From Michael Coulter

March is the month that we see the start of the change of season from Summer to Autumn with the days getting shorter and the trees beginning to show signs of colour.

The tasks in the garden also change as we continue to harvest the Summer grown crops, Summer flowers start to fade and lawns will grow with the cooler temperatures and morning dews.

Our thoughts must turn now to Winter and preparing the garden for those plants that will provide vegetables and flowers during the Winter and following Spring.

Later in the Autumn is the time that we can plant trees, shrubs and Spring bulbs but we should not be in too much of a hurry for daffodils as they are better planted in April when the soil is cooler.

There is still time to plant Winter vegetables but it is important to keep them weed free to allow them to grow with little competition so that they are able to stand the Winter weather.

Remember when buying bulbs to only get those that are firm and clean as this indicates that they are free of any pest or disease.

For any gardening queries through the month you can consult our online facebook group

Lawns

  1. Apply fertiliser and water in.

  2. Treat for broad leaf weeds.

  3. Scarify to remove the thatch.

  4. Top dress and resow hard worn areas.

  5. New lawns are better sown now to get them established before the Winter.

  6. Look for and treat any fungal infection to prevent it spreading.

Fruit & Vegetable Garden

  1. Prune out the old fruiting canes of berry fruit like raspberries, blackberries etc.

  2. Pick pip fruits before they get over ripe so that they keep better.

  3. Plant Winter brassicas, silver beet and other winter greens.

  4. Give fruit trees a clean up treatment after all the fruit has been picked.

  5. Transplant strawberry runners in small pots to plant later to renew strawberry beds.

  6. Give leeks a fertiliser side dressing to keep them growing.

  7. Remove the old plants of spent crops and dig the ground over to keep the area weed free.

Flower Garden

  1. Remove spent flowers and cut back perennials that have finished flowering by about a third.

  2. Remove Summer annuals and prepare ground for further planting.

  3. Prepare ground for planting new shrubs, trees and bulbs later in the Autumn.

  4. Stake Autumn flowering perennials such as chrysanthemums and michaelmas daisies.

  5. Treat roses for rust and black spot before they lose their leaves to help stop a carry over to next season.

  6. Later in the month plant pansy, violas, poppies and members of the primula family for Winter colour.

  7. After flowering perennials can be lifted and divided.

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