November 2018

From the nursery...

We recently shared a very ‘homemade’ video online of our automatic seeder machine - which sows our seeds into trays for us. It was so popular I thought I’d re-share with you. Click here to view our video.

First the seed raising mix is added into the trays, and levelled off. It’s a mix of peat, bark and fertiliser. The seeds are sown and then covered with sawdust. This tray has 230 cells - each should grow one seedling. The machine lets us double sow (add two seeds) if we want, and vary the depth the seed is planted at. From here we move the trays to the greenhouses for germination. In 4 – 6 weeks depending, they’ll be wrapped into newspaper bundles ready for dispatch. If you’re interested in more behind the scenes action and live locally, you should check out our free nursery tours (below) on in December.

Happy gardening,
Henri Ham
  plant covers at awapuni nursery

November is a good time to...

Keep your spring planting up with all your favourite herbs and veges. Plant tomatoes (we have 13 types in stock right now), cucumbers, zucchini, basil, Russian tarragon, radishes and sweet corn. Try secessional planting of your leafy greens like lettuce, rocket and spinach. This means planting a few more every couple weeks to ensure you have a continual supply over summer. Capsicums and chillies are best planted at this time of the year too. Really, all vege and herbs you see in our online shop right now are perfect for planting.

Read more.

Win a 2019 Recipe calendar from Nicola Galloway

Nicola Galloway is a renowned Nelson-based cookbook author and photographer. She has recently released a Homegrown Kitchen 2019 Recipe Calendar.

You’ll find recipes such as Vibrant Beetroot & Chocolate Slice and Silverbeet & Ricotta Gnocchi. The nursery has got its hands on three of these delicious calendars, and we’re giving them away. Enter here.

To learn more about Nicola - check out her Homegrown Kitchen online recipe journal where she shares her seasonal recipes.

The heat is on

Chilli seem to generate a mass following all over the world. Did you know right here in NZ, we have our own chilli eating competition and hot sauce festival? Much like coriander, chilli also really polarises people. They either love it or won’t touch it. When it comes to chilli, I’m definitely in ‘team heat’ and love a good chilli in my cooking or even on its own.

Chilli heat is measured in Scoville Heat Units (SHU). The higher the rating the hotter the chilli. Trained testers dissolve dried chilli in alcohol and sugar water to measure its pungency. They then sample the mixture and dilute it until they can’t detect any more heat. Now I love chilli, but I’m not sure if I’d like this job.

Read more.


Salad leaves

My vege garden is embracing the spring weather. I’ve got leafy greens galore coming up and they look great. So in my kitchen, salads are back on the menu. I’ve planted my tomatoes, capsicum, cucumbers and red spring onions in my vege patch, but they’re not quite ready for the salad bowl.

So I wanted to share what my ‘spring salads’ look like at the moment.

Credit: Kuriositas
  It’s all about the ‘leafy green’. In my salad I have plenty of lettuce, spinach, kale and baby celery. I’m combining these with whole leaves of any herbs I’ve got going – basil, oregano, flat leaf parsley and coriander. These herbs combined deliver a massive flavour explosion – far better than some of the out-of-season vege you may see in the shops right now. Mix your greens with some shaved parmesan and your fav oil dressing for a green salad where you certainly won’t miss any colourful vege.

If you can identify what I’ve picked in the photo (starting at 12 going clockwise) email Rebecca (by 18th Nov) – and if you’re pretty close she’ll email a reward.


Established plants

As well as seedlings, the nursery also has a great range of established and native plants. These are large plants that have benefited from extra months growing in the nursery. They come in a PB2 soft black plastic potting bag with 1.2L of soil.

Our established plants are perfect for the gardener who wants to fast-forward the enjoyment they receive from their garden.

Our established flowers include lavender (munstead variety pictured), lupin, foxglove and our monarch-attracting swan plants. Rhubarb, parsley and thyme, tomato horsepower and our hottest chilli – the Carolina reaper all come as established plants too.

The nursery’s natives pūrei (carex- red ornamental grass), hibiscus and hebe look attractive in a smaller garden. Other native plants like kanuka and akeake can make appealing shelter belts or borders.

Free nursery tours

Interested in a tour of the nursery at Awapuni? For our fifth year running, our tours are back on for December. Our tours are free, start at 10am and last half an hour. They’re happening on the first three Wednesdays in December – the 5th, 12th and 19th.

Each person through gets to take home a free bundle of seedlings, and of course stock up on our three bundles for $10 offer at the nursery shop. And one lucky person will be selected from each tour to win a spot prize of six bundles of seedlings.

We welcome all gardening groups and green-fingered friends. Please let Jo know if you’re planning to come – email her here, or ph. 06-354 8828.

Visit here for more information.

Laid back lupins

Lupins are one of our most popular cottage garden flowers and it’s not hard to see why. Their impressive flower spires with closed, baby bonnet-type petals will brighten up any garden. And their many shades of blues, violets, pinks and white – all enhanced by vibrant green foliage –inject fantastic colour.

But what I also like about lupins is that they are relatively laid back. They don’t require a perfectly fertilised, mulched and dug-over soil to start out on. A moderately fertile (at best) bed of soil is just fine. A bit sandy – even better. In fact, I often suggest lupins to my lesser-inclined green-fingered friends as they cope well with less love.

Read more.


Harvesting and preserving your herbs

When it comes to my herb garden, there’s no middle ground. I always feel like I’ve got too little of a particular herb, or way too much. The excess problem can often happen around early summer, when everything is taking off and suddenly my seedlings aren’t so tiny anymore.

When you’ve got a surplus, preserving your herbs is a great way to ensure an all year-round supply. So here’s some top tips on drying, freezing, infusing in oil and making butter with your herbs.

  What I especially like is the first rule of herb harvesting – the one third rule. Whenever you’re trimming your herbs, only ever cut one third of the plant off at once. This makes sure the plant has enough left over to continue to regrow again. Chives are the major only exception where you cut them just above the ground.


Introducing our Russian giants

I’m pleased to report we have sunflowers available at the nursery this season. Our Russian giant is a classic sunflower that produces large, golden flower heads with large seeds. Our sunflowers come in regular sized bundles with nine seedlings in them.

They can grow from 240 – 300 cm. Being this high, they’ll need staking. Its best to do this as you plant them, so you’re not interfering with their root structure later on. Sunflowers need six – eight hours sun a day minimum so make sure you plant them in a suitable spot. Did you know that their heads actually turn during the day to face the sun. And that the younger leaves of sunflowers are good in salads? Read here for more sunflower fun-facts.


Winners and Dec worm farming...

Congratulations to Mary from Auckland, who won a $35 voucher to spend at our online shop. Mary shared what she’d been up to in her garden lately (pictured). And congrats also to Vanessa from Greymouth who won our Tui – tomato giveaway.

In December we’ll be writing about composting solutions through worm farming. Check out WormsRus if you want to know more right now. And if you’ve got any hot tips to share, email Rebecca from the team here.


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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