As temperatures drop a little, it is time to take advantage of the recent rains and get all our winter crops into the ground while still using the sun’s warmth to supply us with the last fruits of summer. Time to raise cabbages, lettuces, beets and sow onions (they don’t like to be mulched). Zucchini, cucumber, eggplant, beans and cherry tomatoes are still producing and the pumpkin patch is covered in lush greenery – hiding a decent number of pumpkins.
At the end of February I removed the summer mulch, weeded and fed the bare soil and gave all old vegetable material over to the chickens to process into compost. After some liming and rock dust applications, it is time to plant again. Onion, lettuce and carrot seed have already gone in, more seedlings will be grown this month.
My other priority this month will be the strawberry patch for August to November harvesting. I am using a raised bed and am adding some raspberry bushes to the centre to grow up a trellis. This way I will contain the runners of the raspberry and better use the bed by doubling the use. I’ll share my progress with you during the month.
Gardening Guide (following Moon Planting)
☺ Full Moon 1 March at 2:39 am and 30 March at 12:27 pm
Sow direct (after 1 March): beetroot (pre-soak seed), carrot, parsnip and radish, early-season onion, swede, turnip, hyssop, lavender, lemon balm, marjoram, pyrethrum, rosemary, thyme, watercress, yarrow and Shasta daisy.
Sow or plant out: dandelion, lemon grass, oregano and gerbera.
Plant: strawberry runners, citrus and pineapple. Divide globe artichoke and take cuttings of mint, rosemary and thyme, globe artichoke suckers, avocado, olive, camellia, frangipani, herbaceous perennials, beardless iris, evergreen trees, shrubs and vines.
Lightly fertilise: peppermint. Apply cold, used tea-leaves to camellia.
Harvest crops for storage on non-fertile days.
☾ Waning Moon 8 March at 1:43 pm
No sowing or planting this phase, but weed, dig or plough, prepare beds and prune back unwanted growth, if required.
Prepare beds for: spring bulbs.
☻ New Moon 16 March at 7:02 am
Sow direct: bulb fennel, cabbage, headed and open Chinese cabbage, grain crops, lettuce, mizuna, radicchio, rocket, silver beet (pre-soaked seed), tatsoi, coriander, annual lupins, nasturtium, sunflower and sweet pea.
Sow or plant out: celery, leek, spring onions, sweet basil, parsley, ageratum, aurora daisy, calendula, cornflower, nemesia, pansy and viola, Iceland poppy, snapdragon, statice, stock and verbena.
Grow a green manure or cover crop of strawberry clover, Japanese millet, oats or triticale. In suitable soils, grow annual lupin, vetch or amaranth. South of Rockhampton, grow white clover or field pea.
On damp soil, apply fertiliser tea to: asparagus seedlings in pots, melons sown in February and potato bed to be planted in April, also cabbage, celery, leek, lettuce, silver beet and young passionfruit, if necessary.
Apply seaweed tea to: Camellia at half-strength.
☽ Waxing Moon 23 March at 9:01 pm
Sow direct: broccoli, bush and climbing beans, grain crops, nasturtium, sunflower and sweet pea.
Sow or plant out: leek, spring onions, tomato, zucchini, chamomile and aurora daisy, caulillower, peas, ageratum, calendula, cornflower, annual lupins, nemesia, pansy and viola, Iceland poppy, snapdragon, statice, stock and verbena.
Prune: short dead-head all roses from now until winter and tidy up camellia, if necessary.