Wednesday, March 11, 2009

March in the Garden

Vegetable Garden
• Sow lettuce, silver beet, turnips, onions, broad beans parsley, sugar snap peas.
• Water regularly and evenly.
• Sow a green manure cover crop if the ground is not going to be used – mustard, blue lupin barley or oats.
• Harvest potatoes, onions, Garlic, beans (for freezing and as a vegetable).
• Plant succession crops of cabbage, cauliflower, broccoli, silver beet, brussell sprouts.
• Harvest the crops that are reading maturity especially those that you may wish to put in the freezer or bottle. Harvesting there at their prime and preserving them at this time means you have the best of the crop available for eating.
• To protect cauliflower and broccoli from sunburn and early frosts band the leaves over the top of the card and break the midrib so they stay in place.
• Sow mustard or oats in vacant ground and mulch the ground with compost or other material to retain soil moisture and build up the humus content of the soil.
Control white butterfly with spray or Derris Dust.

Flower Garden
• Now is the time to prepare the flower garden for the planting of annual plants for winter and spring displays. Clear out all the summer annuals that have finished, add compost or soil container to the soil and cultivate to a fine filth. Add some slow release fertilizer like Blood and Bone to the soil.
• Now is a good time to take cuttings of most shrubs in the garden.
• Plant out spring flowering bulbs anemones, ranunculus, tulips and narcissus or plan to plant them in April.
• Wallflowers and Polyanthus should be planted late in the month.
• Propagate of shrubs form cuttings can be undertaken this month. Cuttings should be cut correctly below a node the lower leaves removed. Place them in moist sand in an environment where there is good constant humidity, plenty of light but no direct sunlight. Leave them alone until the shoots start to grow. It is very easy for people to lift a cutting out of the sand to see if the roots are growing. That is the quickest way to kill the cutting. Leave them alone they will tell you when they are ready.
• Continue to trim shrubs and perennials so that they do not get out of hand.
• This time of year you can prepare shrubs for shifting around the garden. ‘Wrenching’ is the process of cutting some roots by digging part way around the shrub. This forces now fine roots to grow close to the plant so that you can dig up the plant already has a crop of fine roots which will support the plant in it’s new location.
• Sow sweet peas in place in the ground.

Prepare soil surface for seed sowing.
Sow lawn seed in late March and keep well watered.

If the lawn is growing well fertilise the lawn to encourage a good sward of grass. There are a number of prepared grass seed combinations on the market. Choose the best one for your site and intended use of the lawn.

Spray out weeds using proprietry selective lawns sprays. (eg Turfix)

Top dress hollows with sieved soil to level out lawns. Sow grass seed and keep watered.

Water regularly.

• Continue looking after all your plants – keep tomatoes healthy.
• This time of the year harvest as much as possible and are fresh or preserve.
• Don’t let the glasshouse get weedy or allow insects and diseases to build up or it will be a worse problem next year. Garden hygiene is very important here.

• Now is the time to plant out new strawberry plants.
• Harvest the fruit trees carefully. Do not break the branches when picking fruit.
• After trees have been harvested go over the tree or bush and remove all the fruit not harvested and dispose of it. Most likely it has been infested with spores or eggs and will infect trees next year if not controlled.
• Fertilise Citrus trees.
• Spray Citrus with Copper based sprays.
• Remove old canes from Raspberries and Boysenberries.


dinzie said...

This cold snap will trigger the garden into autumn/winter mode .... Damn cold southerly today

STill hard to find space on my small plot for the winter vegies ...


Alan Jolliffe said...

You want to be down here

Sleet yesterday and rain today

Ellerslie Flower Show is on. Hopefully Saturday will be nicer