Whether you are completely new to gardening or a green thumb from way back, you'll find a lot of useful info here in our Gardening Advice section.
Start with our monthly gardening guide where you'll find seasonal tips for all the things you need to do this month, next month and beyond.
If you're looking for help on a specific topic, try the Gardening Information section and if you don't find what you're after please contact us. We're more than happy to help.
Garden Guide for MarchMarch brings slightly cooler temperatures and moist soil. Now is the time to have a look at your garden and see what planting needs to be done.
The Edible Garden
Blueberries are a much enjoyed fruit. The fruit ripens between December and April. Though often an expensive fruit to buy, as garden plants they are easy to grow and crop well in the home garden. The plants themselves are quite decorative. For maximum cropping potential plant two different varieties.March, April, May
Green Crops - Natural soil Maintenance
If you do not intend to plant a winter vegetable garden then consider sowing a green manure crop, rather than letting your vegetable garden area be invaded with weeds.
A green crop is the growing of a crop that will be dug back into the soil. It is a natural method of soil maintenance, when dug into the soil and it will boost and replace lost nutrients. This will also encourage earthworms and other beneficial micro organisms to your garden. There are three main varieties of seed commonly used as green manure crops; blue lupins, barley and oats and mustard. This is a good use of an area of ground, not needed for winter vegetable growing, rather than allowing weeds to take over.
Harvest time for feijoas, the fruit is ripe when it falls on the ground. If you want to grow feijoas then planting two or more will increase pollination and fruiting. A clever method is to plant different varieties with timing of harvest of early, mid and late, this will give you a fruit harvest from mid-March to late May.March, April, May
Regular harvesting can still be made on summer vegetables and fruit. These include beans, peas, zuchinni, tomatoes and lettuce.
Grape varieties should be coming ready for harvest.
Apples are often the dominant cropper, though some late nectarines and peaches are still going. The later varieties are often better ‘keepers’ and can be stored to give supply through the winter months. If fruit is slow to ripen on peaches and nectarines, a light pruning to let more sunlight through the tree is can be advantageous.
The first fruits of feijoas, pears and walnuts will be soon starting to fall. Check under your trees regularly, as the main harvest comes ready later in the month.March
Protect your vegetables from White Butterfly
Protect brassicas (brocolli, cauliflower and cabbage) from white butterfly using ‘Yates Success Ultra’ or ‘Yates Mavrik’ or ‘Yates Derris Dust’.
Alternatively you can cover your crop with bug netting supported over cane or metal hoops. This also adds protection against birds.January, February, March, December
With a bit of forward planning you could have a nice crop of winter vegetables to harvest during the cold months. Planting these vegetables now will get the vegetables as close to maturity as possible before winter really sets in.
Plant out silverbeet, spinach, cabbages, cauliflower, broccoli, broccoflower, spring onions, brussel sprouts, beetroot, celery, lettuce & and pak-choi. At this stage of the year with the lead up to winter shortening, seedlings are best planting choice.
However sugar snap peas, carrots, swede, turnip, and raddish are best sown as seeds. Plant these seeds directly in the garden.
If you have an unused bean frame consider growing sugar snap peas which can be eaten pod and all. These do well during the winter months and are easy to grow. A top pea variety is Pea—Magic, It is part of the ‘Chefs Best Ican’ range and produces dark green pods on vigorous high yielding plants. It boasts a good resistance to fusarium and powdery mildew which means you keep on picking till the last pod is produced.March, April, May
Best time to plant a tree
Autumn is the best time of year to be making plantings of trees and shrubs so that they can establish good root systems before the dry of next summer. They often make far bigger, better and stronger plants, more quickly than those planted in the spring. Why not plant some fruit trees? Home grown fruit tastes better and is alot fresher.March, April, May
When planning your a new garden or changes to your garden, here are some ideas to consider;
- Do you want more privacy from your neighbours?
- Do you want some shelter from wind?
- Would a shade tree be beneficial to your outdoor eating area?
- Does the main entrance way to your house look inviting and have good street appeal?
- Do you want to create a vegetable garden?
- Do you want to grow your own fruit?
If you would like professional advice with garden design you may wish to contact our Landscape Designer Lucky. Click here for more information.March
Home made compost is easy with leaves
Collect up autumn leaves when they fall in the coming weeks as they make fantastic compost. Because sometime we need a little help with our compost, you could add ‘Worm Farm & Compost Conditioner’ to the compost heap. Not only will this product help neutralise the acidity created as the organic matter decomposes. This increases the speed of decomposition and promotes increased microbial activity and optimises the conditions for worms.March, April
Prepare for your new Lawn
It is time to prepare and sow your new lawn, or make repairs to existing lawns. Now is the time to spray out areas for new lawns in preparation for sowing in late March or April. A really good lawn can be obtained only by intensive soil preparation BEFORE sowing. Once the lawn is established it is difficult to level off an uneven surface or eradicate undesirable grass and weed species. Check out our 'How To Construct, Establish and Maintain Lawns' guide here.March
“The answer lies in the soil” is a well known phrase which is true to the success (or not) we have in the garden. With this in mind it is time to re-invigorate the soil in the vegetable garden. Summer vegetables can often pillage the soil of fertility and break down the structure. Therefore the addition of sheep pellets, compost & fertiliser is highly recommended and will help ensure continued good production from your plot.March, April
The golden rule to watering is to water less often, but to water more deeply. This will encourage roots to go further down and seek water from the subsoil. Light watering on the surface every day has the opposite effect. For most gardens, a couple of times a week for a long period is better than watering every evening for a short time.January, February, March, September, October, November
In all sections of the garden it’s a busy time for hoeing and pulling out weeds. After rain showers they will grow very rapidly. Regular attention prevents weeds from smothering vegetables, flowers and small shrubsMarch, April, September, October, November
The Flower Garden
Chill your Tulips and Hyacinths
Tulip bulbs should be in store now. To get you bulbs off to a good start, chill your Tulips and hyacinths in the fridge for 4-6 weeks, before planting. This will ensure beautiful blooms. It is better to place the bulbs in a paper bag. A plastic bag may cause the bulbs to sweat and rot.March, April
Fertilise Winter and Spring flowers
Time to fertilise winter and spring flowering and fruiting plants such as citrus, rhododendrons, camellias, daphne, azaleas and others to aid flower developments for spring. Come in store to find the right fertiliser you need.March, April, August, September
Great colour in the garden are ‘garden mums’ also know as chrysanthemums. These are late summer and autumn flowering beauties! They are drought resistant and love the sun. They will tolerate poor soils and grow in any well drained spot. They are available in a range of colours including; yellow, red, pink, burgundy, white & burnt orange. Most of them will grow about 50-70cm high. Check them out they are spectacular!January, February, March
Lifting Tuberous Begonias
When finished flowering, tuberous begonias can be stored away for next growing season. Click here for more informationMarch, April
Prepare your Winter and Spring Flower Garden
Time to start thinking about your Winter and Spring Garden. Pull out summer annuals that are finished or coming to an end. Look at replacing them with winter and spring flowering annuals. You will find pansies, stocks, polyanthus, primroses, primulas, snap dragons, lupins, holly hocks and more are coming into store this month.March
Time to start thinking roses! New seasons roses varieties will be arriving into the store from the end of May. Roses really are an impressive plant. There are few plants that can boast the growth rate and extent of flowering that a good rose will provide. A rose bush purchased in June or July (that looks like a group of sticks in a pot) will by November will be 60-80cm in height and producing a mass of colourful blooms, most roses (depending on the variety) will repeat flower throughout the summer and well into next Autumn. Prepare the soil for new season rose plantings in preparation for this arrival.
Rose pruning in Whanganui is best left until mid July. Other wise our mild temperatures tend to promote early growth which may be damaged by frosts.
However now is the time to order roses now for winter delivery to ensure you don’t miss.March, April, May, June
Time to purchase spring bulbs. Check out the range in store now; daffodils, hyacinth, grape hyacinth, gladioli nanas, crocus, iris reticulata and more available be in quick for the best selection. Check out our planting guide here.February, March, April
Time to sow Sweet Peas
Now is the time to sow sweet pea seeds for a fragrant and colourful, winter/ spring display. To help germination of the seed, soak the sweet pea seeds in water for several hours, before planting. This well soften the shell of the seed. Plant your seed in a sunny and well drained siteMarch, April, May