February 2012

Green working

Living, or bio, walls are the latest green trend to hit NZ. These growing walls take pride of place at the Westpac Building atrium in Auckland’s Britomart, and The Novotel hotel at Auckland International Airport.
Check out this story for more details.

Burning question...

I planted red onions in August and they’re starting to pop out of the ground. How can I tell when they’re ready to harvest?

Red, and regular white, onions will rise to the surface of the soil as they get ready to harvest. Tie the top in a knot and then wait for them to come completely out of the soil before harvesting.

Click here to email Tod your burning question today.

February is a
good time to…

As January proved, you can’t guarantee nice hot weather around this time of the year. However, as a general rule February is typically pretty warm. So, our recommendation for what to do in January still applies for this month – mulch and water.
Now’s also a good time to grow celery and leeks. Remember a good tip for ensuring your household has plenty of lettuce for summer salads is to stagger your planting. Every couple of weeks simply plant a few more seedlings to ensure you have a constant supply.
Did you know?

Chives are actually the smallest species of the edible onions? And they have insect-repelling properties that can be used to control pests in your garden?

Water, water and mulch

While it may feel like we’ve hardly had a summer this year, for most of the country the weather started to warm up towards the end of January. This means it’s more important than ever to keep on top of your watering and mulching.

In the last month we’ve been busy tidying up and improving our planting areas at the nursery. We trained another of our staff members to work on our seeding machines and I realised I may need to do a bit more gym work and training to take on the best of the best at Super Karting – as proven by my performance at Manfield during Jan. Oh well, as they say, practice makes perfect…right?

Happy gardening

Henri Ham
Awapuni Nurseries

Beauty in a basket

Do you have tough soil that makes gardening at your place more stressful than satisfying? Or are you keen to introduce some Provence-inspired sophistication to your deck, patio or courtyard? Then look no further than hanging baskets for colour, pizzazz, and simple elegance.

Not only do hanging baskets look good, they soften the edges of verandas, doors, walls and pergolas.

What's more, they're pretty simple to create. All you need to buy is a basket, plastic saucer and some sphagnum moss from your local garden centre.

When searching for the perfect basket, look for one that's made of wire and is at least 350mm in diameter. Bigger is definitely better in this case and a wire basket means you can poke flowers through the holes.

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Chives – the handy herb

Most herbs are handy to have in the garden. When you’re cooking a new Jamie Oliver recipe and you need a sprig of rosemary or a few basil leaves, it’s nice to know you don’t have to pay top dollar for a few stems from your supermarket.

But what makes chives handier than most, is you don’t need to re-plant it each year like annual herbs, and you can simply chop off what you need, when you need it, with a pair of scissors.

The only real trick to growing chives is making sure you remember where you planted it during winter! This grass lookalike will go dormant and die down during the colder months of the year but pop up again come spring.

We’ve just moved into a new house and I haven’t had time to build a good vege garden yet, but I have planted chives.

I simply found a corner of a garden bed near to the kitchen, and planted a couple of standard and garlic chives seedlings there. This means come winter when I’m re-planting my brassicas (cauliflower, broccoli, cabbage etc), I don’t have to worry about digging up my dormant chives by accident. I just steer clear of the corners of the plot.

Which reminds me, next time the kids tell me they’re ‘bor-ed’ I’ll get them busy painting some stone markers so there’s no mistaking where the chives live.

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Reaping the rewards

This quick and easy pasta dish is a tasty alternative to the endless summer BBQs. It’s simple enough for even the most novice cook to tackle. And, most importantly, most of its ingredients can be sourced straight from your garden. Click here for the recipe.

Making friends

Remember, you can also stay in touch with Awapuni Nurseries on Facebook and Twitter. Follow or like us and get updates on gardening events, what to plant now, ask us questions and enter competitions to win seedlings.

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