March heralds the beginning of autumn, so there’s lots of tidying up in the garden.
The weather remains warm and humid in areas as far south of the country as Sydney and Perth. With the cooler conditions and moist soils, it’s also an ideal time to plant new trees, as the weather is milder, and there’s some time for the trees to establish themselves before winter arrives.
During this month, Melbourne experiences strong north winds and changeable weather that can go from hot to cold from day to day, with around a week of rainfall. Thunderstorms occur along the east coast. In Sydney, windy, rainy days are typical with around a fortnight of rain. Adelaide sees warm to hot sunny weather with south-easterly and south-westerly winds. There’s not much rain in Perth and Adelaide during this month.
Pick marrows, pumpkins and squash before the flesh becomes coarse. Only pick pumpkins when fully ripe (no green skin or stem), cut when stalk begins turning brown and withers.
It’s also time to lift root crops such as beetroot, carrots onions potatoes and turnips for storage and winter use. Leave parsnips in ground, they need some cold to taste the best.
If tomatoes have not ripened, the plants can be laid down flat on the ground and covered with a cloche (plastic covered frame) to speed up ripening.
Plant garlic now, as it prefers a period of cold weather to grow well.
Things to Do This Month:
- Compost autumn leaves.
- Collect perennial seeds and divide overgrown perennial plants.
- Sow cool season green manure crops, such as rapeseed, broad beans, fenugreek, linseed, lupins, mustard, oats, subclover and vetch, then dug in during autumn before flowering.
- Start planting new trees, shrubs, climbers, annuals and perennials – remember to water them regularly until they establish.
- Relocate evergreen shrubs (can be done either in autumn and early spring).
- Harvest autumn bearing raspberries but leave canes unpruned till late winter-early spring.
- Finish pruning canes that have fruited from summer fruiting raspberries.
- Prune blackcurrants and other brambleberries from now till winter.
- Plant new strawberries.
- Remove autumn leaves from ponds and water gardens and thin out aquatic plants.
- Stop feeding container plants.
- Cut down asparagus foliage as it starts turning yellow and mulch the plants generously.
- Net trees to protect fruit from birds.
Vegetables and Herbs to Grow in March (Temperate Climate)
|March Seeds to Sow and Seedlings to Plant (Temperate Climate Australia)||Sow/Plant||Harvest (weeks)|
|NZ Spinach (Warrigal Greens)||dst||8-10|
|Silverbeet (Swiss Chard)||dst||7-12|
|Spring Onions (Bunching Onions)||st||6-10|
d = sow seeds directly into ground
s = sow seeds into seed tray
ds = sow seeds directly into ground or seed tray
t = transplant seedlings (small plants) into larger pots or plant into ground
*= frost tender
**= sow after frost
Download printable PDF version of Gardening Calendar (Australian Temperate Climate) – March
To help improve these garden calendars, feedback and additional information from readers is greatly appreciated! Australia’s climate varies considerably, and local knowledge of when particular things need to be done in the garden are most helpful to others living in those area, so please feel free to share.