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 plenty 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. Tradition also states that you should plant sweet peas on St Patrick's Day!
- Now's a great time to get acid-loving plants, such as camellias, rhododendrons and azaleas, into the ground.
- Don’t forget bulbs - they're in-store now! 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 a six week chill period before you plant them. Keep them in the crisper in a paper bag or egg carton, and away from fruit which could give off gases.
- Now's the ideal time to establish an edible garden. March is high time for planting veggies like broad beans, beetroot, broccoli, cabbage, carrot, cauliflower, kohlrabi, leek, lettuce, spring onion, parsley, parsnip, peas, radish, silver beet and spinach.
- March is a great month to start a herb garden. Plant coriander, parsley, rosemary, sage, thyme and oregano in a sunny spot.
- Now that summer's over, it's time to take care of that lawn. Top dress your lawn and give it a boost with lawn food before rain is forecast. If you're looking to green up your lawn quickly, Scotts Lawn Builder Extreme Green will do the job in a couple of days. If you'd rather a formulation more focused on your lawn's ongoing health, try Scotts Lawn Builder All Purpose.
- Feed your azaleas, rhododendrons and camellias with a specialist formula for acid-loving plants. We love Kahoona.
- Keep leafy greens happy with a liquid feed of Harvest every 7-10 days.
- Use a complete fertiliser, such as Supergrow Organic Fertiliser Pellets, or blood and bone around trees, shrubs, vegies and annuals, ensuring you water before and after. This will help encourage further growth before winter hits.
- Prune your fuchsias and geraniums and deadhead your roses to extend their life.
- Trim up buxus, murraya and gardenia which might be looking a little messy after summer growth.
- If your geranium bush is looking lanky or untidy, cut it back hard.
- Herbs that flourished in summer will appreciate a haircut in March.
- Check citrus for aphids and citrus leaf miner and spray with PestOil if needed.
- Get rid of aphids on roses with eco-oil or pyrethrum.
- Caterpillars on tomatoes and grapevines can be treated with Success ULTRA.
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. Scotts Lawn Builder All Purpose is our top pick.
- 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