Products & Techniques
Over 200 different varieties of seedlings - flowers, herbs, and vegetables - are grown at Awapuni Nurseries in the Traditional Value and Pop n Grow ranges. The main differences between the Pop n Grow and Traditional Value Bundle ranges are the way the seedlings are grown and packaged for sale to you – our customer.
The Pop n Grow nursery process and innovative, biodegradable packaging protects the seedlings’ delicate roots from damage. This makes the Pop n Grow range perfect for beginner and children gardeners, or anyone who simply wants to guarantee their seedlings will grow.
The Traditional Value bundles are grown using an outdoor, open-ground method and then wrapped in recycled newspaper to keep the seedlings moist until planted.
For more information on Traditional Value Bundles or Pop n Grow see below.
Traditional Value Bundles
To achieve the best growing conditions, resulting in strong hardy plants, the team at Awapuni Nurseries uses an outdoor, open-ground growing method. This process involves spreading seed directly onto the prepared soil. The soil is then covered with sawdust and shade cloth before being watered. Once the seed has germinated the shade cloth is removed and, at regular intervals, the seedlings are watered and cared for until mature.
It is at this point we pull the mature plants to order. Taken to the packing shed, the seedlings are subsequently wrapped, packed and shipped.
Prior to their dispatch, we wrap all Traditional Value seedlings in newspaper. This unique method of packaging keeps the seedlings moist until they are planted. Not only is the procedure cost effective, the newspaper is also biodegradable. Awapuni Nurseries is the only seedling company in New Zealand that uses this unique method of packaging. That means if you see seedlings wrapped in newspaper – you can be sure the seedlings are ours. The wrapped bundles pack well and are easily transported throughout New Zealand.
At Awapuni Nurseries we rely on either our own vehicles or couriers to achieve the fastest delivery possible to any part of the country. In the course of a year over 200,000 kilograms of soil accompany the seedlings that leave the premises. To replace this lost soil, we produce our own compost, replenishing fields on a regular basis to maintain soil quality and consistency.
Pop n Grow
Our Pop n Grow seedlings are grown in re-usable plastic trays. The trays are designed to have separate compartments, so plants grow with separate root systems – rather than all tangled together. We put potting mix in the trays and then put them through our innovative seeding machine.
The seeding machine works with compressed air and vacuum. The tray is pushed through the machine one compartment (cell) at a time by a mechanical pushing arm. A dent or dibble is pushed in the surface of the potting mix. This is to allow the seed to rest nicely in the middle of the cell.
The machine vibrates the seeds to make them jump around while a needle (a cut off hypodermic needle) hovers over the seed. The needle is connected to a bar, which is kept under vacuum. The seed is sucked on to the end of the needle and is held there until the needle is placed over the cell. Then a pressurised blast of air is forced through the needle and the seed falls into the cell.
We then cover the seed with vermiculite (this is a weird substance. It's as light as polystyrene, looks like sawdust and holds water.) The vermiculite keeps the seed moist yet lets the seed get light and oxygen.
The trays are then watered and placed in our germination chamber. Our germ chamber is a refrigerated container, which is moisture, light and temperature controlled.
When the seeds start to germinate, which usually takes from three to 10 days, we move the trays to a bench in our greenhouse.
The plants take from six to 12 weeks to reach a mature enough size to be sold. Their roots need to be well enough formed that they hold the soil in cell together and can be easy planted by our customers.
When the plants are ready for sale, we use a plug popper to push the plants up out of the tray. This is basically a manual foot operated machine, which holds the tray and has small pegs, which pop up and push the plants roots out of the tray.
The plants are placed into a recycled paper pot with a description label on it, and are ready to go out to the shops.
Depending on the type of plant there are either four to nine plants in each Pop n Grow pot. All plants have their own individual root system, which means they are quite literally guaranteed to grow.