March 2015

Burning question

I've got a real problem with slugs and snails in my garden. Do you have any non-toxic ways of keeping them at bay?

You could try sprinkling any of the following around your plants to stop the slugs: diatomaceous earth, crushed eggshells, lime, wood ash, wood shavings and sawdust. All are usually only effective when kept dry.

Or you could try our tried and true beer bait. The fermented yeast in beer proves to be the downfall of most slugs.

Hand picking snails out of your garden at night can be effective but research recently showed they can travel distances of up to 25 metres in a 24-hour period so make sure you 'dispose' of them well, rather than moving to another close location.

If anyone else has some hot tips for getting rid of these slimy suckers, please let us know and we'll share it in the next edition of Cultivated News.

Click here to email Tod your burning question today.

Can't beat beetroot

Is there anything beetroot doesn’t go well in? Hummus, chocolate cake, burgers…the list goes on. Now’s a great time to plant this incredibly versatile vegetable in your garden to ensure you have it in your pantry when the need arises. Like when you want to make any of the aforementioned meals or this tasty beetroot salad.

For tips on how to grow visit here seedlings check out our online shop where you can find both the cylindra and round varieties.

Complimentary companions

If you’re planning on harvesting leeks this autumn and winter and you haven’t already planted yours, it’s a good idea to get them in the ground now. And celery, carrots and spinach are the perfect companions. Grow your leeks and carrots in alternate rows to protect each other from insects.

Place your spinach in amongst your leek seedlings to optimise the use of your space – the spinach will be ready to harvest before the leeks need the room. And add some celery next to all of the above, as it likes the same conditions and soil nutrition.

Visit the online shop to grab your leek seedlings or visit here for Tod's tips on how to plant.

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

Nurturing the nursery

Autumn has technically arrived. Though the only thing that can be guaranteed regarding weather and seasons is that you can’t guarantee anything. Which is why we’ve been busy putting the finishing touches on our last glasshouse to be renovated.

This picture shows the new roof vents being installed before we put all the glass back on. It's been a huge job but the results are great. We will have twice the space (now 4500 square metres) for tender plants in winter and early spring than we used to have. For you this means the more delicate plants will be available earlier, giving you a head start on the season. For us it means not so much worrying about the early nasty weather upsetting the plants.

Happy gardening
Henri Ham

Create colour with cornflowers

Summer is officially over. And what a great summer the country had this year. But now the weather is starting to cool off, which means it’s time to think about planting for the colder months.

Typically when people think of autumn gardens they think of darker, more subdued colours, but
this doesn’t need to be the case. Cornflowers will add a splash of vibrant colour to any garden. What’s more, they’re really easy to grow.

Cornflowers come in several colours including pink, red, lavender, blue or white. Our tall red variety grows well next to stocks and snapdragons because they like the same conditions and they’ll hold each other up. I also like to plant this variety amongst my lavender, roses or delphiniums for the same reasons.

All you need is a sunny, well-drained spot with soil that isn’t too sour. Before you start planting, I recommend adding a good general fertiliser like nitrophoska blue or blood and bone to help give the seedlings a good kick-start.

Then dig a little hole and plant each seedling around 10cm apart. They’re quite upright growing plants and planting at this space apart will allow them to support the weight of each other. Don’t have much space? Our mixed dwarf variety grows really well in pots. Try planting cornflowers in the centre of your pot and lobelias around the outside.

In around six to eight weeks your plants will start to flower and provide a splash of colour for autumn.

Read on for more details...

Simply splendid spring bulbs

For spring flowering bulbs to brighten up your garden, you can't go past the wide range offered by NZ Bulbs. Located in Feilding, not far from us, they have spring flowering bulbs available for ordering right now. From anemones to tulips, NZ Bulbs have the widest range and latest releases available.  

Visit their website and shop online or call them on 06 323 4516 to request a free catalogue.

For Tod's top tips on how to plant your bulbs, alongside some complimentary Awapuni annuals, visit here. And be sure to also check out this great fact sheet from NZ Bulbs on how and why to chill your bulbs for great flowering tulips.

Mixed veges: the fresh variety

Think mixed veges, and you’ll probably conjure up an image of a frozen plastic bag brimming with peas, beans, carrots and corn – a favourite for many kids. Although I certainly have nothing against the snap-frozen, bagged variety, our Awapuni mixed veges are a different kettle of fish altogether – bundles of complementary, fresh seedlings, designed to make sure you end up with enough of each vegetable type to feed your small family, rather than the whole neighbourhood.

Take our cabbage, cauliflower and silverbeet bundle, for example. Not only are these winter staples perfect for adding nutrition to hearty winter meals, they also enjoy the same conditions and grow well alongside each other. Convinced? Simply grab an Awapuni Nurseries cabbage, cauliflower and silverbeet mixed vege pack from your local supermarket, Bunnings, or The Warehouse. Or head to our online store and have your seedlings delivered direct to your door. While you’re there, check out our other mixed herb and vege bundles. Once you’ve got your seedlings, it’s time to find the perfect planting spot.

Read on for more details...


March is a good time to

Harvest the last of your runner beans. Also harvest your sunflower seeds for planting towards the end of the year. Fertilise before you start your autumn planting.

Pickle gherkins. Grow leeks, spinach and beetroot. Remember to keep watering your garden. And add colour to your garden by growing stocks, snapdragons and polyanthus.

Read on for more details...


Congratulations to the following Cultivated News subscribers Zelda from Auckland, Bram and Paula from Palmerston North, Christine from Pukekohe and Melanie from Wellington who have won Awapuni Nurseries seedlings simply for being subscribed during February.

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: