• Customer since
  • Product used
    Custom potting mix


When Appleby Fresh first started growing melons, they used a basic potting mix. When they discovered that Azwood works closely with the grower to analyse their current approach and develop custom recipes based on the needs of the growing environment, their curiosity sparked a conversation. 


Appleby Fresh is one of the many growers in the region that sell produce at local farmers' markets and supply our grocery stores with the fruits and vegetables we purchase every day. Mark, the owner of Appleby Fresh, is a 4th generation grower and runs his operation as a legacy business. His children, who work at the farm with him, will be 5th generation growers. 

Their growing operation started 22 years ago with just cabbage, cauliflower, and lettuce but they've since expanded over the years and also become confident growers of eggplant, bok choi, Chinese cabbage, broccoli, and melon with 270 hectares of land for growing. 

It's most important for Mark to retain his good reputation with the Nelson Tasman community. He's also committed to making his business a generational business that continues to supply for his family.

The mix is fantastic. It's rich in nitrogen and the growth this year was much quicker than expected, so we will continue to work with Azwood to modify and improve.

Appleby Fresh


One of the key challenges Appleby Fresh found was the rapid loss of moisture from plants, which then required frequent irrigation.

The demand for regular irrigation requires a significant investment of time and resources to ensure that the plants are consistently watered. The loss of moisture can also lead to soil erosion and nutrient leaching, affecting the overall health and productivity of the plants.


Appleby Fresh's soil was very low in nitrogen and organic matter, which doesn't retain the nutrients and fertilisers needed for the plants, so a lot of nutrients were going to waste. These nutrients are essential in any growing environment.

After understanding their intentions on growing melons, we worked closely with Mark to create a nutrient-rich custom recipe for thriving and healthy melons.

Why do plants need nitrogen?

Nitrogen is the key ingredient to growing plants. It's like oxygen for humans! Without it, plants can't grow in a healthy or consistent state.

Nitrogen deficiency means plants can't produce the necessary proteins or amino acids to thrive. Although nitrogen makes up 78% of the air around us, it needs to be accessible to plants through their root systems. So that means it needs to be in their growing environments (or soil).

The best solution to making sure you have a high level of nitrogen in your growing environment is either through nitrogen fixation or recycled materials turned into compost. This includes all different types of combined green waste, fungi, plants, and manures to create nutrient-rich media.


After working with Azwood on a nutrient-rich custom potting mix, Appleby Fresh began their growing season with this custom recipe specially developed for their melons. They're really happy with the growth of their melons this year. The seedlings were substantially more consistent compared to some of their other plants in the early stages of growth.

Potting mix range

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