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For every order made from now until the end of May, Awapuni Nurseries will throw in a free Traditional Value Silver beet bundle.

To see the entire range of seedlings available at Awapuni Nurseries click here and have a browse around our plant shop.
In the newsÖ

Manukau Institute of Technology (MIT) has opened a new training programme focused on floristry from its School of Horticulture and Landscaping.

The floristry courses available range from a 12 week introduction to floral design to a National Certificate in Floristry (NCF Level Two). Advanced courses are hoping to be introduced next year.

Based at the Floramax flower auction house in Mt Wellington means students can benefit from daily interactions with growers, florists and other key professionals within the industry.

If you are interested in taking this course or for more information call MIT on 0800 62 62 51 or click here.


Burning questions


I've just bought a bundle of shallot seedlings and I am wondering how far to space and position them in the soil? Also, how long will they take to grow to maturity?

Plant your shallots 20cms apart from each other and 2cm deep. You should expect to harvest in around three months. But check they look ready before you pull them out.

How do I make liquid compost?

Ingredients; nine litres of compost (measured dry in a bucket), and 20 litres of warm water.

Directions:
1. After measuring, place compost into a hessian sack and tie bag tightly with a length of twine.
2. Pour water into a 45 litre container.
3. Immerse the sack into the container and swirl for a minute.
4. Leave the sack in the container, cover and stand in shady place for a week.
5. Pour solution into a watering can fitted with a sprinkler head and apply.
 
Thank you

Thank you to all those who completed our Cultivated News readership survey. The feedback we received was great and will help us write about things you want to read about for issues to come. Every completed survey went in the draw to win one of five Traditional Value prize packs. Each pack has five bundles of vege, flower and herb seedlings in it and will be delivered to your door. Congratulations, the lucky five winners are:

Ruth Smith – Inglewood
Judy Allen – Napier
Amanda Bull – Hamilton
S. Oda – Nelson
Anita Erceg - Auckland

Once again a big thanks to all those who entered.
Winter gardeningís silver lining

With the cooler weather setting in, iím spending less and less time in the garden. Donning gumboots and heading outside is losing the battle against putting my feet up in front of the fire. So any plant that requires minimal attention at this time of year is a winner in my book.

Silver beet is versatile and is easy to care for. It is the ultimate beginner gardener vegetable. It doesnít require a lot of maintenance and is quick to mature - making it the perfect vege to plant as the weather
packs in.

First, pick up some Awapuni silver beet seedlings from Bunnings, the Warehouse or your local supermarket when you're next out.

Once youíve chosen the perfect spot in your garden, add some compost to the soil and mix well. This will ensure your soil is in top condition for the cooler months ahead.

Click here to read more.

Tod Palenski – Awapuni Nurseries
Motherís Day with a difference

Motherís Day is the time when husbands and children alike stop and give thanks to their mum and grandmothers.

So instead of swinging by the service station for a bouquet this year, why not give mum the gift that keeps on giving? Perhaps a living flower arrangement that she can enjoy for seasons to come? After all, itís the thought that counts.

Indoor plants look great and are much more cost effective than buying a bouquet that will only last a few days. Polyanthus, primulas and stocks thrive indoors - you could even plant them in one pot or container for variety and interest.

Why not make your pot plant extra special by getting the kids involved in painting the pot for Mumís favourite flowers? An inexpensive terracotta pot picked up at your local gardening or hardware store can be quickly transformed into something that shows thanks for the mum in our lives.
A little neem oil goes a long way

Neem oil is an organic insecticide used to kill chewing and sucking pests. The active ingredients used are similar to the hormones insects produce.

Neem enters the insect’s system and blocks their hormones from functioning correctly – eventually leading to death.

Click here for more information on neem oil and its affects.
May is a good time to…

Ensure your garden is well prepared for the coming months. Helping your garden get through winter can lead to great rewards come blooming time again.

Give your garden a good water before the ground hardens up and freezes. Moisture is essential for the survival of shrubs and trees over the cold season.  

Remove weeds from your garden beds and get rid of any diseased leaves from shrubs and trees. Leaving some top growth on plants provides protection for their roots from frost. You may like to move delicate potted flowers and plants indoors or under the decking for shelter.

May is also a great time to plant broccoli, broad beans, carrots, onions, peas, spinach and cauliflower. All are great in winter stews, casseroles or quiches.
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