NZ Gardener - 2021-10-01


Do you love the environment as much as your own garden?


We sure do over at Awapuni Nurseries. Did you know we’ve been using newspaper to wrap our seedlings bundles in since the beginning? We’re now one of the few remaining nurseries in New Zealand to use recycled packaging and we definitely don’t plan on changing any time soon. A 60-year-old company owned and operated by me, Henri Ham, the nursery now employs more than 50 team members and supplies plant directly to our customers throughout New Zealand. It begs the question, for a company so busy, why newspaper? Simple! That’s how we started. When production first began we made the decision to use newspaper instead of plastic punnets to aid our harvesting from the open plots in fields. This was all done by hand and direct from ground to packaging, it was hard work but we loved every minute of it. Fortunately, we’ve advanced somewhat from hand sowing and harvesting and now sow our seeds in reusable trays with a seeding machine, we then cover them with a layer of sawdust to keep them moist. From there, we move them into a germination chamber for about five days. They are then placed in a greenhouse or on outside benches for six to twelve weeks, which gives the roots time to establish before packaging. Once they’re ready, one of the team members uses a plug popper to dislodge the seedlings out of their trays, which are then wrapped carefully in newspaper. On average we use around 15-20 tonnes of recycled newspaper per year, avoiding the use of the equivalent weight of plastic! And it’s a win-win. Not only does this method support the reduction in waste, but it also keeps the roots of our plants intact and moist during transport, ensuring bright and lush seedlings are delivered to you! Ps, when planting any of our seedling packs, use the newspaper as a layer of mulch to keep the young roots moist in between watering’s the labels are biodegradable too. If you’d like to give our seedlings a go, get in touch with us we’d love to hear from you.


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