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Start Your Maintenance To-Do List in March

In South Africa, March is a rather busy gardening month with a lot to do to conserve and preserve our gardens. The cooler air and darker mornings mean that early autumn is here, and now is a great time to start clearing out the old summer shrubs to make space for the arrival of the new garden growth. You will be kept very busy getting your garden ready for the winter months by doing maintenance tasks such as: preparing your plants, raking up leaves, nurturing your soil and cutting back shrubs in your backyard – so that when the winter arrives, you are all set for the spring blossoming.

Here are 7 basic, necessary tasks to put on your To Do list for March, to maintain your garden before the cool winter arrives:

  1. CHECK YOUR TOOLS
    It’s a great idea to first find out before you get busy with your gardening to-do list, which tools you are needing or which ones require to be replaced or repaired. Find out if there are any great specials on gardening equipment at your local Mica Hardware.
  2. IT’S CUT OFF TIME
    It’s time to snip off and cut back your trees, hedges, shrubs and flowers if they are finished flowering. Don’t be shy to remove any berries as well. By cutting back now, you allow the plants to effectively recover and have sufficient time to grow new sprouts so that they still bloom again in the spring time.
  3. SALVAGE LEAVES FOR SOIL
    As the air gets cooler, the leaves are starting to fall slowly but surely, which inarguably create a stunning earthy carpet on our gardens and driveways. Why not rake them up and instead of dumping them in a pile to get cleared, use them to create an organic nutrient-dense leaf mulch for your soil.
  4. FEED YOUR FLOWERS
    July in SA is the right time to prune your roses, however, existing roses need to be correctly fed in order to get them ready them for the autumn bloom. Feeding them with a fertilizer and antifungal spray will protect them by strengthening the plant’s cells before the harsh winter conditions. Water your roses well and also make sure to remove any other dead flower heads, keeping as many leaves as possible. This will assist them to stock up their food supplies.
  5. SPLIT YOUR PERENNIALS
    Now is the time to start splitting up your perennials into which ones to keep and which one you don’t mind digging up. Deadhead both your perennials and your annuals to extend their blossoming and prune summer plants that have finished flowering. The best option we suggest is to immediately replant the split ones or to place them in pots to flourish through the winter and spring.
  6. HARVEST YOUR VEGGIES
    Spend lots of time in the veggie garden to perfectly prepare your produce for the winter growth. Harvest and remove any finished summer fruits and vegetables and start to sow fast-growing greens. Also start to prepare to plant winter crops and now is a rather good time to fertilize your citrus trees before the cold conditions arrive. Over the next few weeks, allow adequate space for young plants to cultivate by thinning them out evenly and slowly. Continue to sow momentary herbs, and if you can, replant as many existing crops as possible to develop in the winter round.
  7. CREATE A SHOPPING LIST
    March is a good time to assess what your garden needs and what it needs more of. See what is growing well already and get more of that, which will save you time and money in the long haul, from having to dig up brand new plants that are not growing successfully. Create simplicity by remembering “less is more”, and don’t be afraid to expand your flower beds to give them more space to sprout, by decreasing your lawn’s size.
    The garden is an exciting place that requires consistent attention. By properly preparing it according to every season, you will see a big difference to your garden. Start planning and maintaining it today so that it is ready to endure the harsh winter months.
  8. Happy Gardening!
    Best regards,
    The Mica Team