February 2018

Calling the rain gods

This is actually the second version of this story that I’ve written. When I first wrote it a couple of days ago we had had record temperatures here in Palmerston North. We were full on watering plants every day and calling for rain. Day time temperatures were up to 33 degrees Celsius in the late afternoon and we were watering from 5.30am until 8pm every day. I even had to help! While we were setting up this newsletter our requests were answered - we got the rain we were after and the temperature cooled down significantly. Unfortunately, the rain gods weren’t so kind with other parts of the country. All the best for a quick recovery and clean-up to those affected by cyclone Fehi.

Happy gardening,
Henri Ham

The low down on red cabbage

Did you know red cabbage has 10 times more vitamin A and twice as much iron as green cabbage? Red cabbage even has more vitamin C than oranges! It tastes very similar to green cabbage but with a slightly more peppery flavour. Did you know its colour changes depending on the pH of the soil it’s grown in? So, if your soil is quite acidic it will be redder. If your soil is neutral it’s more likely to be purple looking and alkaline soil will produce more green-yellow coloured cabbages. And did you know if you want it to retain the red colour when you cook it you need to add vinegar or something acidic to the dish? Otherwise, it will turn blue. Eaten raw in coleslaw, pickled or cooked, red cabbage is a healthy and tasty addition to any meal. Visit here for a list of 10 ways to eat red cabbage. And here to order your red cabbage seedlings.


Be in to WIN with the Herb Farm

We’re excited to have a fantastic pamper pack from The Herb Farm to giveaway. We’ve also thrown in a $100 Awapuni Nurseries voucher to go with the Herb Farm body lotion, foot balm, hand cream & lip balm. To be in with a chance to win head to our Facebook page. The competition closes on Sunday 4 February at 11.59pm NZ.


Specials and deals

Did you know we send out a regular specials and deals newsletter? It’s short and sweet and includes any plants on special, free plant offers and updates on when different varieties of plants will be available to purchase.

To sign up visit here. You can unsubscribe easily at any time.

February is a good time to...

Keep watering – particularly strawberries and tomatoes to make the fruit juicier. But at this time of year everything will most likely need watering. Keep planting summer salad ingredients like lettuce, basil, spring onions, rocket and more.

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Deadhead for more flowers

If you want your flowers to flower longer or flower again, then deadheading is the key. Deadheading means to remove any fading or dead flower heads from your plants. There are a couple of reasons for doing this – one, it makes the plant look nicer and two, depending on the type of plant it can encourage it to flower again or keep flowering for longer. When a flower loses its petals it starts to form seed heads and focus all its energy on developing more seeds – not flowers. Awapuni plants that will often produce a second flowering if deadheaded include phlox, coneflower, salvia, delphinium and Shasta daisy.


How to handle your harvest

If you’re lucky, you’ll have lots to harvest from your garden at the moment. In last month’s edition of Cultivated News we shared a couple of links to some preserving and pickling recipes, which are great ways of making use of excess produce. And we also have some good recipes on our website. We know many of you share your harvest with friends, family and the community. And another great way of making sure any fruit and veg don’t go to waste is to freeze them. Here’s an easy-to-follow chart on how long all types of food can be frozen for – including some items that shouldn’t be frozen. One of our team likes to blend (usually with a bit of water) excess veg like spinach and then freeze into ice cubes which can then be added to smoothies at a later date. Which is similar to this handy article on how to freeze herbs.


Burning question

How do I know when my corn is ready to harvest?

Your corn is ready to harvest when the ears have completely filled out. What are the ears? The ears are the part of the plant that contain the cob. You can check whether the ear is filled out by feeling the end of the ear where the silks come out. The silks are the furry/hairy bits sticking out the top. If the end is rounded, blunt and feels full it’s ready. If it feels pointed at the end it needs a bit longer. The silks on the end of the ear can also help tell you whether it’s ready to harvest or not. When these bits dry up and go brown it will also mean the cob is ready to harvest. And one more thing to look out for, as Lorraine reminded us on Facebook, the cobs will go from being parallel to the main plant to sticking out from the plant on more of a 45 degree angle when they’re ready.


Love your leeks

Leeks are another of those plants that I often get people telling me they struggle to grow. Instead of producing solid, large leeks, these frustrated gardeners talk of shrivelled, spring onion-look-alikes. Leeks are not a set and forget type of plant, they require a little love and attention, and if looked after will be a handy and tasty vegetable to have in the garden.

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Beautiful bupleurum

Beautiful bupleurum – that’s a bit of a tongue twister! So, if you’re not sure how to pronounce it – it’s boo-pler-um.

This pretty plant, which we sell under the ‘flower’ category, is actually a herb. But unless you have experience in herbal medicine or the like we don’t recommend ingesting it. These days, bupleurum is more commonly grown to add colour and texture to gardens and for cut flowers – it lasts really well in a vase.

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Pick up now available

We're now offering the ability to PICK UP your orders from our nursery shop at Pioneer Highway, Palmerston North.
To make a Pick Up order, simply select the Pick Up option for delivery at check out. Then in the message to the Nursery, include the day and date you would like to Pick Up your order. For more details on pick up, including what days you can pick up, visit our shipping and delivery page and scroll to the bottom.

Awapuni Nurseries Ltd, Pioneer Highway,
PO Box 7075, Palmerston North 4443, NEW ZEALAND
Phone: 64 6 354-8828 Fax: 64 6 354-8857

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