In The Garden: March14-Feb-2014
If you have a bulb fetish - Or would like to give bulbs a go - March is the most important time of year to prepare the spring bulbs.
Daffodils, Jonquils and Grape Hyacinth - these are easy to grow and will provide a brilliant show of colour.
Daffodils and Jonquils prefer open sunny spaces - although if planted in a shady place they will be encouraged to grow longer stems and a flower that lasts and does not fade as quickly.
Be careful though - should the area be too shady they will cease flowering.
Got some old clumps that have stopped flowering - dig them up and relocate them into an area of full sun
These can be planted in open, grassed areas or as part of a border.
They will grow easily in reasonable soil without the need for additional fertilisers - provided you keep the soil moist during their growing period.
Rule of thumb for bulb planting is pop them into an average garden soil, down about 3 times their actual size.
If your planting medium is sandy loam - go deeper to keep them in contact with cool moist subsoil.
The coolness acts as a stimulant to get the roots to start moving.
Continue deadheading. Including Roses after flowering.
Annuals, perennials, flowering trees and shrubs like:
Wisteria, Jasmine, Mock Orange, Rosemary, Box Hedge(Buxus)
Prune Grevillea's lightly.
Remember - when feeding natives use a native plant fertiliser mix - these are lower in phosphorus(less than4%).
Planning to plant - Planting
Evergreens can be transplanted.
Trees and shrubs - before planting make sure to dig in compost or a soil improver
Native and Exotic.
Ageratum, Alyssum, Anemone/Aquilegia(Buttercup Family - Columbines),
Antirrhinum(Snapdragon and their family), Arctotis(Aurora Daisy, African Daisy, Shasta
Carnation, Cineraria, Cornflower,Delphinium, Dianthus,Freesia, Gypsophila(Baby's breath),
Hollyhock,Lobelia,Lupin,Myosotis( Forget Me Not), Nasturtium,Pansy, Penstemon,
Polyanthus, Poppy(Iceland ,Oriental), Stock, Sweet William, Viola, Wallflower and spring Bulbs
Potato's once dug up - store out of light
Onions - string and hang - under cover in an airy place
Tomatoes are starting to become more abundant - these need to be picked at the right time for optimum flavour.
Ideally as soon as the base starts to show a pink flush to it pick it then to ripen indoors -but not on the window sill in the sun.
Even though the rest of the skin may be green, if the hot sun ripens them it can reduce the flavour and destroy the taste.
(e) this is the last month to plant out and achieve best results
(p) there will be another chance next month to get it in the ground.
(b) this is the beginning of the season so in general we will have a bit of time.
(su) start undercover in seed trays before transplanting to garden
(t) transplant seedlings to beds
Beans (Pole, Runner & Scarlet as well as Dwarf, French & Bush)(p), Beetroot, Broad Bean (Fava Bean)seed(b), Broccoli(su),
Cabbage( including Chinese)(b)(su),Cape Gooseberry(e), Carrot, Cauliflower(b)(su),Celeriac(b)(su), Celery(b)(su), Chilli(e), Chives, Collards(b)(su), Cucumber(e),
Dill(b)(p), Endive, Fennel(b), Kale(b)(su), Kohlrabi(b), Leeks(t), Lettuce, Mustard Greens, Oregano, Pak Choy(b), Parsley, Radish, Rocket(b), Rosella,
Shallots(Eschalots), Silverbeet, Sunflower(p), Swede(Rutabagas), Spring Onion, Sweet Corn, Turnip
At this time of year it is suggested to consider planting broccoli, cabbages and caulis from seed under cover; allowing seedlings to develop into well sized rosettes before planting out.
Otherwise buy well established seedlings and after planting feed regularly with diluted liquid fertilisers to help grow quickly and get established.
Plant in tight block rather than rows.This will aid pollination.
Water consistently as cobs develop.Harvest when silks turn dark brown.
Keep a lookout for mildew, marginal leaf scorch and surplus growth.
Keep moist - but be be on the lookout for rootballs that are drying out.
Mealy Bugs ? - these can be dabbed with Methylated spirit.
Now is the time to bring Cyclamen corms into leaf by watering and potting into fresh soil
March is a good time to give your roses a top up feed to help all those beautiful flowers.
Do ensure that the soil is moist before applying a good rose food
March is also the time to give the lawn a good feed to prepare it for the drier winter months.
Consider using products like: Supergrass, Eco 88, Organic Extra, Green Up Lawn Food.
Apply approximately 4 - 6 weekly and water in well.
Products like Organic Extra are especially good as they are gentle with new root growth.
With all the rain, grass will have grown significantly, so keep cutting it at regular intervals.
Even though at present it is growing at a rate of knots; do start to raise the mower height a little in preparation for the slower growing months that will be on us before we realise!
Wanting to establish new lawn?
Now is actually a great time to establish a new lawn; either by seed OR for an instant effect use "Turf"
When preparing for new lawn there is no need to turn the soil to any great depth and unless the area is very uneven 10cm should be ample.
If you do not feel like digging the area you can always spread new soil on top instead - our Garden Blend is a good soil and we have other options available so talk to us and check out what is best for you.
Prior to planting use a fertiliser such as Eco 88 or Organic Xtra to prepare the soil.
If seeding this should ideally be applied about 3 weeks before sowing - if this is not possible it will not cause problems.
With the change of seasons and the approaching cooler, moist weather there will be huge advantages to newly sown grass seed.
Good consistent watering should occur for the 3 weeks after sowing while germination happens - allowing for a good soaking but not so much that it will wash away
Once sown and watered a few times the weather will virtually take over the job between now and spring encouraging deep roots and thick turf.
Citrus / Fruit
Remove weak, misplaced growth as fruit is harvested.
Unless making preserves allow stone fruit to ripen fully before picking for best flavour.
Pears and apples - pick as stalk tips release as fruit is lifted - If you have to drag them off with effort resulting in snapping the stalk - it is too early.
Ripen indoors - do not place in plastic bags unless they are well cooled and to be used within a short time.
Apples such as Granny Smith make good eating if allowed to ripen on the tree - most others however do not.
Remove and destroy all fallen fruit, leaves and prunings.
Check citrus for scale.
Feed with a granular citrus food, ensure you water in well to avoid burning roots or leaves.
Mulch well to ensure water goes deep to help with fruit production and to keep it juicy.