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Welcome to April! Finally, we're having some cooler weather; the season's are definitely changing. We've passed the Autumn equinox which means that the nights are now longer than the days - so plants will be responding. Deciduous trees will be storing up their nutrients before shedding leaves and going into dormancy. Bulbs will be waking up and ready to begin their growth cycle. There's always lots to observe and enjoy in the changing seasons.
We're also transitioning to Djeran (Noongyar season). Djeran season at last sees a break in the really hot weather. A key indicator of the change of season is the cool nights that bring overnight dew. Breezes come from the south, and it's the time of ants - on the wing to begin new colonies. As the season progresses, the nights will become cooler and damper, and there's rainy days to come - which means that traditionally mia mias (houses or shelters) were now repaired and updated and made waterproof in readiness for winter. Banksias start to flower, producing nectar for many small mammals and birds. Traditionally, foods at this time of year included stored seeds, along with the root bulbs of the Yanget (Bullrushes), fresh water fish, frogs and turtles
The humidity at this time of year can bring additional fungal problems. Also we're seeing different pests emerge as the conditions become more favourable to them (and hopefully less favourable to others!) We've got a helpful list of problems to watch out for in Autumn with links to further useful information.
Remember on our website under the "Learn" tab we've got hundreds of free fact sheets on aspects of gardening in Perth. We've recently added a page that has extra downloadable guides, and another that has some of our little in-house videos on it - do check them out! We plan to add more in due course - so let us know if there's something you'd like us to focus on that would be helpful for other Perth gardeners. The "Top 12 Edible Plants for Autumn/Winter" or our ever popular "When to Sow Vegetables in Perth" would be good ones to start with. As a bonus, signing up for membership will give you access to certain products at discounted prices!
Speaking of changing seasons, I'd like to farewell two of our team members who have recently left GLSC - Jacob (pictured right) who has been one of our sales stalwarts for many years - I know many customers will miss his knowledge (and his beard!) and we wish him well with this new chapter of life; and Tom S from our production crew who joined us around crazy Covid times & is off to England for training to pursue cricketing dreams.
It's a great time to get busy in the garden - we hope we've got lots of news & inspiration for you this month. Do come in and see us soon!
Our opening times for the Easter break (and ANZAC day) are below:--
Good Friday - April 15th - CLOSED
ANZAC Day Monday - April 25th - CLOSED
If you're planning gardening projects for the long weekend/s - remember to place your orders ASAP so your goodies will arrive in time. (Remember our online orders can take a week's turnaround for production and delivery.)
Linda & the Team @ The Green Life Soil Co
In this newsletter:
Jobs in the April Garden
Jobs in the April Garden
What to Plant NOW
With Autumn conditions barely here... there's loads of opportunity to plant your Autumn/Winter crops.
Do check out our FREE downloadable planting guides for Perth (see link here) - but here's a quick list of vegies & herbs to try now:
Artichoke (Globe), Asian Greens, Beetroot, Beans (Bush & Broad), Broccoli, Cabbage, Carrot, Cauliflower, Celery, Coriander, English Spinach, Garlic, Kale, Kohl Rabi, Leek, Lettuce, Mint, Onion, Oregano, Parsley, Parsnip, Peas, Potato, Radish, Silverbeet, Snow Peas, Spring Onion, Swede, Turnip.
As I write we currently have stock of Italian Pink Garlic available, and a limited amount of Rojo garlic.
Also imminent are stocks of our Manjimup grown Certified Organic seed potatoes. This year we expect to be selling two options - red skinned (Laura) and a white skinned - which will be a mystery assortment of Delaware and Dutch Cream. (I'm not sure why the stock is arriving mixed up - maybe it's to do with global supply issues with potato sacks - who knows!) The farmer who supplies us has advised you CAN tell the difference by giving each spud a tiny scratch with a fingernail - Delaware are white inside; Dutch Cream are cream coloured. This intimate ID will need to be performed by you after purchase and before planting (so you can separate your patch in rows - if you want to).
We've got quick tips for Garlic & Potatoes below - but we have more detailed growing guides available too - click on these links: POTATOES & GARLIC - if you've never grown them before, it's definitely worth having a go! You don't need heaps of space, and the flavour of home grown is unbeatable!
Remember - there's HEAPS of free information, tips & growing guides right here on our website; please feel free to share in your social media groups! (And tag us in your garden photos!)
Pests & Diseases in Autumn
As organic gardeners, we try to avoid using sprays and treatments - hoping that beneficial insects, birds/animals and changing weather conditions will come to our aid and help us in the battle to enjoy productive and beautiful gardens. To be honest it can be very challenging. Harsh summer conditions like we've experienced can stress and weaken plants - making them even more susceptible to attack (similar to when we're run down, we're more prone to picking up an illness).
We've covered a number of common pests & diseases in earlier newsletters*, so I'll link back to them so you can find more detailed info as appropriate (you might need to scroll down as the article won't appear at the top) - consider this list as a quick reminder for what to be on the look out for at this time of year. Sometimes physical removal at early stages of infestation can make a huge difference in stopping spread, and save you from having to bring in heavy duty chemicals. (* some earlier newsletters have been moved from our original website platform to this one; so there may be formatting issues in the archives that haven't been fixed yet. Information is there but there maybe some strange formatting - apologies!)
Citrus Leaf Miner
Citrus Gall Wasp
If you're trying to manage your garden without heavy duty chemical intervention, it's worth getting a good book that can offer tips & solutions. I love Jackie French's "Natural Control of Garden Pests" for her sensible approach. A quote from the book's introduction really speaks to me:-
"I am not prepared to accept that pollution and poisons are needed to grow food. I want to share the world and my garden with the complexities and joys of other species: mammal, insect, reptile. A garden should be a place of growing things, not of destruction."
If you feel overwhelmed by pests & problems, know that it does seem to take a few years for a garden to thrive under an organic system - expect a few losses along the way but in time you will find the beneficial insects and other creatures will move in. Encourage them by building habitat - plant flowering native shrubs to attract small birds. Add a birdbath and water dishes accessible for insects, lizards etc. Keep them topped up in summer. Plant lots of flowering plants around your garden & amongst your vegies. Avoid overusing nitrogenous fertilsers (including too much manure as a solo input) - this encourages tender new growth which is irresistible to many insects. Strive to create healthy and microbially rich soil - healthy plants with good immunity will be much stronger and resistant to attack.
Attached is a few pics of my veggie garden. I’m just getting started with it as of the end of last year and am thrilled with the results so far. I harvested a heap of paprikas and capsicums and spring onions last week and took a pic of some of them. I feed them with Fish Hydrolysate weekly (if I don’t forget!).
I have a chronic illness and gardening is like my therapy 😊 It makes me so happy.
It looks like Esther has had a bumper crop of capsicums from her small raised garden bed - so it shows you how productive even small spaces can be! It's wonderful to see.
Send in your garden photos and a few words about what you're growing and YOU might be our winner next time - we pick someone at random each month to win a $50 store credit to spend with us. Get planting & get snapping those pics!!!
It's time to plant! So this month, VIP's get FREE seedlings or seeds - either two punnets (Or 4 individual small biodegradable pot vegie seedlings) OR two packets of seeds (from available stock) with any purchase over $100.
Please mention the offer to our team member when they're serving you either in store or over the phone. Online shoppers - please put in the 'delivery notes' section of your order that you'd like the VIP deal, and list your preference for seeds or seedling varieties - we'll do our best to match your selection; but as stock moves quickly, we may have to substitute at our discretion for something else seasonally appropriate.
Offer valid one per customer up until COB Saturday 30th April 2022.
Please support your local independent retailer who supports us! The specialist retailers listed here will be happy to give you gardening advice and help you with our products - please call to check what lines they carry as they can't stock all of our products.
This month we'd like to make a special shout out to our friends at Guildford Town Garden Centre - who recently celebrated their 29th birthday! A huge milestone for Joanne and her team - and an achievement to be thriving in business after so many years. Happy Anniversary!
Beaufort Garden World - Inglewood 9271 0585
Ardess Nursery (Albany) 9842 9952