March is the time to plan for spring flowers and vegies. Give your flowers and vegies the head start they need to have blooming colours and a bountiful harvest this spring with these great tips from Bunnings horticulturalist Mark Dedman. It would also be great if Workshop members could add their tips by replying below.
What To Plant
March is the time of year to plant bulbs like daffodils, tulips and hyacinths in your garden.
In the tropical north, sweet potatoes, squashes, melons, cucumbers and capsicums can go in your vegie garden while impatiens, marigold and petunias can go in your garden beds. These can also look great in pots and troughs to brighten up a courtyard or balcony.
A bit further south in the sub-tropical zone, leeks, rhubarb, zucchinis, artichokes and capsicums planted now will give you a bountiful spring harvest. Salvia, verbena and lobelia will add colour too.
Temperate regions should look to beetroot, Brussels sprouts, broccoli, carrots, cauliflowers, onions and peas for their vegie patch and calendula, pansies, dianthus and sweet pea in the garden.
In cold climates, sow broad beans, cabbages, lettuce, shallots, spinach and turnips. In your flower beds polyanthus, poppies and primula should be planted.
If you are growing grass from seed, especially kikuyu, now is the time. The bit of growth you’ll get before winter means that your grass will be ready to thrive as soon as spring arrives.
What To Pick
Potatoes should be ready to be dug up now. If you are unsure, wait until the plant has completely shrivelled. That is when you should break out the shovel.
In the vegie garden, late-season tomatoes and zucchinis are ready to harvest as are pumpkins.
Early season apple varieties are also ready to be picked.
What To Do
Fertilise your lawn now so it gets one last spurt of growth that will see it through winter.
To ensure your berries are ready to endure the winter, tidy them up now. Remove any dead leaves and trim off the tops. Give them a good feed with an organic fertiliser like blood and bone.
You can also improve the soil in any empty beds of your vegie garden to get them ready for spring. Plant wheat or oats, let them grow to about 20cm high then dig them back in. This will organically add humus and nitrogen to the soil, giving your spring vegies the best possible start.
While the weather’s still good, take the opportunity to get out in the garden and get busy. Come springtime, you’ll be surrounded with colour and life and be glad that you did.
Garden guides for your location
The Bunnings team provides specific garden diary advice for your state. There's guides for Victoria, New South Wales, Queensland, Western Australia, South Australia and Northern Territory.
Feel free to let us know what you're up to in the garden at the moment by replying below or hitting the Start a discussion button.
"I heard on the radio that the sugar cane mulch makes the ground go sour after a while and the go now is bamboo mulch."
Personally I've never been a fan of sugar cane mulch. Not sure about pH changes but it is quite possible.
My fave, especially when I plant veggies, fruit trees or need to beef-up soil is lucerne.
Only use proper garden lucerne as it’s weed-free & it’s like fine chaff. It breaks down fast but as it comes from a legume it adds a lot of nitrogen back into the soil. Ideal for food crops.
If I’m rejuvenating really poor soil I’ll often add a layer of cow manure, a layer of lucerne and then regular mulch. Within a month of so the soil will be totally alive!
My hedges seem to be indestructable - they are doing well (not flowering at the moment but when they do its quite pretty )
I killed half my front lawn this summer though being lazy/forgetful - and not flipping over my borewater sprinklers to do the other half of the front lawn manually lol (have since installed a permanent sprinkler that doesnt require switching - so being lazy wont kill my lawn now lol)
My strawberrys barely survived - but are still popping the odd new strawberry out occasionally (barely lol)
My spring onions I planted are doing good as well (planted some spring onions I got from Coles that were a bit old in the fridge lol)
Hey @Prawns , yeah, we looked at bores. Older locals tell me the water used to be quite sweet but too many people drawing from it & the extended dry has left it heavy with iron & smelly.
We would need to go at least 30m to get clean water (and it's always a gamble if you hit any at all...) and estimated cost including headworks, pump etc. is at least $10,000.
I can put on 20,000L of tanks for under $5k so...
In our renos we have one roof section that is being 'orphaned', would be a major feat of engineering & pluming to get it connected to the tanks so I’m looking instead at creating a dry creek bed ‘rain garden’ that runs to a large (very large) lined pond.
This should be useable as a back-up garden supply even once I have tanks in.