From Michael Coulter

February has been a windy, dry and warm month which has kept me busy in the garden trying to keep up with all the work as well as the extra watering needed to keep the plants healthy.

All my stone fruit has been harvested and I am now looking forward to apples and pears. The flower garden has put on good show especially my pots of geraniums and perennial petunias, they just keep on flowering so I can recommend them for any garden.

March is a busy month in the garden as we are harvesting much of our fruit and vegetable crops and also preparing for the planting of bulbs, flowers and vegetables for the Winter and Spring. Many of the tasks that are needed to be done now will determine what the garden will produce later in the year.

Many pest and diseases  are seen on our plants now and may be the cause of disappointing results, try and identify these so next season the right treatments can be followed to give you good outcomes. If you need advice or identification of pest and diseases put samples in a plastic bag and bring it along to our All About Gardening meetings. Any plant, flower or fruit that you are proud of bring them along too as this adds to the interest of these meetings. Much of my time this month will be spent on my chrysanthemums preparing for the Autumn show at the end of April, as well as all the other tasks in and around my garden.

For any gardening queries or advice over the holiday period refer to our online facebook group which will be monitored over that time.

Lawns

  1. Water weekly to keep grass growing.

  2. Now is a good time to sow new lawns as seed will germinate quickly if it is kept well watered.

  3. Give lawns a feed now.

  4. Treat lawns for weeds once there is active growth of both grass and weeds.

  5. Look out for any fungal disease and treat as needed.

Fruit & Vegetable Garden

  1. Treat stone fruit for leaf curl and prune as soon as fruit is finished.

  2. Harvest apples and pears as they ripen but before they get over ripe.

  3. Treat brassica crops for white butterfly now as this is the time when they are at their peek numbers and will be most damaging.

  4. Plant Winter brassicas.

  5. Winter crops of silver beet, beet root and lettuce may be sown or planted now.

  6. Remove the old fruiting canes from raspberries and other cane fruit as they finish fruiting.

  7. Remove lower leaves from tomatoes to allow the higher fruit to ripen.

  8. Prune back grapes to two leaves above the fruit to help ripening.

  9. Thin out carrots and parsnips to allow roots to develop.

Flower Garden

  1. Stake, tie and de bud chrysanthemums

  2. Remove spent flowers on dahlias, roses and other perennials to encourage more flowers.

  3. Remove spent Summer annuals and prepare the ground for planting Winter and Spring annuals and bulbs.

  4. Keep water up on shrubs, especially rhododendrons, daphne and camellias to help the bud development.

  5. Sow seeds of pansy, violas and poppies now.

  6. At the end of the month take cuttings of geranium, pelargoniums and fuchsias to have fresh plants next Spring.

  7. Keep on weeding especially remove roots of any perennial weeds and grasses.