Tips – Sourcing Good Things for your Garden


Local seeds are always best. They’ve had time to acclimatise to our unique region. Start saving your own seed.

Southern Seed Exchange 

Join the seed exchange online. Membership entitles you to a number of seed packets every season. Great value access to heritage seeds that have been acclimatised to South Island conditions.

Koanga Gardens

Legendary seed-saving institute headed by Kay Baxter in the North Island. Many seeds are restricted to members only, all proceeds from sale of seeds go back into saving heritage seeds and food plants.

Kings Seeds

North Island based seed sellers with a huge catalogue of heritage and open-pollinated seeds.

Garden of Eden Seeds

Motueka-based nursery specialsing in dye plants and medicinal herbs.



A range of traditional Japanese tools for the New Zealand gardeners. My favorites are the Niwashi traditional (left or right handed) and the Niwashi Grubber.


A range of scythes, glaser wheel hoes and copper hand tools – almost too beautiful to get dirty.



Natures natural highly biological goodies from every gardeners best buddy – the worm. You can pick up from Wormworx in Cromwell (03) 445-0263. and some garden centres. Cost is usually around $13 for a 10kg bag.


Wally’s site is a bit hard to navigate but you can sign up for his informative newsletter. He also has a range of biologically orientated products.

Environmental fertilisers

Their aim is to achieve sustainable production of nutrient dense food and these guys have a smorgasboard of gardening delights for the gardener needing a bit of biological help. If you’re a spray junkie, check out their supposedly more enviro-friendly glyphosate (Round-Up type product).

Sheep pellets

A slow release natural fertiliser available from gardening and hardware stores.

Horse manure

Check out local riding schools or keep an eye out for side of the road sales. If you can, check when they last wormed the horses as if it was recently, their poo will kill worms in your soil.

Cow manure

Ask a farmer, the best time to collect is on a cold frosty morning as cow pats are easier to pick up frozen.


Lucerne, barley, wheat, rye, corn and pea will do the job. If possible, source spray-free. Ask farmers or check in the classifieds or at garden centres.
For Wanaka straw, try Hayley Landreth 027 722 4548

Extend your season

Upcycled cloches

Recycle see through plastic juice or soft drink bottles by cutting the bottom off and inverting them over plants. You can also fashion a cloche from a bit of No. 8 wire, a few clothes pegs and a plastic bag.

Cloche kits

Small easy-to-use kits.

Kerilea hoops

Larger scale cloche and mini-tunnel house systems.

Raised beds

Untreated pine

Source cheap boxing from building supplies shop like Placemakers or Mitre 10.


Can buy as kitset beds or straight timber from Clutha Milling.

Bricks, corrugated iron

Check the Wanaka Wastebusters yard or classifieds for second-hand materials which can be used to make a raised bed.