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Hello and welcome to DECEMBER!  I'm sure when I last blinked it was July...  I guess that's the way things go!

We've been lucky that the weather has been MOSTLY mild so far; and things in our garden are growing well.  I hope they are for you, too!

We'd love to see photos of how things are coming along in your garden; and we're re-launching our monthly photo competition.  There will be a $50 voucher up for grabs each month.  More information below - and remember you've got to be in it to win it so get snapping!

With Christmas day not so far away, in this newsletter we've got some ideas for gifts for gardeners.  And over the holiday season we'll be having some time off - please note the dates below:-

Christmas Opening Hours for The Green Life Soil Co

Open December 23rd (Saturday)
Closed December 24th (Sunday)
Closed  December 25th (Christmas Day)
Closed December 26th (Boxing Day)
Closed December 27th (Wednesday)

Open December 28th (Thursday)
Open December 29th (Friday)
Open December 30th (Saturday)

Closed December 31st (Sunday)
Closed January 1st (New Year's Day)

If you've got some time off over the Christmas/New Year break remember these dates & come and grab your garden goodies between 8.30 - 4.00pm on the days we're OPEN!) 

We'd like to thank you for your support in 2017 and look forward to seeing you soon!

The last of this year's workshops are coming up - Medicine from Your Garden this Saturday (2nd December) and Companion Planting and Crop Rotation (10th December).  It's a great learning opportunity to get more out of your garden, so why not come along? More info and bookings in the link here.

potting mix bagsAlso - for customers North of the river, as of this week you can find our Certified Organic potting mix stocked at Waldecks in Stirling and Kingsley.   I hope that makes it nice and handy for you to stock up when you need it.  

So all the best for a safe and relaxing Christmas & happy December gardening.  Cheers from all of us to all of you. 

Linda & the Team @ The Green Life Soil Co

In this Newsletter

World Soil Day
What to Plant Now
Jobs to do in the December Garden
Photo Competition - WIN a $50 voucher every month
Christmas Gift Ideas
Vegie Mix - It's different
VIP Special Offer

World Soil Day - FREE Event @ Green Life

world soil day5th December marks World Soil Day - a day to recognise the importance soil health plays in our lives and the life of our planet.  To mark the occasion, we're holding a FREE event at Green Life on SUNDAY, 3RD DECEMBER (9.30 - 12.30pm).  Feel free to drop in and chat to us about soil - bring in a sample of your soil if you like.

We'll have the microscope set up and Paul can have a look for microbial activity in your soil.  We can do pH tests and if you bring in a leaf or two from your garden, we can do a brix test - an indicator of the health of your plants.

We'll hold informal short talks and be on hand to offer advice on soil improvement.

Join us for a cuppa and a chat - we hope to see you there!

What to Plant in December

It is possible to grow vegies over Summer - however be aware that they will need extra water and TLC (and probably some shade) over the next couple of months.  

shadeclothWe have 4m wide 70% white shadecloth in stock; and will (hopefully by Christmas - depending on shipment arrival) have 50% white shadecloth in stock.  In our opinion (and in the opinion of the shadecloth distributor!) 30% shadecloth so often recommended on gardening shows is totally inadequate for Perth.  We use 70% in our own garden and it works well for us.  If your garden is sheltered and receives some shade from trees or surrounding structures, 50% might work for you.  White shadecloth is recommended for plants as it doesn't affect the light spectrum; darker colours of shadecloth are more comfortable for humans but for plants - lighter is better (you'll get better growth).

Check out our Growing Guides on our website for more information - but here are some ideas for what to plant now:

beansBasil, Beans, Beetroot, Capsicum, Chilli, Carrots, Cucumber, Eggplant, Fennel, Ginger, Leek, Lettuce, Melons, Okra, Potato, Pumpkin, Rocket, Radish, Silverbeet, Spring Onion, Squash, Sweet Corn, Sweet Potato, Tomato, Zucchini

It's time for succession planting of summer crops so you'll have an extended harvest season beyond that of your first planting.  If raising from seed you'll need to make sure that soil is kept moist.  Smaller seeds (eg. carrot) are quite tricky at this time of year as they can dry out so fast.  A layer of shadecloth directly over the soil may help keep in some moisture.  Remove the shadecloth once seedlings have emerged.

We have this week received a NEW order from Eden Seeds, with some more unusual useful and edible vegies, herbs and trees.  Stock will move quickly so come on in and have a look what we've got.

Jobs to do in the December Garden

indoor plantsIt's such a busy time right now who's got much time for gardening chores, right?  Hopefully the work you've done over the last couple of months will pay off and you can spend time in your garden ENJOYING It with friends and family over Christmas.  Here's a reminder of some basic jobs to keep things looking green:

  • Mulch.  You'll save time watering and weeding and it will give your garden an instant 'makeover'.  We've got lots of different kinds of mulch and we're happy to recommend what we believe will work best for your garden.
  • Keep up the water!  Seedlings will need watering daily in hot weather.  Established fruit trees and shrubs should get by on one good, deep watering a week; providing you mulch the soil.
  • Deadhead.  A quick snip of spent blooms will suddenly make the garden look greener again.
  • Potted colour.  A couple of punnets of flowering plants will add colour and cheer to your garden.  
  • Set up a water feature (or revamp an existing one!).  The sound of water in the garden adds a relaxing ambience.  A water feature can provide a drink for birds and animals that visit your garden.  It's an idea to use mesh over a pond to reduce the risk of kids falling in; and it will also protect any fish from predators.  There is a great range of water plants available @ Green Life now - including edible cress, mint, water chestnuts and water spinach - so why not think of a pond as an extension of your vegie garden!

Photo Competition

We have revamped our monthly photo competition.  Each month (from 16th of each month to the 15th of the following month) there will be one $50 voucher awarded at random to a customer that sends us in a photo (or photos) of their garden.  Because we'll be sharing them on social media and in the newsletter, we'd love a few lines telling us something about your garden; and what Green Life products you've used.  I love seeing pictures of what other people have grown - and it is always inspiring to new gardeners too - so share the love and you might just be rewarded!  Set a reminder each month to send one if you like...  the more the merrier!  Follow our Facebook page (Green Life Soil Company) or @greenlifesoil on instagram to see what's being shared.   We've received some amazing photos so far. 

Last month Jaci E. was our winner.  She's having some great results with her vegies planted in September using our Square Foot Gardening mix.  Thanks Jaci for the updated photos and congratulations!




Christmas Gift Ideas

gift voucherFor the gardener in your life - we've got some stocking stuffers they'll love.  How about gardening gloves?  A bundle of seeds?  Fertiliser?  A worm farm?  A selection of lovely herbs and a bag of potting mix?  A bale of pea straw?  (you've got to admit it would look kinda nice under the Christmas tree)  A pair of socks - stuffed with lucerne pellets?  If those ideas are just plain silly - there's always GIFT VOUCHERS.  Our vouchers have no expiry date and you can pick one up in store; or you can buy them online (and they'll be emailed to the recipient).  It doesn't get much easier than that to spread the joy!

Vegie Mix - It's Different!

Customers who have used our mix for several years may have noticed that our Certified Organic Vegetable Mix looks a little different to what it used to.  (Photo to right is corn seedlings in our garden - taken 30.10.17)

We've had one or two customers question this.  I guess we're conditioned to think a good fertile soil should be black - but that isn't necessarily the case. What a soil (or mulch) LOOKS like is not always good indication of how it may perform.  Our new mix is a little heavier and 'tighter' than is used to be, but we'd like to reassure you that when we make a change to our recipes, we don't do so lightly.  We're constantly assessing new inputs and experimenting to see what we can do to make our mixes better.   

We have worked for some time on improving our mixes to lower the pH, lowering phosphorus and sodium levels, and providing a wide range of short and long term nutrition that is balanced for optimum growth.  

Our Vegie Mix now contains a higher mineral content than before.  There's a mix of coarse river sand, clay and silt in the mix. We use the highest quality compost we have been able to find, and a smaller amount of blended manure.  We're using Charlie Charcoal (biochar) as well as the compost; and of course Rocky Rock Dust and Cassies Clay.  To this, we add fish hydrolysate, worm whiz, and our own blend of additional minerals.

corn growthThe whole point is our mix is complete - we don't recommend you add additional manure or compost - or anything really (except maybe for light liquid feeding of your vegies) for a growing season or two.   It's simply not necessary and in some cases may even prove detrimental.  The soil has excellent water holding capabilities, and we're really happy with the results in our own garden this Spring.  (Of course, adequate watering and mulch is always needed over summer.)

The picture to the right is the same patch of corn - photo taken 27.11.17.

Should you have any queries or concerns over the performance of our soils, we'd love to hear from you.  We strive to deliver a greener garden to you - and we're here to help if there's ever any issues.

VIP Special Offer

vegie mix palletInterested in trying our Vegie Mix for yourself?  For the month of December, VIP's can pick up 5 bags (in store only) for $40.  Save $9.  

Valid one per customer and please ask our team for the offer.  

Valid until close of business 30th December 2017 (we're closed on the 31st).

(Offer applies to any of our premium soil mix bags while stock is available.)

And a reminder - you can pick up our Certified Organic Vegetable Mix (at standard retail prices) from your local stockist:

Beaufort Garden World (Inglewood)
Dunn + Walton (Doubleview)
Garden Elegance (Subiaco)
Nibali Stockfeed (Hamilton Hill)
Ngoolark Nursery (South Fremantle)
Stanbee Stockfeed (Barragup)



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