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Welcome to February! We've entered the Noongyar season of Bunuru - 'second summer'; the hottest part of the year with little or no rain, and hot easterly winds - and a cooling sea breeze (if we're lucky!). It was the time of year the traditional people lived near the water, and fish/aquatic foods made up a lot of their diet. It's also the time of the Marri flowers; and for those of us living around the hills, it's certainly a spectacular season for blossom this year. Farmers say that indicates a wet winter is on its way... we'll see!
For gardeners, it's a season of 'hanging in there!' - keeping gardens alive, and planning for Autumn, which officially is only a month away. We know weather can be hot right up into April, but day length is shortening, nights are generally cooler, and there'll be a change in the air before much longer. Speaking of April, this year's Perth Garden & Outdoor Living Festival is on again 30th April - 3rd May. A little later this year, and outside of school holidays. The Festival has been getting bigger & better every year, so put the date/s in your calendar and come along. Green Life will be there so come and say 'Hi!'.
It's hard to believe we've been operating out of our new home now for about a month (at time of writing). It's a great space, and we appreciate that so many of you have visited us already. There's still a lot of work to be done; you'll see things evolve over many months to come as we settle in and work on improving functionality and aesthetics so we appreciate your patience in the meantime as we work with what we've got. We're still decommissioning the old site, and once that's done & dusted hopefully Paul and I can get a short break (because time off over Christmas didn't happen!) and then we'll be back clear minded for the future, and ready to roll into all the great things planned for 2020. They say moving house is one of the most stressful things you do in your life - I can add moving business premises to that list I reckon!
Reminder - Bushfire Relief
2020 - International Year of Plant Health
I hope we can inspire you to get outside and look after your plants in your little corner of the world.
Linda & The Team @ The Green Life Soil Co
In this newsletter:
What to Plant Now
There's still time to try for a crop of quick-growing summer vegies. Choose smaller cropping varieties towards the end of the season (eg. Sugarbaby Watermelon, Golden Nugget Pumpkin) - the theory being the smaller fruits mature faster. Things to still plant now include: Beans, Beetroot, Capsicum, Carrot, Celery, Chilli, Cucumber, Eggplant, Lettuce, Pumpkin, Rockmelon, Silverbeet, Sweetcorn, Sweet Potato, Tomato, Watermelon, Zucchini. Get them in sooner this month rather than later for one last crop.
Lots of people are asking for Garlic & Seed Potatoes already. It's a little early to be planting them just now - but we'll keep you posted & may have more news next month, so check back in with us around mid March.
If you're yearning for fresh greens but sick of trying to keep leafy things like lettuce alive, consider a batch or two of nutritious microgreens. (Sunflower sprouts pictured right) You can grow them in a sunny spot indoors or on a patio - and they're quick. We have a range of microgreens seed available. Check out our free fact sheet on Microgreens here.
Planning for Autumn Gardening
With the change of season just around the corner, here's a few questions & tips to get you thinking:-
A new season around the corner brings the opportunity for a fresh start; so be ready for the cooler weather and embrace YOUR best Green Life!
Recycling - we're in!
Part of the permaculture principles we like to live by and promote is recycling. Waste reduction, composting - reducing our impact and reliance on the world's precious resources is something we all need to focus on. As a business - we need to do that too, and we believe we can play a role in being a resource for people at the same time.
For some time now GLSC has been a recycling drop point for aluminium Nespresso capsules. Now, don't get me started on what I personally think of these things - but if you ARE going to use them; please make sure the pods are recycled. Aluminium is recyclable indefinitely - so it should never be sent to landfill. (Hopefully the container reuse scheme coming this year will make a big impact on drink cans being recycled. Manufacturing one new aluminium can from raw materials uses as much energy as does 20 new cans produced through recycling.)
We're excited to now be a part of Labeldrop! We have a special bin in store where you can drop off plant labels, printed pot wraps & plant stakes that will be collected & recycled. This is a new local initiative with Labeldrop partnering with Precious Plastics to save them from going into landfill. Precious Plastics is a world-wide initiative, often community based, this is their mission: Through education, engagement and participation, we will create behavioural changes and help our community to reduce, re-use and recycle their plastic consumption. Check out some of their cool stuff online. The Margaret River group, for example, make and sell funky pots out of plastic lids (these are recyclable, but often NOT recycled by commercial recyclers).
At our old premises, we had an unofficial community pot recycling system going... which is something we'd like to extend this year. If you have clean & reusable pots, please bring them in. We have a crate you can deposit them in. If you're looking for pots for a project - feel free to rummage and take what you need. Check with your local council - MOST take clean pots; check the recycling code stamped underneath the pot (Usually PP5) and cross-reference to your Council's recycling information.
We've also started up a 'Grow Free' trolley. At the moment - there's not much gardening related stuff on it (but bits & pieces we found in the move!). We've got jars, egg cartons, a couple of nice drink bottles left over from workshops & never claimed, spare files, a heap of brand new tracing paper (don't ask) and some magazines... Stuff that may be useful to somebody & too good to go in the bin. As time goes on we will have more plant bits & pieces to add. So in the meantime, if you have excess cuttings/seeds/excess produce - things you'd like to share with fellow gardeners, feel free to bring them in and leave them on the trolley.
Did you know that most of our mineral products (those that we sell in tubs) can be bought by the kilo? Bring back your tubs for a refill and save money AND packaging. This initiative isn't new at GLSC - in fact, it earned us the honour of finalist in the 2012 WA Waste Authority's Infinity Awards program. We believe we've saved thousands of single use plastic bags from landfill since then... But the bags we use for our soils of course are still plastic (although they're made in Australia from about 40% recycled plastic material). Buying bulk soil by the trailer load will of course save plastic - so why not get together with a friend and come on out to our yard?
Speaking of recycled plastic - if you're looking for a wicking bed to buy off the shelf - come and check out the Foodcube - made in Australia from recycled plastic by Biofilta. We've had these since before Christmas - but with the move, etc. haven't done any promotion... However, we will be setting up some as a display garden in the near future, so watch this space!
We have always got our plastic use in mind - while we were awarded WA's small business awards for Sustainable Business in 2018 & 2019, there is always more to be done. Stay tuned for some other exciting initiatives we have in the pipeline this year...
VIP Special Offer
Phew... February sure is HOT, and it's traditionally a little slow around these parts. So, in order to keep us busy, and in order to help YOU prepare for a fabulously productive Autumn garden, we're giving you an incentive to book a bulk delivery of soil (or mulch). Up until the end of February (close of business Saturday 29th February) - book and pay for a delivery and you'll get the delivery fee HALF PRICE.
Orders must be for a minimum of 1m3 to be eligible.
Depending on how far away you live, this can represent a pretty decent saving - so get onto it. Bookings can be made ahead and scheduled anytime up to the end of March 2020.
Remember to ask for your VIP delivery special offer if booking in person/over the phone. Unfortunately the nuances of our online shop don't allow us to do a discounted bulk delivery online without affecting other things in your cart - so best to flick through an email or call up to organise a delivery.
Any problems - please give us a shout. Also - contact us if you've had a bulk delivery this month (we're sorry the newsletter is a little later than we'd have liked, so if you've missed out, we'll figure out a way to look after you for next time.)
Photo Contest Winner
CONGRATS to Althea Horn, from Mt Helena, who has won herself a $50 credit to spend with us - simply by sharing with us in photos the abundance of her lovely, green garden. Sent in January, it just goes to show that even in the Perth Hills (where it gets really hot) with a bit of shadecloth & TLC you can have a thriving vegie patch. This is what she had to say:-
"Feeling quite pleased with myself. All seedlings from Farrall Rd, plus the snake bean seeds you so kindly gave me. So thank you very much."
So remember - send in a few pics of your garden, with a comment or two about what you're growing. You can send via Facebook like Althea did, or email them to us with the subject line 'photo competition'. There's someone picked every month - so send in pics as often as you like; you've got to be in it to win it!
Please support the local independent retailers who support us. They've got great local knowledge and are happy to help. (And remember 50¢ from every bag purchased at any of our retailers in January/February goes to support bushfire relief.)
Garden Elegance in Subiaco (for example) carries the following certified organic mixes:- Charlie Charcoal, Potting Mix, Vegie Mix, Vegie Concentrate, Blueberry Mix and our Rock Dust - so if you're in the Western Suburbs they're your closest stockist.