Spring 2019

From the nursery

Here at the nursery we never stop learning. Sometimes we just stumble over this knowledge. One example of this is growing our red and white Kakabeak – a native shrub. We struggled to get them to germinate - only getting a handful of plants per tray. Then by chance the trays were put into our shade house and forgotten about.

Months later all the rest of the seeds germinated. We discovered that they like cool, shaded and very moist conditions to germinate. We are always keen to learn new things, even if it is by accident.

Happy gardening,
Henri Ham

What’s new at the nursery

New variants to look out for this spring - a butterfly mix, purple carrots, golden beetroot, Chinese lanterns, and an edible flower mix.

Mega bulk vege and mega bulk flower bundles – of 100 seedlings are now available on-line. And for big landscaping jobs our natives now come in native combos of 50 or 100 plants.

We’ve changed our Cultivated News newsletters to a seasonal focus. These will now arrive in your email inbox at the start of each new season. To subscribe to Cultivated News or add a friend click here. We’ve also launched our own YouTube channel – here’s our potato planting video, and also a how-to guide for strawberry growing.

Plant now to enjoy home-grown spuds this Christmas

I’ve always thought there’s nothing more satisfying than growing and eating your own veges. And new potatoes are at the top of my list over summer. If you’re like me and want to ensure your crop is ready for Christmas lunch, you need to get onto it right now.

Depending on which variety of potato you choose, you’ll harvest your spuds in 90 – 160 days. If you want to do all your planting at once, I suggest using a combination of potato varieties to gain a staggered harvest over summer.

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Kids in the garden

Looking for green-fingered craft activities for the kids this spring? Check out these artistic foliage faces and twiggy tree ornaments.

For a more practical activity (I can’t recommend enough) get the kids to assist in making our home-made slug bait catchers. It’s best to put these in the ground at the same time you plant your new spring seedlings. Further into spring, get Halloween ready and help keep the birds away from your vege plots by making a scarecrow.

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Add a pop of colour to your garden this spring

For many Kiwis, new lambs and daffodils are the first signs that spring is imminent. Technically spring begins on the 1st of September and I always get excited for my garden to shoot away and, with any luck, erupt into colour.

Even though, as I write this, it still very much feels like winter, now is a great time to pop in some spring colour seedlings. At this time of year, I’m all about planting sweet peas and poppies – two ‘no-fuss’ bright annuals, that’ll inject some fun colour in flower beds.

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  Photo credit: thisNZlife
Image by I Heart Naptime  

Organics - seaweed & sheep pallets

It’s now time to ‘cleanse and feed’ your soil, prior to the next round of planting. First, you’ll need to do some intensive weeding, followed by a solid digging through of your soil. Break up clumps and remove old debris (stones, roots) – especially if you’re planting in a new vege plot. Then cover with a layer of organic fertiliser, such as seaweed or sheep pallets.

Seaweed is a highly beneficial natural fertiliser - so if you’re coastal I recommend a beach trip. Seaweed also shares no diseases with land plants, and is rich in nitrogen. Tui’s organic seaweed tonic is a more convenient liquid fertiliser, and you can use regularly over spring for all-purpose plant feeding.

It’s also a great time to dig through some sheet pallets. This will improve soil structure and encourage earthworms. If you’re ever driving country-side and see pony poos for sale, grab a few bags and spread this on the garden – specifically only your roses. To use pony poo on your veges, it first needs to be hot-composted, otherwise you run risk of disease and weeds overtaking your plot. Applying a layer of compost will also aid garden nutrients, and assist with water retention come the dry summer months. Similarly, if you’ve got worm castings, now is the time to dig these through too.


What we’re eating - broccoli

I love keeping tabs on my broccoli in the vege garden. There’s a fine (but very satisfying) line between letting it get as big as possible, but picking it prior to the heads starting to loosen up. But then suddenly I feel like I’ve got loads of broccoli all ready for eating at the same time. Rather than having boiled broccoli every night, I’m mixing it up with these tasty ideas. Cranberry, pumpkin seed and mao salad lets you consume the broccoli raw – in its most nutritious way (for the planners, this is a great Christmas Day recipe too). For a one-dish-meal I’m into this bacon and broccoli salad. Right now I can’t go past a heart-warming creamy broccoli soup – delicious.

Failing these recipes, remember broccoli freezes really well. Simply cut into small florets and freeze in a zip lock bag for up to a year. Then add them frozen into stir-frys or as vege side-dishes as needed.


What should I be doing to my capsicum & chilli plants right now?

Did you know that capsicums and chillies are perennial plants, that if looked after can fruit for several years? If your capsicums and chilli plants survived the winter, chances are you’re in a warmer climate, or looked after them by moving to an indoor or higher, sheltered spot in your garden. Well done!

Right now, you should start by removing any scrappy leaves and branches, and half-grown fruit that has been on the plant but not doing much for a while. This will give it the best possible start for new spring growth. Chillies and capsicums like regular feeds of fertiliser (especially if looking a bit yellow), and watering when they look dry.

If they’re in pots, move them to the sunniest, prime spot in the garden. Elevating (on bricks) to get off the ground will also help. Come mid spring they should be looking to re-flower, delivering another fruitful season.


Now’s a good time to…

With spring officially here, there’s plenty to keep us busy within the garden right now. Keep planting your brassicas (broccoli, cauliflower, cabbages). Beetroot, broad beans, lettuce, spinach and silverbeet will all do well right now too. Apply a good general fertiliser to ensure their best possible start.

It’s not too late to get your strawberry plants in – in time for Christmas Day lunch. Try some in hanging baskets if you’re short on space. Work on five to six plants per person in the house, to ensure a good supply. Remember to cover them up with netting early too, to keep out the birds.

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Fundraise with us

Did you know that Awapuni offers a fundraising option to support your local kindergarten / school or charity? It’s a simple and easy way to raise money in a healthy way.

Your organisation will get given a unique fundraising code to share with friends and family. Over a two-week period, your organisation will encourage supporters to make a purchase from the Awapuni Nurseries online shop and enter the unique code. We will also send your organisation five FREE bundles to get their own garden started.

Your supporters will pay the same price all our customers do, but by entering the unique code we will know to give 20% of that sale (excluding delivery fees) to your fundraising group.
Each order will be sent to the individual who made the order (just like with our regular customers) within our normal delivery timeframes.

For more information check out the details on our website



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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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