March in the organic Garden

By Kath Irvine ediblebackyard

In the Vegie Patch
Prepare your beds well – cutting in green crops and adding compost, rock dust, worm castings and dolomite or lime. You need to feed up your Winter crops for good strong growth before the cold weather slows them down.
Seed to sow:
Salads – keep sowing Winter salads – miner’s lettuce, corn salad, lettuce, spinach
Vegies – brassicas, spring onion, peas
Direct sow – radish, carrot, beetroot, parsnip, sweet peas for Spring flowers
Flowers for Spring – honesty, nigella, primula, aquilegia, alyssum, snapdragon, wallflower
Planting out now:

  • keep planting out brassicas
  • peas, celery, lettuce, silverbeet, spinach. Spinach does better in cooler weather – you will enjoy the best spinach at this time of year
  • another planting of salads
  • calendula and heartsease can go in the salad bed and Spring bulbs can go into the orchard to provide food for your beneficial insects
  • keep up your tomato care – especially being vigilant for blight

Fruit Tree Care:

  • Walnuts will be ready for collecting now. Dry them thoroughly on racks in the sun, then store in sacks in a cool dry place.
  • Feed citrus and passionfruit. Passionfruit likes a cool root run so find a compatible tree for it to climb up.
  • Put a layer of comfrey leaves and chook poo around your currants
  • Codling moth caterpillars are coming down the trees now, so be prepared to catch them by wrapping corrugated cardboard around the trunks (corrugates facing in). They are looking for a place to make their cocoons and they will love to hide in your cardboard! You can burn them later.
  • Do you need to make changes to your orchard set-up? Now is the time to get sorted before the heavy Winter weather sets in. Did your orchard drain well last Winter? Are you set up for your animal cleaners (chooks, pigs, ducks) to come in this Autumn? Do you have enough bio-diversity? What pests got out of hand and how can you be better set up to cope with them? Did you grow enough comfrey?
  • Are you going to put in more fruit trees or replace any trees? Make sure you do this in Autumn. It’s worthwhile to seek good advice on your orchard set-up or go on a workshop and learn about it.