Au­tumn days

Myrtleford Times - - REGIONAL EXTRA -

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.

Happy gar­den­ing.

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