September 2015

Herbs help chicken health

Ask any gardener who has chickens and we’re sure they’ve got at least one story where the chooks were lucky to get away with their lives after making their way into the garden. So this may not appeal to everyone, but some believe letting your chooks dig around in herb plants gives them exposure to herbs that are rich in vitamins and minerals as well as various healing properties.

And, according to Natural Chicken Keeping, putting dried or fresh herbs in your chooks nest boxes can also help prevent infestation by insects such as lice, mites, fleas etc. 'Depending on the herbs chosen, they can also have anti-bacterial properties, perform as natural wormers, have rodent repelling properties and help stimulate egg production.'

We’d love to hear from anyone who uses herbs to keep their chickens in good health. Flick us an email here.

Burning question

Should I feed my fruit trees and if so, when and what?

Yes if you want lots of fruit on your trees feeding is important and now, late winter/early spring, is the time of the year to do it. I recommend sheep manure pellets from your local garden centre (or woolshed!), which are a great natural fertiliser.

Click here to email Tod your burning question today.

Did you know?

If a recipe asks for a 'Bouquet garni' it means a small bundle of culinary herbs tied together with string.

Traditionally they included thyme, parsley and a bay leaf but you can add any herbs including rosemary. Put into a pot with stews, soups and stock and just remember to remove before serving.

Reader recommendations

Caroline says she grew nasturtiums under her granny smith apple tree and has never had a problem with codling moth. Something to think about...

Irene says she wraps her iceberg lettuce in tin foil and it lasts for weeks in the fridge. And Cathy’s friend gave her this tip. Pick fresh herbs, wash them immediately before they discolour, pat them dry gently then chop the herbs up with scissors and put them in a bowl with olive oil and toss so they’re covered with just a small amount of oil.

Then freeze them in the oil in ice trays or anything else suitable. They freeze beautifully and can be added as ingredients to salad dressings or other dishes.

Thanks for the great tips and feedback guys!

Garden products now available at Awapuni

We’re excited to announce we’re now selling gardening tools, pots and accessories on our online store. So, if you’re in need of some gardening gloves, secateurs or a 35lt tub like the one pictured here with our dog Alvin, be sure to check out the Gardening Products available on our website.

As we mentioned last month, we’re also very excited about our new look seedling bundle labels.

We’re slowly putting them on to seedling bundles as we use up the old labels, so don’t worry if you haven’t seen them yet in your
store or on your order, you will soon. And we also mentioned in the August edition of Cultivated News that we’d run a competition to celebrate this month. So we’re running a giveaway this month just for you – our Cultivated News subscribers. If you’d like to be in with a chance to win six seedling bundles to kick off your spring planting and a pair of garden gloves in either small, medium or large scroll down for more details.

Happy gardening

Henri Ham

Lovely little alyssum

If you’re after a little colour in your garden this spring, or a lot for that matter, look no further than lovely alyssum. This dainty, fragrant plant flowers from early spring through to late autumn and produces a mass of pretty little flowers.

Its hardiness and compactness makes it great for growing in borders, edging and rock gardens.

It’s also prefect for planting in containers, hanging baskets and pots because of its tendency to spill over the edges. What’s more, it’s super easy to grow.

Awapuni stocks two varieties of alyssum – white and wonderland mixed which is a combination of bright blues, purples and also white. Both grow to a height of about 20cm.

You can grab your alyssum seedlings from the online store or next time you’re at your local supermarket or Bunnings. And be sure to check out the new labels on our seedling bundles. Each bundle still contains the same great quality seedlings for the same great price, just with a smarter, brighter label that includes simple planting instructions.

Read on for more details...

Dual-purpose creeping thyme

I’m a big fan of plants that do more than one thing. For example, fragrant sweet peas are great for cut flowers and have a fantastic scent too.

Lavender looks and smells lovely and also attracts bees. And, one of my favourite dual-purpose herbs is wild creeping thyme. It tastes and can be used in just the same way as regular thyme but it's also excellent grown as ground cover or lawn.

Unlike standard thyme, which grows up, creeping thyme spreads out along the ground making it perfect for filling in gaps in your garden or lawn. All it needs is some well-drained soil in full sun to light shade.

When you’ve found the right spot for your creeping thyme, also known as wandering thyme, jump online and order some seedlings from If you need any new gardening tools or accessories, like gloves, you can also grab some from the new garden products section of our online store. Alternatively, pick up your seedlings from our stands when you’re next at your local supermarket or Bunnings.

Read on for more details...

Complimentary companions

If you’re a household of carnivores then sage is a very handy herb to have in the garden. Its leaves compliment all sorts of meats including chicken, fish and pork. And its complimentary powers don’t just start in the kitchen. Sage is said to protect cabbage from cabbage-moth and carrots from carrot-fly. It’s also said to enhance the growth of both carrots and cabbage, and also strawberries and tomatoes.  

To grab some sage seedlings head to our online store and for tips on growing sage 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 sage as a companion plant (good or bad) we'd love to hear about it. Email us here.


September is a good time to...

Plant new season veges like silverbeet, spinach, lettuce and cucumber. Don’t forget dwarf beans, scarlet runners and tomatoes. Protect sensitive seedlings like zucchini, capsicum and tomato from any late frosts. Cut the seed heads off your rhubarb stalks before they sap the energy from the plants. And check regularly as they will pop up quickly.  

Lastly, add spring-time colour to your garden by planting livingstone daisies, lobelia, sweet peas, dianthus, dahlia, larkspur and petunia.

Read on for more details...

Win with Awapuni

It’s officially spring time, we’ve got new labels and we're now selling gardening products online, so we decided to celebrate with a seedling giveaway just for Cultivated News subscribers.

If you'd like to win six Awapuni seedling bundles (a mix of herb, vege and flower) and a pair of latex gardening gloves in either small, medium or large simply
email us at and tell us something you like or don't like about Cultivated News or a topic or subject you'd like for us to include in future editions.

Please include your physical address and phone number with your entry. Entry must be received by 20 September 2015 and is only open to Cultivated News subscribers. We will randomly select two winners from all entries and the winners will be contacted directly to arrange delivery of their prize. Your contact details will only be used to arrange delivery of the prize if you win.


Congratulations to the following Cultivated News subscribers, Ainslie from Whangarei, Sharon from Christchurch, Cheltenham School, Claire from Waimauku, Heather from Waikanae and Renwick from Wellington who have won Awapuni Nurseries seedlings simply for being subscribed during August.

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: E: