October 2015

Stunning sunflowers

Who remembers growing sunflowers as a kid?

It's such a great way to get children inspired and interested in gardening, and now's the time to plant them. You can grow your plants next to a wall or in a pot but if you’ve got the space why not help grow your kids imaginations too and build a sunflower house?

Visit here for instructions on how to grow your own sunflower house.

Burning question

My spring bulbs have all finished flowering and the long leaves are looking messy do I cut them off?

It is best not to remove foliage until it has completely died back. While the leaves are still green the bulb is storing nutrients vital for next seasons flowering. Once a week gently tug on the foliage, if it readily comes loose then you can remove the leaves if you want to tidy up. While you're tidying up, now is the time to lightly fertilise and water on the surface of where your bulbs are planted. This will help them prepare for next year's flowering.

Thanks to Paul at NZbulbs for answering this month's burning question. And, if you’d like to get some more bulbs in the ground it's not too late to plant gladioli, zantedeschia, hippeastrums or main crop potatoes which you can find at NZbulbs.co.nz.

Click here to email Tod your burning question today.

Fresh broccoli salad

Often we post links to recipes we’d like to try but haven’t got round to it yet. Well we can confirm (several times over) that this fresh broccoli salad is delicious. So if you're harvesting your broccoli at the moment be sure to check it out. And if you haven’t got any broccoli in the garden, maybe you should!

Beginner vege garden basics

Have you often thought about creating a vege garden but didn't know where to start?
Or have you previously tried your hand at growing herbs and the like but without success? Then you need to read Tod's guide to creating the beginner vege garden.

This must-read article for any beginner or wannabe gardener includes Tod's top tips for what to build the garden out of and then what to plant to ensure you get results.

Visit here for his guide. And remember, if you’ve got a specific question just flick Tod an email and he'll do his best to steer you in the right direction.

Complimentary companions

We don’t want to harp on about Labour weekend, but it’s also the time of the year when many Kiwis get their tomato plants in the ground. So here are a couple of companion planting tips for your tomatoes. They grow well with celery, parsley, carrots, chives and asparagus. But aren’t fans of rosemary, potatoes or fennel. And plant French marigolds (pictured) next to tomatoes to protect them from nematodes.

To grab some tomato seedlings head to our online store and for tips on growing tomatoes visit here.

Remember, these are companion planting tips and methods we've picked up along the way or heard of from other gardeners. We're not promising they'll work 100% but they're worth a shot in any garden – particularly if you’re trying to promote natural growth and keep it pesticide free.

For more information on companion planting visit here. And if you've had any experience with tomato as a companion plant (good or bad) we'd love to hear about it. Email us here.

Buy seedlings and be into win

The unofficial gardening weekend of the year is almost upon us – Labour weekend. So to celebrate we’re putting every person who orders seedlings online from Awapuni Nurseries between 1-25 October in the draw to win a Paradise Planter, potting mix and enough Awapuni flower seedlings to fill the whole planter.  

If you follow us on Facebook or Instagram you’ll have seen we planted a paradise planter with some of our hanging basket bundle seedlings around three months ago and have been providing updates on how it’s going. We had such great feedback on the photos we’ve now partnered with Paradise Planters to give a couple of these great prize packs away.

Check out our facebook page for another chance to win one.

Lastly, if there’s ever something you've wanted to grow but haven't got round to it now will be the time to give it a crack. The weather in October should 'technically' provide some of the best conditions of the year for growing. And now is the time when you'll see the greatest range and selection of seedlings available at our online shop or in stores. So what are you waiting for? Get ordering, and get planting.

Happy gardening

Henri Ham

Reader recommendations

Recently we’ve been receiving regular gardening tips from some of our Cultivated News readers. We’ve been sharing these tips with the rest of our readers but thought it was time we started rewarding too. So, from now on we will choose the best tip from our readers and the sender of the tip will receive a selection of Awapuni seedling bundles.  

This month there are actually two winners who both sent in very similar tips relating to our previous story on herbs helping chicken health. Lesley from Dunedin says keep a clove of garlic in the water that your chooks drink to keep away worms and internal bugs. Liz from Wellington says put pieces of garlic into their food to do the same – but not too much as it can apparently flavour the eggs.

Congrats to Lesley and Liz and if you’d like to win seedlings send your best gardening related tip to media@awapuni.co.nz.

For terms and conditions on entry to the readers recommendation competition please visit here.

The parsley with personality

You'd probably have to be stuck under a culinary rock to not be aware of flat leaf parsley these days. But it wasn't too long ago that when someone said parsley, people thought of the curly variety.

It's good to know we’ve moved on from these times and now not only are we aware that parsley can be used for more than just a garnish, we also know there are two types available for adding flavour.

I’m a big fan of having both varieties in my garden. While I tend to use them interchangeably, it’s good to know that when I need it I have on hand some parsley with personality – as I like to call flat leaf parsley.

Also known as Italian parsley, I think flat leaf has a stronger flavour than the curly kind. Although, in saying that the taste of both may change depending on where your parsley is planted and how old it is.

It’s also good to know that parsley in general is a great source of vitamins K, A and C and is meant to have other beneficial characteristics including the ability to be a breath freshener! You can grab your Awapuni flat leaf and curly parsley seedlings from your local supermarket or bunnings.

Alternatively, head to awapuni.co.nz and get them delivered direct to your door. Plus if you purchase anything from our online shop before Labour weekend you’ll go in the draw to win a Paradise Planter (a type of hanging basket), potting mix and enough Awapuni flower seedlings to fill the whole planter.

Once you've got your seedlings look for a sunny, well-drained spot in your herb or vege garden to plant. Parsley will grow well in just about anything so don’t forget to consider planter options like pots or hanging baskets.

The trick with parsley is to eat it as its ready and use it before it goes to seed. To ensure a steady supply, stagger your planting. That means every few weeks or couple of months plant another parsley seedling. As one reaches its end the other will be ready to plunder. And don’t forget, when you’re using your parsley with personality for more than just a garnish, the stems are also pretty tasty.

Beautiful blooming bedding flowers

If you’ve got an area in your garden where you want to create a mass of colour, you can’t go past petunias. They are prolific bloomers that, if looked after, will continue to flower all summer.

At Awapuni we stock nearly 20 different varieties of petunia – depending on the season – which grow to heights of between 25 and 50cm.

And we’re bound to have one or more colours you like. You can choose from plain purple, red, pink or white. How about purple with dashes of white like on the primetime violet star? Or the duo red and white variety which, like the name suggests, produces a beautiful mixture of red and white flower?

Not sure what colour to select? Then try one of our mixed bundles and we’ll do the deciding for you.

Don't have a big garden to fill with bedding flowers? Don't worry about that either. All petunias really need to flourish is a sunny, free-draining spot. They grow equally as well in pots and hanging baskets making them perfect for just about any garden.

You can grab your Awapuni Nurseries petunia seedlings from your local supermarket, Bunnings or the Warehouse. Alternatively, head to our online store and have them delivered direct to your door.

Once you’ve selected your seedlings and sunny spot to plant, simply dig small holes, around 3cm deep and 25cm apart, and plant.

Be sure to watch out for slugs or trying using our beer bait. It also pays to keep an eye out for aphids. If you spot these pesky pests, a general insecticide or spray of organic alternative, neem oil will sort that problem.

And make sure to keep them watered. If you’re not sure how thirsty they are, stick your finger in the soil 2cm deep. If the soil is dry, they will need a drink.

Then sit back and wait just four to six weeks for your beautiful petunias to bloom. Remember to pick off dead heads to encourage re-flowering.


October is a good time to...

Grow virtually anything you’ve ever wanted to try. The warmer soil temperature and moderate weather means now is a great time to get busy in the garden. If you’re new to gardening try planting easy-to-grow and quick producing seedlings like lettuce, courgette, cucumber, spinach and beet. Or herbs like thyme, oregano and mint.  

The more advanced gardeners should be getting carrots, beans, peas, basil and tomatoes in the ground around now. And brighten up your flowerbeds with impatiens, lobelia, pansies and anything else available from our online store.

If you’re keen to get some bulbs in the garden, it’s not too late to plant gladioli, zantedeschia and hippeastrums as well as main crop potatoes. All of which are available from our friends at NZbulbs.co.nz.


Congratulations to Cultivated News subscribers Lynne from Whangarei and Pip from Silverdale who are the winners of the spring competition we ran in the last edition of Cultivated News. And thank you to everyone who entered. We will be looking over all of your feedback and seeing where we can make improvements in Cultivated News.

Lastly, congrats to the following subscribers who won seedlings
simply for being subscribed during September: Pam from Waiuku, Angela and Tina from Wellington, Colleen from Waitara, Florence from Auckland and Joanna from Rotorua.

Remember, we're giving away seedling bundles to Cultivated News subscribers every month during 2015, so stay subscribed for your chance to win.


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