Autumn will arrive in the Southern Hemisphere–Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, Argentina, Uruguay and Chile–on March 20.
Cool season crops need to be planted as soon as possible: beetroot Brussels sprouts, carrots, cauliflower, endive, leek, parsley, parsnip, potatoes, silverbeet (chard), and Swede (rutabaga). Cool weather crops require warm weather to germinate and begin growth. They will mature in the cool weather of autumn and be ready for harvest in late winter and early spring.
Onions should go into the garden now. Onions are day sensitive plants. They will begin their green growth in early autumn and as the days shorten into winter their shoot growth will slow and the plant will redirect its efforts to bulb formation. If you wait too long to plant onions, they will not be far enough along to establish bulb set when the the shortest days of the year come.
Sugar snap and snow peas can be planted now as well as lettuce and spinach. Get these crops in the ground early this month and you will be able to enjoy some tasty green salads in before winter.
The tomato and corn harvest should reach its peak this month. Pumpkins harvested now should be allowed to “cure” in the sun–allowing their skins to harden. Be sure to harvest pumpkins with some of the stalk still attached so that they do not rot.
Apples and pears are also ready for harvest. Harvest these fruits with a bit of leaf and stem still attached. Remember pears do not ripen on the tree. You need to pick them still firm and allow them to ripen on the kitchen counter. Pears that stay on the tree until they are soft will be mealy or woody inside.
Raspberry canes can be cut back to the ground once the harvest is complete. The old woody canes should be cut back; the recent season green canes can be left. If your raspberries were out of control this year, now is the time to tie the new green canes to a trellis for easier harvesting next year.
When strawberries are harvested you can peg down the new runners and they will set new roots at the leaf nodes. Your strawberry patch should be refurbished with new plants every few years.
If you plan to leave your garden fallow over the winter, consider revitalizing your soil with a “green manure” or cool-weather cover crop. Oats, pod vetch, lupins, and broad beans are good “green manure” choices. The roots of these plants add nitrogen to the soil. These plant grow fast and can be cut back and spaded under to add organic compost to your garden.
Temperate regions: Vegetables: artichoke suchers, broad beans, beetroot, cabbage, carrots, cauliflower, Chinese cabbage, cress, eggplant, endive, kohlrabi, leeks, lettuce, mustard, onions, spring onions, peas, radish, rhubarb crowns, rutabaga (Swede), silverbeet (Swiss chard), turnips. Herbs: angelica, caraway, chervil, chicory, coriander, dill, hyssop, lemon balm, marjoram, oregano, parsley, salad burnett thyme.
Tropical and sub-tropical northern regions: Vegetables: artichoke suckers, beans, beetroot, broccoli, cabbage, cape gooseberry, capsicum, carrots, celery, Chinese cabbage, cress, cucumber, eggplant, endive, kohlrabi, leek, lettuce, marrow, mustard, onions, spring onions, parsnip, peas, potato tubers, radish, rhubarb crown, silverbeet (Swiss chard), tomato, turnip. Herbs: angelica, basil, borage, caraway, celeriac, chicory, chives, coriander, fennel, hyssop, marjoram, salad burnet.
Cooler southern regions: Vegetables: broad beans, cabbage, Chinese cabbage, cress, leeks, lettuce, onions, spring onions, radish, spinach, strawberry runners, turnips. Herbs: caraway, chervil, chicory, parsley, salad burnet.
March Harvest Schedule for the Southern Hemisphere:
Here is a roundup of vegetables and fruits ready for harvest during March in the Southern Hemisphere:
Vegetables: beans, capsicum, carrots, chilies, Chinese cabbage, corn, cucumber, eggplant, kale, lettuce, melons, okra, peas, pumpkins, purslane, turnips, rutabaga (Swede), summer squash, tomato, turnips, zucchini.
Fruits and nuts: almonds, apples, avocadoes, brambleberries, grapes, figs, hazelnuts/filberts, kumquat, lemons, melons, mulberries, nectarines, oranges, passionfruit, banana passionfruit, peaches, pears, pecans, plums, raspberries, strawberries, tamarilloes.