July 2018

Covering up for winter

Two weeks ago I would have said that maybe we could get through a winter without having to cover the vegetable seedlings to protect them from the weather. Today however it is obvious that wouldn’t work. As I write this it is 7 degrees C, having had a negative overnight temperature. That temperature would slow down our production to a crawl, and we would run out of plants. So all small plants are covered nice and snug here in the nursery.

Happy gardening,
Henri Ham
  plant covers at awapuni nursery

An occasion for oregano

With winter well and truly here, casseroles stews and soups are a staple in our kitchen. To add freshness to these somewhat heavy meals, I love to use fresh winter herbs like oregano. I treat oregano in winter like I treat basil in summer – throwing it in with all things tomato based.

Oregano is a perennial (it lasts longer than two years). And, if regularly trimmed and cut back in early spring by one third, it will return and produce for years. It is a pungent and spicy herb and I’m a fan of its slightly bitter taste. However, the potency of its leaves can reduce after three to four years, so at home I replant every few years.

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The dirt on dianthus

Every month I try to write about a couple of different plants that can be planted at the time of writing. I hope to share some information you might not know about and give some practical advice on how to plant them. This month I’ve decided to dish the dirt (so-to-speak) on dianthus.

Dianthus (often called pinks) is a hardy cottage-garden flower ideal for planting in borders. This cheerful plant will be sure to provide you with many months of colour in your garden because, unlike many other flower varieties, you can plant it all year round. If you get your dianthus plants in the ground now they will do some nice growing through the rest of winter and be ready to flower in spring.

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Getting rid of rust

We’ve certainly seen our share of well-used gardening tools in our time. But don’t mistake rust and stiffness as a sign for the replacement of your tools. Especially if you bought quality ones to begin with. Here’s a great video from Nifty showing their rust restoration hacks. They use house hold items like vinegar, baking soda and tin foil to remove rust from your gardening tools. If you’ve got any tips or hacks on how to keep your gardening tools clean we’d love to hear.

Flick us an email here and we’ll pick our favourite to win a $35 Awapuni Nurseries voucher.


Snapdragons – cute or scary?

Snapdragons (also known as antirrhinum) are a favourite plant for many gardeners. Their colourful flowers brighten up any space through their height and long blooming nature. A snapdragon’s flower resembles an open mouth when you squeeze its two sides together. The openings of the flower are snapped shut – hence the name.

We came across this link which shows some interesting pics of dead snapdragons flowers resembling human skulls. We’ll be honest, we’ve never actually noticed this happening in the garden. Have you?

Credit: Kuriositas   Credit: Kuriositas

July is a good time to...

With this recent cold snap of weather, July might seem like an ideal time to stoke up the fire and work on your ‘mental garden plan’ for the upcoming months. But in fact there are still many outdoor tasks you can tick off in your garden.

Your compost heaps will be due for a turning over now. You can cover compost with old carpet or plastic bags to help maintain its heat during the winter months.

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Winter roast vege salad

If you’re overdosing on soup at the moment you’re not alone. How about trying something new – a winter roast vegetable salad. It’s perfect as a compete meal or a side dish to your favourite meat at dinner time.

Click here for the recipe.


Crowds of chokos

We’ve read about chokos several times in the news lately. Most recently a Taranaki gardener who was looking for ideas on what to do with his 100kg crop. You can read the full article here.

Chokos are an energetic climbing plant that can rapidly establish over a huge area with little effort. The choko looks a bit like a spiky large green pear. It’s similar to a marrow with its bland flesh and often cooked the same way – heavily boiled then smothered in cheese sauce. Are you a fan of chokos? Do you think it’s a variety we should add to our list of seedlings? Email us here to let us know.


School holiday activities

School holidays begin this weekend, which means its time to think of ideas to entertain the kids. We love decorating pots and think that this painted herb pot garden looks wonderful.

Here are step by step instructions on how to paint your potted herb garden. And once you’ve made your pot garden have a go at making these rock garden markers too. Perfect for rainy days and gifts for grandparents also.

Credit Colorfully, BEHR blog Credit West Valley City Moms Blog

Win an Awapuni voucher for your chosen charity

We have just hit 7000 likes on our Facebook page. Wahoo! And to thank our customers and followers for your support we’re giving you the chance to win a $35 Awapuni Nurseries voucher for yourself and one for your chosen charity, school or community group.

Head to here to enter. The competition closes on Saturday the 7th of July.


If you’re a fan of ours on Facebook you may now be seeing less of our gardening tips, special deals, giveaways and more. To keep seeing these – go to our Facebook page and click on the ‘Following’ tab under the top photo. Then click ‘See First’. This way you’ll never miss out!

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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