January 2014

Burning question

I’m going to be away from my garden a bit over summer and I want to apply some mulch to help my plants survive the heat, but I'm not sure what type to apply and how to do it. Can you help?

Applying mulch over your garden at this time of year is a great idea as it reduces the need for watering – perfect if you’re going on holiday. In addition, it helps smother weed seeds, prevents diseases due to not needing to overhead water and it provides further nutrition for the soil and your plants. What type of mulch to use will depend on what type of plants you plan to apply it around.

Check out this page for my top tips and further detail on what mulch is good for what and how to apply it.

Kids car track

If you've got a bit of spare flat ground at your property and kids (or big kids!) who love to play with cars, then we're pretty sure you need one of these racetracks. This is a perfect project to create during school holiday and then keep the kids entertained for hours once its finished.

We recommend building it somewhere with a bit of shade so it’s easy for those racing cars to keep sun smart. The instructions suggest growing oregano in the middle of the track and we think chives could also look quite cool.

Visit here for all the steps on how to create your own racetrack.

Bigger, better leeks with Bryan

Some of you might remember Bryan from a previous edition of Cultivated News. We included a pic of him and one of his homegrown leeks, which he jokingly referred to as a contender for the World’s Biggest Leek. As now is a great time to plant leeks, we asked Bryan to share his top tips for getting the best out of this sometimes finicky plant.

Visit our website to find out how to get bigger, better leeks with Bryan.

Staggering success

Summer is all about gourmet veges, herbs and salads. To ensure you have a continuous supply of all the ingredients you need for a successful summer, stagger your planting. This means every two to four weeks plant some new lettuce, rocket, basil, spinach and other plants you harvest often to make sure you always have some at the right stage to harvest. Remember if you don’t want to end up with too much of a good thing, check out our mixed herb, lettuce or vege bundles for a couple of seedlings of each variety.

Happy New Year!

I hope you and your families all had a safe and happy break over the Christmas and New Year period. The nursery is getting back into full swing this week after a short holiday for the team. If you made any orders from our online shop over the last couple of weeks your seedlings should arrive with you any day now.

This picture is of one of our dwarf Delphinium plants which Jo, our office manager, grew. We were so impressed we thought it needed to be shared with a wider audience such as our Cultivated News subscribers.

Enjoy the rest of summer and happy gardening. And remember to stay subscribed to Cultivated News, because we're giving away seedlings to six randomly drawn subscribers each month for all of 2015. Check out the bottom of this newsletter for this month's winners.

Henri Ham
Awapuni Nurseries

Heavenly hollyhock

For me, no plant says 'country cottage' like the hollyhock. Rising straight towards the sky, the hollyhock is the perfect plant to add a touch of vintage appeal to your garden.

This statuesque flower is also great for adding colour to your backyard, usually sprouting petals in shades of red or pink. Why not visit our website at to see the fantastic colour range we have in stock?

Because hollyhocks can grow to nearly three metres tall they need a bit of thought put into their planting position. Choose somewhere sheltered so they don’t get knocked over in a gust, and plant something in front of their base so they grow tall and out the top. I recommend nemesia, which grows wild, flowers beautifully and is the perfect height for propping up your towering plant. Another alternative is cosmos, which, like the nemesia, prefers the same conditions as the hollyhock – sunny and sheltered. Hollyhocks also grow well with sunflowers. And, let’s face it; a few of those in your garden are bound to impress the kids.

You can grab your hollyhock and other Awapuni Nurseries seedlings from your local supermarket, Bunnings, or The Warehouse. Alternatively, head to our online shop again and have them delivered direct to your door.

Read on for more details...

Complimentary companions

Lavender is the perfect companion to any garden – particularly any with fruit trees, flowers or vegetables like zucchini and cucumbers that can benefit from a bit of cross-pollination from bees. Their fantastic blue colouring will attract bees and they provide a lovely scent.  

Now is a great time to plant lavender and Awapuni stocks several varieties including hidcote, munstead and lady lavender. Visit the online shop to see what's available or here for Tod’s tips on how to plant.

Remember, these are companion planting tips and methods we've picked up along the way or heard of from other gardeners. We're not promising they'll work 100% but they’re worth a shot in any garden – particularly if you’re trying to promote natural growth and keep it pesticide free.

For more information on companion planting visit here.


Tart and tasty rhubarb

Pies, crumbles, stewed and served with ice-cream; rhubarb is the dessert lover’s friend. Which is actually quite surprising when you think about how tangy and tart it tastes on its own. But combined with a sweet pudding it’s the perfect combination.

And if you’re partial to more than an occasional dessert (like I am), you’ll love the fact that hand-planted rhubarb grows like wildfire - giving you big bang for your buck.

If that sounds like the sweet deal you’re after, grab some Awapuni rhubarb seedlings from your local supermarket, Bunnings, or The Warehouse. Or place your order online and have them delivered direct to your door.

Before you get planting, you need to have the right conditions in place – rhubarb likes a sunny spot with soil that’s rich and moist, not to mention plenty of space to flourish. I should also tell you that it’ll be there for the long haul, so it’s best planted at the back of your garden so as not to interfere with your other crops.

Once you’ve found your spot, dig a hole approximately 3cm deep and insert your seedling. You’ll be pleased to know you don’t need to be fussy about spacing or neat rows – your giant rhubarb will grow well no matter where it’s placed. Just make sure you use a mulch, like grass clippings, and ensure your plant has access to plenty of fertiliser – a few extra nutrients helps our ‘gross feeder’ stay healthy and produce a good crop.

Read on for more details...

January is a good time to...

Mulch, water and keep planting gourmet veges and herbs. Watering your fruity plants – like tomatoes and berries – will ensure they ripen faster and become juicy. And if you’ve got plenty of berries on hand and aren’t too sick of pavlova after Christmas you might want to try out this delicious pavlova roll recipe.

Lastly, if there’s a certain variety of seedling you’ve been keen to try growing – now’s the time. There are 100s of different varieties of seedlings available at Awapuni.


Congratulations to the following Cultivated News subscribers John from Rotorua, Dianna from Christchurch, Susan from Palmerston North, Angela from Hawkes Bay and Peter from Gisborne who have won Awapuni Nurseries seedlings simply for being subscribed during December.  

Remember, we're giving away seedling bundles to Cultivated News subscribers every month until the end of 2015, so stay subscribed for your chance to win and remember to check your inbox in case you’re one of our lucky winners.


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: www.awapuni.co.nz E: sales@awapuni.co.nz