Hello - welcome to Autumn! And finally we've had some great rain to start us off. Let's hope it continues throughout Winter. (Of course, overnight and during the week is generally preferred so we can enjoy some sunny weekends in the garden!)
There have been some exciting changes at GLSC over the last couple of months. We say hello to three new team members - Chaz, Luke (both full time) and Jarrod (casual), and farewell to two old ones; Andrew and Hamish. We wish them well in their new adventures.
We had The Perth Garden Festival early April at Perry Lakes, which was a busy time. Always nice to meet so many of our customers there and get to spread the Green Love to some new ones!
And just recently we have re-vamped our beloved website. Whereas we had two sites before - the original 'information' site and the online shop, they are now combined. So all the factsheets and great 'how to' information is there, but when people are wanting to check out the goods, they can simply click to buy if they are so inclined. A little more on the website later...
So I hope you enjoy this newsletter - as always, your feedback and suggestions are appreciated.
Until next time, have fun in the garden - and in the RAIN!!
In this newsletter:
Jobs for the Garden
What to Plant Now
Citrus Gall Wasp - Quarantine need your help!
Winter Lawn Care
Nick Bell - Horticulturalist, Square Foot Garden Instructor @ GLSC
Plant a Tree Day & Break a World Record!
Website First - Order Bulk Products Online
Special Offer for our VIP newsletter Customers
Jobs for the Garden Now
Autumn/winter is one of the best times to garden in Perth. Right now, it's time to:
- Start a compost pile, or check on your existing ones! With falling leaves, weeds popping up and prunings (preferably shredded) you will have lots of material to use! Remember to discard any diseased material - put this in the bin. (Here's our fact sheet on compost making.)
- Plant a tree! It's a great time of year to plant. Nurseries will be getting in deciduous/fruit trees very soon; plus it's also a great time to put in native plants. Prepare the soil well first with some of our General Concentrate, and they will get off to a flying start early in Spring. (Here's our fact sheet on planting bare rooted trees.)
- Watch for snails and slugs in the wet conditions. Use beer traps as a simple, safe method of controlling their numbers. See our fact sheet for more ideas. We also have Multiguard pellets in stock - these are iron based and the 'safest' option for the environment.
- Control weeds before they take over! Now soil is damp, weeds seem to pop up everywhere. 'A little and often' is the best way to keep on top of weeds, before they get on top of you! Make your own Weed Tea fertiliser - click here for details. Perth Based Permaculture business Terraperma has an edible weed workshop coming up soon - see their website for more information.
- Prepare soil for rhubarb and asparagus crowns. Dig in manure and compost and leave for a few weeks before planting. Crowns for rhubarb and asparagus will be available from The Green Life Soil Co in coming weeks. (Click on the highlighted links above for fact sheets on growing.)
- Feed your vegetables regularly (fortnightly or so) with a light dose of fish hydrolysate and/or kelp (great to alternate to provide different nutrients to your plants) - particularly leafy greens which are being harvested regularly.
What to plant now
Check out our When to Sow PDF for a full list; but here's somewhere to start:
Globe Artichoke (pictured right), Asparagus crowns, Broad beans, Broccoli, Cabbage, Chives, Coriander, Garlick, Jerusalem artichokes, Kale, Kohl rabi, Lettuce, Onion, Parsley, Peas, Potatoes, Radish, Rocket, Silverbeet, Spring onion, Strawberries...
Citrus Gall Wasp
This is a new pest (to WA) of citrus trees that has unfortunately now been found in Perth. The Ag Department are asking for help to identify and control this pest - so please keep an eye out! It's not too late to eradicate this pest before it takes hold over here.
Below is a Press Release received from the department 22.5.14:-
Backyard citrus growers are asked to look out for any unusual lumps and bumps on their citrus trees after a small outbreak of citrus gall wasp was detected in a suburb north east of Perth.
Department of Agriculture and Food, Western Australia (DAFWA) quarantine entomologist Marc Poole said citrus gall wasp (Bruchophagus fellis) is a native Australian wasp that occurs on the east coast, but is an exotic pest to Western Australia.
“Infestation of gall wasp can reduce leaf production, and subsequently lower fruit yield. Severe infestation can cause tree dieback,” Mr Poole said.
The pest was first discovered in Western Australia in 2013 and DAFWA are continuing to survey areas surrounding the initial infestation.
“Although our surveys have yet to be completed, indications are that citrus gall wasp is confined to a small area of Eden Hill,” he said.
The presence of citrus gall wasp can be identified by distinctive woody galls which can grow up to up to 250 mm long and 25 mm thick on citrus twigs. These can contain hundreds of larvae.
Adults emerge from infested galls over a protracted period from mid-September until early November.
“All citrus tree owners are asked to check their trees for evidence of the wasp to provide time to carry out control strategies, if required, by August and prevent adults from emerging and reproducing,” Mr Poole said.
“Gall wasp most often spreads to new localities via the movement of infested young trees,” Mr Poole said.
“The department is surveying the Perth metropolitan area including commercial and wholesale nurseries and has advised the Western Australian citrus industry of the detection.”
Landholders who suspect gall wasp on their citrus trees are asked to call the department’s Pest and Disease Information Service (PaDIS) on freecall 1800 084 881 or by emailing [email protected]
Lawn Care in Winter
Winter is for raking, sweeping, recycling and re-evaluation of lawns. Below Nick Bell (turf expert) has given us tips to keep your lawn in top shape at this time of year:
Measure the length and breadth of the lawn or if it is a number of individual sections, add them up to determine the area of your lawn.
Lawns may not need water in winter, but they do need thought and action. The following action plan will maintain it during winter and prepare it for spring.
Ensure that hand tools are sharp and in good condition before storing them away.
Mowers, edges, line trimmers and other machines should be properly serviced. Blades need to be sharpened or replaced if necessary so that the machines will be in first class working condition to cope with spring and early summer growth.
Rake and brush the lawn vigorously during the winter to minimise the formation, or break up established algae and moss and keep the surface tidy. Fallen leaves and other debris can be raked into windrows and chopped into small pieces with a rotary mower to produce an excellent mulch. The mulch is ideal for spreading in garden beds or composting.
- Check the pH of the soil with an inexpensive soil testing kit. Apply agricultural ground limestone to raise the pH of acidic soil, or elemental sulphur to reduce the pH of calcareous costal soils. The optimal pH for lawns is from 5.8 to 6.5.
- Reduce the total area of the lawn by reclaiming small sunny sections for productive vegetable and herb gardens, and replace narrow difficult to mow areas at the sides of the house with pavements, ground covers, and feature gardens.
Have watering systems audited by a water-wise endorsed specialists and if necessary have them upgraded to ensure efficient and reliable performance. To ensure efficient hand watering, replace worn hoses with good quality kink resistant ones. Eliminate leaks by fitting new tap washers, and repairing or replacing leaking taps, hose fittings and hose-end sprinklers if needed.
Keep the lawn at a height of 20mm by mowing it whenever it attains a height of 25mm from the beginning of June until mid-September. Control the spread of weed seeds during this period by collecting clippings and disposing of them in the Green-Waste recycling bins.
Winter is the best time of the year to visit turf farms to see new improved lawn types of lawns. These cultivated varieties have been specially bred and extensively trialled to ensure strong growth, practical maintenance and superior performance in Australia.
When lawns are beyond economic renovations it is usually desirable to replace them following soil improvement and irrigation system upgrade with an improved variety that is suitable for specific situations.
Looking at a new lawn? See The Green Life Soil Co for the perfect soil base.
By Nick Bell (Advanced Diploma Horticulture-Turf)
Nick's photos above right are showing a great way to make your own mulch from Autumn leaves. Here are the easy steps:
- Rake the leaves into a row
- With rotary mower blades set at maximum height, chop the leaves up by mowing
- Use the mulch on your garden to recycle nutrients, or add to a compost pile.
Nick Bell - Square Foot Gardening Guru @ The Green Life Soil Co
Interested in Square Foot Gardening? Need help with your lawn? General horticultural problems? Nick Bell - our friend and consultant will be making regular fortnightly appearances at The Green Life Soil Co from July (he's enjoying a well earned holiday in June). Put these dates in your diary:
Saturday, July 12 and 26 and August 9 and 23rd.
Nick will be in store from 10am until roughly 12.30ish - so come on in for some FREE expert advice!
Come in anytime to see the progress of our Square Foot Garden, and check out eWood - the perfect material to make your garden beds; no matter what size or shape you have planned. Available in a range of lengths for easy DIY construction.
Do you want to help break a World Record?
On Friday, 25th July (National Schools Tree Day) Men of The Trees (MOTT) will be attempting to plant 100,000 trees in just ONE HOUR and enter the Guinness World Records.
To make history, MOTT needs about 4000 volunteers to carry out the plantings (40 teams of 100 people which will include 2 team leaders).
The event will take place at Whiteman Park. Community groups, schools and corporate groups are encouraged to participate in the planting frenzy!
MOTT is also looking for sponsorship/donations.
The attempt will mean that 65 hectares of land will be revegetated, giving Perth's native environment (and animals that depend on it) a helping hand.
For more information, and to register - contact [email protected] or see their website for more information: http://www.menofthetrees.com.au/events/project-100k-the-greening-challenge/
Recently our website was overhauled - have you checked it out yet? All our helpful information & free fact sheets are now in the 'sustainable gardening tips', 'gardening essentials', 'organic veggies & herbs' & 'recipes' sections - or simply enter a word or two in the handy search box to find what you're looking for.
In a first for Perth, we are now offering you the opportunity to order all of our bulk products ON LINE. So if you know what you need - you can order and pay for your delivery any time of the day or night on our secure online shop.
Of course - if you need help - we're only a phone call away and we are happy to advise you on which product/s will best suit your needs.
Special Offer for our VIP Newsletter Customers
Just in time to get your winter vegies really cranking - we have an extra special deal on our Fish Hydrolysate. This is a very pure form of fish waste fertiliser - that has still got the oils in the blend (unlike fish emulsion - which has had the oil removed as it's a valuable commodity in it's own right). The oils are a fantastic food source for beneficial microbes in the soil; and it is a fantastic boost to soil fertility. Best used in soil rather than foliar applications; as the oil can leave unsightly spots on foliage.
1L of this high quality, concentrated fertiliser is normally $12.00. But for YOU, our VIP customers - for a limited time you can pick up 1L for just $5.00 with any other purchase from us!
Five Bucks! You can't even buy a sandwhich for that these days; so hurry in and pick up your bottle soon.
Limit of 1 per customer; valid with purchase until close of business, Sunday 22nd June.
Other NEW Fertiliser Products
We how have a granulated complete Garden Fertiliser and a Lawn Fertiliser available in 10kg tubs. These two fertlisers are formulated in WA, and are a mineral based, slow release fertliser with trace elements. Environmentally friendly and low leaching formulas.
Available in store or on our on-line shop.
So until next time, Happy Gardening!! From all of the Team @ The Green Life Soil Co.
PS. Don't forget to 'Like' our Facebook Page (or on your preferred social media) to stay in touch between newsletters.