Home' Smart Farmer : March 2013 Contents March 2013
MARCH means bright skies,
warm days and, as the
month progresses, that hint
of autumn in the evening air that
makes it ideal for gardening.
Veggies to sow
This is a great month for sowing
Asian veggies, especially those
slightly tricky Chinese cabbages that
can bolt to seed if gets too hot or too
cold for their liking. Buk choy's
white stems add a lovely crunch to
stir fries and salads.
Flowers to sow
If they are happy, Yates
Hollyhocks Double Elegance can
grow to more than two metres tall,
which means they will need shelter
from strong winds. Watch for pest
damage. Hollyhocks belong to the
same plant family as hibiscus and
prone to similar insect problems.
March is a big month for lawn
care. Feed lawns to encourage max-
imum growth before winter.
Tidying and dead-heading are the
main jobs. Prune sun-damaged sec-
tions on hedges and feed to encour-
age new growth.
Pest watchInsect pests have had
ample time to build-up
numbers and there is a lot
of growth around for
them to get stuck into.
Caterpillars grow ever
bigger as they feast on
your favourite plants.
The long Easter break,
most of which just sneaks
into March this year, is a
good time to get those
tidy-up jobs done around
the garden. It can be
much more relaxing than
fighting with the highway
traffic. Pull-out old plants,
prune and tidy shrubs,
rake up dead leaves, and
prepare garden beds for
winter vegetable crops.
Plant of the month
American wildflowers that
have collected a range of
common names -- black-eyed
Susan, marmalade flower, gloriosa
daisy -- but the most distinctive is
'cone flower' which refers to the
cone-shaped, dark centres that con-
trast with the bright yellow/orange
daisy petals. Newer, more compact
rudbeckia varieties produce a warm
display through late summer and
Given their tropical origins,
tibouchinas appreciate warm con-
ditions. There are plenty of small
tibouchinas that can be grown in
pots, and moved away from the
cold when required.
Ever since tibouchinas first
arrived in Australia, plant breeders
have been busy developing new
varieties to suit our conditions.
Tibouchina 'Alstonville', one of
the most popular, even carries the
name of the north coast New South
Wales town where it was devel-
oped. There are many more.
Think spring bulbs
Tempting spring bulb catalogues
appear at this time of year, and
enticing bulb displays, illustrated
with mouth-watering images, are
found in all the garden shops. It's
enough to encourage even non-gar-
deners to try growing bulbs.
If you're just starting out with
bulbs and you have some space to
spare, try a 'lucky dip' collection of
varieties to find out what works
best in your garden.
• Need to know more?
March to new rhythms
Sharp colour contrasts make Rudbeckias stand out.
Make your veggie patch count -- watch out for bloopers
SUMMER crops are fading and it
is time to move on. Here are
some tips for the veggie patch:
• Sow lettuce, radishes, spinach,
turnips and leeks. Most can be
started in pots and trans-
planted as the soil cools.
• If possible, leave a section of
the bed empty for a season.
The old term 'to let lie fallow'
is a valuable practice.
• Harvest tomatoes and dry for
later use. Or cook and freeze
• Pick pumpkins after their
stalks have shrivelled. Leave
in a sunny, dry spot to harden
off before storing.
• In warm areas, lift and divide
rhubarb clumps in early
autumn. Wait until the depths
of winter in cold districts.
• In acid soil districts, mix some
lime or, better still, dolomite
into the soil. This will sweeten
it slightly, and suit most veg-
• Broad beans are easy to grow
and will enrich soil -- and they
produce flavour-filled pods.
• This is the season to plant
onions and garlic, so go for it.
• Watch for pests, especially if
the weather stays warm.
• Choose pesticides with care.
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Sat -- Sun: 10am to 5pm
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Sun: 10am to 4pm
Ph: 8539 2105
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Phone 8541 3163 or
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Large Scale Plantings
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