It seems that most people now have at least 1 or 2 Chilli plants at home – it’s become incredibly trendy. Find out how...
While some parts of the country may be experiencing an “Indian summer” this month, there’s a definite chill in the air in the cooler, southern region of the continent. Crisp nights, foggy mornings and even a frost or two are good indications that, for most of us, winter is not far away. Even in the tropical north, the humidity has receded.
Gardening In March
Potatoes (Solanum tuberosum) are tubers that grow and form at the plant’s roots. Plants also produce flowering shoots...
Delicious in salads and sandwiches, the crisp, sweet crunch of a cucumber is one of the joys of summer. Growing...
Spring onions (also known as green shallots and green bunching or salad onions) are a delicious addition to a whole...
Nothing beats the taste of your own home-grown tomatoes, freshly picked and warm from the Summer sun. Slice them into a...
Nothing beats home-grown peas for their tenderness and taste. That's because when they are picked, their sugars start to...
The basis of so many delicious dishes, onions (Allium cepa) are an essential ingredient in every cook’s store cupboard...
Growing Garlic (Allium sativum) at home is now very popular. It's an easy vegetable to grow - just plant a Garlic clove...
Zucchini are now a common, summer staple in the vegetable garden. They are relatively easy to grow and they can be eaten...
Runner beans, or more correctly scarlet runner beans, (Phaseolus coccineus) are among the easiest and most rewarding...
Bags of salad leaves are quite expensive to buy and have a fairly short lifespan in the fridge. Grow your own and you...
Delicious in pies, soups and stews and full of vitamins and minerals, pumpkins are a tasty autumn and winter treat...
Sweet Corn, or maize, won't really grow as high as an elephant's eye, but it will be sweet, tender and delicious -...
Asparagus is a classic spring vegetable worth establishing in your garden. You’ll need to wait 2 years from planting...
Drizzled with olive oil and baked whole or sliced into steaks, cut into individual florets and wok-tossed in a stir fry...
Broccoli is a must have in every home veggie patch - it’s productive, nutritious and very easy to grow. Although it’s...
Eaten fresh, baked in muffins or as the star attraction in jams or desserts, blueberries (Vaccinium corymbosum) are...
Who doesn’t love strawberries? If you’re a strawberry fan, the many varieties of Fragaria × ananassa are easy to grow at...
What could be better than a bowl of sweet, fresh-picked raspberries in summer? These delicious fruits are easy to grow...
Orchids are a great addition to any home, with their exotic, delicate and diverse flowers and their beautiful shapes and...
If you want to grow something spectacular, plant sunflowers. They come in a whole range of sizes from dwarf to giant and...
Alliums belong to the same family as onions, garlic and leeks, as you can tell from the aroma when you crush the foliage...
Roses are among our favourite garden plants – and deservedly so. They are versatile, produce vibrant colour through...
What to harvest now:
There’s not a lot to harvest from the veggie patch now, although some new plantings of salad greens may be almost ready.
- The last of the pumpkins may still be clinging to their vines and there may still be some green tomatoes on late fruiting varieties. These should all be picked now and the plants removed. The tomatoes won’t ripen this late in the season, so turn them into pickles.
- Lettuce, rocket, silver beet, spinach and rhubarb planted last month may have some tender young leaves ready to pick later in April.
What to plant now:
Seedlings of winter veggies can continue this month. Your crops will get a good start before colder weather slows down growth.
In temperate to cool temperate areas, plant seedlings of:
- Silver beet
- Brussels sprouts
- Chinese cabbage
- Kale (including Tuscan kale or cavallo nero)
- Spring onion
In warm regions, sow seeds or plant seedlings of:
- Silver beet
- Soft herbs – parsley, coriander, basil
Veggie patch tips for April:
- Keep new plantings growing strongly with applications of liquid fertiliser for vegetables and herbs such as Osmocote Boost+Feed Vegetables, Tomatoes & Herbs or a certified organic fertiliser every two to three weeks.
- Water deeply at least once a week if the weather is dry – add a wetting agent to ensure moisture penetrates deep into the soil.
- Hand pull or hoe out weeds as they appear – they compete for nutrients and moisture and may also harbour pests that could attack your crops.
- Use snail and slug traps or baits to protect young seedlings.
What fruits to harvest now:
There may still be some crops of late season fruits maturing. These include:
- Selected oranges
What fruit to plant:
Evergreen fruiting plants such as passionfruit vines and citrus may still be put in while the soil is still warm. It’s still too early for and new bare-root fruit trees. They are best planted in mid to late winter.
Flowers & Bulbs
What flowers to plant:
Spring flowering bulbs:
- Muscari (grape hyacinth)
Winter and spring flowering annual seedlings:
- Antirrhinum (snapdragon)
- Aquilegia (granny’s bonnet)
- Canterbury bells (campanula)
- Iceland poppy
- Sweet William
Maintenance tips for your Lawn:
In southern regions, this month is your last chance to patch or rejuvenate a tired lawn or install new turf before the weather becomes too cool. It’s already too late to sow a new lawn from scratch. Although the seed may germinate well, there’s not enough time for the grass to become well established and thicken up before winter.
In the warmer north of the country, new lawns may be started from seed or turf rolls. A reminder of the autumn lawn maintenance program we recommend:
- De-thatch with a garden rake to remove build-up of dead grass, especially in buffalo, kikuyu and couch lawns.
- Aerate the lawn with a garden fork or hire a coring machine suitable for home gardens.
- Top dress with Scotts Lawn Builder Organic Lawn Soil – Topdress Mix & Underlay.
- Water entire lawn area, if permitted, to settle topdress mix.
- Fertilise with Lawn Builder All Purpose Slow Release Lawn Fertiliser, Lawn Builder Buffalo, Lawn Builder Extreme Green Granular or one of the Lawn Builder hose-on equivalents.
- Worn and bare areas may be patched with instant turf.
Things to look out for and do during the month:
- Continue checking for fallen and/or diseased fruits. Good garden hygiene helps present disease and pest carry-over to the next growing season. Dispose of them in the household rubbish – do not put them in the compost bin!
- Cut out and dispose of galls (swellings) on citrus trees to help eradicate gall wasps.
- Check the ties on dahlias and chrysanthemums to ensure they are not cutting into stems.
- Carefully lift gladioli corms, let them air dry for a few days, then spread in a single layer in a tray. Store in a cool, dry place until next planting time.
- Keep an eye out for aphids and other insect pests, especially on herbs and vegetable and flower seedlings. Use a general garden insecticide like Defender Pyrethrum Insect Spray to control them. Don’t forget to spray the undersides of leaves too.
- Watch for the caterpillars of the White Cabbage Butterfly on cabbage, cauliflower, broccoli and other brassicas. Pyrethrum will assist or try a cabbage dust.
- Newly planted seedlings may be targeted by snails and slugs. Protect them with Defender Snail & Slug Pellets.
Find your local store and start growing your garden.