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Hello and welcome to JULY!
We're definitely in Winter now - but in Perth, that's an ideal time to be in the garden! I trust you're enjoying things you've got growing already; and remember now's the time to consider succession planting crops to keep you harvesting into Spring. (Yes - Spring!) We've passed the Winter solstice so days will gradually get longer again as the seasons roll around. Check out our article on the benefits and tips for succession planting below.
June was a busy month - with the Kalamunda Garden Festival on the long weekend being a fabulous day out! GLSC sponsored one of the speakers' stages - and it was fabulous to be involved and meet so many happy plant lovers. And how lucky were we with the weather? A beautiful sunny day and that evening the heavens opened (and it rained and hailed for days!). The next KGF is the first Sunday in Spring - which is the 3rd September - so mark it in your diary now! There'll be another schedule of amazing talks & guest speakers - so don't miss it.
While you're reading this, Paul, Isaac and I are enjoying a long-anticipated overseas trip to the UK. Paul emigrated here with his family as a child, and has never been back. It's been his dream to take our son and I over to tour his old haunts - and after many years, it's finally happening. We've got lots of great gardens to view as well as a scheduled day at the Hampton Court Palace Flower Show - so keep your eye on our social media pages for updates & photos! In the meantime, the gang back at the coal face of GLSC are keeping things rolling along nicely; and we're grateful to the team! So do come on in and chat to any of our wonderful staff for help & advice with your garden. Our customer service crew are qualified and experienced gardeners; so they have practical knowledge to assist you with your gardening queries. Recently Lesley, Samara and Brodie all completed their Waterwise Training through the Watercorp and Nursery & Garden Industry Assoc. - congrats ladies!
I hope you enjoy this month's newsletter - as always your feedback & suggestions for future editions are always welcome!
Enjoy July in Perth and until next time - happy gardening!
Linda & all of us @ The Green Life Soil Co
Jobs to do in the July garden (and school holidays)
What to plant now
Some things you can plant in your garden NOW are:-
Artichokes (globe - pictured right & Jerusalem types), Asparagus, Beetroot, Broad Beans, Broccoli, Cabbage, Celery, Celeriac, Coriander, Endive, English Spinach, Kale, Kohl Rabi, Lettuce, Mint, Onion, Parsley, Peas, Potatoes, Radish, Rhubarb, Silverbeet, Snow Pea, Spring Onion, Strawberries, Turnip.
If you haven't planted out all your winter crops from seed you're running a bit late! - although succession planting to extend the season with top up crops is still worthwhile to do. (You can still grow carrots, beetroot, peas & many leafy greens from seed.) If you're wanting to try your luck with broccoli or cauli, my tip is to look for healthy seedlings to plant out. You'll be saving yourself 4-6 weeks minimum, so you'll be picking your crops sooner. Another tip is to select dwarf or small growing varieties - they tend to mature quicker as they don't have to spend as long growing to their maximum size before flowering.
Check out our FREE downloadable 'When to Plant in Perth' guide here. We've got one for vegies & another for herbs ~ as well as heaps more fact sheets, videos & info on individual vegies, natural pest control, building healthy soil and SO much more!!! If you're stuck inside due to inclement weather - spend some time and explore what we've got for you (click on the 'learning centre' tab).
We're expecting Rhubarb & Asparagus crowns to arrive later this month. The crowns need to be lifted when dormant - and the growers decide the best time to do this; so timing is beyond our control. Please give us a call to pre-order (or keep an eye on our Facebook page) to confirm stock has arrived.
(Click on the highlighted text for growing guides on these great perennial plants.)
What is Succession Planting and How Can It Benefit You?
Succession planting, in essence, is the art of timing your seed sowing to ensure a continuous supply of fresh vegetables or flowers throughout the growing season. Rather than planting all your seeds at once and experiencing a surplus followed by a scarcity, succession planting allows you to have a steady stream of plants bearing one after the other.
There are various approaches to succession planting, but our favorite at The Green Life Soil Co is making separate plantings of the same crop spaced apart. This method ensures a continuous or near-continuous supply of a particular crop or variety throughout the possible growing season.
Alternatively, you can opt for sowing similar crops with different maturity dates. For example, you can plant faster-maturing varieties at the beginning of the season while waiting for slower-maturing varieties to reach maturity. This way, you can enjoy an extended harvest period and have a diverse range of produce (it just takes a bit of research into the varieties you choose).
It's important to consider the timing between successive plantings. While there are no strict rules, it depends on the specific crop and your personal preferences. For fast-maturing crops like radishes, one to two weeks between sowings is usually sufficient. However, for crops that take longer to mature, it's best to experiment and find the spacing that works for you. As a starting point, spacing successive plantings two to four weeks apart is a common practice.
Another factor to consider is whether to plant successively in the same bed or use different beds. While both approaches have their merits, it's recommended to practice some rotation between crops to prevent soil exhaustion and minimize the risk of plant diseases. Personally, I prefer planting a mixture of crops in each bed and moving on to the next bed after a couple of weeks. Remember, there are no definitive right or wrong choices here—it's about finding what works best for you, and the amount of available space in your garden. If you're replanting areas, replenish nutrients between plantings of hungry crops; and perhaps try to rotate locations for planting next year to lessen the risk of soil borne diseases. Check out our Crop Rotation free fact sheet here.
One of the advantages of succession planting is that it allows you to catch the tail end of the growing season. By having a few additional late bloomers, you can benefit from extended harvests; it's very tricky to accurately predict when the seasons will switch (and often times they oscillate anyway!). By strategically sowing a few extras, you can ensure a bountiful harvest throughout the changing seasons whilst getting a jump on the new season's plantings - minimising the "hungry gap" between peak production.
Keeping a gardening diary is a valuable practice when applying succession planting. It helps you track your plantings, evaluate the success of your planning, and learn from any anomalies or unexpected variations in maturation times. Factors like weather conditions, microclimates within your garden, and specific varieties can influence plant growth. Your gardening diary will provide insights into what usually works well and where adjustments can be made for even better results. This is important if you keep your own seeds - recording the maturation will mean offspring adapted to your own garden conditions will likely be reliable replicas of their parents.
Succession planting offers a multitude of rewards. With each successful crop you harvest from your own garden, you'll experience a sense of accomplishment and joy. By incorporating succession planting into your gardening practices, you can prolong that feeling throughout the entire growing season. It's no wonder that vegetable gardening has become one of the world's fastest-growing hobbies. Embrace succession over winter and savor the rewards as you cultivate your garden through the changing seasons. At The Green Life Soil Co, we're here to support you on the 'grow your own food' journey!
Winter Lawn Care Made Easy: Tips and Tricks for a Top-Notch Perth Lawn
As the cool breeze of winter sweeps through, it's time to gear up for some lawn care fun! We've enlisted the help of Nick Bell, our turf expert, to share some practical tips to keep your Perth lawn in superb shape this autumn and winter, revisiting some of his excellent advice. Get ready to transform your lawn into a winter wonderland!
First things first, let's measure the size of your lawn. Whether it's a single area or multiple sections, knowing the total area will help you plan your maintenance tasks more efficiently.
Now, here's the secret: your lawn may not need watering in winter, but it does need your thoughtful attention. Follow this action plan to ensure your lawn stays healthy during the colder months and springs back to life when the sun shines again.
Before you tuck away your hand tools for the season, make sure they're sharp and in tip-top condition. Sharp tools make all the difference when it comes to maintaining a beautiful lawn.
Don't forget about your trusty machines! Give your mowers, edges, line trimmers, and other equipment a proper service. Check and sharpen the blades, or replace them if necessary. Ensuring your machines are in excellent working condition will prepare them for the upcoming growth spurt in spring and early summer.
Here's a little workout for your lawn: grab a rake and brush it vigorously during winter. This will help minimize the formation of algae and moss while keeping the surface tidy. If you have fallen leaves and debris, rake them into neat piles and chop them into small pieces using a rotary mower. Voila! You now have a fantastic mulch that can be spread in garden beds or used for composting.
Take a moment to check the pH level of your soil using an inexpensive testing kit. Adjust the pH accordingly by applying agricultural ground limestone for acidic soil or elemental sulfur for limestone coastal soils. Aim for an optimal pH range of 5.8 to 6.5 to keep your lawn thriving.
Let's get creative with your lawn space! Consider reclaiming small sunny sections to create productive vegetable and herb gardens. For those narrow areas that are difficult to mow, why not replace them with pavements, ground covers, or even feature gardens? It's a win-win situation that maximizes your garden's potential while reducing lawn maintenance.
Ensure your watering system is up to par by having it audited by a water-wise endorsed specialist. Upgrade if necessary to ensure efficient and reliable performance. If you prefer hand watering, replace any worn-out hoses with high-quality, kink-resistant ones. Don't forget to eliminate leaks by replacing tap washers and fixing any leaky taps, hose fittings, or sprinklers.
Maintaining the right lawn height is crucial. Keep it at around 20mm by mowing whenever it reaches 25mm in height from June to mid-September. Collect the clippings during this period to prevent the spread of weed seeds. Dispose of them in the Green-Waste recycling bins for an eco-friendly approach.
Winter is the perfect time to explore turf farms and discover new and improved lawn varieties. These specially bred cultivars have undergone extensive trials to ensure strong growth, practical maintenance, and superior performance in our Australian climate. It's an opportunity to find the ideal match for your specific lawn needs.
Remember, when your lawn is in dire need of a makeover, it's time for a fresh start. After soil improvement and irrigation system upgrades, consider replacing it with an improved lawn variety that suits your specific situation. It's like giving your garden a fresh canvas to work with!
With these practical tips and tricks, you'll be well-equipped to care for your Perth lawn throughout winter. So, let's show your lawn some love and enjoy the benefits of a vibrant and healthy outdoor space all year round!
Photo Competition Winner
Congratulations to Rosemary who sent us in this photo of her husband giving some TLC to his impressive garlic patch... She had this to say:
"I received your newsletter and told my husband he needs to fertilise his garlic he thanked me and asked how did I know. ( I smiled)"
Well Rosemary - all I can say is that I'm glad that the newsletter comes in useful & I look forward to seeing more photos later in the year of the amazing harvest ahead of you!!!
Thanks for sending in the photo - you're this month's winner of our $50 store credit to spend with us.
Remember, dear readers, we pick someone each month to win - so keep on sending those photos in and it could be YOU next time!!!
Email in (with the subject line "photo competition" or send via FB messenger) - with a few lines about what you're growing in your garden or what you love about your garden! Other people love to see great ideas and get inspired!
VIP Special Offer
Growsafe Fertiliser is made in WA! It is a complete mineral based fertiliser that contains trace elements, and a microbial coating. It's fine to use on all plants; including your lawns, and native plants! (Read the application rates on the packaging and follow accordingly).
10kg bags are normally $34.95 in store. For the month of July, spend $60 with us and you can receive a bag for only $22!
Online shoppers will need to be logged in as a member to view the special prices - as you'd normally have to do to access VIP discounts.
So stock up now and you're all good to go to fertilise your fruit trees and gardens for early Spring.
Valid three per customer, while stock is available, up until close of business Monday 31st July.
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 (but may be willing to get stock in for a custom order - if you ask nicely!). Some of these fabulous retailers also offer a home delivery service (marked with *) - so why not go local? (Please contact the store directly for details.)
Daisy Field Organics - Fremantle
Ardess Nursery (Albany) 9842 9952
THANK YOU for being part of our Green Life family! We hope to see you in store soon. Check out our newsletter next month & stay up to date with our Facebook and Instagram pages for announcements, stock arrivals and general good gardening vibes!
PS. Have added a couple more photos from the Winter Kalamunda Garden Festival for you! Hope to see you in the Green Life Room for more amazing talks on the 3rd September!!!