The air is turning crisp, and cooler days mean it’s time to get your hands (or gloves!) dirty in the garden. There are plenty of plants in flower if you need some instant colour, but it’s also time to remove spent summer annuals and vegies, prepare garden beds for autumn planting, and give your post-summer lawns some TLC.
- Trees & shrubs: abelia, azalea (early varieties), banksia, camellia sasanqua, crepe myrtle, frangipani, fuchsia, gordonia, plumbago, roses.
- Annuals & perennials: chrysanthemums, dahlia, impatiens, ginger lily, Aster daisy, petunia, phlox, plectranthus, rudbeckia.
- Bulbs: belladonna lily, canna, day lily, nerine.
- There’s so much to choose from in March. From seed or seedling you can plant ageratum, alyssum, calendula, candytuft, Canterbury bells, cineraria, cornflower, dianthus, lobelia, lupin, marigold, pansy, poppy, primula, polyanthus, snapdragon, verbena, viola and wallflower.
- Camellias, rhododendrons and azaleas are perfect for planting in March.
- Don’t forget bulbs. Plant anemone, babiana, bluebells, daffodils, Dutch iris, freesias, grape hyacinth, hyacinth, ixia, jonquils, ranunculus and tulips. Daffodil, grape hyacinth, hyacinth and tulip bulbs should be kept in the fridge for six weeks first.
- Plant edibles like broad beans, beetroot, broccoli, cabbage, carrot, cauliflower, kohlrabi, leek, lettuce, spring onion, parsley, parsnip, peas, radish, silver beet and spinach.
- It’s a great month to start a herb garden. Plant coriander, parsley, rosemary, sage, thyme and oregano somewhere sunny.
- Top dress your lawn and give it a boost with lawn food before rain is forecast.
- Feed your azaleas, rhododendrons and camellias with camellia and azalea food.
- Use a complete fertiliser or blood and bone around trees, shrubs, vegies and annuals, ensuring you water before and after.
- Prune your fuchsias, geraniums and deadhead roses.
- Trim buxus, murraya and gardenia.
- If your pelargonium bush is lanky or untidy, cut it back hard.
- Herbs that flourished in summer will appreciate a trim in March.
- Check citrus for aphids and citrus leaf miner and spray with PestOil if needed.
- Rid aphids on roses with eco-oil or pyrethrum and caterpillars on tomatoes and grapevines with Success ULTRA.
- Aphids on roses and chrysanthemums can be sprayed with MaxGuard.
General garden care
- When summer vegies have finished, scatter a complete plant food or blood and bone before planting the next crop. Water thoroughly before and after planting.
- Remove spent summer annuals and vegies that are coming to an end.
- Pick your basil, marjoram, chives and other herbs for drying or freezing.
- Check the roots of your spent tomato bushes for nematodes. If there are large numbers of small galls, do not plant them in the same spot next year.
- Feed lawns with a slow release fertiliser and water in.
- Prepare garden beds for bulb planting by adding compost and bags of manure.
- If you have deciduous trees, water them deeply this month. The leaves on well-watered trees tend to turn more vibrant shades of orange and red before falling.
- Sweet peas
- Spring-flowering bulbs
- Lawn top dressing and fertiliser
- Camellia & azalea food