Autumn 2020

From the nursery

If you’re like us, you will be wishing it would rain. On the hot 28-30°C days, we need to water our seedlings three times a day and there are so many things that can go wrong. If we couldn't water them for half a day, we would have a disaster on our hands. For that reason, we have multiple levels of redundancy in the watering. We have two watering tractors, two bores, two pumps, and a diesel stand-by water pump. This year we have needed all that redundancy, with tractors and pumps failing. Even a superhot Saturday with no electricity at the nursery meant the diesel stand-by water pump paid for itself.

This season we also invested a lot into irrigation sprinklers, and this has been well worth it. Last summer we had tractors watering from 7am-8pm. Now with the sprinklers ability to water larger areas at a time, our team can get the job done quicker and get home at a reasonable hour.

We are very fortunate that my dad had the vision to put a deep bore down more than 40 years ago. This still provides all the water we need. The water comes from 525 feet below ground - with a pressure of 16psi, at around 16°C. I hope where ever you are, that you have enough water or are getting some much-needed rain. We need to get those winter veges and flowers growing!

Happy gardening,
Henri Ham

Plant now for autumn vege

After the dry, hot summer most of us have had, it feels a little strange writing about autumn and winter vege just yet. But as many a gardener knows - preparation is the key to the success of any vege patch. So, if you want to enjoy plenty of vege from your garden in the cooler months, you really need to get started now.

First start by clearing out any old plants that have passed their time. I’ll be pulling out old tomato stalks, dried up courgette plants and many herbs that have gone to seed.

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Pickling your produce

When your vege garden is overloaded with cucumbers, chillies, capsicums, zucchinis and gherkins, it’s time to get pickling. First salt them overnight, rinse, then pack into a sterilised jar and cover with spiced vinegar. For tips on pickling, go here. And remember, pickles turn out best when you use fresh veges, so don’t wait until your veges have past their best in the fridge to start your pickling.


Or you can ferment your veges. Fermented food basically means preserving it, (but without the vinegar that a pickle uses) and gives all sorts of health benefits to your immunity to digestive system. Sauerkraut is one of the easiest ferments to make – made from cabbage, salt and carraway seeds. This recipe will help get you started. You can actually ferment most veges - carrots and radishes are other good ones to start with.


Introducing succulents

We’re excited to say that we are now selling succulents – in mixed combos of five plants. Our succulents have been grown from our own cuttings, and are packaged in biodegradable pots. The pots can be simply broken off and buried in a pot – taking 6-8 weeks to break down.

Succulents thrive in light, well drained areas. They don’t like rich soils (perlite is ideal), and like to be given room to grow. So don’t plant them squashed up in a small dish, as this will only attract mould and foe insects. Check out the range of succulents in the Awapuni on-line shop here.


Love your lawn

When it comes to improving your lawn, autumn and spring are your go-to times of the year. After our hot summer, your lawn may look more like carpet from the 1970’s - but it should bounce back! Firstly, ensure it gets a couple weeks of thorough watering. Then apply lawn feed (like Tui lawn fertiliser), to help encourage dense grass growth and help eliminate broadleaf weeds and moss. Once the grass has started growing, treat the individual weeds (not whole lawn) with herbicide or some elbow grease. Like all aspects of gardening, the more effort you put in here, the better the result.

And remember to only ever mow 1/3 of the height of your grass in one mowing session. If possible, use a catcher – as cut clippings cause thatch (the built up organic hard layer of grass that sits just on top of the soil).

  Photo credit: thisNZlife
Image by I Heart Naptime  

Gardens to visit

Autumn is a beautiful time of the year to get out and visit your local gardens. In the deep south there’s Maple Glen, and Larnach Castle. And up north in Mauku, Wrights watergardens, and in Whangarei the Quarry gardens are all worth checking out.

If you’re in Auckland, I recommend Lynda Hallinan’s Foggydale Farm – it’s open March 23rd/24th with a garden festival & market. There’ll be garden tours, harvest displays, giant pumpkins and more. Or visit Kings Plant Barn Remuera – they are hosting a workshop on Transitioning your garden for Autumn.

Around the country, click on Gardens to Visit for a huge range of nationwide gardens – ranging from large country gardens to small courtyards. Great for gathering inspiration or just lovely day out. Plus, don’t overlook your regional botanical gardens – these are constantly changing and always worth a wander.


Foes of the garden – wasps & insect pests

All gardeners have different challenges at different times, but here are some problems that keep popping up for us – and hopefully some new ideas on how to solve them…

Wasps - Paper wasps are many gardener’s biggest foe, feeding on the monarch caterpillars. At this time of year, wasps are attracted to tree sap, and can infest the trees for weeks on end. To start, try washing the tree down with mildly soapy water. Also, peppermint oil is a natural deterrent. Mix a few drops with water in spray-bottle, and use liberally on the tree. Interestingly, nests can survive over several seasons - read more on wasps here.

White butterfly – a nuisance in the vege patch. As a kid, I used to catch them with a net and ‘store’ them in a jar. This is still highly recommended and good fun for kids. Also – there’s a caterpillar bio-spray, which won’t harm anything else (animals, insects, lawn, veges).

  Aphids – These won’t bother you over the cooler months much, but as soon as spring nears, look out. Typically, browny-yellow in colour, but also come in greens and pink; they respond well to being pinched off and squashed – another good job for the kids! If spraying, be wary of spraying oil in full sun, as the rays can magnify in the oil and burn new shoots. Or make your own, with a combo of ethanol, water and soap.


Pop some colour in your garden

Do you miss your bright, summer garden flowers? Or do you feel like your garden has passed its best-before date? The good news is that with the arrival of autumn, (on the calendar at least) you can now start prepping your flower garden for the cooler months ahead. And there’s no better place to start than with some hanging baskets.

Baskets are the garden for everyone. Whether you’ve got a large garden or only a small apartment balcony or courtyard – they’ll inject colour and lift the mood of any area. You can attach them under verandas, at your front door or hang them from garden walls or trellis.

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Caring for your citrus

Lemons, grapefruit, mandarins, oranges, tangerines; they’re working all year round - flowering, fruiting and growing lush leaves. Which means they’re hungry all year round too. Feeding your citrus now will give it the best chance to grow healthy and delicious fruit. Apply liquid feeds of citrus plant food (or a good general fertiliser) fortnightly for the next few months. Especially if the trees are in their first few years of life. Leaves turning yellow are a sign that the tree is running low in nutrients.

Citrus trees grow a new layer of leaves in autumn, to support its winter fruit. These new leaves are prime targets for disease and insects. Spray conqueror oil to repel the aphids (also good for roses), and watch for sooty mould disease. Liquid copper sprays will also help treat the insects, including whitefly and mealy bugs. Once you control the insects, the disease will improve.



You can now share your gardening stories with us #myawapunigarden on Instagram. Would you like to be part of the Awapuni Nurseries family? We’re on the lookout for Brand Ambassadors. If you love gardening and sharing pictures of your Awapuni garden, we would love to hear from you - simply tag us in your Awapuni garden stories #myawapunigarden

Our brand ambassadors must love gardening and our products. We’ll send them some bundles of our plants every couple months, which they can post updates shots on. If you would just like to just share your everyday garden stories with us, tag us using the hashtag #gardeningwithawapuni

If you’re not yet signed up for an Instagram account, click here. An easy way to describe it is “a social media service, where you share and view others photos and videos”. We love using it to see pics from busy gardeners around the country, and to share with you what’s happening at the nursery.


If you’re a fan of ours on Facebook you may now be seeing less of our gardening tips, special deals, giveaways and more. To keep seeing these – go to our Facebook page and click on the ‘Following’ tab under the top photo. Then click ‘See First’. This way you’ll never miss out!

Awapuni Nurseries Ltd, Pioneer Highway,
PO Box 7075, Palmerston North 4443, NEW ZEALAND
Phone: 64 6 354-8828 Fax: 64 6 354-8857

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