March 2018

Vege seedlings for Africa

This time of the year we sow many more vege seedlings than we can sell. The reason for this is not that we like wasting them but we need a constant supply. What happens is that while the weather is super hot the seedlings grow very fast and we can be using them up to six weeks after they are sown, but when the weather changes to cooler autumn weather the plants slow down and it can take up to 10 weeks to grow them. This can cause a gap in the supply. So, it’s important to have a surplus.

Also, here at Awapuni Nurseries if you haven’t already noticed, we do like to recycle. And the vegetable plants that get thrown out end up in our recycled potting mix mountain that customers can come in with a trailer and purchase for $45 a load.

Happy gardening,
Henri Ham

What’s in a name?

I enjoy it when a plant has an interesting name or a name that makes complete sense for it.

Love in a Mist, Carolina Reaper and Canterbury Bells are just some of the plants we sell which have, what I consider to be, intriguing names. But none of those names come close to the newest variety of lettuce seedlings we now sell – Drunken Woman (Fringed Head) Lettuce.

How on earth did it get that name? Obviously, I’ve done a quick google search, and I’ve also asked for opinions on our Facebook page. But I haven’t found a concrete answer yet. Do you know?

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Sweet smelling, sweet peas

If you like a bit of colour and fragrance in your garden and your home, then look no further than sweet peas. These lovely flowers are super easy to grow, they smell great and they look lovely outdoors or in a vase.

We sell three varieties of sweet pea seedlings at Awapuni Nurseries; dwarf mixed, fragrant beauty and cut flower mixed. All smell lovely, but fragrant beauty has a stronger smell. And all can be grown for cut flowers, but the cut flower mix will produce more blooms on longer stems.

Lastly, as you’d expect, the dwarf variety doesn’t grow as tall as the other two – it only grows to 30-40cm which makes it perfect for growing in borders, bedding and pots. The other two varieties grow to around 120-180cm and, like most sweet peas, need something like a wall or trellis to trail and climb over.

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Burning question

Should I remove dead flower heads from my dahlia plants?

Yes, definitely. Removing dead flower heads from your dahlias will keep new flowers coming.

It also prevents the plant from wasting energy with seed production, which allows the tuber to concentrate on growing as much as possible for next season.

Paul Hoek, NZ Bulbs.

Plum sauce and tomato relish

Last month we posted pics on Instagram of the tomato relish and plum sauce one of our team had made. Well, we’ve finally got around to putting the recipes up on our website. The recipes have been passed down through generations so they’re pretty old. Which means the quantities are in pounds and pints! We’ve included both original quantities and the conversions. They probably have a bit more sugar in them than we now know we should be including in our food. So, we suggest cutting that back to suit your taste. Enjoy.

Order your spring bulbs today!

Autumn is officially here, which means it’s time to order your spring flowering bulbs! And, as you probably know by now, we’re big fans of the bulbs available from NZ Bulbs. They’ve been growing and selling high-quality bulbs to Kiwi gardeners for 61 years now – so it’s fair to say they know bulbs. They have an extensive range of tulips, daffodils and hyacinths. Plus, plenty of lovely crocuses, freesias, ranunculus, Dutch irises and more. And, they’ve got a special offer for Awapuni customers. If you use the discount code Awapuni when purchasing spring flowering bulbs from their web shop NZ Bulbs will deliver your order for FREE.

Visit their website and shop online or call them on 06 323 4516 to request a free mail order catalogue. Lastly, if you want to know whether you need to chill your bulbs before planting go here.


Plenty to do with pallets

We love recycling, and you know we love a good list from the internet! Here are 25+ garden pallet projects to keep you busy. We like the look of the potting bench. Are you a fan of up/recycling in your garden? Send us an email with a pic of your upcycling gardening and we’ll pick our favourite to win a $30 Awapuni Nurseries voucher.


March is a good time to...

Grow beetroot, spinach and winter veg like broccoli and cauliflower. Add colour and fragrance to your garden with stocks (like the dwarf stocks pictured in the banner at the top of this email). Keep harvesting and don’t forget to keep watering. And, before the temperature drops too much, move any chilli or capsicum plants to somewhere warmer like a glasshouse or indoors.

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Cheap and cheerful chives

Chives are a great herb to have in the garden. Pasta, risotto, quiche, pies and more can benefit from some chopped chives. Chives are also one of those plants that just keeps on giving. Unlike many annual herbs which need to be replanted every season or year, chives go dormant and die down during winter and then pop up again in spring. This reminds me of their one flaw – you need to mark or remember where you plant them! And don’t forget to try growing garlic chives. Garlic chives are sometimes known as Chinese chives and have slightly, broader, flatter leaves than regular chives and - as you would expect from the name - have a soft garlic flavour. Shop here for chives and garlic chives.

How to know when to harvest pumpkin

Harvest them when the stalks and leaves dry up and harvest them with the stalk still on. Once they’re ready don’t leave them on the ground too long or they will rot underneath. Make sure the pumpkins are clean before you store them – this will stop them rotting. Store them in a dry place with air circulation. Check them often and remove any rotten ones.

Veg with quick results

Often there can be a lot of waiting involved in gardening – particularly when it comes to slow growing winter veg like cabbage, broccoli, leeks etc. So, it can be nice to fill the gaps with something a little quicker paced. Here are our recommendations for fast growing veg that are all good to grow now; cavolo nero (pictured), Chinese cabbage, endive, kale, lettuce, radish, pak choy, silver and rainbow beet, and spinach and perpetual spinach. These can all be planted in alternate rows next to your slower growing veg and they’ll be ready to harvest before your other plants need the room. Or if patience isn’t your strong suit, just grow these varieties instead!

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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