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Cornflower


March Gardening Tasks

It’s a transitional month in the garden as summer draws to an end and autumn approaches. Time to begin preparation for the winter garden. Autumn rains are certainly welcome for many parched gardens. 

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Veggie Garden Tasks
Veggie Garden Tasks

Summer vegetables to be harvested in March include, aubergines, beans (dwarf and climbing), beetroot, cabbage, carrots, celery, corn, cucumbers, kumara, lettuce, onions, potatoes, pumpkin, radish, silver beet, spinach, and tomatoes. As you clear out harvested crops, compost the remains and begin preparing for winter vegetables.  

Rotate crops to ensure vegetables are not grown in the same area year after year and enrich the soil with fresh compost before planting new seedlings or sowing seeds. 

Veggies to plant out this month include brassicas such as asian greens, broccoli cabbage, cauliflower and kohl-rabi, along with beetroot, broad beans, carrots, lettuce, onions, radish, silverbeet and spinach.
 

Prepare for Winter Rains

Use the early autumn to improve your garden's drainage especially since it's prone to excessive wetness in July and August. Talk to your local garden centre about the best drainage solutions for areas that frequently experience puddling or flooding.

Adding organic matter, like compost, into your soil improves its structure and boosts drainage. Applying a layer of mulch on top protects roots from the cold and minimises nutrient loss from the soil. When heavy rains hit, mulch soaks up the surplus water and slowly releases it.

 

Bulb Season Begins

Always prepare new bulb planting sites thoroughly with fresh compost and Daltons Premium Bulb Mix. Bulbs thrive in an open, sunny position whether they are grown in the ground or pots. Varieties to plant in March include anemone, babiana, crocus, daffodil, hyacinth, ixia, jonquil, lachenalia, freesia, muscari, ranunculus, iris, tulips and wasonias.

Flowering Annuals

As the vibrant blooms of summer annuals make their final show, it’s time to shift focus to winter flowers. Later this month plant favourites such as alyssum, calendulas, cineraria, cornflower, lobelias, nemesias, pansies, primulas, snapdragons, stock, violas, and wallflowers. These selections will add colour to your garden during the chilly months ahead. 

Consider elevating your flower beds to prevent potential flooding in the wetter months and prepare your soil for planting the same way you would for your veggies.

Rose Garden Care

As temperatures reduce and rainfall increases many rose bushes and climbers commence their late-season blooming. A light side dressing of Daltons Premium Rose and Flower Fertiliser and continue mulching to help retain soil moisture. 

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Planting Bulbs
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peaches
Harvesting Fruit Trees 

This month is fruitful, quite literally, with the last of the summer’s peaches (golden queen), mid-season apples (golden delicious, red delicious, splendour), and pears all ripening, and grapes are now sweet enough to eat. You may need bird netting to discourage them from reaching fruit and some light pruning may be needed to manage excessive branch growth.

In warmer climates, passionfruit are turning purple, and the first ripe feijoas will start falling to the ground towards the end of the month.

Lawn Care

Depending on the weather, sowing a new lawn, or patching an existing lawn, can be carried out towards the end of the month. Always be aware of the slope of your lawn, considering water runoff during the wettest months. A mixture of various lawn seeds can provide the best all-year-round lawn. Retain at least 10% of the seed for over-sowing patches that don't germinate as expected.

 

Herb Garden Care

Many perennial herb plants will start flowering towards the end of March as they strive to produce seed. Remove flowers to extend their life, though it may be time to refresh some plants like parsley with new seedlings. March is also ideal for harvesting and drying herbs, ensuring a stockpile of flavours for winter.

Houseplant TLC

As temperatures cool somewhat, life becomes a little easier for many houseplants. Daltons Premium Houseplant Fertiliser now be added. Watering should now be reduced by around one-third. Remove any dead or very old leaves where necessary.

 

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Planting parsley