The First Autumn Tasks to Tackle in March

Planting seedlings
shallots
grapes

The First Autumn Tasks to Tackle in March

For those regions that had consistent weather over summer, it’s now time to harvest the last of summer crops. This month we also prepare the garden for planting winter crops and flowers and enjoy fresh apples, passionfruit, grapes and pears as they ripen.

 

In the veggie patch 
Vegetables to harvest this month include beans, beetroot, cabbage, carrots, celery, corn, cucumber, eggplant, kumara, lettuce, melons, onions, potatoes, parsnip, pumpkin, radish, silver beet, spinach, and tomatoes. Note down what vegetables have been particularly successful and possible reasons why so you can replicate it next season. Also, note where you planted your crops so you can rotate them next summer to help maintain soil nutrition levels and avoid the build-up of pests and diseases. 

 

Winter vegetables to be planted in March include:

  • Beetroot
  • Broccoli
  • Cabbage
  • Cauliflower
  • Carrots
  • Lettuce
  • Onions
  • Radish
  • Silver beet
  • Spinach

 

Before planting out, add fresh compost to the existing soil and combine thoroughly. Stagger plantings to spread out the harvest, giving you a continuous supply of fresh produce over a longer period rather than all at once.

 

Houseplant care
It’s not the easiest of months for houseplants as rooms inside our homes are often very hot with little air circulation while owners are at work. Check houseplants regularly for signs of stress, and or disease. Yellowing, dull green, or leaves falling are signs of poor health. Also, check the position of your houseplants - are they receiving the same light as earlier months, or significantly less – adjust as needed. 

 

Flowering annuals
Summer flowering annuals are now finishing their main flowering season, so it’s time to remove old plants and add them to the compost bin! Fortunately, there are some flower arrivals that continue to bloom almost all-year round including, alyssum, lobelia, violas, and pansies. Towards the end of March, the following winter flowering annuals can be planted; calendulas, cornflower, dianthus, nemesias, pansies, primulas, sweet william and violas. 

 

Fruit trees 
Harvest the last of maturing peaches. Apples and pears, passionfruit and edible grapes are also maturing and will soon be ready to eat. Leave the fruit on the plant as long as possible, to get full tree ripe flavour.  Maintain a copper spray on citrus trees to prevent melanose and verrucosis (citrus scab), two common fungal citrus diseases. 

 

Roses
Depending on the varieties grown, March can bring mixed results in the rose garden. Maintain the health of the plants by mulching, regular deep-watering and constantly dead-heading finished flowers. Garden hygiene remains very important. Remove all fallen leaves from the rose garden, this helps reduce the amount of reinfection with black spot and rust. 

 

Herb Garden
This month some herbs will start flowering, so cut off young flowers to prolong growth of the plant. March is the perfect month to cut and dry herbs for use over the winter months. With very vigorous growing herbs, cut back regularly, even if you are not using them. 

Lawns 
Autumn is an important season for lawn care – warm soil and regular rainfall provides an ideal environment for new grass seed to germinate so tackle any problems such as thinning or patches or sow a new lawn. Feed existing lawns with Daltons Premium Lawn Fertiliser this month and continue through till late April. This provides essential nutrients for healthy growth in the spring. 

Bulbs
There is a huge selection of bulbs available to grow! Choose fresh, healthy-looking bulbs early in the season to get the best of the bunch. Even if they are in a packet, check them carefully. You want healthy, firm, well-sized bulbs avoiding any that are mouldy, soft, discoloured or shrivelled. Prepare the soil thoroughly for planting by incorporating generous amounts of compost and Daltons Premium Bulb Mix.

 

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