Our grounds team have a great deal of experience providing grounds maintenance and landscaping services to a range of commercial clients. We share their March gardening tips here.
by Jeremy Mather
Welcome to autumn – now all we need is the ‘Autumn Break’. So far, it has certainly been dry and has stayed warm. Even on cooler days, there has also been winds which dry soils and stress plants even more. At my place near Koo Wee Rup, I have large cracks in the soil and even some of the drought hardy plants require additional water.
This is a tough time of year for gardeners as many things look tired and stressed, and it can be hard to keep up the energy to keep watering. It is an in-between time for plants as many start to drop leaves and slow down their growth, and flowering is all but finished for many summer species.
March Gardening Tips:
- Keep watering despite the cooler mornings and sometimes dewy conditions. I have found the heat has made some soils and potting mixes hydrophobic. Some plants release oils when it’s hot that will be deposited on the ground. In other cases, bark and sand in potting mix will need a proper dunking to really keep it wet.
- Start removing some summer veggie crops and prepare soil for autumn and winter crops. Cabbages, broccoli and some other leafy crops are hungry feeders, so dig in some good organic manures and fertilisers for them. Water well, mulch and leave it for a week to settle before planting. I also add a wetting agent to some areas I know have been problematic in the past.
- Be kind to other plants – give them some liquid seaweed and / or fish emulsions. They will love the boost as they get their stores ready for the winter months. The soils will also like the added assistance.
- Resist the urge to prune heavily as it’s a bit early. My roses are still producing buds, so keep dead heading if your roses are in the same position. If you have fruit trees, you should have already carried out some summer pruning after they had finished fruiting.