THE last week of summer was a sizzler with temperatures reaching a very hot 40 degrees in some areas.
Even though the calendar says it is March and officially autumn, the hot temperatures will continue for a while.
Maybe, summer should be extended to include March.
As the gardens struggle during these periods of extreme heat, keep the garden and yourselves hydrated.
Watering is the main task in the garden during March.
Plants will also benefit from a feed so apply a liquid fertiliser for a quick fix and top up the mulch. Autumn is a time of rejuvenation. As summer flowering perennials finish blooming, prune spent flowers to encourage new fresh growth and another flower flush.
Lavenders can be cut back to maintain their shape.
Give roses a summer prune now while the weather is warm.
Cut them back by a third, removing any weak or diseased stems.
Follow with a feed of pelletised manure and water deeply on a regular basis.
They will put on new growth and produce one last flush of autumn flowers.
March is the time to also feed citrus as they recover from the summer and get ready for another fruiting season.
Give them a light prune to tidy up any straggly growth. Tidy up the veggie patch. Remove spent plants, dig in some compost and blood and bone and plant winter seedlings.
Brassicas need to be planted this month while the soil is still warm so as to put on good growth before the cooler weather arrives.
Other winter veggies which can be planted now include beetroot, carrots, broad beans, onions, radish and parsnip.
On the days too hot to work outside, peruse this year’s bulb catalogues and plan your spring and summer bulb displays.
Get your orders in this month while there are still plenty of varieties available. Don’t plant them yet. Plant them once soil temperatures have dropped at the end of April or May.
The days are getting shorter and by the end of March the temperatures should be back in the 20s again.