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In the news...

Breakfast’s local gardening hero, Justin Newcombe, recently shared some tips for winter gardening and informed viewers of the dos and don'ts of wet weather gardening.

From the importance of mulch to planting trees – there’s no rest for the wicked in winter – especially where gardening’s concerned.

Click here if you missed the show.

Burning questions...

We have a section in Northland and recently our neighbour has put a pond close to our boundary line. My concern is mosquitoes. What plants, shrubs and trees can I plant to help reduce the risk of mosquitoes running wild on our property?

Talk to your neighbour about putting fish in the pond as fish will eat the mosquito larvae. Having running water near the pond will also act as a deterrent to mosquitoes. Another option is planting tagetes near the pond - they are a form of marigold and help keep flies away in summer.

What should I add to my potting mix before planting tulip bulbs?

If you’re using a good quality potting mix you do not need to put anything extra in it – tulips will grow as long as it’s cold. Put the bulbs in the fridge before planting as this gets them used to sub-temperatures early on. Give them bulb food which is rich in potassium to encourage more flower than leaf growth.

Garden now for superior strawberries this silly season

At this time of year Christmas couldn’t feel further away. In fact it feels like forever. And that’s how long strawberries take to grow… forever. I’m not going to glam this up ladies and gents - it’s cold and the soil appears to have frost bite, but if you want those bountiful strawberries come Christmas you need to harden up and head outdoors.

Strawberries grow just about anywhere - your garden bed, old containers, or even in a cut off bit of drain pipe. As long as they can see the sun, and your garden or pot is well drained, you can expect an abundant mass of fruit.

Once you’ve claimed the perfect spot for planting, prepare the soil by digging in a general fertiliser that’s rich in potassium. This will help stimulate plant growth and voluptuous, juicy fruit.

Click here to read more.
Tod Palenski – Awapuni Nurseries
Celebrate with celery

Did you know celery is a great companion plant to your winter brassicas? If you have a bit of extra space in the garden between your brocolli and are looking for something low maintenance, why not fill the spot with celery.

Celery love well-drained soil in sunny conditions. It can be planted either in your garden or in a pot – celery grows tall and slender and doesn’t need a lot of space for its roots to spread out.

Once you’ve found the perfect spot dig in a bit of compost and mound the soil. Plant each seedling 15cm apart in holes approximately 3cm deep. Place the seedling inside the hole and cover the roots with soil.

Your celery should be ready to harvest in four to six weeks. It really depends on how you like it, small and tender or tall and mature. If you’re a big fan of celery why not plant a few seedlings now and a few a couple of weeks later – that way you’ll never miss out.

Enjoy your celery as dipping sticks into a rich garlic hummus with a glass of wine or add that extra kick to your sandwich.
July is a good time to...

Plant and prep. A lot of plants and flowers in your garden will die down shortly which makes it the perfect time to add some lime to sweeten your soil. Prune trees and roses and remove any horrible looking growth off your perennials as they start to go dormant.

Pull out summer annuals and freshen up your garden with winter ones. Awapuni stock a wide range, in all colours and varieties – click here to check them out.

Plant beetroot, broad beans, parsley and spinach and if you can’t move your citrus trees on to the deck, cover them with newspaper to protect them from Jack Frost.
Ask the guru
Do your lilies need a lift? Is your celery suffering? Has your mulch turned to mush? Well fear not, help is at hand. Every keen gardener has a list of questions they’d love to know the answers to. Luckily Awapuni has our local gardening guru, Tod Palenski, on hand to answer any garden related queries from winning the war on weeds to nurturing your seedlings.

Click here to email Tod your burning question now
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