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March

Now is the time to start thinking about planting winter flowering bulbs. Even the smallest garden can have a drift of daffodils if the bulbs are planted in groups and not in straight rows. The indigenous bulbs (sparaxis, ixia, babiana) look particularly effective planted in groups under deciduous trees. Start sowing Namaqualand daisies, Ursinias and Bokbaaivygies in sunny places in the garden. They grow easily and make a magnificent display.

SUMMER FLOWERING ANNUALS
Water those, which are still flowering. Pull up those, which have come to the end of their flowering season and prepare the beds for winter flowers by digging in well-matured compost and 2:3:2 at the rate of 60g per square metre.

HARDY SUMMER FLOWERING ANNUALS
Continue sowing these in the winter rainfall and warm frost-free areas. Best results are usually obtained from seed sown in seed trays. If these annuals are sown now the seedlings will stand through the winter and start flowering early next summer:

Acroclinium (Helipterum)
Ageratum houstonianum (Floss flower)
Agrostemma githago milas (Agrostemma)
Alcea rosea (hollyhock)
Alyssum
Anagallis (pimpernel)
Anchusa capensis 'Blue bird'
Antirrhinum majus (snapdragon)
Campanula medium (Canterbury bells)
Centaurea cyanus (cornflower)
Centaurea moschata (sweet sultan)
Clarkia
Daucus Carota var. carota (Queen Anne's Lace)
Delphinium grandiflorum (butterfly delphinium)
Dianthus (pinks)
Digitalis purpurea (foxglove)
Gaillardia pulchella (blanket flower)
Gilia capitata
Godetia (satin flower)
Iberis umbellata (candytuft)
Limonium bonduellii (Statice)
Linum grandiflorum (Flowering flax)
Lupinus hartwegii (lupin)
Malcolmia maritima (Virginian stocks)
Marticaria maritima (feverfew)
Miulus luteus (monkey flower)
Mimulus moschatus (musk flower)
Lolucella laevis (bells of Ireland)
Nigella damascena (love-in-a-mist)
Papaver rhoeas (Shirley poppy)
Petunia x hybrida
Phlox drummondii
Reseda odorata (mignonette)
Rudbeckia (gloriosa daisy)
Salpiglossis sinuata (trumpet flower)
Scabiosa atropurpurea (picushion flower)
Tropaeolum majus (nasturtium)
Verbascum phoeniceum (verbascum)
Verbena x hybrida

WINTER FLOWERING ANNUALS
Sweet peas:
Do not over water seedlings, but keep the soil evenly damp. When seedlings are about 10cm tall pinch them back, then allow only two of the new stems to develop.

Summer rainfall areas: Any of the annuals listed below can be sown from the beginning of the month onwards, unless otherwise stated:

Arctotis acaulis
Calendula officinalis (pot marigold)
Chrysanthemum carinatum (annual variety)
Clarkia
Consolida ambigua (larkspur) (sow in situ)
Dimorphotheca sinuata (Namaqualand daisy)
Dorotheanthus bellidiformis (Livingstone daisy or Bokbaaivygie) (protect seedlings from birds by putting chicken wire over the beds)
Felicia bergerana (kingfisher daisy)
Godetia (satin flower)
Linaria maroccana (toad flax - sow in situ)
Nemesia
Schizanthus (poor man's orchid)

Winter rainfall and warm frost free areas: Any of the annuals listed below can be sown from the beginning of the month onwards, unless otherwise stated:

Arctotis acaulis
Calendula officinalis (pot marigold)
Chrysanthemum carinatum (annual variety)
Clarkia
Consolida ambigua (larkspur) (sow in situ)
Dimorphotheca sinuata (Namaqualand daisy)
Dorotheanthus bellidiformis (Livingstone daisy or Bokbaaivygie) (protect seedlings from birds by putting chicken wire over the beds)
Felicia bergerana (kingfisher daisy)
Godetia (satin flower)
Lathyrus odoratus (sweet pea)
Linaria maroccana (toad flax - sow in situ)
Nemesia
Viola x wittrockiana (pansy)

PERENNIALS
Water once a week during dry weather. As the flowers fade cut the stems dow to ground level.
In the summer rainfall areas water helebores once a week.

Lifting perennials: The following perennials can either be lifted and divided now, or in September when new growth has started. Water the clumps the day before they are to be lifted. After lifting do not let the roots become dry. Do the dividing in the shade, and if you are expecting the task to take some time cover the clumps with damp sacking to further protect the roots. For replanting choose healthy young growths from the outer edge of the clump.

Ajuga reptans (bugle mint)
Alyssum saxatile
Anemone japonica
Anthemis sancti-johannis
Armeria maritima (thrift)
Aster novi-belgii (Michaelmas daisy)
Campanula
Chrysanrthemum maximum (Shasta daisy)
Echinacea purpurea (pink rudbeckia)
Gaillardia x grandiflora (blanket flower)
Geum
Heuchera sanguinea (coral bells)
Lobelia cardinalis (not in very cold areas)
Macleaya cordata (plume poppy)
Monarda didyma (bergamot)
Penstemon
Pyrethrum roseum
Salvia farinacea (blue salvia)
Salvia patens (dark blue salvia)
Solidago (golden rod)
Veronica (speedwell)

Takings cuttings: Cuttings of the following perennials can be taken this month. Select healthy growths, about 5cm long, and cut just below a node or leaf joint. Remove the lower leaves and dip the end of the cutting in a rooting hormone. Then insert the cutting in sand, or a mixture of 2 parts sand and 1 part peat. Press the soil firmly around the cutting, and water.

Alyssum saxatile
Centuarea cineraria (Dusty Miller)
Chrysanthemum frutescens (marguerite)
Heliptropium arborescens (heliptrope or cherry pie)
Palargonium (geranium)
Penstemon

WINTER FLOWERING BULBS
These bulbs can be planted now:

Gladiolus blandus
Gladiolus cardinalis (waterfall gladiolus)
Gladiolus carinatus (mauve afrikander)
Ipheion uniflorum (star of bethlehem)
Lachenalia (cape cowslip)
Veltheimia bracteata (V. viridifolia - forest lily)

As soon as the weather gets cooler, the following bulbs can be planted:

Allium neapolitanum
Anemone coronaria
Aristea thyriflora (tall aristea)
Babiana
Bulbinella floribunda (cat's tail)
Dipidax triquetra (star of the marsh)
Iris (Dutch iris)
Freesia
Hyacinthus orientalis (hyacinth)
Ixia (wand flower)
Leucojum (snowflake)
Lycoris radiata (spider lily)
Muscari botryoides (grape hyacinth)
Narcissus
Ornithogalum thyrsoides (chincherinchee)
Ranunculus asiaticus (ranunculus)
Schizostylis coccinea (river lily)
Sparaxis (harlequin flower)

SHRUBS
Keep the ground mulched with compost and water once every three weeks during hot and dry weather. Pay special attention to watering camellias and azaleas. Hose down azaleas once a week in dry windy weather. If azalea foliage is turning yellow apply iron chelate at the rate recommended on the container, plus a tablespoon of magnesium (Epsom salts) per bush, and acidify the soil with pine needles, acid peat or a light dusting of sulphur.

Roses: Give each bush a 2 tablespoons of 3:1:5 spread over the root area to harden up the new growth for winter. Continue preventative spraying against black spot, rust and mildew combining this with a foliar feed. Water once a week during dry weather.

FRUIT (AND NUTS)
Where necessary give vines their last application of fertiliser for the season. As a general rule give mature trees 1.5kg of 2:3:2. Spread this over the root area, then water it in well.
Bananas: Give each plant 30g of 3:1:5 scattered over the root area. Mulch the ground with compost.
Citrus: Give each tree 2kg of 3:1:5 and 75g of Epsom salts. Scatter both over the root area. Water thoroughly every three weeks if the weather is dry.
Grapes: Give each vine 1kg of LAN.
Loquats: Give each tree 2kg of 2:3:2 scattered over the root area. Mulch the ground with compost.
Mangoes: Give each tree 2kg of 3:1:5 scattered over the root area. Mulch the ground with compost.
Pawpaws: Give each tree 125g of LAN (limestone ammonium nitrate). Scatter this over the root area starting at least 10cm away from the stem.
Pecans: Water thoroughly once a month.
Strawberries: If not done last month prepare the bed now for planting in April. Dig in plenty of old, well-rotted manure and/or compost, then scatter 3:1:5 at the rate of 250g per square metre.

VEGETABLES
Continue watering and caring for the last of the summer vegetables. Keep the ground between the rows mulched with compost. Pull weeds up by hand. Water the early winter vegetables, such as Brussels sprouts, broccoli, cabbage and cauliflower that were down in December. Feed with 2:3:2 at a rate of 30g per metre of row.

These vegetables can be grown in the various regions this month:

Gauteng and OFS Highveld

Beetroot
Carrots
Dwarf spinach
Endive
Garlic
Kohlrabi
Leek
Lettuce
Onion
Parsnip
Radish
Swiss chard
Turnip

Lowveld and warm frost free areas

Beetroot
Brussels sprouts
Cabbage
Capsicum
Carrots
Cauliflower
Celeriac
Celery
Cucumber
Dwarf bean
Dwarf spinach
Eggplant
Endive
Garlic
Horseradish
Kohlrabi
Leek
Lettuce
Onion
Radish
Parsley
Parsnip
Peas
Pumpkin
Radish
Runner bean
Swede turnip
Swiss chard
Tomato
Turnip
Vegetable marrow

OFS and Northern Cape

Beetroot
Carrots
Dwarf spinach
Endive
Leek
Lettuce
Onion
Parsnip
Radish
Swede turnip
Swiss chard
Turnip

Kwa Zulu Natal Midlands

Cabbage
Carrot
Cauliflower
Celery
Dwarf spinach
Endive
Garlic
Kohlrabi
Leek
Lettuce
Onion
Parsnip
Swiss chard
Turnip

Eastern Cape and Karoo

Carrot
Celery
Dwarf spinach
Leek
Lettuce
Onion
Peas
Radish
Swede turnip
Swiss chard
Turnip

Western Cape: Winter rainfall areas

Broad been
Broccoli
Brussels sprouts
Cabbage
Carrot
Cauliflower
Celery
Dwarf spinach
Leek
Lettuce
Onion
Parsley
Parsnip
Peas
Radish
Swiss chard
Turnip


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