April 2011

In the news...

Michelle Obama is to write a gardening book about healthy eating and the well-known vegetable garden she created at the White House. The book will include the Obamas' favourite healthy recipes.

Click here to read the Guardian newspaper article.

Burning question...

My mint looks like something has been eating it. Some of the stems have no leaves on them at all. What do you think the problem is?

Sounds like you have a problem with snails. Try using some Quash - available from your local garden centre. It's not a poison but deadly to slugs and snails.

Click here to email Tod your burning question today.

April is a good
time to...

Prune your shrubs now that they've finished flowering so they're nice and tidy before the weather gets cold and wet.

Remove any summer annuals, dig over soil and plant winter annuals while the soil is still warm. If you get your winter annuals in now while the soil is warm they'll get growing quickly and continue growing right over winter.

Also, whip out summer veggies now and plant all winter veggies. Leave it too late and itís really hard to get them going.

If it gets wet and soggy in your garden during winter, put some lime in the soil.
Read more.

In Auckland this weekend?

Why not get along to the
New Zealand Garden Expo at Ellerslie Racecourse.

It's on from Friday until Sunday.

Thanks for the feedback!

Thank you to all those who entered our competition last month asking for feedback, good or bad, on the new-look newsletter. We were overwhelmed by the positive comments and have taken on board each tip for improvement. Please feel free to contact us any time if there are different things you'd like to see in Cultivated News.

The winners of six Traditional Value bundles (each bundle contains four to nine seedlings) are: J Quicke (New Plymouth), J Benjamin (Auckland), L Cho (Auckland), P Jamieson (Christchurch), M Gardiner (Queenstown) and F Anderson (Auckland).

Henri Ham
Awapuni Nurseries

Beat the bad with broccoli

Don't like broccoli? Broccoli is high in vitamin C and dietary fibre. Research has shown a high intake of brocolli can reduce the risk of aggressive prostate cancer and also help the prevention of heart disease. Still not so keen on broccoli? We didn't think so.

Plant now for winter veges

This is the time of the year when my head screams "oh no, summer is actually over," while my tummy says "wahoo, winter veges are just around the corner."

The end of daylight savings is the signal to me that now's the time to get planting if I want to enjoy good, hearty veges during the colder months.

It can seem a little crazy planting for July now, but some vegetables can take up to three months to mature so getting seedlings in early is important.

The trick is to plant just as the season is changing from summer to autumn. So if you're up north you may need to wait a little bit, but if you're down south you may need to get cracking right away.

I've said it before, but getting the kids involved is a great way of getting them over any vege aversions. You'd be surprised how planting, and then picking broccoli they grew themselves can make this oft disliked vege taste completely different!

Click here to read more.

Did you know... about snails?

Did you know snails' shells require a lot of calcium? This means if your soil doesn't have any calcium you won't find snails. On the other hand, chalky soils often have more snails than slugs - which, obviously, don't have a shell - and a need for calcium. Snails are hermaphrodites - which means they have both male and female reproductive organs, and they lay eggs.

Correction: In last month's burning question we discussed the preying mantis - which should have been praying mantis. Thanks to Bob, a Cultivated News subscriber, to alerting us to this. Bob also said to watch out for praying mantises eating monarch caterpillars. He's been keeping a protective eye on his monarch caterpillars, which have been attacked by mantises and german wasps.

Wallflowers - no shrinking violets

In the world of gardening, wallflowers are anything but the guy or girl standing against the wall waiting to be asked to hit the dance floor.

This scented, brightly coloured flower doesn't follow the normal social conventions. It's the equivalent of the person who's last off the dance floor, tie askew, hair a'mess, and ready for the next party.

But that's the great thing about wallflowers, they can get quite messy and untidy towards the end of the season but give them a trim and a cut and they transform for spring - ready for the next social invitation.

The other great trait to wallflowers is they are super easy to grow and donít get plagued by many of the usual problems like pests and diseases Ė though they can be quite tasty to caterpillars so keep an eye out for their tell-tale eggs.

Click here to read more.

Henri and Paul Ham, Awapuni Nurseries Ltd
Pioneer Highway PO Box 7075 Palmerston North 4443 NEW ZEALAND


P: 64 6 354-8828 F: 64 6 354-8857 W: www.awapuni.co.nz E: sales@awapuni.co.nz