How to grow It's time to: March

It's time to: March

Temperate

Plant new shrubs and trees into soil that has been improved by the addition of compost and organic fertiliser such as Organic Life. Water in with a seaweed solution to reduce planting shock. Make sure plants are well-watered as they become established, and keep weeds out of the planting area to reduce competition for water and nutrients.

Improve your lawn while the weather is still warm. Plant seed, lay new turf, feed existing lawns, or apply Weed’n’Feed as directed to treat lawn weeds. Make sure you are not planting seed or laying turf on compacted ground. In a small area use a garden fork to aerate the soil, then water in some soil wetter before smoothing the surface for the new lawn.

Consider a green manure crop, such as rapeseed or fava bean, to improve the fertility of your vegetable beds over winter. Green manure seeds are available from www.greenharvest.com.au. Cut the crop down when still young and vigorous and dig it all into the soil. It will break down quickly and add valuable nutrients to the bed.

 

Cold

Get brassicas and other winter vegetables in the ground early. The bigger they are upon entering winter, the more productive they’ll be.

Scatter some poppy seed about. They need disturbed soil in which to germinate, but require little else. They'll simply fatten up over autumn, then erupt into bloom in late winter and spring.

Take semi-hardwood cuttings of shrubs that you want to repeat around the garden. Rooting powder will speed up the production of roots, so they’ll be ready for potting up or planting out by late spring. 

 

When you have an hour

Now is the time to move plants that need a new home as the soil is warm and moist enough to give trees or shrubs a good start in their new position. Choose a day that is not too hot and sunny, and always prepare the new site before digging out the plant. Trim any damaged roots, and if the move involves transporting the plant, wrap the root ball carefully for the journey. Place the plant gently into its new position and backfill carefully, always at the same depth as before. Water it in well with added seaweed solution and soil wetter. Don’t allow the roots to dry out during the settling-in period.

 

Text: Libby Cameron & Michael McCoy

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About this article

Author: Libby Cameron

Garden Clinic TV