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Hello again, Green Lifers!  Brrrrr.  As I write we have been experiencing some lovely, sunny winter days here in Perth; but the mornings have been COLD.   Still, it's lovely to see the sun and to be able to get outdoors.  We all know we need more rain; but ideally it can rain at night time and leave us with the sunny days!

Did you know GLSC are involved with some exciting turf trials co-ordinated by Nick Bell at Cyril Jackson Senior Campus?  The trials are endorsed by the Water Corporation, and are looking at the optimal soil preparation & ongoing maintenance regimes to provide the BEST results for a great waterwise lawn in Perth.  The photo below was taken at the recent launch; and there'll be more updates to follow.   The project is being conducted and documented by students at the College as part of their studies.  A number of businesses (including GLSC) are providing materials & equipment for the trial turf area, which is part of the arts centre and planned community garden project at the Campus.

Soooo many exciting things happening @ GLSC in the coming weeks - we've got more excellent workshops; and a fantastic SPRING event with a Perth gardening celebrity! (Hint:  pictured right!)  Details are below for you to read & enjoy.  

For those of you with kids - hope you enjoy the school holidays (it's a double-edged sword, I know!) ~ maybe you can get them involved in a little gardening project with you.

So have a read & we look forward to seeing you again soon @ Green Life!

Happy Gardening!
Linda & The Team

(L-R:  Joy, Serena, Nick, Linda, Paul, Marie @ Cyril Jackson)

In this Newsletter:

Jobs to do in the Garden Now
Things to Plant
Harvest Club - A First for Perth
Sabrina Hahn at our Spring Garden Festival
Workshops Coming Up
VIP reward - our gift to you!

Jobs to do in the Garden Now

  • Pruning!  If you have Roses, the next month is the time you should be out there pruning them, if you haven't already.   Also summer bearing fruit trees & deciduous ornamentals.  If they haven't quite lost all of their leaves yet, you can remove the remaining leaves by hand to bring on dormancy.  Check out some good information on fruit tree pruning & make sure you do it the best possible way to ensure you don't reduce your fruit this coming summer.  
    Here's a good guide we've found:   
    Local fruit tree expert, Peter Coppin has some great videos on his website too:  Watch this space for some great fruit tree workshops coming up!
  • Plant bare rooted trees - etc.  I say 'ETC' because  Asparagus crowns have arrived & we expect Rhubarb crowns in any day.  It is the perfect time of year to get these into the ground.  Also many nurseries are receiving their bare rooted tree stocks - so go and talk to them about the choices available and find the best option for you & your site.  There are so many choices it can be confusing - but please DO talk to someone who can give you good advice.  If buying a fruit tree ask about chill requirements and whether cross-pollinators are required.  Don't just rely on plant tags which are produced in the Eastern States.  Trees are a long term investment; it's not worth the risk of saving a couple of bucks but ending up with something that isn't going to perform for you.  Likewise, you don't want to put a $30 plant into a 30 cent hole.  Prepare the soil properly - here's a how to guide.  
  • Tidy & divide your strawberry plants.  Remove old/dead leaves and any mummified fruit.  You can also carefully lift and divide crowns to get new plants.  Make sure they are healthy specimens and have enough root matter attached before replanting.  Give them a good amount of compost but that's about all they need right now.  They'll settle in and take off again once the warmer weather comes.
  • Pick up some potted colour.  Marigolds, Lobelias, Nasturtiums, Alyssum, etc. will help attract bees & other beneficial insects, and provide you with some early Spring colour in your garden.  Dot them around your vegies or put them on a pot on your verandah for some cheer!
  • Watch for slugs & snails.  Check out our article in our May newsletter if you need a reminder on how to tackle them.
  • If you live in a frost prone area, watch out for these cold, clear nights and cover up your plants if necessary.  Other ideas for frost protection can be found in this archived newsletter article here.

Things to Plant in July

Keen gardeners are getting ready to start their summer crops off from seed - however you must be prepared to do some serious nursing along, and have a warm spot to get them started.  It is a good time to be planning - re-visit your notes from last summer and work out what you'd like to grow this year.  Research varieties and order in your seeds.

Winter/spring vegies can still be planted now - particularly if grown from healthy seedlings.  It's not too late to try:

Artichokes (Globe & Jerusalem), Asian Greens, Asparagus crowns, Beetroot, Broccoli, Cabbage, Carrots, Celery, Kale, Lettuce, Onion, Parsnip, Peas, Potatoes, Radish, Silverbeet, Snow Peas, Spring Onion, Strawberries.  Plus many herbs like Coriander, Chives, Thyme - etc.  (Do you like our recently harvested broccoli pictured here?  It was yum!)

Comprehensive Perth planting guides for Vegetables AND Herbs can be found here to download.

Due to an "administrative error" we have over ordered our seed potatoes this year...   Which means that we've got HEAPS MORE seed potatoes available.  They are Certified Organic and have not been treated with any kind of growth retardant and they need to go into the ground.  Need some potato growing advice?  Click here.  

If you have the space to put in LOADS - we can do you a special deal on a full 20kg sack for $40.  Otherwise; come in and grab a smaller bag and pop them into some spare ground.. please??    

If you are the co-ordinator of a school or community garden we'd be happy to donate some (we recently ran this offer on our Facebook page) - please contact us with your details & those of your organisation.

We have Ruby Lou, Dutch Cream and a few Delaware available.

Harvest Club

GLSC are launching a program that is a first for Perth!  We are selecting a group of 8 families or individuals in varying base soil types, who will be mentored and work with GLSC for 19 weeks (1st Sept to end Dec) to grow vegetables in their garden.

We will use their progress and experiences to test (in a variety of base soil types) our Vegetable Concentrate soil improver.

These experiences will form an on-going educational and promotional channel to follow the progress of these individuals in their gardening journey for the season.

Participants will receive free of charge:

  • Vegetable Concentrate to prepare their new garden area.
  • Laboratory nutritional test & report on your base soil type
  • Selection of seasonal vegetable seedlings & companion planting herbs to grow.
  • Support /mentoring on vegetable growing. 3 x site visits minimum & free phone/email advice.
  • Advice & pest control products (as required) to address any growing/pest difficulties.
  • Fertilisers to use at regular intervals.
  • Pea straw mulch provided.
  • Weekly plan to follow (and email reminders) throughout program.
  • Access to private FB page for group progress/discussion/advice/support.
  • Discounted GLSC products for use on their other garden areas during the program.

What the criteria is:

  • Must submit either a written or video application of themselves and brief bio citing gardening experience for GLSC to use in promotional information, as part of an on-line application process.
  • Must attend GLSC on set date to meet with other participants and for group photo/briefing.
  • Must establish a new garden bed 3m x 1m and use the prescribed quantity of vegetable concentrate incorporated into that area.
  • Must plant out the provided seedlings into part of that garden bed (so we can compare growth rates between suburbs) but the balance of the garden bed can be whatever crop they prefer.
  • Must commit to watering & weeding the garden bed.
  • Must be willing to keep a weekly garden diary to record plantings, weather, pest & disease, and other observations.
  • Must provide a brief monthly report and photos of garden progress to our schedule.
  • At the end of the program, participants need to provide a brief report recapping their experience and the results of the trial.

If you're interested in participating, register your interest here.  Download PDF for the criteria.  Applications will close end of July.

Spring Garden Festival

To launch the Harvest Club project, we will be holding a Spring Garden Festival @ GLSC on Saturday, 3rd September.  Sabrina Hahn will be coming out and hosting a talk as part of the day's events, which will showcase lots of ideas for sustainable living and growing your own healthy vegies this Spring.  More details will be released soon; but for now KEEP THE DATE in your diary!

Workshops @ Green Life

Unless this is the FIRST EVER newsletter of ours you've read, you should be aware that for a few months now we've been running a program of workshops to do with gardening & sustainability.   They have been very well received - hopefully you've managed to get yourself to one or two!  And please spread the word; without attendees, the workshops can't run.

Here is a list of scheduled workshops (for more info & bookings - go to our Events page). More are being added as details are confirmed, so do check back in from time to time.

Fermented Foods (9 July) - learn the benefits & basics of fermented foods and how to prepare common fermented foods that you can make at home.  Fermenting is a great way to preserve your harvest.

Biointensive Gardening - how to grow a lot of food in a small space (16 July) - Small spaces can be highly productive!  This workshop will show you how maximise production of your food; but without sacrificing the health and nutrition of your soil.

Composting for the home garden (23 July) - We'll look at a number of methods to recycle your food & garden scraps, so you can decide which will work best for you and your lifestyle.

Soil Essentials (13 August) - Come along and learn how to prepare your garden for Spring planting, and how to ensure you have the balanced nutrition to grow.

Propagation Techniques (20 August) - Just in time for Spring - get the tips & tricks for improved germination and propatation of many common plants.

Permaculture Garden & Yard Design (27 August) - How to plan & build a healthy garden using Permaculture principles.  We'll look at a number of techniques so you can choose which will work best in your backyard.

Grow Your Own Food & Medicine (10 September) - Learn about herbs & vegies and their medicinal properties.  How to grow, harvest, store and use your own herbs to make tinctures and teas.

Grafting Techniques (24th September) - Observe and practise a number of grafting techniques and take home your own multi-grafted citrus tree.

Basics of Good Garden Design (1 October) - If you are starting from scratch, or re-modelling your garden, this is a very intensive workshop that will give you the confidence to DIY with a customised design plan of YOUR property.  You'll be working with an experienced designer, and in a small group.

VIP special offer

With all this EXCITING stuff happening this Spring, we know you'll be hanging out to get your garden beds ready for planting...  So, to help you with that (and to say thanks for all your support to date) we're offering you a very special deal.

With any bulk delivery booked in the month of July over $300, we'll supply you with your choice of either an 8kg tub of our Blood & Bone (worth $33) or 5 bags of Blended Manure (worth $40) for FREE. 

Not sure what you need for your garden, or how much bulk product to order?  Ask our friendly staff.  We're here to help.  

If ordering on-line, please add your requested bonus product to the 'Delivery Instructions' section of the order and we'll get them out to you.

So please tell your friends & family about the Harvest Club - we're really excited about it and look forward to sharing the journey with you all.

Until next time - have fun in the garden & keep warm!

The Team @ The Green Life Soil Co

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