June 2016

Did you know?


According to Jekka’s Complete Herb Book the slaves constructing the pyramid of Cheops and the Roman soldiers were given garlic cloves daily to sustain their strength. Did you also know that during the First World War, sphagnum moss (the kind you use in hanging baskets) was soaked in garlic juice and used as an antiseptic wound dressing.

Stop slugs in their slime


As it’s the time of year when slugs can wreck havoc on your vege garden, we thought it best to remind you of our ‘natural’ slug bait recipe – beer bait.

Visit here for step-by-step instructions on how to stop slugs in their slime.

June is a good
time to...



Tidy up your asparagus patch and get your roses ready for pruning. Divide your strawberry plants and remove runners. Cut the leaves off your hellebores. Plant your garlic. Replant or plant natives. Check your cauliflowers aren’t getting hit by frost. And stake your broad beans.

Read on for more information.

Burning question


We have a willow tree that has developed lumps on the leaves and has a black sooty substance on the branches. What do you think is on the tree and how can we treat it?

Two to three years ago the Great Willow Aphid arrived in New Zealand and it has spread rapidly across the country.

If you look closely I think the lumps on your leaves will actually be these large aphids. They excrete a honey dew and a fungus grows on the honey dew which becomes black. And the next problem is the honey dew attracts lots of wasps - have you noticed this? The tree should be dropping its leaves soon and hopefully the cold weather and some frosts will kill off the aphids before spring. But if not you could spray the tree in spring with an insecticide like a rose spray which would kill aphids.

Another option is to try and put some lady birds on the trees. From what I've read we're not sure yet whether ladybirds have enough of an impact on these types of aphids but it's probably worth a try - if you're not using insecticide. If you can't get rid of the aphids unfortunately they may cause drastic growth reduction in the tree.

Click here to email Tod your burning question today.



Beginning to master bedding begonias

For a couple of seasons we have tried and failed to successfully grow bedding begonias. This year we are determined to succeed. We started this season by picking up some books and researching the most ideal conditions needed to germinate the seeds.

Turns out this is where we were failing.
 

These seeds need light to germinate - so no wonder they didn't want to germinate previously. The seed needs to sit on top of the soil and likes 100% humidity and a temperature that is 20+ degrees. In the picture you can see the trays under a plastic cloche which is inside a glasshouse. We will keep you posted on our results!

Happy gardening
Henri Ham
 

Strawberries – the summer fruit for anywhere and everyone

Strawberries are one of the most popular edible plants to have in the garden. And it’s not hard to work out why. They’re tasty of course. But they have a couple of other great factors going for them. They can be eaten straight from the garden – always a plus. But more importantly they can be grown just about anywhere.  

It really doesn’t matter what size of garden you have or whether you even have a garden at all. Strawberries can be grown in almost anything – a cut off drainpipe, a planter box, in the garden bed, in a hanging planter and more. As long as they can see the sun, and your garden bed or ‘planter’ is well-drained, you can expect great growing results.

Strawberries are best planted in June or July. Or, if you live down south, probably best to wait until August when the soil is a little warmer. Once you’re ready to plant, head to your local supermarket or Bunnings and grab a couple or more Awapuni Nurseries strawberry bundles. Each bundle has around three plants which should produce upwards of 50 strawberries come Christmas. My theory is fill the space you’ve got with as many plants as you can fit. I personally don’t think you can ever have too many strawberries! If you like to shop from the comfort of your own home, simply jump online and have your plants delivered direct to your door.

As with all plants, soil preparation is important. Strawberries prefer a soil pH of 5.8 to 6.2, which is slightly acid, so you shouldn’t need any lime.

You can enrich the strawberry bed by digging in potash and composted vegetable matter to provide a boost of food for the plants as they grow, and fowl manure to reduce the pH.

Read more.



Creative strawberry containers

It seems there is no end to the list of creative places you can grow strawberries.

We did a quick search online and here are some of the cool strawberry planting ideas we found.

Pallet planters, pyramid planter, vertical drainpipe planter, gutter gardens and more.

How do you grow your strawberries?
 

Send us an email with a pic of your strawberry planter/patch and you’ll go in the draw to WIN a selection of Awapuni Nurseries seedlings. We’ll announce the winner in the next edition of Cultivated News.
 

Nothing beats home-grown garlic

How do you know when you’ve truly become bona-fide vegetable gardener? I wonder if it’s when you can’t imagine buying a particular plant from the supermarket. For me, garlic is a product I can’t imagine purchasing any more. I love the taste of home-grown garlic. It’s also easy to grow – which helps. And it’s easy to store, another plus. So there’s generally no need to fork out for an inferior (I think) product at the supermarket.  

If you already grow your own garlic I’m sure you know what I mean. And if you don’t, I hope this inspires you to give it a crack. And don’t forget all the other benefits of having garlic in your garden. It’s said to keep away aphids, apple scab, leaf-curl and mosquitoes. And if you use it in a spray it helps keep a list of other annoying insects at bay.

You don’t need too much space for garlic. It just needs to be well-drained, which means pots and hanging baskets are also suitable planting locations. Alternatively, plant it next to your roses to ward off aphids, beneath apple and peach trees to prevent apple scab and leaf-curl, and next to your tomatoes to protect against red spider.

Grab some Awapuni Nurseries garlic plants from your local supermarket, Bunnings or The Warehouse. Alternatively, head to our online store and get your garlic delivered direct to your door.

Read more.



Time for tamarillo
It can be quiet on the fruit front during winter. Luckily, that's when the tamarillo comes into it’s own.

Tamarillos are a good source of vitamin C and contain iron, phosphorus and vitamin
 

How do you like to eat/cook your tamarillos?

We like the look of this 'tipsy tamarillo' recipe from Alison Holst. Sounds delicious.
 
 

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

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