March in Your Garden

Your March Gardening Guide

Autumn has officially arrived and certainly the mornings and evenings have become a bit chilly, but days are still hot and there’s a lot to do in the March garden in preparation for a stunning winter show…

General March Garden Tasks

  • Lift and divide summer- flowering perennials such as Agapanthus, Hemerocallis, Iris, Arums and Cannas. Cut them back and replenish planting holes with compost. Keep the divided clumps to a fair size, so that the plant can recover in time for next season. Water well.
  • Lift spent summer annuals and prepare beds for winter annuals and vegetables by digging in a thick layer of compost and 2:3:2 fertiliser according to instructions.
  • The end of March is a good time to sow evergreen and shade lawn seed.
  • Feed lawns, trees, fynbos, proteas, palms and ferns with 8:1:5 fertiliser.
  • Feed roses, all flower beds, shrubs, aloes and succulents with 3:1:5 fertiliser.
  • Check clivias, agapanthus, nerines, amaryllis and similar ‘lily-like’ plants for lily borer, a stripy yellow and black caterpillar that bores into leaves and stems. Treat immediately – enquire at our inside information desk for the best pest control treatments available.

What to Plant in March

The following perennials are in flower in the nursery now.  Plant to add colour and fill in gaps in your autumn garden:

  • Diascia
  • Brachyscome ‘Fresco Candy’
  • Echinacea
  • Shasta Daisies
  • Gauras
  • Salvias
  • Pelargoniums
  • Ornamental grasses are in their prime now and are a must for sunny, low maintenance gardens.

March Sowing Guide

Choose your favourites and sow them in situ or in seed trays in a good quality germination mix.  It’s really very easy if you follow the instructions on the seed packets!

  • Vegetables: Broad beans, Broccoli, Brussel Sprouts, Chinese Cabbage, Carrots, Cauliflower, Leeks, Marog, Onions, Parsnip, Peas, Radish, Spinach, Swiss Chard and Turnips.
  • Herbs: Parsley, Borage, Celery, Chives and Garlic Chives
  • Flowers: Namaqualand  Daisy, Alyssum, Antirrhinum, Bellis perennis, Calendula, California Poppy, Chrysanthemum multicaule, Dianthus, Diascia, Linaria, Mesembryanthemum, Nemesia, Pansy, Poppy, Primula malacoides, Stocks, Sweetpea, Virginian Stock and Violas.
  • The end of March is a good time to sow evergreen and shade lawn seed.

The Food Garden

  • Divide and plant strawberries towards the end of the month in well composted beds or pots.
  • Garlic bulbs must go into the ground in March.
  • Harvest annual and frost tender herbs now while they still have zest and flavor. That doesn’t mean you’re in for a bland winter.  Preserve the harvested herbs by drying, freezing or making a pesto or herb butter.  They can also be preserved in oil or vinegar.
  • If you have a dedicated vegetable patch and enough space to rotate crops, remove all spent summer veg and plant a green manure like lucerne, clover, mustard or buckwheat. Dig into the soil when they are flowering – they will release nutrients, especially nitrogen, into the soil, enriching and improving it for summer crops.


  • Winter and spring-flowering bulbs should hit our shelves during the third week in March (enquire at our inside information desk for availability). Don’t miss out on indigenous beauties such as Freesias, Babianas, Sparaxis, Ornithogalum, Ixias, Chasmanthe and varieties of the lovely Lachenalia. Exotics available are Anemone, Brodiaea, Daffodils, Hemerocallis, Ipheon, Dutch Iris, Leucojum, Muscari and Ranunculus.   Grab your favourites now – if it’s too early to plant, keep them in a cool, dark place. (All options mentioned are subject to availability).
  • Prepare beds for bulbs by adding a good helping of compost and bonemeal. Good drainage is essential, so add a bit of riversand if you have clay soil.  Cover planted bulbs  with a layer of mulch. Water bulbs deeply every four days and pots more regularly.
  • Summer-flowering bulbs will be going dormant now – mark the spot to protect the bulb from being dug up and as a reminder when planning your planting next spring and summer.
  • Start feeding bulbs as soon as they have finished flowering with a special bulb food or 3:1:5. Why now?  Because they will store this food in their little bulbs in preparation for their spectacular show next season.