May 2016

Feijoa, feijoa, feijoa

Tis the season for feijoas. If you’re stuck for ideas on what to use your feijoas for, try our tasty jam recipe or this new feijoa cake recipe we’ve just put up. And for more tips and recipes for feijoas check out this great page from Bite.

Eco-friendly fertiliser

If you like to garden with minimal or no synthetic products in your garden, you might like to take a look at this review by Green Ideas of the eco-friendly fertilisers available to buy in New Zealand. It also has a great explanation about the three main elements plants need for growth – nitrogen (N), phosphorus (P) and potassium (K) and how to know which fertiliser you might need.

May is a good
time to...

Plant your winter vegetables – if you haven’t already. First though, you need to get the soil ready. Dig it over, then apply compost, fertiliser and a dressing of lime to to sweeten the soil, encourage plant growth and help prevent club root. Then try growing broccoli, broad beans, carrots, onions, peas, spinach, cauliflower and any other veges you feel like eating during winter. Not growing winter vege? Try planting a cover crop like mustard to add nutrients to the soil and help get rid of any club root before your next round of planting.

Read on for more information.

Burning question

I’d like to plant some seedlings in pots. Can I just dig up some soil from my garden to put in the pots?

Unfortunately, garden soil is generally heavy and doesn’t drain well. We recommend buying a good quality potting mix with a slow release fertiliser. This will help give your plants a really good kick-start.

Click here to email Tod your burning question today.

The next generation

For this month’s update from the nursery I thought I’d share some personal news. I am very proud to announce that Ilene and I have become grandparents.

Our daughter Monique (who has featured in Cultivated News before) had a little girl called Emily in April. Monique and Emily are doing great.

Monique is even thinking about when she might get back to work in the nursery. I'm hoping that Emily (pictured with Ilene) will also be keen on working in the nursery when she is old enough and continue the family tradition – 56 years so far!

Happy gardening
Henri Ham

Beautiful bedding nemesia

If you have an area in your garden you’d like to blanket with colour, then nemesia is the plant for you. It is a lovely small bedding plant that can be used for edging, in borders and as a ground cover and, in the right conditions, will produce so many flowers it’s hard to see the greenery.  

As is shown in this picture taken in one of our green houses of a hanging basket full of nemesia.

Growing to a height of around 20cm, it’s also lovely grown in pots, hanging planters (like the paradise planter) or any other suitable growing container.

At Awapuni Nurseries we sell two different bundles of nemesia seedlings – both mixed colours. Our bi-colour bundle contains seedlings that will produce flowers with more than one colour on each flower. Some are a mix of white and lavender, yellow or pink and others are just a mix of different colours. And our mixed bundle will produce all sorts of different coloured flowers including orange, white, red and pink.

So grab some nemesia seedlings from your local Bunnings, The Warehouse or supermarket.

Better still, head to our online shop and get the seedlings delivered straight to your door. Purchase six or more items and get free delivery to a non-rural address or just $4 to a rural address. Wherever you decide to plant your nemesia, try to ensure the soil is rich and moist and that the plants will be mostly in full sun to part shade. Then simply plant your seedlings around 15cm apart from each other.

In just five to six weeks you can expect a beautiful array of different coloured flowers in your chosen garden bed or container.

Exceptional beetroot

I’ve always thought beetroot is an interesting vegetable. It’s incredibly versatile in the kitchen. The root can be grated raw into a salad, roasted with winter vege, made into a chocolate cake and more, and the leaves can be used in the same way you would use spinach.

It’s also incredibly good for you. It’s a good source of folic acid, fibre, manganese and potassium and the greens are rich in calcium, iron and vitamins A and C.

At Awapuni we stock two types of beetroot. The regular round kind and the less known cylindra variety which, as it’s name suggests, is a cylindrical beetroot. Because of it’s shape cylindra beetroot is great for slicing and then bottling.

Once you’ve decided whether you want both types of beetroot or just one, head to our online shop and place an order. Your seedlings will be delivered straight to your door and if you purchase six or more items we’ll deliver for free to a non-rural address or for just $4 to a rural address.

Next it’s simply a matter of working out where to plant your seedlings. Beetroot likes well-drained, friable (breaks apart in your hands) soil.

It grows well next to brassicas, like broccoli and cauliflower, which take longer to mature and spread out. This means you can plant beetroot in the spaces in between your brassicas, and harvest them before the brassicas start needing the extra room.

Alternatively, it grows great in pots. Wherever you plant, simply dig a little 3cm deep hole, place the seedling in the hole and fill in with soil.

Beetroot likes moisture as it starts to develop so keep your plants well watered.


In around 10 to 12 weeks it should be ready. The great thing about beetroot is it can be eaten at any size, just dig it up and enjoy.


Adding compost to your garden is like putting high-performance petrol in your car. It gives the soil a good rev-up and generates extra nutrients. For more on composting, including how to make your own and FAQs about compost – visit here.  


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: