With “Mad March” comes the cooler nights and shorter days giving a few opportunities for a last planting before the soils cool down.
Imagine naked ladies in the garden!
That is what happens in Mad March.
Amaryllis belladonna or naked ladies start to flower. They are so named as the flowers emerge tall and upright before the leaves appear later.
Belladonna means beautiful lady and they are indeed beautiful.
Another common name is Easter lily, but they usually appear quite a time before Easter, so the names naked or beautiful ladies are really more appropriate.
They are native to the Cape Province area of South Africa and enjoy being baked by the hot sun, but a water when in flower is always appreciated.
Usually, an autumn rain will come to help!
The perfume they exude is redolent of a flowering honeysuckle.
They flower in shades of cream through to pale and bright pink.
A fertiliser in spring will always be a beneficial aid to next autumn’s flowers.
Want to make a splash in autumn with your roses?
A trick is to give your roses a particularly good prune and then a very good deep soaking and a feed of fertiliser. Keep the water up weekly from then on and in approximately 50 days, your roses will all flower on cue. Remember to watch out for black spot and remove and bin any affected leaves.
Water early in the morning, never at night to help keep black spot and other fungal infections at bay.
Roses bloom best and enjoy a position in the full sun. South Australia seems to have the perfect climate for roses.
Do you suffer from arachnophobia?
Just pause a moment and think about what good the spiders do in the garden.
They are like the cleaners that work silently in the night eating maybe a few good insects but munching their way through all the bad guys.
They relish a diet of flies, mosquitoes, wasps, moths and beetles, helping to keep your garden healthy and productive without the need of harmful insecticides. Leave them to breed and multiply and just appreciate what good they do thanklessly in the garden.
Is your lemon tree suffering from the yellows?
This may happen in autumn due to a deficiency of magnesium.
All citruses are very hungry trees and need a lot of TLC – they need a good feed frequently.
In autumn adding Epsom Salts, a form of magnesium, can help.
Just sprinkle it around the drip line of the tree.
The drip line is where the leaves are at the edge of the canopy of the tree and the water, when it rains, will drop to the ground.
Water the tree deeply afterwards and repeat in about three weeks if necessary.
The signs of magnesium deficiency in citrus are the leaves dropping and the new leaves being smaller and the general colour of the leaves being a pale yellow.
All citruses appreciate a dose of Epsom Salts plus some Potash, and these two can help to produce sweet, tasty oranges.
Good even deep watering is needed until the winter rains appear.
Citrus trees need to be fed frequently and often to get the best results.
Remember to start to prepare your winter garden beds for planting.
Appreciate all that happens in your garden in the month of March.
From the Amateur Gardener.