Safe & secure online shopping 24/7.  Easy online quote: GET A QUOTE NOW

Autumn is upon us!  And isn't it lovely?  We'd love to know what you're doing in your garden right now - if you're interested in sharing some photos, we'd love to see them!  You never know - you could WIN yourself a pass to the Garden Festival...  See below for more details!

With Easter & the Perth Garden Festival ahead of us this month, we're certainly busy little Green Lifers about now!  Remember to check out our fantastic workshops rolling out over the next few months (click here for all the details).  There's some new ones added since our last newsletter reached you.  If you're thinking ahead, why not book in for our Mother's Day Herbal Manufacturing workshop.  These have been very popular so far; and it's a lovely way to do something fun with your Mum.

And just another reminder - keep International Permaculture Day (May 7th) free for some shenanigans @ Green Life.

We've been working on bringing some NEW products to market too - and we've got more info about those in this newsletter.  Plus the handy reminders of what to do in the garden NOW, and what you can plant out at this time of year.

So enjoy - as always, your feedback is welcome.  We hope you get along to the Garden Festival ~ we'll be there near the seminar tent.  As the newest recruit of the Horticultural Media Association here in WA; I'm giving a talk on Saturday afternoon - if you're free, come along.  I might need all the support I can get! :-D

And a reminder (in case you need it - we believe we make AWESOME soil mixes for your garden; and have recently improved our recipes further - utilising the rock dust & charcoal we now have access to.  We really feel these recipes are a step up again from what we have been able to provide previously. Remember there are 4 ways we deliver a greener garden to you...  depending on your budget and the level of product you're looking to use.  Talk to any of our team about what you're growing and we'll work to tailor-make a solution for your needs.

EASTER OPENING HOURS:

CLOSED Good Friday

OPEN Easter Saturday (8.30 - 5pm)

CLOSED Easter Sunday

OPEN Easter Monday (8.30 - 5pm)

Deliveries will book up quickly prior to Easter, so don't leave it too late to order if you're thinking of an Easter project in your garden.

Cheers & Happy Gardening!

Linda & The Team @ The Green Life Soil Co

IN THIS NEWSLETTER:

Meet the family - Charlie & Rocky
What to plant now
Jobs to do in the garden - April reminders
WIN tickets - Perth Garden Festival
VIP special offer

NEW PRODUCTS TO HELP YOU GROW A GREENER GARDEN!

For a few months now, we've been working with a Perth based company (Soil Amendment Products) to bring to the market two new products to help local gardeners get the best from their soil.  We're very excited to release to you:

Charlie Charcoal™ and Rocky Rock Dust™

Charlie Charcoal™ is a high quality horticultural charcoal (biochar) product.  While we have stocked biochar products previously, we think Charlie is going to be even more beneficial to your gardening, for a couple of reasons:

a)  Most biochar products have a very high pH.  Charlie Charcoal™ was laboratory tested at a low 4.9pH, and our own subsequent tests of batches show this result or even lower.  For people living in Perth's coastal sandy soil (which is naturally high in limestone and has a very high pH), using Charlie is going to provide a long term answer to some of their gardening issues.  For the same reason, Charlie is a fantastic addition to soil and/or containers that you're using to grow acid loving plants - eg. Blueberries, Azaleas, Camellias, Gardenias.

b) Quality Biochar is produced in high-tech pyrolysis burners; designed to sustain high temperatures and capture carbon.  Commercially, this technology represents a huge investment; so premium biochar is sold at a price reflective of this.  The high price often asked for biochar limits its mainstream use.  Charlie Charcoal™ has been produced in a similar process, but for the first time we are able to obtain it in bulk quantities; and therefore can bring it to you at an affordable price for use throughout your garden.  

Charlie Charcoal™ helps retain applied fertilisers in the root zone whilst providing a perfect home for microbial life, assisting the health and vigour of your soil and plants.
In soil, charcoal lasts for many years before breaking down. It is highly porous, meaning that it holds onto water and nutrients, and is colonised by microbes. It is a highly stable way of adding carbon to sandy soils, and has long term benefits; reducing fertiliser requirements and leaching.

Key benefits of using Charlie Charcoal™ in your soil are:

  •  Lowers pH of alkaline soils which improves mineral uptake by plants
  •  Increases nutrient holding capacity in the root zone.
  •  Supports soil microbial activity which help feed your plants.
  •  Provides high level of silicon which improves plant disease resistance
  •  Provides high levels of iron which combats iron deficiency and leaf chlorosis.
  •  Low phosphorus levels make it safe for use on native plants.
  •  An excellent addition to compost bins and can reduce smells.
  •  Improves wettability and water holding capacity in sandy soils
  •  Increases soil organic matter and carbon levels on a permanent basis.
  •  Improves paramagnetism (if this is a new term to you it's probably worth having a Google - while controversial - a number of tests have shown increased vigor (of root growth in particular) for plants grown in paramagnetic soil).

Charlie Charcoal™ Typical Analysis:

• Cation Exchange Capacity: 24  (above 10 is considered good for growing) 

• Paramagnetism: 750 (300 - 700 is considered very good) 

• Organic matter content 96%

• Conductivity (1:5 water) 0.057 mS/cm

• High silicon content 161 ppm

• High iron content 182 ppm

• Low phosphorus 13 ppm

How to use Charlie Charcoal™

Green Life Soil Co is producing Charlie in 25L bags, which will retail at $18.00.  

We'd recommend using it at approx. 2-5 lts / m² - apply higher rates on sandy soils.  Incorporate it into the top 100mm of soil.  Add Charlie to your potting mix at approx. 10% volume.  If you're wanting a low pH growing medium (eg. for blueberries) use up to 40% by volume.

TOP TIP: We can also supply sachets of beneficial microbes to inoculate Charlie Charcoal™ before using it in your soil. Super charge it by adding liquid nutrients like kelp, fish hydrolysate or worm juice - mix the nutrient liquid with a bucket of water, tip 5 litres of the liquid into a bucket of Charlie Charcoal™ and leave for a few hours before applying. (Think of charcoal as a sponge with billions of tiny holes to fill, so nutrient charging your Charlie Charcoal™ will give you great results in your garden much sooner.)

Rocky Rock Dust™

Organic growers have been aware of the value of volcanic rock dust for some time as a way to provide trace elements to their soil.  Green Life has sold rock dust products and used them in our soil mixes for some years now.

However, we're really pleased to introduce Rocky Rock Dust™ to our stable of products.  We believe this is a high quality WA sourced basalt/volcanic rock mineral; crushed and ready to use on your garden.

Key benefits of using Rocky Rock Dust™ in your soil are:

  •  A slow release of over 50 nutrients and trace elements that stay within reach of plant roots and are not rapidly leached.
  •  Large applications can raise pH of acidic soils which improves mineral uptake by plants.
  •  Improves wettability of sandy soils.
  •  Improves Cation Exchange Capacity of sandy soils.
  •  An excellent addition to compost bins. 
  •  Improves soil physical conditions.
  •  Benefits earthworm populations.
  •  Improves paramagnetism.
  •  A perfect accompaniment to organic fertilisers.
  •  Potential to improve root systems.
  •  Potential to positively influence soil bacterial and fungi.
  •  Can be used safely on native plants.
  •  Improves plant cell strength; reducing pest and disease attack

Rocky Rock Dust contains the following nutrients of interest to gardeners:

Phosphorus, Calcium, Magnesium, Potassium, Nitrogen, Sulphur, Silicon, Sodium, Boron, Iron, Manganese, Copper, Zinc, Molybdenum, Cobalt, Selenium.

How to use Rocky Rock Dust™

Green Life Soil Co is producing Rocky in 5kg tubs which will retail for $18.  Soon, we'll be adding a 15kg bag too.  This should retail around $25 or just below.

Apply rock dust at a rate of 100 - 200gms/m2 (ie 1-2 good handfuls) as a top dressing to your soil at no more than three monthly intervals.  Rocky can be applied at the same time as other plant/soil tonics like kelp & fish hydro, and is the perfect accompaniment to Charlie Charcoal™.

We're really proud to let you know BOTH Rocky Rock Dust™ and Charlie Charcoal™ have been approved by NASAA and are now part of our growing Certified Organic range of products.

Check out our introductory special as part of our VIP promotion for April; and we'd be happy to talk to you about these products if you have any queries.

WHAT TO PLANT NOW

Autumn is a fantastic time to grow!  Milder temperatures and the occasional skywater all mean conditions are more forgiving ~ we don't have to monitor the vegie patch daily to keep things alive.  (But visiting your garden daily is a good idea anyway - just for your own happiness!)

You can check out our 'When to Plant' and '12 Plants for Autumn & Winter" to download for FREE by following this link.  But some ideas include:

Artichokes (globe), Asian greens, Beetroot, Broccoli, Brussels sprouts, Cabbage, Carrot, Cauliflower, Celery, Celeriac, Garlic*, Kale, Kohl rabi, Leek, Lettuce, Onion, Parsnip, Peas, Radish, Silverbeet, Spring onions, Swede, Turnips.  Also lots of other salad greens like Spinach, Endive, Mizuna, Mibuna, and wonderful herbs like Coriander, Chives, Mint, Rocket, etc.

Check out our range of certified organic seedlings & non-hybrid seeds.  Normally we receive our seedling stock Saturday mornings; so that's the best time to come in and view the full range available for that week.  Can't make it in on Saturday?  Call us and we can run through the stock available and set seedlings aside for you for another day.

*  We're expecting our planting garlic to arrive within the first week of April.  Watch our Facebook page for an announcement or check in sometime soon.

JOBS TO DO IN THE GARDEN - APRIL

  • It's time to get planting - have we told you that already?  Especially as the month rolls on, you're probably best planting healthy seedlings rather than growing from seed, in order to save some time.  Of course, if you planted seeds last month, some will almost be ready for transplanting into their prepared garden bed position.
  • Harvest your pumpkins!  As the vines wither, pick them and leave them somewhere on their sides in the sun for a week.  Paving (or any surface that gets warm) is a good spot. Turn them every couple of days to make sure they're not rotting underneath.  This process will toughen skins and make them store longer.  Any with soft spots should be used first.
  • Clean up any fallen fruit, diseased leaves and get rid of them.  Good hygiene will help prevent spores in the soil affecting your plants next year.
  • Feed or top dress your lawn.  Now is the perfect time - especially if you know rain is on the way.  April is also a fantastic time to install a new lawn.  Have a chat to us about the best and most cost effective way to get the soil prepared for the long term health of your grass.
  • Collect healthy, deciduous leaves and prunings and compost them.  They are a great resource to return to your garden in spring.  Add a handful of manure or blood & bone between layers of leaf litter, and water.  Keep an eye on them over winter (possibly cover them) and turn them every couple of weeks.  Or leave them completely alone and they'll break down anyway in time for next autumn.  The only difference is if you can control conditions, you will get the composting process happening faster as a reward for your effort.
  • Watch for blackspot and any other fungal diseases as moist conditions arrive.  Thin out foliage to ensure good airflow and treat with a simple preventative treatment like milk or bicarb.  See our link for some simple ideas.

WIN TICKETS - PERTH GARDEN FESTIVAL

It's on again - Perth's only show dedicated to plants and garden products, run by the industry for garden lovers.

With inspirational display gardens, lots of interesting stalls with new products, celebrity chefs and cooking demos, and a whole heap of interesting garden talks, the Perth Garden Festival is definitely worth attending.

April 27 - 30 (Thursday through to Sunday) at McCallum Park, in Victoria Park.  (See the Festival website for info on getting there & parking)

The Green Life Soil Co will be there - so do come and say hello!  

If you'd like to attend for FREE - here's your chance!  Just send in a photo of your garden, and in 50 words or less, tell us why you love your garden.  And let us know if you've used any Green Life products (not that it's a condition of entry - but we'd love to know if you've used our products, how they worked for you!).

Click here to 'submit your photograph' & form details.  

VIP SPECIAL - TRY ROCKY & CHARLIE AT A SPECIAL INTRODUCTORY PRICE!

Spend over $50 at Green Life Soil Co for the month of April and receive your choice of a 25L bag of Charlie Charcoal™ OR a 5kg tub of Rocky Rock Dust™ OR one of each for the special introductory price of $12.00 (save 30%).

Valid one per customer for in store, online or over the phone orders - not valid @ Perth Garden Festival.

So THANKS for reading & we look forward to seeing your really soon - Happy Gardening!

NASAA Organic Certified ProductsNASAA Organic Certified Products