Products & Techniques
Over 200 different varieties of seedlings - flowers, herbs, vegetables and natives - are grown at Awapuni Nurseries. All our bundles of seedlings are wrapped in recycled newspaper to keep the seedlings moist until planted and the cost down for you – our customer.
Nursery process for our newspaper wrapped seedlings
Our seedlings are grown in re-usable plastic trays. The trays are designed to have separate compartments, so plants grow with separate root systems – rather than all tangled together. We put potting mix in the trays and then put them through our innovative seeding machine.
The seeding machine works with compressed air and a vacuum. The seeds are sown with a drum vacuum seeder and then covered with a light covering of sawdust to keep them moist. The trays are then watered and placed in our germination chamber. Our germination chamber is a refrigerated container, which is moisture, light and temperature controlled.
When the seeds start to germinate, which usually takes from three to 10 days, we move the trays to a bench in our greenhouse. The plants take from six to 12 weeks to reach a mature enough size to be sold. Their roots need to be well enough formed that they hold the soil in cell together and can be easy planted by our customers.
When the plants are ready for sale, we use a plug popper to push the plants up out of the tray. This is basically a manual foot operated machine, which holds the tray and has small pegs, which pop up and push the plants roots out of the tray.
Prior to their dispatch, we wrap all seedlings in newspaper. This unique method of packaging keeps the seedlings moist until they are planted. Not only is the procedure cost effective, the newspaper is also biodegradable. Awapuni Nurseries is the only seedling company in New Zealand that uses this unique method of packaging. That means if you see seedlings wrapped in newspaper – you can be sure the seedlings are ours. The wrapped bundles pack well and are easily transported throughout New Zealand.
Depending on the type of plant there are either four to nine plants in each bundle for out standard range and between 10 and 25 plants in our Bulk bundles. All plants have their own individual root system, which means they are quite literally guaranteed to grow.
Nursery process for our native and established plants
At times gardeners and landscapers want a plant that is even more robust and bigger than a seedling so they can fast-forward the pleasure received from that plant. That’s why we have introduced ‘established plants’ to our product list.
An established plant is a large plant which has had extra months of growing in our nursery. Each plant native plant is sold in a PB2 sized, soft, black plastic potting bag with 1.4l of soil and will instantly give the garden appeal. We've recently moved our established herbs, flowers and vege into PB3/4 bags to make shipping them to our customers more convenient.
Gardeners can buy an established plant of many of our existing varieties, but mostly perennials and natives - and it will depend on the season. Around spring, you can expect to see over 50% of our plant varieties available as established plants.