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new leaf

Hello & welcome to SPRING!

Yes, it's officially here ~ and it's a perfect time to begin all those garden projects, and to get planting the crops that will be feeding you November through to January.  

In our instant world we forget nature has her cycles and can't be rushed; a seed takes time to germinate, grow and produce.  Gardening is a great way to reconnect with this and to teach our children the lesson of patience.  

But there's sooooo much you can do now that will bring you rewards down the track.  We hope this newsletter will inspire you to get out side in the coming weeks and be a part of it.

Our workshop season has kicked off - remember to check out our EVENTS page here to browse the list, and click on each workshop for more information, pricing, and for bookings.
Leesa ran her popular Propagation workshop at the end of August (pictured below right); lots of inspired gardeners left with their goodies to grow!  There's another scheduled for October if you'd like to come along.

Nick Bell is conducting a FREE 'Turf Talk' @ GLSC on Saturday, 5th October.  Nick's been doing a lot of research into organic options for a healthy lawn, and has devised an easy to follow program of minimal maintenance and maximum soil health.  Come along and learn from this local turf expert & treasure!  As part of his recommended treatment(s), we have two new products in stock - Neutrog's "Bladerunner" lawn fertiliser and "Gogo Juice" - microbial stimulant in a handy to use hose on pack.  BOTH products are certified organic. 

bladerunner bag gogo juice
It's been a bit hectic at GLSC - you would have seen last month's newsletter where we introduced Jess?  Well a week or so ago she managed to trip over her dog - dislocating her knee and breaking her ankle.  Following an ambulance ride and an overnight hospital stay, she's now in plaster for some time - so you won't see her smiling face around for a while.  Get well soon, Jess!  In the meantime come along and chat with myself or Paul, or Jacob and Rielly - two of our other friendly team members who you'll find in the shop.

There's plenty of exciting things in the pipeline for GLSC - so stay tuned next month for more information!  With Spring here there's never a dull moment anywhere, including your garden; we hope you're inspired to make the most of it and GET GARDENING!

propagation workshopSee you soon,

Linda & The Team @ The Green Life Soil Co

In this newsletter:

Jobs for the September Garden
What to plant NOW
Lawn Care - the natural way!
VIP special offer
Photo competition winner
Retail stockists update

Jobs for the September garden

  • fertiliserFeed your soil!  (this in turn feeds your plants!)  NOW is the time to fertlise your fruit trees; they'll be waking up from winter dormancy (deciduous trees) and putting on their spring flush (deciduous and evergreen trees).  Compost, aged manure, a balanced slow release, rock dust - or our general concentrate (which contains a whole range of goodies); feed up your plants NOW.
  • Prepare your soil.  Now's the time to replenish garden beds with compost, aged manure - or our vegetable concentrate (which has everything you need already in it!).  Dig it through, and leave for a couple of weeks ideally before planting out your spring seedlings.  In a hurry?  You can plant out straight away, providing the materials are well aged.
  • seed rangeStart off your spring/summer vegie seeds.  NOW is the time to start off a huge range of summer crops.  We have a great range of non-hybrid & organically grown seed available (arguably the biggest range in Perth - fourteen varieties of cucumbers alone, for example!) with more stock coming in all the time - so come on in!  
  • Feed & prune your passionfruit vine.  September is about the time to do this - if possible time it between harvesting any winter crops & before your vine is in full flower again in Spring.  Cut back by up to a third, feed and mulch heavily.  Passionfruit are hungry plants - so don't be stingy!
  • Repot your indoor plants.  If you haven't done so already, repot and tidy up your indoor & patio plants.  They'll respond to the TLC and the warmer weather with healthy new growth.
  • weeds in gardenWeeds.  Yep - not glamorous but this is the time of year you can't turn your back on weeds.  If you can't get time to pull them, make sure you slash them before they set seed.  Obviously they'll try to send out more flowers (seed heads in the making); but every successive whippersnip will take vitality from the plant and you'll end up with less seed to spread, for sure.  We also carry Slasher & Yates Natures Way weed killers (both certified organic alternatives to glyphosate).
  • Brassicas are possibly coming to an end now; if your broccoli are still sending up sideshoots for harvest and are not yet spent, keep feeding them every 1-2 weeks with a light liquid feed to help them keep on producing.  Have you had great results from one plant?  Leave it to set seed (assuming it's non hybrid, and not too close to other flowering brassicas) & save some for next year.  As the weather warms up, be on the look out for increased pests.
  • Plant flowers.  Besides giving your spring/summer garden some colour, you'll be bringing in the pollinators and assisting with biodiversity in your backyard.  Edible flowers (click here for our free fact sheet) make a lovely addition to summer salads or to freeze into iceblocks.
  • citrus gall waspWatch for citrus gall wasp.  The Ag Department are calling for volunteers who have ID'd this in their citrus trees to monitor emergence.  Click on this link for more information.
  • Feed your lawn.  Come and check out Nick Bell's "Turf Talk" - it's FREE!  Learn about his new program for ORGANIC lawn care, following the Noongar 6 seasons calendar.

What to Plant Now

seeds germinatingAt this time of year - there are HEAPS of choices!  Check out our FREE downloadable When to Plant guide for Perth, and our Top 12 Edible Plants for Spring/Summer guide for inspiration and ideas.

Here's a quick list to get you started:

Asparagus, Artichokes Jerusalem and Globe, Asian greens, Beans, Beetroot, Broccoli*, Cabbage*, Capsicum, Chilli, Carrots, Celery, Chives, Corn, Cucumber, Dill, Eggplant, Fennel, Kale*, Leek, Lettuce, Onion, Parsnip, Peas, Potato, Pumpkin, Radish, Rhubarb, Rocket, Silverbeet, Snow pea, Spring onion, Strawberries, Sweet corn, Tomato, Turnip, Zucchini.

* Brassicas will grow in Perth into Spring/Summer, provided conditions are suitable.  Be aware increased pest pressure over the warmer months is likely; are you prepared to net your vegies or deal with cabbage butterflies, for example?  (And a reminder - we do sell insect netting packs.)

seed raising mixStart spring seeds off in a good quality seed raising mix (like our Certified Organic one!).  It's fine to re-use recycled pots and punnets.  Ideally, soak them in warm water with a dash of household bleach, give them a good scrub to remove any dirt, and allow them to dry in the sun.  Keep your sown seeds in a warm spot, making sure the soil's surface doesn't dry out completely.  
We've got a free fact sheet on growing from seed - so check it out for more tips & tricks for success.  Like it?  Share it!

corn seedWe've got a huge variety of heritage seeds available and organically grown seedlings are coming on stream every week - so come on in & check them out!  We've even got a limited amount of unusual coloured corn seed currently available - but be quick as it won't last.   (BTW Asparagus crowns have sold out - but we still have large & healthy Rhubarb crowns available.)

Lawn Care - the Natural Way!

lawn close upThere is much debate in gardening and environmental circles about the value (or otherwise) of having lawn in our gardens.  Large lawns have been traditionally seen as water guzzling, wasted areas; but if you have kids, pets, and like entertaining outside, a patch of grass is a useful extension of your living space.

If you have lawns you don't really use, consider whether an alternative would be better.  For example, some flowering native shrubs or groundcovers can provide habitat and appeal to your front yard.  Check in with your local council for what you are allowed to do with your front verge; there are many who now support verge plantings, providing you follow their guidelines.

If you do have a lawn, there are ways to manage it to ensure it is healthy and resilient, needing less water and fertiliser - simply by building healthy soil; the same as for any other type of garden bed you may have.

Lawn care in summer vs. winter is very different here in Perth.  Depending on your grass variety, some will go semi-dormant in the colder months.  Before laying a new lawn, talk to a couple of turf farms (who actually grow and produce the turf) or turf professionals in order to get advice on the best variety for your needs.  Do your soil prep well in advance.  If you want a lawn to look good for a lifetime, it's worth taking the time to plan and prepare thoroughly.

Nick BellYou may be familiar with Nick Bell - he's been in the turf industry in WA for decades, and as a keen gardener, has been actively looking at ways to grow lawns BETTER here in Perth.  Our sandy soils are very prone to leaching nutrients, and turf growers who regularly use soluble forms of lawn fertiliser play a part in increased nitrogen and phosphorus levels in our rivers and waterways, contributing to algal blooms and fish deaths over the years.  (As have home gardeners in general.)  But can you have a good looking lawn with out the traditional heavy handed applications of fertiliser?  According to Nick - you can.

Nick has acknowledged the traditional Noongar peoples' recognition of six seasons in our climate, rather than the typical anglicized version of 4 seasons.  This makes sense to gardeners and turf lovers alike; so Nick has developed a year round lawn care regime based on this cycle.

Thanks Nick for allowing us to reproduce your information here for Green Lifers.

First things first - it's important to measure lawn area to have an accurate way to calculate the products required, test pH and adjust to 5.8 - 6.5 (Green Life can help!).

Energise soil and stimulate microbes with liquid application of Neutrog GOGO Juice Seaweed, fish and humates tonic applied with 2L RTU hose-end sprayer

Djilba (August/ September)

top dress spreadingProgressively lower height of grass to 8-12mm depending on variety by close mowing. First cut remove 1/3 of the grass, then remove another 1/3 and finally remove a further 1/3 double cutting up and down the same swathe. Then comb through the lawn without touching soil with a Mowmaster grooming reel, and remove clippings and all debris. Evenly spread 10Kg Neutrog Blade Runner organic lawn fertiliser per 100m2 (* = 10/100 x .02 = 2g Nm2).

Restore smooth firm even surface by top dressing a 5mm depth of Green Life Soils Lawn-Dress.

Kambarang (October/November)

Mow at the optimal height for grass variety with sharp correctly set cylinder or rotary mower (Reel mower preferred) and return (grass-cycle) the clipping.

Evenly spread 10kg Neutrog Blade Runner organic lawn fertiliser per 100m2.

hose sprayerBirak (December/January)

Improve moisture retention and soil re wetting ability with liquid application of Eco-Wet Wetting agent through a 2L RTU hose-end sprayer.

Bunuru (February/March)

Evenly spread 10kg Neutrog Blade Runner organic lawn fertiliser per 100m2.

Repeat application of wetting agent.

Djeran (April/May)

Evenly spread 10kg Blade Runner organic lawn fertiliser per 100m2.

turf close upMow whenever necessary to remove 1/3 of the vertical height of the grass.  (Leave clippings behind on the lawn.  They will quickly break down and return nutrients to the soil).

Apply organic correctly balanced organic fertiliser at the rate of 80kg per hectare (4 x 10 x 02 = 800g/10000 = 8gm2 per year, (* = 10/100 x .02 = 2g Nm2). ) in accordance with Environmental Guidelines for the maintenance of low use and premium active turf.  

Note:  Many commercial lawn fertiliser products suggest a much higher application of N - which Nick does not believe is necessary. 

So with 3 basic products, and a minimum of effort every 2 months, you can build the soil health to ensure a resilient and healthy lawn year-round, without wasteful applications.

Noongar seasons - further information.

If you've visited the Chevron playground next to the Swan River and Optus Stadium, you may have seen the seasons portrayed in signage that correlates to areas of the nature playground itself. Also, the Bureau of Meteorology website has a great section on the Noongar calendar - see this link for further reading.  We thank the indigenous community for sharing this knowledge.

turf rollsCome along to The Green Life Soil Co Saturday, 5th October for a FREE 'Turf Talk' where Nick will provide further information and be available to discuss your lawn care program and any issues you have with your lawn in the morning around 10.30am.  (Next month's newsletter will have a reminder; but put it in your calendar now!)

VIP Special Offer

multigrow pelletsOur August Blood & Bone freebie was well received - and because it's still prime time to fertilise your garden, this month (September 2019) we're giving away a 15L bag of Multigrow pellets with any purchase over $50.  

Multigrow is composted and pelletised chicken manure & straw bedding material; so it provides s a good kick of nitrogen, plus organic matter.  It's easy to use, and is certified organic.

Remember to ask in store (or if placing your order over the phone).  Online orders - please add "Multigrow VIP offer" to the delivery notes section of your order to receive your freebie.

Offer valid one per customer until end of September 2019, with purchase over $50.

Photo Competition Winner

There must be something in the water because I received multiple photo entries for this month's competition - so THANK YOU Green Lifers!  Remember you can send me pictures EVERY MONTH if you like (because there's always something happening in a garden, right?).  And persistence pays off - at least that's what 'they' say??  You've got to be in it to win it so keep those photos coming in!

This month I've selected Angela.  She had this to say about her garden:-

Hi there Green Life,
Please see attached a before and after photo of the veggie patch my husband and I built in our small Karrinyup backyard a few months ago.
After filling with the GLSC Vegetable Mix and a little mulch, the winter rains have resulted in a such a massive bumper crop of greens that I've had to give some away to our extended family just to keep up! We're loving being able to just pop out to the backyard to grab some herbs or kale or snow peas (or many other tasty things) to add to our evening meals. Our pup Winston has also been very pleased with the results (and table scraps!) too :)

It's wonderful what you can achieve even in a small back yard...  so Congrats Angela & enjoy spending your $50 voucher with us.   (Winston's pretty cute too - and as we recently adopted a dog whose name is also Winston - I was kind of biased.   :-D )

Send YOUR pics via our Facebook page or directly to [email protected] with "photo competition" in the subject line and next month (or the month after) it might be you!

Retail Stockist Update

productsPlease support the local independent retailers who support us. They've got great local knowledge and are happy to help.

All stockists carry different items (so give them a call and check!). If there's an item of ours they don't usually carry, in most cases they'd be very happy to add it to their next order for you.

Beaufort Garden World - Inglewood 9271 0585
Dunn + Walton - Doubleview 92427711
Garden Elegance - Subiaco 9381 2197
Guildford Town Garden Centre - Guildford 9279 8645
Nibali Stockfeed - Hamilton Hill 9433 2211
Stanbee Stockfeeds - Barragup 9581 2390
Thrive Sustainability - Lower Chittering 0408 157 301
Waldecks Bentley - Bentley 9458 5944 (pictured right)
Waldecks Melville - Melville 9330 6970
Waldecks Kingsley - 9309 5088
Waldecks Stirling - 9254 6730
Zanthorrea Nursery - Maida Vale 9454 6260

Australind Landscaping Supplies 9796 1720
Busselton - U scape Garden Centre 9751 3995
Leschenault & Bunbury Markets - Fancy Plants Nursery 0428 844 597
Margaret River - Landmark 9758 7677

THANK YOU for being part of the Green Life family - we hope to see you soon in store (and here next month for the next newsletter!) In the meantime - stay up to date with all the Green Life happenings by following us on Facebook and Instagram.

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