown virtually anywhere. Got a big herb or vege garden? Pop it in a sunny, well-drained spot. Alternatively, grow it in a small pot on the windowsill. Or try planting this handy herb in a hanging basket with something like polyanthus or strawberries (later in the year for strawberries) around the outside.

The trick with parsley is to eat it as its ready and use it before it goes to seed. To ensure a steady supply, stagger your planting. That means every few weeks or couple of months plant another parsley seedling. As one reaches its end the other will be ready to plunder. Remember, parsley is more than just a pretty plant - and don't forget to use the stems too!
   

Winners

Congratulations to the following Cultivated News subscribers, Laura Jessie Crawford, Lyndon Watson, Jax Miller, Heather Kavanagh and Al J Black, who have won Awapuni Nurseries seedlings simply for being subscribed during February.

We haven't been able to contact all our winners yet, so we encourage all subscribers to check your inbox to see if you've received an email from Monique and contact her 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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