Jobs for the yard in March

With Brownie

• Wait until the rain eases a bit before giving your gardens a fertiliser boost coming into autumn, or else it’ll just wash away and be wasted.
• At the start of the month, put spring flowering bulbs in the fridge veggie crisper and plant out at the end of the month.
• If you’re planting seedlings for a spring display, it is timely to watch out for cut worms. This soil-borne pest chews through the seedling stem at ground level. At the first sign, spray with a pyrethrum or carbaryl product.
• Try not to plan any work in the backyard which needs heavy machinery or vehicles, until the soil dries and firms up. Otherwise you risk compacting the ground and churning up soggy soil – not a good practice.
• White cedar caterpillars are on the move. Wrap a hessian bag around the trunk and check underneath for the damaging insects as they’ll congregate there during the day. Squash, or spray them with a pyrethrum spray.
• Start planting broccoli, cabbage and cauliflower seedlings from mid-March. Watch out for little green caterpillars, as they can destroy your seedlings overnight.
• At the start of the month dig some lime through the soil where you want to plant bush or climbing peas, sweet peas or snow peas. Plant at the end of the month.
• If you have prepared the bed for sweet peas, you had better get cracking and build a trellis for them to climb up.
• If you haven’t done so, prune back your geraniums hard to stimulate fresh new growth. The trimmings can be used to propagate new plants.
• Watch the new growth of azaleas and if the veins stand out dark green with pale green or yellow tissue between, apply iron chelate right away.
• Potatoes can be planted into well-mulched beds, only use certified seed potatoes to avoid introducing damaging virus diseases to your garden.

Plant carrot, leeks, beans, cauliflower, lettuce, silver beet, spring onion, radish, capsicum, cucumber, eggplant, sweet potato, tomato, melons, pumpkin, okra, zucchini, broccoli, kale, cabbage, rocket, beetroot, garlic, celery, coriander, rosemary, fennel, potato, shallots and parsnips.

Plant alyssum, petunia, marigolds, sweet pea, ageratum, aurora daisy, nigella, calendula, cyclamen, delphinium, impatiens, dianthus, salvia, everlasting daisy, forget-me-not, gaillardia, foxglove, linaria, lobelia, lupin, nasturtium, polyanthus, schizanthus, Iceland poppy, primula, snapdragon, cleome, strawflower, verbena, cineraria, phlox, cornflower, pansy, statice, stock and viola.