Garden calendar March 2019
- This is the best time of the year to plant new shrubs trees, creepers and ground covers. The combination of warm soil and moisture really helps new plants to get going.
- Time to plant spring flowering bulbs for the most miraculous flower show in town. Tulips and hyacinths need to go into the fridge for cold conditioning over 4 to 6 weeks. Place in paper bags in the vegetable crisper certainly not the freezer as this will likely kill the bulbs.
- One idea is to plant your bulbs then over plant these with pansy viola or alyssum to give you colour in winter before the bulbs show their heads.
- Sow seed of spring flowering bedding plants such as cineraria lobelia, pansy and perfumed stocks.
- Plant out sweet pea seeds for a wall of fragrance and winter colour. If going into clay soils sprinkle a dusting of garden lime to sweeten up the soil. Also remember to construct a substantial supporting frame.
- Vegetable gardening makes good economic sense through autumn and winter as rain provides free water. This is a good time to clean up the vegetable patch get rid of vegie trash and prepare soil for the new seasons plantings. Add a 5 cm thick layer of composted Soil Improver Plus and dig in to a depth of 20cm.
- Plant citrus trees into the garden or pots. If the soil is clay based citrus need good drainage so you may need to mound up the soil so excess moisture runs away from the stem.
- Take cuttings of herbs these are generally easier than growing from seed and varieties such as basil, sage, thyme mint and oregano are generally very successful. Lemon grass can be divided.
- In the southern half of Australia plant potatoes, artichokes and all members of the onion tribe including chive, onion, garlic, shallot, spring onion and leek. Also broad beans, sugar snap peas, silver beet, beetroot, radish, mustard, French beans, turnips and lettuce can go in now.
- It is also time to feed the whole garden because the next few months are like a second spring and there is warmth and moisture to make plants leap into growth and flower. So out with Baileys Blood and Bone Mix or Baileys Energy Garden; then spread the good news about.
- Mulch with Moisture Mulch and lightly fertilise tropical trees as they are still growing. Bailey's Rose and Citrus fertiliser is formulated for promoting growth, flower and fruit production.
- Keep feeding and watering runner beans and peas with Baileys Energy Garden, harvest regularly to get the maximum crop. Once finished cut the plant to the ground but leave the nitrogen rich root system to improve the soil.
- Feed lawns now with Baileys Brilliance to maintain the lush green colour into the cooler seasons. Apply fertiliser to a dry lawn and then water in with sprinklers.
Pruning and Maintenance
- Roses can be given a trim now taking as much of 1/3 of growth off. Give them a feed and the bushes will be ready to produce a bounteous season of flower for you. Use Baileys Energy Garden.
- Trim conifer hedges now before the onset of cold weather.
- Install a water tank or a water butt in preparation for winter rains. This rainwater is ideal for acid loving plants such as rhododendron, camellia, blueberry and azalea.
- When growing vegies in pots, containers or when constructing a raised garden bed make sure you use Baileys Veg & Herb Premium Planting Mix. It is ready to use straight from the bag and is perfect for growing an abundant and healthy crop.
- Lift pumpkins and squash off wet soil by placing on a strip of wood or an upturned clay saucer to prevent rot setting in before you harvest.
- Time to harvest mature pumpkins, squash, cucumber, radish, sweet corn, tomato and chilli. With pumpkins wait till the stalk begin to shrivel. Cut the fruit off the vine leaving about 10 to 15cm length of stalk still attached. Not only is this a useful handle but it also helps the harvested pumpkins last longer in storage. Also leave in the full sun to harden off for a couple of weeks before moving under cover.
- How do you tell when apples are ready to pick? Take a fruit in the palm of your hand, lift slightly and twist. If it comes away easily then it's ripe.
- Prune peach and nectarine after fruiting has finished by taking off about 1/3 of total growth concentrating on stems that bore fruit this summer.
- Mow lawns high so that leaves shade the root system.
- Regular mowing helps reduce weed infestation.
- Water your lawn right after mowing to stop the newly exposed blades of grass from burning.
- Compost lawn clippings to add to your garden as fertiliser. However, if you have used herbicides including weed and feed formulations on your lawn then it's best to dispose of the clippings.
- The extreme heat often leads to blossom end rot in tomato and capsicum. Brown patches appear at the base of the fruit at the opposite end to the stem. Also, splits appear in tomato fruits and sometimes white blotches which are sunburn show up on fruits that are exposed to direct sun. Mulching can help as well as even watering. If possible shade your plants temporarily.
- Cherry and apricot trees suffer from canker diseases that are most readily spread when the trees are pruned in winter. For this reason do your annual pruning now that the fruiting has finished.