June 2012

What is companion planting?

Certain plants, when grown next to other plants, will encourage favourable growing conditions. For example, basil is a great companion to plant next to tomatoes - it will help keep away whitefly. Or plant lavender and it will attract bees to your garden - great for pollination. Companion plants can help with nutrient uptake, add flavour to other plants, repel pests and increase yield.
Prune in June

Depending on where you live, late June to mid August is the time to prune your roses. Not sure how to do it? Click here to have a crack with Tod's instructions or, better still, check out a live rose pruning demonstration. The New Zealand Rose Society is hosting rose pruning demonstrations all over the country in the next couple of months.
Burning question...

My roses have black spots on the leaves. What should I do?

Because we're coming into winter the roses will soon lose their leaves and go dormant. Instead of leaving the leaves or putting them in compost, dispose of them with your rubbish waste. This will stop the spread of black spot to other plants and back to the rose itself. When you prune the rose also spray it with a fungicide.

Click here to email Tod your burning question today.

Get ready to grow garlic

The shortest day (21 June) of the year is just around the corner, which means it's time to start thinking about planting garlic. Look for a well-drained spot - pots, hanging basket or any available space in your raised garden will suit. Add some compost, a little bit of potting mix and mix in some Nitrophoska Blue fertiliser. Plant single cloves twice the depth of the actual clove, compost over the top and don't fill in with soil. Your garlic will be ready to harvest around the longest day on 21 December.
June is a
good time to...

Prune and tidy up your roses and trees. Protect your cauliflowers from frost and other crops from snails and slugs. Fertilise your soil and plant garlic and shallots.

Read on for more details.

The healthier way to fundraise

For a wee while now at Awapuni we've been working on a project that we're really excited about. We've quietly run a few trials to perfect our systems and now we're ready to tell the country. So, without further ado... I'd like to announce the official launch of our school fundraising scheme.

Got a school project you need to raise money for? Forget chocolate, selling seedlings is the way to go. For every seedling bundle sold through our fundraising scheme $1 will go directly to the school. All seedlings are sold at the same price they cost online or in stores. We work with you to decide the right time to fundraise. And, no matter what size your school is or where you are, we want to chat.

So, if your school is keen to raise money the healthier way this spring - get in contact with Joanne at Awapuni via email or on 0800 33 2000 for more details and to register.

Happy gardening

Henri Ham
Awapuni Nurseries

Broaden horizons with beans

Broad beans are one of my favourite veges to grow and, of course, eat.

Like most of the over 200 varieties in Awapuni's seedlings range, they're super simple to plant. They're lots of fun to grow with kids. And, they taste great.

Did you know, as well as being able to eat the beans, you can also chomp down on the tops of the plant itself? Cover your eyes vegetarians - bean plant tops mixed with a pork bone and some potato taste fantastic!

However you like to eat your beans, I've got some tips on how to grow them.

First of all you need to grab some seedlings. So, next time you're down at your local supermarket, Bunnings or The Warehouse grab some of our Traditional Value broad beans.

Alternatively, head to our online store and get your seedlings delivered direct to your door.

Next, you need to find the right spot to plant. The common misconception about broad beans is they need something to grow up. Not true. Broad beans will need to be tied up, but they lean against each other and grow across the ground.

What's important is ensuring the soil where you plant them has a high pH (around 5.5 to 6.5). Not sure what the pH level of your soil is? Most garden centres sell kits alternatively there are also companies which will test your soil for a small fee.

If the pH level of your soil could go higher, try adding a little bit of lime. If you're still not sure of the pH level, I recommend adding some lime for good measure anyway.

Once you've got the soil acidity levels just right, you're ready to plant.

If you've never seen a broad bean seedling it can give you a little bit of a surprise when you unwrap the newspaper. While I'm probably teaching experienced gardeners how to suck eggs, for those who don't know, broad bean seedlings are broad beans, which have been germinated (see the picture).

Read More

Add colour with calendulas

Calendulas. Every garden should have them. Not only are they attractive, they've got some amazing anti-viral, anti-genotoxic and anti-inflammatory medicinal properties.

Commonly known as winter marigolds, calendula are quite different to summer marigolds. They look different and they will seed down at the end of the season - something your regular marigolds don't do.

Growing calendulas is really straightforward, and even easier if you have a stream in or around your garden as they love moisture. All you need to do is dig a hole, approximately 3cm deep, spacing each seedling about 10cm apart.

Place your seedling inside the hole and cover its roots with soil. If you're not one for order, you'll be pleased to know you don't have to line the seedlings up in rows like many other types of plants. That's because calendula like to sprawl across the soil.

In about four to six weeks your calendulas should start to flower. At this point, they'll probably need a bit more watering than normal. To check how thirsty they are, simply put your finger in the soil about 2cm deep. If it's dry, they need a drink.

Read More

Feed your flying friends

Here's a great project for young and old alike. Take an empty drink bottle, some wooden spoons and you've got yourself a fantastic bird feeder.

Rising cost of labour, seed, potting mix and couriers

We want to remind you that due to increasing costs to produce our seedlings, from July 1 our Traditional Value bundles (the ones wrapped in newspaper) will go from $3.85 to $4.29 each. Our Pop'n'Grows (the ones in biodegradable pots) will remain the same price. Thanks for continuing to support us as we strive to provide you with the best herb, vege and flower seedlings on the market.

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