February 2017

Burning question

Do your potatoes look like this?


If they do, then they are suffering from potato scab. Potato Scab likes light, organic rich, high ph, dry soil. So to avoid this problem:

- firstly rotate your crop, try not to grow the potatoes in the same spot year after year.

- fertilise with ammonium sulphate to help keep the ph low (acidic)

- don't let the crop get stressed for water. Keep the plot moist.

- the soil under your lawn often has less organic material in it as you don't put compost on it year-after-year as you would in a vegetable garden, so next spring dig up your lawn and plant there!

Click here to email Awapuni your burning question today.

Organising oregano


Cut oregano back so the stems are approximately 50mm from the ground. This will stop the plant going leggy. You can dry the removed stems.

Then, once dry, peel the leaves off and chop them to store in a jar for use in your cooking.

Brilliant brassicas


If you’re a winter brassica fan, it might feel odd planting them now.

But if you want to enjoy Brussels sprouts, cauliflower, broccoli and more when the weather cools down (if it ever warmed up where you live!) then now’s a good time to plant.

Here’s our guide to growing brassicas and visit our shop to order your plants.

February is a good time to...


Keep planting summer salad ingredients – lettuce, basil, spring onion and other gourmet herb and veg seedlings.

February is the hottest month of the year, so remember to keep watering – especially your courgettes, beans, strawberries and tomatoes.

Deadhead roses, cape reinga lilies, daisies, ladies mantle and more to tidy up and hopefully get another flowering.

Harvest fennel and check out the recipe section of our website to make use of your excess produce.

Read on for more details.


Take two

Awapuni EndiveThis is a shot of our second attempt at growing flowers in our very handy urbanmac planter boxes. Our first attempt at growing these flowers for our label pictures wasn’t a success.

We used some grass clippings that had been dropped in at the nursery to make some compost just for these planter boxes. Unfortunately, we didn’t know the grass clippings had been sprayed with a pesticide. These sprayed grass clippings caused our first round of planter box plants to become stressed and unhealthy. Fortunately, we worked out what the problem was and now we’ve made new compost everything is looking good. Hopefully soon we will have some smart looking new pictures for some of our labels.

We have already got pictures for all our labels but some can be improved on – hence the plantings. If anyone reading this has some high resolution flower pictures they would like to share with us we would be keen to see them.

Happy gardening
Henri
 

Vibrant verbena

Vibrant verbena If you’ve got a sunny, well-drained spot in your garden that needs filling, you should think about planting verbena. This colourful flower is also good for growing in pots, baskets and for cut flowers. At Awapuni we stock two varieties – our verbena mix and verbena patriot mix. Both varieties grow to a height of 25cm. Visit our shop to order yours today.




10 mistakes new herb gardeners make

We stumbled upon this list of mistakes new gardeners can make when growing herbs, and thought it was very accurate. Check out the list from The Skinny Gourmet here. And if you’ve got any great herb tips you’d like to share, flick us an email. The person who submits our favourite herb growing tip will win a selection of Awapuni seedlings.


Recipe roundup

It’s that time of year again – plenty of produce in the garden to harvest, and eat! So we thought we’d better remind you of some of the recipes we have on our website. Our tomato relish and tomato and capsicum chutney recipes are fantastic for making use of excess produce. We’ve just uploaded a new banana and carrot muffin recipe which is delicious – and the muffins freeze well. And there are plenty of other recipes on our site that are worth checking out too.  

 

Cottage love

If you’re a fan of the cottage garden style of gardening, you can’t look past love in a mist. It has been commonly grown in cottage gardens for over 100 years and is perfect for creating the informal and charming style that makes this look so popular.

Use it to fill in gaps or to create mass beddings of pretty, and delightful blue flowers. Team it up with other complementary flowers like hollyhock, Canterbury bells, and sweet William or try growing our cottage garden mix which also includes plants like those I’ve just listed.

You can order love in a mist (technically known as nigella) from our online store or pick up a bundle or two of plants next time you’re at one of our local stockists.

Read more


Bring in the bees with bergamot

It’s no secret why lemon bergamot is also known as bee balm. As the name suggests, bergamot is a balm to bees – they love it!

The busy little insects are drawn to colours like blue and purple, which is why plants like lavender, rosemary, Thai basil and, of course, lemon bergamot are so attractive to them. And also the reason all of these plants are typically included in our Bee Mix – a bundle of bee-friendly seedlings.

Read more

 

Mulch top tip winners

Once again we received some practical tips from readers – this time on mulching. Anne waters deep on hot sunny days, and puts a layer of lawn clipping around her veg plants to cover any small weeds. Diane uses pea straw to help manage her clay soil which is heavy and wet in winter and hard and easily cracked in summer. She also plants close to each other to avoid leaving unexposed soil and conserve moisture. Shona uses her trusty secateurs to cut up green, dried, disease-free plant material and leaves it right where it falls as mulch. And Iris sent us some great pics showing how she’s creating a bird and bee garden (something flowering all four seasons to feed birds and bees).

Iris is using a similar ‘crop and drop’ approach to Shona as just one way of creating her mulch – hence all the self-seeded chrysanthemums (growing over top of pine cones) in this picture. Congrats to Shona and and Iris for being selected as this month’s winners. And thanks to everyone for emailing us.

 

Henri and Paul Ham, Awapuni Nurseries Ltd
Pioneer Highway PO Box 7075 Palmerston North 4443 NEW ZEALAND

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