August 2015

Cauliflower cuisine

We’re sure some of you can remember the days when white sauce was about as exciting as cauliflower cuisine got. But these days people are using cauliflower in all sorts of different ways.

We tried successfully substituting blended cauliflower as ‘fried rice’ recently – check out our Instagram page to see the results. And we’ll be sure to give some of these tasty sounding dishes like cauliflower, pomegranate and pistachio salad, and cauliflower cake from Yotam Ottolenghi a go too.

Burning question

The leaves on my bay tree look yellow and are wilting. Any ideas what's wrong?

As surprising as it seems, it sounds like it has frost burn. Make sure it doesn't have too much mulch over winter and put a frost cloth over it.

Click here to email Tod your burning question today.

Click-clack your coriander

Here’s a hot tip from @madeleinenzecochick to keep your coriander fresh. Madeline puts a cloth under the coriander and one on top to absorb any moisture and puts it in a glass container with a click clack lid.

According to Madeline this keeps the coriander fresh for much longer than other methods. Do you have any other tips we should know for keeping cut herbs fresher longer?

If you do please send us an email, we’d love to hear them.

Fresh flowers longer

If you're going to be growing flowers perfect for cutting and displaying in the home, you'll want to know how to keep them fresher longer. We've mentioned a few of these tips before, like using a floral preservative and avoiding hot spots when placing them around the house.

For more advice on how to get the best out of your cut flowers, and floral preservative recipes visit here.

Sneaky spinach smoothies

As much as it would be nice for your kids to eat every vegetable presented to them sometimes it’s just not that easy. That's why we like this tip from Happy Healthy Mama on how to sneak some veges into their diets by adding pureed spinach to smoothies. And what we like best is her advice to blend up a whole lot of spinach at once and freeze them for easy access at a later date.

Same great seedlings, new look label

After months and months of work behind the scenes we're very excited to show you the new and improved labels for our newspaper wrapped seedling bundles. As most of you will remember, our vege and herb labels were what some might call very basic in design! Now every single label has a picture, instructions on how to grow and a brief description of the plant. And don’t worry, other than the labels nothing else has changed in our bundles. You’ll still get the same number of quality Awapuni seedlings in each bundle for the same price.

We think these changes will make it easier, particularly for our more beginner gardeners, to work out which variety of plant to pick – not all of us know whether we’re after a triumph or an iceberg lettuce based on just the name. And each category of seedlings now has a different colour banner across the top so you can easily see on the shelf where all the herbs (green) are. And likewise for all the vege (orange) and flower (pink) bundles.

If you know us at all you know we don't like to waste things, so we’ll be slowly putting the new labels on the bundles as we use up the old ones. We hope you like them as much as we do. And be sure to read Cultivated News next month as we'll be running a competition to celebrate the official start of spring and our new-look labels.

Happy gardening

Henri Ham

A gift from your garden

Let's face it; anyone can pop into a florist or have flowers delivered. But nothing has quite the same personal touch as a bunch picked by your own fair hands. I like to think so anyway.

That’s why we’ve done the hard work for you and bundled together a mix of seasonal and popular plants like carnations, cornflowers, poppy, sweet pea and more that make great cut flowers. Not only will you be able
to brighten up your home or office, you’ll also have the perfect gift on hand (just wrap with some fancy paper).

Keen to put your florist’s hat on? Pop down to your local supermarket, Bunnings or The Warehouse, and grab yourself an Awapuni cut flowers bundle. Or head to our online store and get your seedlings delivered direct to your door.

When you're ready to plant, dig a small hole and insert your first seedling. Space each subsequent seedling about 20cm apart. When you've finished planting, be sure to revisit the site every two weeks or so to add a general fertiliser to the soil. I find this helps keep the plants in full flourish. If it's hot, you'll also need to keep them well watered.

In just a few or more weeks your plants should start to flower – just in time to brighten up your home.

Spinach: a backyard staple

If you’re like most busy home gardeners these days, you probably only grow a selection of the vegetables you eat. That’s why it’s important to choose carefully when it comes to which ones are worth your time and attention, and which are better bought in store.

For me, spinach should definitely be on the ‘home-grown’ list. After
all, it’s one of the most flexible veges
I can think of, adding flavour and nutrition to almost any evening meal – from pastas and pizzas, to casseroles and quiches. And with the big supermarkets selling it for around $4 a bag (or more), it makes financial sense too.

So, when is the perfect time to plant? Actually, anytime of the year. At Awapuni we grow two types of spinach seedlings. One that is great for growing in hot weather and another that will thrive right now in the cooler weather. And you don’t need to worry about which to choose, we only sell one variety at a time – depending on the season.

So, next time you’re down at your local supermarket, Bunnings or The Warehouse, grab yourself some Traditional Value or Pop’n’Grow Awapuni seedlings. Or head to our online store and get your seedlings delivered direct to your door. Don’t forget, if you order six or more items from our online store, we'll deliver for free (or for just $4 to a rural address).

When it comes to planting, look for a spot with full sun and partial shade. You’ll also need soil that’s moist, and with a ph around 6-7 (if it’s too low, add lime). I also recommend digging in some compost or a good general fertiliser like nitrophoska blue.

Plant each seedling about 20cm apart. If you've been following my advice recently, you’ll know to plant them in between your brassicas (cauliflower, broccoli, etc.) as spinach neatly fills in the gaps needed for these slow-growers. Want a constant supply of this dinner-time staple? Plant more every couple of weeks.

Read on for more details...

Complimentary companions

Nasturtiums (pictured here with yellow calendula) aren’t a favourite of all gardeners but they’re a great natural repellent against several pesky pests and in particular - aphids. These plant lice will be all over your garden at the moment and especially like the shoots on new roses. So if you want to try a natural repellent, plant orange coloured nasturtium around your roses.  

They’re also said to repel woolly aphids which are fans of apple trees. And if you grow them in amongst your vege patch they may attract and distract insects which would normally first feast on your brassica plants like broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage and kale.

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 nasturtium as a companion plant (good or bad) we'd love to hear about it. Email us here.


August is a good time to...

Plant new brassicas (broccoli, cauliflower, kale, cabbage etc) for harvesting in summer and new season potatoes, yams and kumaras for enjoying at Christmas. Grow lettuce, peas, broad beans, silver beet, beetroot and new season rhubarb and plant fruit trees.  

If you want to grow new lawn, start preparing the soil now. Finish off your rose pruning and watch out for aphids on everything!

Read on for more details...


Congratulations to the following Cultivated News subscribers, Brenda from Palmerston North, Lynette from Huntly, Valda from Taupo and Hazel from Otane who have won Awapuni Nurseries seedlings simply for being subscribed during July.

Remember, we're giving away seedling bundles to Cultivated News subscribers every month until the end of 2015, so stay subscribed for your chance to win and remember to check your inbox in case you’re one of our lucky winners.


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: E: