Amazing asters


WHO doesn’t like to receive a few compli› ments about how great their garden is looking? I do, and I bet you do too. So this summer if you’d like to astound, amaze and astonish your friends with the colour and beauty in your garden, try growing asters.
The bright coloured flowers come in several shades of pink and pur› ple, red and white. They look fantastic in the ground, but also make great cut flowers. At Awapuni, we stock two different varieties —the dwarf which grows to about 25cm high and the tall variety which grows to about 75cm high.
These striking looking flowers are also popular with bees, butter› flies and other beneficial insects, which makes them great for plant› ing in a spot where you need extra pollination — like your vegetable garden. They’re also a perfect companion plant for growing next to roses, petunias, marigolds and cosmos because they all like the same conditions — full sun and free›draining soil.
Pick up some aster seedlings, and once you’ve found the right spot to plant, dig in some compost and blood and bone fertiliser.
To get the amazing effect you’re after plant them quite close together — no more than 20cm apart for dwarf and 40cm for the tall variety.
Once you’ve planted all your seedlings, apply a bit of mulch, or some more of your compost to prevent them drying out. Remem› ber, not to overhead water to avoid them catching any diseases.
In about six to eight weeks even you’ll be complimenting yourself for having the foresight to plant asters.
— Tod Palenski
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