September 2014

Burning question

Why are my citrus trees' leaves yellow?

Yellow or yellowing leaves on citrus trees is a very common problem. If the leaves are green but with yellow patches your tree probably needs magnesium.

If the leaves have turned yellow all over the tree has probably been hit by a late frost. Either way, apply a citrus fertiliser and your tree will come away with green growth.

Next winter, if possible, cover your young fruit trees (particularly ones in pots) with frost protection fabric to prevent the problem.

Click here to email Tod your burning question today.

Tod's top tips for a beginner vege garden

Have you often thought about creating a vege garden but didn't know where to start? Or have you previously tried your hand at growing herbs and the like but without success? Then you need to read Tod's guide to creating the beginner vege garden.

This must-read article for any beginner or wannabe gardener includes Tod's top tips for what to build the garden out of and then what to plant to ensure you get results.

Visit here for his guide.

Freakishly delicious celery

If your celery cooking repertoire is limited to adding it to soup, you might want to check out the Huffington Post's list of 19 'celery recipes that are freakishly delicious'.

Take on aphids with tomato spray

Did you know tomato plants are members of the nightshade family and their leaves are said to contain toxic compounds called alkaloids?

This is the reason you may have heard of using a spray made of tomato leaves to get rid of aphids on your plants. The spray uses chopped up leaves and is toxic to aphids but fine to use around people and animals (unless you have an allergy to any members of the nightshade family).

You can find a variety of recipes for the spray on the web, but here's one we like the look of. We’re keen to know how you go if you try out the spray or if you’ve used something similar before.

Just flick us an email.

Getting back to gardening

Spring is officially here. Technically that means it’s time to get planting. But, depending on where you live, it pays to wait until the soil temperature has started to warm up. How can you tell? As Tod wisely says, if the grass in your backyard starts to need mowing more often, you can be sure the soil temperature is on the rise.

When this happens you can plant virtually anything. If you’re unsure of what to grow, just take a look at our online store. If something is available from our online store, it means it’s ready to plant now.

The picture to the right is of our new seed room – where we store our seed.

Our last seed room used to let in water, which caused the room to get damp. We also had a problem with mice finding their way in and chomping down on our expensive seeds. So, we’re pretty excited about our new room, which will be maintained at 10°C with very low humidity. With the right conditions our seeds will last longer but, more importantly, we can ensure they’re in the optimum state for good germination. All of which means we can be sure we produce strong, vigorous and healthy seedlings for you – our customers.

Happy gardening
Henri Ham

P.s if you're a newbie gardener make sure you check out Tod's top tips for creating a beginner vegetable garden below.

Dahlia: the perfect summer romance

After a blossoming romance this summer? Let me introduce you to the delightful dahlia. If you’ve had enough of those needy, high-maintenance varieties, dahlia might just be the fresh start you’re after.

After all, this vibrant plant isn’t looking for much – just a dry, exposed area of your garden with well-drained soil. It’s also partial to being placed in the middle of a simple pot where the soil is also dry.
If it’s colour you’re looking for, our dahlia has it in spades – reds, oranges, yellows and pinks... in fact, most hues except blue.

And if that isn’t appealing enough for you, the Mexican native is also a resilient young thing, which tends to fend off diseases with ease.

Interested? Simply grab a few Awapuni Nurseries bedding dahlia seedlings from your local supermarket, The Warehouse or Bunnings store. Or order some from our online shop and get them delivered direct to your door.

Read on for more details...

Trusty tomato

Tomaato, tomayto... however you pronounce it, this bright red delight is certainly a staple. From adding a healthy, fresh touch to a lunchtime sandwich or providing the base for a whole raft of dinnertime delicacies, it’s a must-have in any good home garden.

If it’s been a wet winter where you are, add a bit of lime to your earth. That’s because tomatoes thrive in soil with a moderate pH and large amounts of rain tend to lower your soil’s acidity level. Don’t forget to dig in compost to improve soil conditions.

Once your prep work is complete, dig a hole, approximately 3cms deep and space your tomato seedlings about one foot apart. Fill in the holes with soil.

Once planted, spray your tomatoes with liquid copper to prevent fungal diseases. And add a general fertiliser, like nitrophoska blue, to the soil surrounding the tomatoes to encourage large, juicy fruit.

When it comes to watering, avoid overhead hosing as it can leave your plants more susceptible to diseases like downy mildew, rust, and blight. A better way to keep your plants moist is to layer newspaper around them, and then cover the newspaper with peastraw. This creates mulch that will prevent your plants drying out during the day and in between watering sessions.

I also recommend picking off the laterals as they develop. If you imagine a tomato plant has a main trunk that grows straight up with branches growing off this trunk at roughly 90 degrees, the laterals are the smaller stems that develop at approximately 45 degrees in between the main trunk and branch.

Read on for more details...

September is a good time to...

Add colour to your garden and plant new season veges. Grow larkspur, livingstone daisies, lobelia, marigolds, petunia and sweet peas to brighten up any back yard. Mulch flowerbeds and watch out for aphids.  
Protect zucchini, capsicum and tomato seedlings from late frosts by placing cut-off milk bottles over top. Plant scarlet runners and dwarf beans. Make some compost to improve your soil structure and help with water retention in summer.
Lastly, if you haven’t already, finish splitting and replanting your strawberry runners before they start to shoot away.

Read on for more details...

Light up for daylight savings

Spring has started, which means daylight savings is just around the corner. If you’re a fan of making the most of longer days by dining alfresco, you should check out this list of 10 DIY outdoor lighting projects.  
As the article says, when the outdoor evening temperatures are too perfect to go inside, you'll need something to keep your outdoor living space lit to enjoy it as long as you can.


Congratulations to the following Cultivated News subscribers, Rosie from Palmerston North, Debbie From Greymouth, Karlis from Marton, Catherine from Lower Hutt, Carol from Taukau and Sue from Tauranga who have won Awapuni Nurseries seedlings simply for being subscribed during August.

Remember, we're giving away seedling bundles to Cultivated News subscribers every month during 2014, so stay subscribed for your chance to win.


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: