With veggies ripe for the picking and a wide variety of flowers in bloom, we’re all as busy as bees in the garden this month, or mad as March hares for that matter!
Don’t let Jack get the jump on you this autumn! Early frosts down south can cause havoc so it pays to be prepared.
Although transplanting evergreen trees and shrubs can now begin, hold off on deciduous varieties until winter. And there’s still time to take cuttings of shrubs.
Hedge your bets this month! By trimming hedges now, new growth will strengthen them against winter frosts.
As temperatures dip, be careful not to over water plants.
While you may be singing for your supper, or whistling while you work at harvesting those veggies, you’ll be blubbing come spring if you forget to plant colourful bulbs! By now your spring-flowering bulb planting should be well underway.
Remember to dead-head summer flowers in order to retain blooms for longer.
Sow and grow: hyacinths, polyanthus, poppies, pansies, sweet peas.
Vegetables & Fruit
March is a busy month for harvesting in the veggie patch.
The chips are on when the spuds are up, but be sure to store those potatoes in sacks in a cool, dark and well-ventilated place to prevent them sprouting.
Good news for Peter Peter: your pumpkins are ready! Remember to leave a short length of stem when picking pumpkins to prevent rotting.
Ka mate, ka mate… kumara, kumara! It’s time to harvest kumara to store for the winter.
Pick any ripe fruit before it drops and savour the last of the summer... wine!
It’s also time to plant cabbages, broccoli and cauliflower before the worst of the weather sets in. When planting carrots be sure to keep the tops covered with soil.
Sow and grow: broad beans, onions, radishes, spinach, turnips, peas.
While some people have a ‘love for all seasons’, gardeners are usually stuck with pests for all seasons with autumn no exception!
Watch out for slugs, snails and puppy-dog tails! The first two dig the damp, chowing down on new growth during autumn. They can be stopped in their trails, however, by treating with snail bait such as Tui Quash Slug and Snail Stoppa. As for those over-enthusiastic puppies knocking your plants about with their tails, try getting a cat… that will put them in their place!
This month it’s important to stop summer weeds from reaching maturity. An application of weed killer should prevent weeds from flowering and spreading their seeds.
Indoor / Container Gardening
Don’t pass on the parsley when it comes to planning your herb garden! It’s time to sow parsley seeds but keep parsley pots sheltered from cooling weather.
Herbs can be cut back now and dried for later use.
Before the winter months set in, container plants will need to be re-potted with new potting mix, allowing their root systems to become re-established.
Viola, primula and pansy bulbs can now be planted in containers to ensure bright blooms through winter.
It’s time to get on the grass! Autumn lawns are most likely to grow successfully due to moist soil and a reduction in weed germination so, now is a good time to sow a new lawn.
As we’ve suffered through an unusually wet summer, existing lawns may require a little more care than is common this time of year. Pay extra attention to yellow patches and weeding to ensure a lush winter covering.
Aerate your lawn to loosen soil. During wet weather, soil can become compacted, reducing the strength of grass.
Feed as needed with long-lasting lawn fertiliser.
As the heat of the summer eases to those ‘just right’ temperatures, it’s an enjoyable time in the garden, but there is much work to be done as the new season begins bvut first ensure you take time to soak up the last of the sun.