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Garden Tasks for March

Flowers and shrubs

Plant: gerbera, lobelia, polyanthus, flowering kale, primula, violas, snapdragons, wildflowers, sweet William.

- Deadhead and prune back perennials, including fuchsias, that have finished flowering for the season.

- Start thinking about what bulbs you would like to plant - garden centres should have them in by now. Wait until April or even May to plant them though - the soil will be cooler then.

- Add thick layers of mulch to garden beds and pots to conserve water, reduce weeds and add valuable nutrients back to the soil. Mulching also makes your garden look neat and tidy.

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Vegetables and fruit

- Plant: Beetroot, broccoli, cabbages, carrots, cauliflowers, cavolo nero, celery, courgettes, kale, leeks, lettuces, peas, silverbeet, spinach, coriander, parsley, rosemary, sage, thyme.

- Citrus trees can be fed this month - apply fertiliser out to the drip line of the tree and water in well afterwards

- Some of the summer vege crops will be coming to an end in March - continue feeding them with liquid food to get as much as possible out of them.

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Pests and general tasks

- White butterfly caterpillars adore cabbages, broccoli and cauliflower so keep so keep an eye out for these and control them with derris dust before they damage your seedlings.

- Mildew can be a problem with courgettes and cucumbers. Try a natural remedy - mix 1 cup of milk in 1 litre of water, adding 1 tsp of baking soda, then spray on. This recipe is from www.garden-nz.co.nz

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