Guides, Blog, FAQ's
Home Gardeners


Q: Can I buy directly from Waimea Nurseries?

A: As we supply to garden retailers, we do not supply small quantities direct to the public. We have a minimum order policy of ten trees per variety (ie. 10 x Apple Granny Smith'), and a minimum of 50 trees overall - so if you want at least these quantities, we are happy to help.   

Q: My local garden centre does not have the tree in stock that I want. How can I get it? 

A: Most garden centres will be happy to order the tree in for you, to come with their next order from us. Please note that not all of our varieties are available all year round. The best time for fruit trees and deciduous trees is between May and August, when our field grown trees are available. 



Q: I can't find the answer to my question. Can I talk to someone at Waimea Nurseries?

A: Due to the volume of enquiries, we are unable to provide a phone help line. Please look through the FAQ and 'How To' sections first. If you still need help, please email all details including photos if possible to: Please understand that we do get a large number of requests for information so may not be able to attend to the email immediately, but we do try to answer all messages. 


Q: The leaves on my lemon tree are covered with a black mould. What is this and how do I prevent it?

A: The black mould is 'Sooty Mould', which is a common problem on all types of citrus trees. It is a secondary problem after an insect infestation. Scale insects (and other insects) will have left a secretion on the leaves, and the mould has grown on that.  The mould can be washed off by covering the tree with a detergent solution (like Sunlight Liquid mixed with water), which should be done on a cool or cloudy day to prevent sunburn.  Insect infestations should be controlled using oils or insecticides to prevent a recurrence.  Reduce the likelihood of problems with insects and diseases by planting citrus trees in a sunny site with free draining soil (so avoid shady, damp areas), and prune the trees to be more open than dense. 



Q: My fruit tree has not produced any fruit this year. What have I done wrong?

A: There are a multitude of reasons why a tree will not produce fruit. How old is the tree? It may not have reached a bearing age yet (ranges from 1 to 10 years depending on the type of fruit). Were there flowers?  If the tree has not flowered, it may have not received sufficient winter chilling or may have too much Nitrogen in the soil which produces lots of vegetative growth at the expense of fruiting growth.  If the tree has flowered but not set fruit, the flowers may not have been pollinated. Was there good bird activity?  Is it a self fertile variety?  If not self fertile, is the cross pollinating variety planted nearby and did it flower at the same time?

Safe Gardening

Gardening is a popular pastime enjoyed by thousands of New Zealanders, helping people relax and escape the stresses of life. It provides enjoyment and exercise. The huge growth of interest in home-grown vegetables and fruit in recent years has added to people’s culinary enjoyment, and helped stretch their budgets further. Soil is rich with living organisms beneficial to plants which generally cause no harm to animals or people. Soil does however contain some organisms that can be harmful to people, if simple precautions are not taken. A type of Legionella bacteria, which is commonly found in the environment, is one of these. It has been shown to cause Legionnaires’ disease in a few people. This guide provides some simple and natural steps that all gardeners can take to reduce risk while continuing to enjoy their garden.

Reducing the Risk

As low as the incidence of Legionella contracted from gardening may be, it’s a serious issue and there are a few simple, easy and natural steps that all gardeners can take to reduce the risk while continuing to enjoy their garden. The Ministry of Health’s “Safer and Healthier Gardening” booklet provides guidelines to help reduce the risks for the home gardener:

• Minimise the amount of dust when working in the garden.
• Water your garden and indoor plants using a gentle spray.
• Read the warning on bags of composted potting mixes.
• Wear gloves when handling soil, mulches, compost or potting mix.
• Wear a dust mask if handling potting mixes indoors or in windy conditions.
• Dampen potting mixes before use.
• Open bags of soil products or composted potting mixes slowly and away from the face.
• Make sure the working area (glasshouse, potting shed) is well ventilated.
• Wash hands thoroughly after gardening or handling soil products.

See your doctor immediately if you develop a flu-like illness that is worsening. Antibiotics are effective against legionellosis if given early. When working around bulk supplies of potting mix, avoid breathing dust or inhaling steam or mist.

More Information
Safer and Healthier Gardening - HE4605, August 2010 Ministry of Health
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NZ Plant Producers Incorporated Legionnaires' Disease information

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 Legionella and legionellosis

Legionnaires’ disease (legionellosis) is a respiratory (lung) infection, caused by the Legionella bacteria and may be contracted from air conditioning and when you handle garden soils, compost and potting mixes. Legionella bacteria occur naturally in the environment and are common in water, garden soils, compost, soil conditioner and potting mixes. Legionella appears to infect humans by inhalation of dust or liquid droplets contaminated with the bacteria. The severity of legionellosis can range from a relatively mild respiratory non-pneumonic illness (Pontiac fever) to pneumonia (Legionnaires’ disease) which, if left untreated, may be fatal. There are two strains of Legionella bacteria responsible for most cases of legionellosis in New Zealand. Legionella pneumophilia has been responsible for illnesses linked to engineered water systems and cooling towers used in air conditioning systems of buildings. On the other hand human exposure to Legionella longbeachae, has been linked to the inhalation of airborne droplets or particles from garden soils, potting mix or composts containing the bacteria. Few who come into contact with the bacteria become sick and symptoms will vary from person to person.

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