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March Madness with Manure

Published: 09 Mar 2018

Garden

CIT Garden Tip of the Month

Autumn is a good time to get into the garden and is a great time to get planting!

To successfully grow your own flowers, vegetables and herbs, it is important to time the planting of seeds and/or seedlings to take advantage of the best growing conditions.

March is a great time to plant legumes, which are commonly known as green manure crops. These include broad beans, field peas, lupins, lucerne and clover. These particular plants have the ability to add nitrogen into the soil which is an essential element for plant growth and nutrition. The idea is to establish these crops well before the Canberra frost. You can turn your green manure crop in prior to planting out, however you can plant your vegetables, flowers and herbs amongst these legumes and they will still have access to additional soil nitrogen. Your soil can also be improved with the addition of some compost, manures which can be turned into original soil, as well as products such as Seasol which can aid in conditioning the soil.

March is also a great time of year to start sowing seeds of beetroot, broccoli, kale, leeks, lettuce (winter varieties such as Cos and Oakleaf), raddish, rocket, shallots, silverbeet and herbs such as chives, oregano and parsley. March is also the time of year to consider planting spring flowering bulbs and flowers so they can establish prior to the winter cold and start growing in early Spring. Stocks, pansies and poppies can be planted as seedlings and sweetpeas, candytuft and larkspur can be sown directly into the soil.

Keep your plants well watered and consider the use of mulch such as lucerne, pea straw or sugarcane. These mulches break down and help supply additional nutrition to the soil as well as regulating soil temperature and retaining soil moisture.

Good luck with your March gardening adventures, we'll be back with more helpful gardening tips next month.