Autumn has arrived. Autumn is nature's time for planting and a very exciting time in the garden. Throughout history Autumn has been a time of festivals as tribes, villages and communities come together to celebrate the Autumn harvest. Autumn is also a time of planning and preparing for the seasons ahead.
What to do in the garden this March.
During March the days are still warm. As summer begins to fade, we look forward to the changes of Autumn arriving. The nights begin to cool, and we wake to morning dew and changes beginning to happen in the landscapes around us.
The Vegetable Garden
Wonderful, tasty food harvested fresh from the garden is becoming more and more popular as the goodness of ‘homegrown’ is discovered. March is a great month to prepare the veggie patch for planting as the changes of the season happen. Begin by digging generous amounts of organic material. This does not only add the goodness of nature to the plot but encourages lots of earth worms to be working with you as they aerate the soil.
Rocky Point’s ‘Best in the Market’ range of garden composts and manures will ensure the very best results with a bumper harvest. Rocky Point ActivGrow is a no-fuss solution for home gardeners. This tried and tested organic soil improver is designed for the home gardener to reinvigorate vegetable gardens and tired soils. ActivGrow is supercharged with active ingredients including a blend of organic compost, composted chicken and cow manure, blood and bone, gypsum, fish meal, seaweed extract, iron, zeolite and trace elements. This ensures your plants are healthier, producing brilliant colour and increased yields. Rocky Point ActivGrow is suitable for all garden types but is most popular for preparing vegetable gardens.
Northern areas of the country are preparing for the planting of tomatoes, eggplants, cucumbers, sweet corn, carrots, beans, cauliflowers, silverbeet, leeks, spring onions and zucchini.
Southern regions are beginning their plantings of cooler month crops such as broccoli, brussels sprout, cabbages, cauliflowers, kale, leeks, lettuce, radish, silverbeet and onions.
Visit your local garden centre or garden retailer for the best plants and advice for your climate.
Mulch garden beds once planting is complete. This will help to retain moisture, retain the warmth of summer and to suppress weed growth. Rocky Point Sugar Cane, Lucerne or Pea Straw mulches are perfect to achieve this and will have your vegetable garden looking fabulous.
Autumn is a great time to create or to replant your herb gardens. There is a large selection available to plant now that will suit your region.
Herbs are very versatile. The herb garden can be formal like a circular bed with an ornamental centre piece, or as informal as a rockery. Plant them throughout the garden, mixed in with vegetables, or the flower border and even between paving stones. The smallest living spaces can accommodate a few herbs in pots on a windowsill, the porch steps, and a window box or in a hanging basket.
When growing herbs in pots or containers, always use a premium quality potting mix. Rocky Point Coco Pro Professional Potting Mix complies with the Australian Standard 3743 for a premium potting mix. This standard is only awarded to products, which have undergone tests, and completely satisfy the guidelines set by SAI Global. This standard is evidence of Rocky Point’s commitment to the quality of our products.
The Autumn Harvest.
Now is a time of abundant harvest in many Australian gardens. Fruiting trees are laden with goodness filled, tasty fruits ready for picking. It is a fabulous time for small fruits and berries and a pleasure to venture out to the garden with a bowl to be filled. Cucurbits such as cucumber, pumpkin, zucchini, squash, watermelon and rockmelon are growing and filling with flavour ready to make their way to the kitchen. Enjoy your festival of fresh homegrown goodness.
In the Garden
The first signs of the changing of the seasons begin to be revealed during March. It is a wonderful month with many summer flowering plants continuing the summer showcase of colour as the treasures of autumn begin to come to life.
Now is a great time to sow seeds and Sweet Peas are one of the favourites.
Sweet Peas are very popular cut flowers and can be grown easily at home. They are extremely fragrant with many mixes of colours available. Most are excellent climbing annuals to grow over a trellis or screen. The dwarf varieties are great for pots or hanging baskets.
Seeds of Sweet Peas are traditionally planted during March, around St Patrick’s Day.
As with the vegetable garden, this is the time to prepare your garden beds. Adding Rocky Point ActivGrow to the soil will ensure that your plants thrive and produce masses of stunning colour.
The new season's annuals that flower so well over the cooler months are now arriving. Pansies, Polyanthus, Alyssum, Primulas, Stocks, Violas and Virginian Stock are some of the favourites for Autumn planting. Although planting seedlings is still a very popular way to fill the flower beds, most of the favourite Autumn annuals are also available in advanced 6, 8 or 10 cell packs. These are larger plants that are already in flower to give instant results.
March is the ideal time to plant gardens, pots and hanging baskets to brighten up the winter days to come. Potted plants will only grow to the quality of the potting mix that they are planted in. Rocky Point Coco Pro potting mix is formulated to achieve the best results.
Shrubs & Trees
As the warm days of summer disappear, the soil holds the warmth of the summer sun. As Autumn rains arrive, it is a wonderful time of growth. This is the time to fertilise and we are thrilled to release our new Rocky Point ActivGrow Fertiliser Pellets. These organic pellets will provide plants with all the nutrition for lots of lush healthy growth, lots of brilliant flowers and increased yields.
Rocky Point ActivGrow Fertiliser Pellets are excellent in the edible garden, to use in outdoor pots and baskets and is also perfect for fertilising established shrubs and trees in the garden. For the planting of new plants, add just 50g to the base of the planting hole and spread another 50g on top.
There is a wonderful selection of shrubs and trees for Autumn planting and regular visits to your nearest garden retailer will ensure that you do not miss out on the best of the new season.
Once Autumn fertilising is complete, it is the perfect time to add a nice thick layer of mulch to garden beds. This will help to maintain the soil temperature for good Autumn growth. Mulching will also help to suppress weeds and will have gardens looking great.
The season of lawn recovery begins in March. As the weather cools and Autumn rains arrive, top dress lawns to see them transformed into lush carpets of green.
Rocky Point OptiLawn Top Dress is ideal for both new and established lawns and is great for producing excellent long term results. OptiLawn is a uniquely formulated premium top dress designed to improve, strengthen and rejuvenate your lawn. Rocky Point Optilawn also contains wetting granules to minimise the need for watering and improve those dry, tired parched lawn areas.
Bulbs are buried treasures in the garden. In suitable regions, now is the time to bury bulbs in anticipation of the explosion of colour that will be produced in late winter and spring. Spring flowering bulbs include Anemones, Daffodils, Dutch Iris, Freesias, Grape Hyacinth, Hyacinth, Jonquils, Ranunculi, Scillas, Spring Stars and Tulips.
NEW AniStraw for Pets
Pets are an important part of many families. Homes, backyards and living spaces are shared with our furry, scaly, hairy, woolly or feathered friends. Rocky Point are excited to add AniStraw to our range of quality Animal Bedding products. Hygienic, soft and sustainably sourced, Rocky Point’s AniStraw is specifically produced to create healthy, comfortable and environmentally friendly habitats for a wide range of pets and animals. Try some today and give our pets the creature comfort they deserve! AniStraw is also ideal to be used on the garden as it will break down naturally in your home compost.
In the Home
House plants love the autumn as air conditioners are switched off and heaters are not yet in use. Conditions have changed in the indoor jungle and watering schedules may also need to be altered. Check the top 10mm to 20mm of the potting mix with your finger. If still moist, wait a day or two and check again. Do not water until this is dry. It is easy to overwater at this time of year.
Small indoor plants or ‘plant babies’ have been popular. Plant parents are now keen to see their babies grow. This is a great time to repot house plants if required. Select a new pot that is one or two sizes larger than the existing pot. A small plant in a large pot does not look right but also the plants will grow much better with gradual increases in the size of their homes.
Always use a premium grade potting mix. Rocky Point Coco Pro features premium quality slow and controlled release fertilisers which continue to feed and nourish plants for over 14 months.
Beautiful flowering Cyclamen are an autumn favourite and will deliver abundant flowering right through the cooler months. These are stunning indoor or patio plants and the cooler the nights, the longer they will flower.
There is lots to get excited about in the garden during Autumn so be sure to visit your favourite garden centre or garden retailer this March.