February 2015

February is a good time to...



Keep watering!

The more water plants like strawberries and tomatoes get, the juicer the fruit will be. And the more water plants like courgettes and beans get, the bigger they'll grow.

Remember to keep staggering your planting of different varieties of lettuce to ensure you always have some on hand for salads.

Cut back your oregano so it doesn’t go leggy and keep harvesting your fennel.

More info...


Herbal hair heaven

Trying to cut down on chemicals in your house?

Then you need to check out this great site and shop by Wendyl Nissen. Wendy’s weekly newsletter is full of great tips and recipes for going 'au naturel'.

We liked the look of her herbal shampoo recipe and thought you might too.



Pretty planting

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



Burning question

Why have lots of my herbs and veges gone to seed this year?

This is a common problem with plants (particularly ones like coriander and broccoli) when there’s a change in temperature from cold to warm. A lot of the country this year had a mild Christmas (what’s new?) but now the weather has got hot quite quickly and made everything go to seed. Unfortunately, the best fix is just to remove and replant.

Click here to email Tod your burning question today.




Awapuni family gets new addition – baby cos

Thanks to many requests from customers, we're pleased to announce the trial of a new lettuce – baby cos. It's a shorter, sweeter version of cos lettuce and we want to know what you think of it and whether it's a seedling you'd like us to sell regularly.

We're giving away a FREE bundle of baby cos containing at least nine seedlings with every order made from our online shop before 9am Monday 9 February.

 
This picture of the new baby cos seedlings was taken on a beautiful Manawatu evening just before Christmas. Email us here with your thoughts on your free baby cos plants.

Happy gardening
Henri Ham


Complimentary companions

Planted in the garden or in pots on a windowsill, basil is said to repel aphids, house-fly, fruit-fly and whitefly. Although, some of our regular readers may remember the debate that ran last year in several editions of Cultivated News where people said basil hadn’t helped them get rid of whitefly. It's also a topic of contention as to whether basil planted next to tomatoes will make your tomato fruit taste any better is debateable.  
But they do taste great together in salads and on pizzas and bruschetta, so we think there's nothing to lose by growing them side-by-side and saving time when you come to harvest. And if you plant enough you may also repel the pesky whitefly and have plenty to mix up into a tasty pesto.

Now is a great time to plant basil and Awapuni stocks several varieties including basil bush, cinnamon, greek mini, lemon, mixed, red rubin and the regular sweet. Visit the online shop to see what's available or here for Tod’s tips on how to plant.

Remember, these are companion planting tips and methods we've picked up along the way or heard of from other gardeners. We're not promising they'll work 100% but they’re worth a shot in any garden – particularly if you’re trying to promote natural growth and keep it pesticide free.

For more information on companion planting visit here. And if you’ve had any experience with basil as a companion plant (good or bad) we’d love to hear about it.

Email us here.


Getting the most out of celery

They say you get out of life what you put in. The same philosophy applies to one of my favourite winter vegetables – celery. To produce a plant with the right taste and texture, this versatile veg needs a bit of thought put into soil preparation, growing conditions and harvesting technique. But when you think about how many uses it has – from soups to stir fries to good ol’ bolognaise – in my book, it’s definitely worth the effort. And if you want to enjoy  
it in a hearty winter stew, now’s the time to get planting.

More info...


Skateboard swing

School holidays are over but it’s always good to have a couple of projects up your sleeves for keeping small fry busy.

Visit Little Bit Funky for a step-by-step guide to creating your own skateboard swing.



Carnation colour: inside and out

There are probably only a handful of flowers the average Kiwi could quickly name if put on the spot – roses, daisies, lilies, tulips and sunflowers, of course. But, I bet a fair few would also throw carnations into the mix.

 
After all, this infamous flower has graced more than a few bouquets and button holes over the years, largely due to its array of colours, as well as its ability to stay fresh and beautiful longer than other species.

But, for me, carnations don’t just make good cut flowers. The national flower of Spain also looks great in the garden, adding a splash of colour, as well as a country cottage vibe.

More info...


Winners

Congratulations to the following Cultivated News subscribers, Sandy from Hamilton, Anne from Napier, Chris from Auckland, Trish from Nelson and Flora from Christchurch who have won Awapuni Nurseries seedlings simply for being subscribed during November.

 
Remember, we're giving away seedling bundles to Cultivated News subscribers every month until the end of 2015, so stay subscribed for your chance to win and remember to check your inbox in case you’re one of our lucky winners.

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

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P: 64 6 354-8828 F: 64 6 354-8857 W: www.awapuni.co.nz E: sales@awapuni.co.nz