October 2018

Nursery news

Spring is here and all our team are working solidly to fill orders. Maybe it’s the good weather or it could even have something to do with all the new varieties we have introduced, but plant sales are very strong. We have also noticed that the number of people using our website to order has increased significantly.

The idea of clicking a few buttons to get your plants delivered to your door is quite appealing. However you get your plants, I wish you fantastic spring weather to make the most of your garden.

Happy gardening,
Henri Ham
  plant covers at awapuni nursery

Trusty toms

With Labour weekend approaching thoughts of tomatoes are in many gardeners’ minds. Not sure what type of tomatoes to grow? Have a think about what you want to do with your toms and where you’d like to grow them. If you want to grow them in pots you’ll need a dwarf variety.

We have acid free toms and also a new heirloom mix. Still not sure? How about trying our mixed varieties bundle. Each regular bundle contains six seedlings.

With 12 types currently available there’s something for everyone. But if you’ve got a suggestion for something else email us here.

Top tomato tips for beginner gardeners

If you feel your spring hasn't quite sprung yet, try making mini greenhouses to protect your plants from frosts and cold winds. Cut the base off two litre plastic milk bottles and place the top (remove the lid) over the seedlings.

Avoid overhead watering as it can leave your tomato plants more prone to diseases. To keep your plants moist, layer newspaper around them and then cover the newspaper with pea straw. This creates a mulch that will prevent your plants drying out.

Once your tomato seedlings grow a bit taller they'll need staking to help stabilise and protect them from strong winds. You can do this any way you like but I prefer the tepee method. Take three stakes and place them in the ground with the tomato plant in the middle. Then tie the stakes with string, together at the top.

For more tomato-growing inspiration check out these links from balcony garden and you should grow.

Tui-Tomato giveaway

Keen to give your tomatoes a great start? Then, you’ll want to win our Awapuni-Tui tomato prize-pack. It includes three bundles of our tomato seedlings, Tui Tomato Food, Tui Quash and Tui Organic Seaweed Plant Tonic.

To enter click here.

October is a good time to...
plus win a $35 Awapuni voucher

Plant whatever takes your fancy! If you're a beginner gardener there’s never been a better month than in October to give it a go!

Plant your summer veges and herbs now. Plant beans, peas, lettuce, zucchini, basil and tomatoes. New crops you’ll see at my house this summer are Parisian market carrots (small round baby carrots - pictured), kamo kamo (similar to a short fat zucchini), red spring onions and sugar snap peas.

Read more

Credit: Kuriositas

Container planting

Running out of room in your garden but still keen to plant more? Pots, buckets, old drums, and even used gumboots can be transformed into a planter, if it’s given adequate drainage holes.

But some vege just grow better in pots that others. Asian greens are fast and simple to grow. Beans also work well, just give them something to climb up. Lettuces and rocket are perfect to harvest the leaves as you need them. Zucchinis can thrive in a large pot (10L or more), as will capsicum and chillies (due later in the month).


School holidays

Looking to keep some smaller people occupied these October school holidays? We think this inverted hanging tomato planter (pictured) looks like a great project to keep the kids entertained. And it’s ideal if you’re short on garden space too.

Or check out these other great kid-friendly projects - cheerio bird feeders and terracotta bird bath.

If you’re in Auckland check out the Auckland Botanical Garden - Chinese celebration of spring on this weekend (6-7th October). Want to share what’s coming up in your area next month? Email us and we can share it in next month’s newsletter.


Mulching – the basics

With all the spring planting happening we want to remind you of the importance to mulch (much like a dentist making you floss). So what should you be mulching right now?

A peastraw and compost mulch will improve the soil noticeably. You can mix in shredded cardboard and paper also. It’s best to avoid heavily waxed and shiny inked boxes though.

Mulching keeps the soil warmer, helps retain more moisture, and suppresses weeds. All of this is key when planting your seedlings. When it’s dry, water the soil before applying the mulch. Apply immediately after you’ve cleared the soil for weeds - 5-10cm worth of mulch is ideal.

For a more info check out our gardening guide on mulching here.


Trying turnips and cooking kohlrabi

Are you keen to step it up in your vege garden this year and try something new? Then let’s talk about turnips. Turnips are basically so old I’m re-trending them as new. But they’re one of those vegetables that may not be the first to spring to mind when plotting your garden. So this month I’m re-introducing turnips.

Turnips actually come in many different varieties. Purple top, orange, amber and baby globe.

At Awapuni we stock white turnip. It produces a smooth, semi- globe shaped root with a tangy taste. It’s great for eating raw in salads or lightly steamed with plenty of butter and salt.

Turnips can be used in cooking much like you would use a potato. I like to cube turnips up and throw them into stews. Or julienne them (cut into raw matchsticks) and use them as a small side salad on my dinner plate. Now that you’re reacquainted with turnips, let me introduce you to another member of the brassica family – kohlrabi.

Read more.


Pot up your petunias

October marks the middle of spring - the most popular planting season of the year. Many of you will have your summer vege crops of lettuce, peas, courgettes and tomatoes top of mind right now. And rightly so!

But have you thought about which flowers you’d like to pot up in your garden this summer?

For a colourful injection of beauty into your pot plants and garden you can’t overlook petunias. Petunias have a cheerful flower that can bloom nonstop from summer through to late autumn.

Read more.


Last month’s winners and what’s coming up

Congratulations to Annie from Blenheim who won tickets to Art in a Garden which is on in North Canterbury 25-28th October.

In the next month you’ll see even more spring vege become available at the nursery. Chilli and capsicum are just around the corner. As are our basil (some varieties are already) and cucumbers.

Click on the ‘notify me when available’ button on the product page to get in first.


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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