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Hello again - welcome to our August news!
After some great rain in Perth, we're all looking forward to a fantastic Spring; which is just around the corner once more.
July is traditionally very quiet for us as a business, so we took the opportunity for a family holiday which was lovely. But all back to work now, and we've got lots of good stuff happening @ GLSC. Check out all the info on our exciting workshop schedule below.
One of the less exciting garden jobs to do at this time of year is surely weeding. We've got some ideas on our website here about managing weeds organically but meanwhile the debate about glysophate rages on, with this interesting article causing much discussion on social media recently. And speaking of Sustainable Gardening Australia, they have a crowdfunding campaign going on right now to launch an app that provides information on the toxicity of garden chemicals to help people make an informed choice when they're looking for a solution to a gardening problem. Click here to learn more. Seems like a worthwhile project to me. And remember some weeds are even edible - surely that's the ultimate revenge for a gardener? Swan Valley Happenings are hosting Charles Otway's talk on this subject 27th August (just incase there's not enough interesting workshops we're hosting ourselves!).
If you'd like a few days away this month, our friends down at Nannup have reminded us that this year's Nannup Flower & Garden Festival is on between 17 - 20th August. With markets, garden talks, floral displays, open gardens and celebrity chefs & cooking displays, plus gardeners Sabrina Hahn, Deryn Thorpe & Steve Wood - there's lots to see and do. For more info visit www.nannupgardens.org.au or visit their Facebook page (Nannup Flower and Garden Festival).
Last month, we introduced you to Cassies Clay - our new product containing kaolinite clay, now available in bags or in bulk. We're pleased to announce this product is also now Certified Organic. We're working on packaging and a new website to support Cassies Clay this Spring; as well as exploring other accreditation/certification schemes for this and some other products. Stay tuned! And don't hesitate to contact us should you need more information about any of our products - we're happy to help.
Our other new product Charlie Charcoal (launched at the Garden Festival) has been trialed now by a few different people in different conditions and areas around Perth. Cherise Haslam, owner/designer from Garden Deva lives in Fremantle; and she has been using some of the product in her home garden. This is what she sent me last week: "The Charlie Charcoal is fantastic! Thanks for the sample. Now I've had the chance to see it strut its stuff, I'll be recommending it on my plans. A couple of months on, my spuds and lettuces are cranking and I'm throwing about handfuls of the stuff in pretty much every thing I plant in the ground or pots. I'm a convert!" So if you're planning on revamping your beds for Spring, we'd recommend trying some Charlie Charcoal too. It will help with water and nutrient retention over summer, and we'd love your feedback on how your crops grow when using it.
While working on this newsletter, I asked our Facebook friends for some input on what they'd like to see included. Thanks to everyone who made some suggestions (we're always keen to know what you'd like to learn about) - some ideas need further investigation, but I have addressed some of the questions in the 'Winter Garden Q&A' article below! I loved your input.
I hope you enjoy our August news and we look forward to seeing you soon.
Linda & the Team @ The Green Life Soil Co
In this newsletter:
As the days lengthen, plants begin to wake up from Winter. While the temperature remains low, it may be a little early to get stuck into planting your Spring garden; but there's plenty you can do.
The short answer = LOTS of things!!
Other vegie/herbs to try now are:
* Potatoes. Still not too late to get a good crop now before summer, and we've still got some certified organic seed potato varieties available to try.
True spring/summer crops like Tomato, Chilli, Eggplant, Capsicums, Beans - well it's still too early to get them into the ground; but (like I said re the gambling thing) - it's always fun to start a few and see how you go. After all, I've noticed some self-sown tomato plants emerging now... and I'm sure mother nature knows a thing or two about the "right time" to germinate. You can always start things off in trays indoors or somewhere sheltered; so give it a go!
Cucumbers, Pumpkin, Zucchini - I'd be waiting a little longer before starting these off (depending on your location/microclimate) - but maybe start researching and get yourself some seeds for the varieties you'd like to try; so you'll be ready if we have an early start to the season.
If you live in an area that gets frost, we're still likely to get them for another 4 - 6 weeks; so just be wary of planting things out too soon. Check out our FREE growing guides for 'When to Sow' info for vegies & herbs; as well as lots of other specific growing tips for popular vegie types.
We've got a HUGE list of workshops planned; something every weekend from early August to early December; plus we're going to offer a few mid week sessions, too! Hopefully there's something for everyone; with some new topics like: Growing Bush Foods, Crop Rotation & Companion Planting, Garden Planning for Bushfires, Native & Waterwise Garden Planning, Soils, Container Gardens & Wicking Beds... and more in the pipeline!
Plus we've got the always popular workshops returning like: Propagation, Grafting, Grow Your Own Food & Medicine, Herbal Manufacturing - Making Useful Culinary & Medicinal things from Your Garden, Herb Teas, Backyard Chickens, Integrated Pest Management, Intro to Permaculture... ETC!
So many to choose - check out our EVENTS page online for more info & bookings. This page is updated once new workshops are confirmed.
Here's the round up of questions put forward by our Facebook followers - hope the questions raised will be helpful to you! Hop on over to join in the conversation anytime.
Ann K. Commented: "my concerns are purchasing so many gardening products in plastic bags and then what to do with them"
Dany-el B. said: "to use or not to use gloves - that is the question"
Naomi Van B. asks: "Layering in the garden. Can I grow anything under my citrus, avocado or other fruit trees? ?"
Toni W. said: "Now is a good time to use the Seasol super water saver in areas that need loads of water to get a good soaking, covered by good quality mulch? I've got a really water resistant garden bed, and with all this rain, now is the time for me to drown it. Spring seedling picks to start now/plant now?"
Emy R. asks: "How often to feed vegies and with what... after planting"
Crystal D. said: "Something winter related... how to keep winter weeds at bay and what they mean for your soil"
That's a great topic we should explore further another day. Here's a link to a couple of resources: https://www.permaculturenews.org/resources_files/pdc_info/Plants_as_Soil_Indicators.pdf
Julie P. asks: "Feeding in winter. Are there some plants that still need regular feeding over winter?" and Jane L. said "How about something about how important it is to use fertliser?"
Debbie B. commented: "Dealing with waterlogged lawns."
Jacqui M. said: "Things to do for the garden when it's bucketing down!"
Louise C. said: "Toughing it out and actually gardening in the rain."
Anna M. asked: "Drainage? Mulch? Weed management?"
Some of the other topics suggested will be explored another time. Thanks again Facebook friends!
With LOTS to do in the garden in Spring, we've got an offer to help you get organised. Whether you're planning a new garden bed, or topping up an existing one, we are offering our VIP newsletter readers $20 off bulk delivery charges for the month of August.
You're welcome to pop in and discuss your requirements, or call up over the phone for advice - but please ASK for the August discount. If for some reason you can't get through, shoot us a quick email and we'll get the ball rolling for you.
If you're ordering online, use the code VIPAUG at checkout to receive $20 off any order total that includes a bulk product selected from our website. Not valid with any other offer.
Offers valid until 31st August 2017.
So let's get dirty & until next time - have fun in the garden!
Open 7 days. New winter hours 8.30 - 4.00pm Monday - Saturday, 8.30 - 2.00pm Sunday.