Autumn in the garden - March
Autumn is here and the growing season is slowing. March is a major harvesting period so the garden will be full of delicious crops to enjoy.
The garden will be laden with crops like tomatoes, beans, sweetcorn and beetroot, all ready to be picked, bottled, preserved, and prepared for use over the colder months. As it's a major harvesting period for both fruit and veges it's the perfect time to plant more for continuous harvests over the cooler months. Follow our guide below for your region.
Remember if you are growing from seed to dry and save seeds of tomatoes, cucumbers, melons and beans, and store them in labelled envelopes ready for sowing next spring.
With autumn's arrival the widest variety of bulbs are now in-store, so it’s time to pick your bulbs to plant for a stunning spring show.
Harvest time is from seedling planting to harvest. For seeds, depending on variety, it will take an extra 6-8 weeks from germination to planting.
Our handy calendar showing you when to plant veges and flowers in your region, including harvest dates.
- Harvest in 2-3 years
The Auckland Vegetable Gardener's DiaryChange region
Basil, beetroot, bok choi, broccoli, cabbage, capsicum, carrot, cauliflower, celery, coriander, eggplant, kale, leek, lettuce, mesclun, onion, parsnip, parsley, potatoes, radish, rhubarb, rocket, silverbeet, spinach, spring onions.
Basil, beetroot, beans, capsicum, chilli, coriander, courgette, cucumber, eggplant, lettuce, mesclun, parsley, potatoes, pumpkin and squash, radish, rhubarb, rocket, silverbeet, spinach, spring onion, tomatoes, sweetcorn.
- Dry and save seeds of tomatoes, cucumbers, melons and beans, and store them in labelled envelopes ready for sowing in the spring.
- Replenish the soil with a new layer of compost Tui Sheep Pellets and Tui Vegetable Food.
- Carrots - thin rows of carrots to ensure the roots develop evenly, and to reduce the risk of attack by carrot rust fly.
- Lettuces - these can easily be grown through the cooler months; the red-leafed and cos types are the best ones to grow.
- Potatoes - dig up main crop potatoes when the tops begin to die down and wither. Store in sacks in a dry place with plenty of air movement and away from direct sunlight.
- Tomatoes - cut long, leafy stems back to encourage the fruit that has set on the bottom part of the plant to develop fully and ripen. It's unlikely that any flower appearing on the end of these stems will set fruit that will be able to ripen this season. Immediately remove any diseased leaves or fruit that may appear, to limit the spread of the problem.
- Feed established plants once a month with Tui Organic Seaweed Plant Tonic. Some crops, like pumpkins and melons, can be fed every two weeks.
- Mildew can be a problem on cucumbers, courgettes and marrows; spray with a suitable spray from your garden centre. Lay Tui Quash slug & snail control to control these pests.
The Auckland Fruit Gardener's DiaryChange region
Blueberry, Chilean guava, feijoa, lemon, orange, mandarin, lime.
Apples, pears, grapes, Chilean guava, passionfruit, blueberries, strawberries, apricots, peaches, plums.
- Remove runners from strawberry plants and pot into Tui Strawberry Mix, ready for planting out in the winter.
- When planting fruit trees keep in mind that fruit requires a position in full sun. Shelter from prevailing winds is preferable.
- Keep the soil moist and water fruit trees through dry periods.
- Add Debco SaturAid to soils to help hold onto water.
- Aphids, whitefly, mites and scale insects may be about, blast off with a hose or select a suitable spray from your garden centre.
- Birds will spot ripening grapes too, use netting to protect your crop.
- Bunches of grapes will begin to ripen, prune back excessive leaves to allow more sunlight into the crop.
- Once nectarines, peaches and plums have finished fruiting, prune to shape and to remove any dead or diseased branches.
- Add a layer of Tui Mulch & Feed around the base of fruit trees, this will enable the soil to better retain moisture and keep the area weed free.
The Auckland Flower Gardener's DiaryChange region
Alyssum, gerbera, lobelia, polyanthus, flowering kale, primula, snapdragon, wildflowers, sweet William, calendula, chrysanthemum, daffodil, tulip, hyacinth, impatiens, marigold, pansy and viola, poppy, sweet pea, snapdragon, daisy, delphinium, dianthus, lavender, forget-me-not.
Marguerite daisy, leucadendron, scabious, Peruvian lily, Japanese anemones, roses, coreopsis, echinacea, strawflowers, dahlias, lilies, gladiolus, sweet peas, gypsophila, cosmos, zinnia, cleome, agapanthus, hydrangeas.
- Apply a side dressing of Tui NovaTec Premium fertiliser to shrub borders and flower gardens.
- Aphids and whitefly are all still moving about now, particularly if the weather is still very warm. Be vigilant and spray with a suitable spray as soon as they appear. If infestations are small blast them off with the hose.
- Lay Tui Quash every few weeks to keep slugs and snails at bay.
- Bulbs: as soon as the soil cools down, plant new bulbs or fertilise existing ones with Tui Bulb Food. Read the Tui Bulb Growing Guide for more information.
- Roses: depending on how hot and dry the season has been is the last time to cut back roses to get another flush of flowers before winter.
- Prune back perennials that have finished for the season.
- Add thick layers of Tui Mulch & Feed or Tui Pea Straw Mulch to garden beds and pots to conserve water, reduce weeds and add valuable nutrients back to the soil. Mulching also keeps your garden looking tidy and cared for!