December 2016

Burning question

The early grapes on my grapevine seem to be getting round, black spots. What is this and should I do anything?

Barry the winemaker at Alpha Domus Winery kindly answered this month’s burning question for us. He says it sounds like black spot, which also affects roses. Ask at your local garden centre for an appropriate fungicide treatment. Or if you’d prefer to avoid spraying, try growing a grape which is resistant to black spot.

Click here to email your burning question to Awapuni today.

A blast of fun

Summer is officially here and school holidays aren’t too far away. We think this ‘DIY Water Blaster’ idea from Mom Endevors looks like a whole lot of fun – and not just for the kids. Here are some other great sprinkler ideas.

Wonderful watermelon

Watermelon is a wonderful plant to grow but it’s not the plant for every garden. It grows across the ground like pumpkins, so needs quite a bit of space. But most importantly, it needs around three months of sun and heat averaging above 20 degrees Celsius. If you’ve got the right climate and are ready to give this juicy plant a crack, you can grab seedlings from our online shop. And for a step-by-step guide on how to plant – click here.

Be in to WIN!

To celebrate hitting 5000 likes on Facebook, we’re giving away five Awapuni seedling bundles each to five lucky Cultivated News subscribers. To be in with a chance to win simply email us with the names of five different Awapuni plants mentioned in this edition of Cultivated News. Be sure to include your name and physical address for delivery should you win. Entrants must be subscribed to Cultivated News and entries must be received by 5pm Sunday 11 December. For more details on the giveaway visit here.

December is a good time to...

Plant flowering annuals, like petunias, gazania and livingstone daisies – all of which like the warmth of summer and full sun. For planting in the shade, try impatiens. Plant gourmet veg (like fancy lettuce and spinach) and herbs (like basil, coriander, and rocket) so you have a continuous and regular supply. Mulch. Deadhead your roses. Watch out for aphids and dig up your new potatoes!

Read on for more.

Banana box binge

At the nursery we love to recycle. Hence using newspaper to wrap our plants and banana boxes to ship them around the country. A few weeks ago though, we managed to recycle ourselves into a corner. We almost ran out of banana boxes. We had to start taking any box that we could find. So if you shop at Pak'N'Save Palmerston North and have been finding there are less boxes to pack your groceries in than normal, I apologise. The crisis is nearly over and we will be back to normal soon.
Awapuni Henri and Paul

Have a happy and safe festive season.

Henri Ham and the team at Awapuni Nurseries

Ordering for Christmas

Place your order at our online shop by 9am Monday 19th of December for delivery before Christmas. If you live in a North Island main centre you have until 9am Thursday 22nd to place your order. If you’re ordering from TradeMe you need to make payment for your purchase and or made contact with Donna by mid day on Monday the 19th of December.

Ordering between Christmas and 5th of January
Place online orders by 9am Wednesday 28th December for delivery that week and by 9am Wednesday 4 January for delivery the following week. There will be no delivery or pickups of Trademe purchases during this period.

Nursery hours:
Our office and the physical shop at the nursery will be open Wednesday and Thursday only during the last week of December and the first week of January. Our hours return to normal on Wednesday the 4th of January.

Put on a show this summer with portulaca

If you want to make a bit of a statement in your garden this summer, you can’t go past portulaca. This striking plant grows to around 10cm high and produces beautiful flowers with layers of fabric-like petals. It’s perfect for planting in borders, bedding, edging, rock gardens, pots and hanging baskets. And, if you get some in the ground soon, it will keep the show in your garden running all through summer.

Read more

Must have mint

Being in the fortunate position of having a never-ending supply of plants at my disposal, means that my list of must-have herbs for the garden is actually quite long! But if I had to narrow it down mint would be right near the top of the list.

It’s great in summer drinks and salads, mint sauce on a roast, dips and more. But just, if not more, importantly it’s very easy to grow and maintain. In fact, sometimes it can be too easy to grow and take over your garden. Which is why I always recommend growing it in a pot – even if you’re planting in a garden bed.

Read more


Attack of the aphids!

As mentioned last month, aphids can be a real problem in the garden at the moment. We received several great tips from readers. Heather from Ashburton throws some of the water from the washing machine over her roses which also helps reduce the use of water. Linda plants garlic cloves at the base of her roses and has never had a problem with aphids. Sandy from Waikato keeps an ‘eagle eye’ and squashes them (with gloves on!) the moment she sees them. She says the trick is to never walk past them as there will be twice as many when you return. Murray from Stratford uses Combat 3 in 1 For Roses which is a bee-friendly rose and ornamental spray with an insecticide, fungicide and natural fish fertiliser. And our winning tip comes from Annette from Waikane who boils up banana skins, strains the liquid off and adds a little vegetable oil to make it stick. She then sprays directly onto affected plants every couple of days. And like, Sandy, she manually squashes any aphids she finds. Thanks everyone for the great tips! And thanks to Elaine who emailed with her go-to method for cooking artichokes – seven minutes on high in the microwave for two whole artichokes. She’s says it’s a no-fuss and quick to make lunch, just not as quick to eat!

FREE nursery tours

Viscaria Angel Rose Don’t forget to book a spot in our FREE tours of the nursery. We held the first tour last week but there are still two more to go - Wednesday 7th or 14th of December.

Everyone who attends will receive a free bundle of seedlings, the chance to win more seedlings and of course our regular nursery deals such as $1 potted colour plants and three bundles for $10. Tours are free and start at 10am.

Visit here for more information. And please let Jo know whether you’re planning to attend by flicking her an email or phoning on 06 354 8828.

Gardening for life

It’s never too late to start gardening. And in our opinion, it can never be too early to start gardening either. Getting kids involved and interested in the garden has numerous benefits. It gets them outdoors. It gets them learning about the process of plants growing. It gives them a new understanding and appreciation of edible plants like vegetables. And hopefully it creates a life-long interest and love in gardening. Remember to plant quick growing vegetables and particularly ones that can be eaten straight out of the garden. Sugar snap peas, strawberries, lettuces and radishes are all good plants to grow with kids.

DrumGet them involved in all the planting, watering and especially watching out for bugs! And make sure they have the right tools. Kids gloves and tools like this colourful gardening set are essential and a great idea for a Christmas gift. What are your top tips for gardening with kids? Flick us an email and our favourite tip will win a selection of Awapuni plants.


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: