The Ornamental Garden
- Spring is coming to an end. Heritage roses are finishing as modern roses are coming into flower.
- Late planted seeds of frost tender annuals should give a fine display of blooms in March before the first frosts.
- Deadhead annuals and remove any that are past their best.
- Continue to tie sweet peas, water deeply and pick flowers to extend their season.
- Tall bearded iris should be divided if this has not been done for a few years.
- At the end of this month remove spring annuals and prepare areas for summer and autumn plantings.
- Continue to plant dahlia tubers. Cuttings can be taken from plants. Strong stakes are required for taller-growing plants and should be put in prior to planting each tuber to avoid damage.
- Transfer tuberous begonias to larger pots. Keep moist, leave plants in the shade house till next month.
- Trim evergreen shrubs and hedges.
- Check roses for insect or fungal problems. Deadhead roses to a strong bud for another flush of flowers. Continue to do this through the season for best results.
The Kitchen Garden
- Main planting month for tomatoes, capsicum, basil and eggplant.
- Seedlings of beetroot, cabbage, cucumber, leek, melons, pumpkins, silver beet, sweet corn and zucchini may be planted.
- Thin out and weed earlier plantings.
- Tie and support peas and broad beans and harvest them as they mature.
- Remove old winter crops.
- Remove weeds as they compete for nutrients and harbour pests and disease.
- Keep your plants growing strongly, as they will be less susceptible to pests and diseases.
- Continue small sowings of most vegetables to spread the best of crops over a longer period of time.
- Frosts are still possible, though unlikely. If cold nights are predicted, frost protection cloth (Marix®) can be useful. Sections can be spread over plants likely to be affected, such as new citrus trees, tomatoes, capsicum and egg plants.
- Codling moth pheromone traps are useful, also fruit fly exclusion bags of waxed paper or cloth.
- Regular trimming of buxus and most hedges will encourage dense growth, but it’s best done before the days become too hot, otherwise burning of new growth may occur.
- Watering may need to increase with warmer weather and the possibility of drying, northerly winds. Deep watering twice a week will keep most plants in good condition. Water and feed container-grown plants regularly.
- It is far better to water occasionally and deeply than to water often and lightly.
- Fill a pottery bowl with water for the birds. In dry times, the birds will greatly appreciate the water and will return regularly.
- All climbers must be tied regularly to frames, trellis or wire mesh to prevent them from smothering nearby plants.
- Slow release fertilisers are particularly useful in the garden. For pot plants, you will find a once-a-year feeder, as well as specific formulations for trees, shrubs, citrus and roses.