What to Do in the Garden in March

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Written by Living Earth for Auckland Landscape Supplies Customers

It is now the beginning of lawn season, so whether you are sowing a new lawn, or renovating an old one, now is the time to do it.

The Lawn

This warm barmy weather presents an ideal time to renovate or re-sow your lawn. It means your new grass can be well established before the winter chill hits.

Premium Lawn Mix by Living Earth – our product is a premium blend of compost, sand, bark fines and fertilisers and is an ideal media for growing lawns.

Renovating an Existing Lawn: eradicate the weeds by hand-weeding or spraying with a selective weed killer such as Yates’ Turfix. Warm temperatures such as we currently have are good for activating combination fertiliser/weed killer turf products such as Osmocote Lawn Builder with Weed kill. Bare patches/ dips in the lawn can be filled with Premium Lawn Mix to a maximum depth of 30mm. Dampen the soil then broadcast the lawn seed, raking or lightly topdressing (scattered layer of lawn mix over the top of the existing lawn) with more Premium Lawn Mix afterward. Lightly irrigate in the dry days following.

Sowing a New Lawn:

Cultivate your soil and spray re-growth with a contact weed killer such as Round-up or Shortcut. (These herbicides do not remain active in the soil after spraying, thus allowing you to sow lawn seed in the days following. Note they are non-selective and will act on blades of grass as well as weeds). Top-dress your soil with Premium Lawn Mix to a depth of 30mm. Irrigate lightly then broadcast lawn seed, lightly topdressing with more Lawn Mix. Water gently in the dry days that follow.

ALS Lawn Mix and Northland Lawn Mix : These two mixes are made with two types of screened topsoil's mixed with 30% pumice river sand from the Waikato river. Now both the South Auckland topsoil (which is very volcanic soil from Mangere) and the Northland topsoil (which is peat based soil from Ruakaka) are screened soils meaning they are weedfree, they have not been cooked however, therefore they may not be weed proof due to dormant seeds sitting there waiting to be irregated. However if your budget can stretch we strongly recommend Premium Lawn Mix by Living Earth as it is nutrient rich something that the other topsoil options lack. You get what you pay for.

Laying Rolawn (Roll out Turf):

The key to a good outcome when laying roll out turf is definitely in the preparation. Time spent at this stage will ensure you get a result you are happy with. The general idea is to get the following points right. (For more in depth explanation of this process please visit the DIY corner at our yards)

  1. Ensure the area is weed free before you begin any further preparation.
  2. Level the area, using a combination of raking and rolling the surface.
  3. Top dress with at least 30mm of good quality Lawn Mix. We recommend Premium Lawn Mix by Living Earth.
  4. Lay Turf as per the instructions found at our DIY corner in the yard.
  5. Regular irrigation, up to twice a day to begin with.

The Vegetable Garden

You will probably still be harvesting many of your summer vegetables. For example tomatoes, beans, lettuces, cucumbers, corgettes and now is the time to harvest melons as well. Over March, April and May you will also finish harvesting your pumpkins and potatoes. It is really important that as each crop comes to an end you pull out the last of the crop vegetation for composting at home or through garden waste bags so that you can begin to the beds ready for your winter crops.

  1. As you harvest vegetables and get rid of old vegetation remember to rejuvenate your garden bed by topping it up with a good garden mix or compost mix. We recommend Living Earth Garden Mix or Living Earth Black Gold. Your garden will have most of the nutrients sucked out of it after all of your summer vegetables have grown so this is vital.
  2. While your garden beds are getting ready for winter, it is a good idea to sow your vegetable seeds into trays indoors or in a glass house so they are ready to plant out in the next few weeks. It is the perfect time to plant beetroot, broccoli, radishes, cauliflower, peas, and spring onions.
  3. Remember to continue to protect your plants from pests but using egg shells to ring them, slug pellets or pesticide sprays.
  4. If you want to grow feijoas, these are available in garden centre: Unless you select Feijoa ‘’Unique” which is self-fertile, you’ll need to purchase two different varieties for pollination. Try a combination of Feijoa ‘’Gemini” (early season) with Feijoa "Opal Star" (late season). Remember to encourage the thrushes and blackbirds into the garden in spring as they act as pollinators.
  5. Trim herbs such as basil, parsley and coriander, so they’ll keep bushing up and won’t bolt to seed.
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The General Garden

  1. Trim, feed and mulch your hedges. Nothing looks better than sharply defined hedges in a garden and it means the flush of growth will harden off before winter. And yes, although it may be looking fantastic, do the lavender too!
  2. Spray tenacious perennial weeds now – once the winter arrives many sprays are less effective. Autumn is Nature’s best planting time – dig plenty of Living Earth Compost through your soil and get planting. Just remember to water new plants deeply at their roots every few days.
  3. Plant new season’s bulbs of freesia, ranunculus, crocus and anemones. Other bulbs such as tulips, hyacinths and daffodils benefit from a spell (6 weeks) in the ‘fridge to get them into winter mode.
  4. Add general fertiliser around the garden to obtain that extra flowering and encourage growth. But remember that many South African plants such as leucadendrons and proteas don’t cope with fertiliser and avoid them.
  5. Many deciduous trees are colouring now. Note any that impress you and check with your local Garden Centre if they grow well in your area and whether they can obtain one for you.
  6. Autumn is Nature’s best planting time – dig plenty of Garden Mix or Black Gold through your soil and get planting. Just remember to water new plants deeply at their roots every few days.
Dietes Lincoln
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