Download our FREE when to plant guide -  click here

Welcome to December (and hello Summer!)

new leaf

With Christmas just around the corner and Summer technically here this month - it's a busy time for most of us with end of year celebrations & formalities.

We've had a very busy Spring at GLSC - and our list of retail stockists has continued to grow; often because people are asking 
their local nurseries, etc to carry our products!!  So THANK YOU for your continued support ~ we wouldn't be here without it.  There's lots of exciting developments in the pipeline for 2019 - keep your eye on our newsletters to stay up to date with all the announcements as plans come together.

Due to requests we're repeating the Extracting Essential Oils workshop in a couple of weeks - check out the details here.  Stay tuned for our 2019 workshop program next Autumn (and let us know if there's workshops you'd love us to run). 

Our CHRISTMAS OPENING HOURS are listed below.  We're looking forward to a short break to spend time with our families.

Saturday 22nd December  OPEN 8.30 - 4pm
Sunday 23rd December  OPEN 8.30 - 2pm
Monday 24th December  CLOSED
Tuesday 25th December  CLOSED
Wednesday 26th December  CLOSED
Thursday 27th December  CLOSED

Friday 28th December  CLOSED
Saturday 29th December  OPEN 8.30 - 4pm
Sunday 30th December  OPEN 8.30 - 2pm
Monday 31st December  OPEN 8.30 - 4pm
Tuesday 1st January CLOSED
Wednesday 2nd January  Open 8.30 - 4pm

We'd like to take this opportunity to wish you and your family a very happy, safe, relaxing Christmas!  Hope you get to enjoy some time in your garden ~ see you when we reopen.

team 2018

Linda & the Team @ The Green Life Soil Co

Here's a recent group shot (although Tommy, Jon & Isaac are missing) ~ we're slightly grimey
but at a soil yard that just means we've been busy!  


Haydn Gunningham is looking to run a small group workshop THIS SUNDAY (9.12.18) at his Ocean Reef home. 
Details are as follows:-

Haydn1 hr Theory + 2 hrs Practical. We shall construct a 2 m³ aerobic, thermophilic (two phase) compost pile during the morning.

Four places only
Course fee = $30
Start 0900 hrs
Finish approx. 1230 pm
Tea break / light refreshments provided
Location: Ocean Reef.
Dress – Old Gardening clothes, shoes, gloves, hat and sunscreen – participants will be constructing the pile themselves under supervision.

Anyone interested please contact Haydn directly on 0418 440 150.

So if you're wanting to learn composting success secrets from a seriously passionate composter - this is your opportunity!!

VIP special offer
Photo competition winner
Retail stockist update

December Jobs in the Garden

  • Tidy up!!  Get your garden ready for the festive season.  Work you do in the next couple of weeks will pay off as you enjoy your outdoors as you entertain or just relax and recuperate after the Christmas crazies!  
  • mulch varietiesMulch.  Use a soil wetter (if you need to), get the moisture in the soil and mulch to help keep it there.  There's lots of mulches to choose from depending on your garden style (and what you want it to do).  Check out the delicious range of mulches in the photo here!  L-R (top) Lucerne pellets, Jarrah wood chips, Recycled tree prunings (lower) Pea straw, 3way feeder mulch, Economulch, Supasaver mulch.
  • Succession plant your summer vegies.  Things that didn't germinate, or things you want more of - plant out healthy seedlings to keep your crops coming over the next couple of months.
  • Provide some water for wildlife.  Keep your bird bath topped up and check it on very hot days.  They'll come to rely on regular sources so don't disappoint them.  The upside is that many small birds will also catch insect pests in your garden too - so it's worth encouraging them.
  • Microclimates.  Shade and cool corners of your garden need to be considered and used to their advantage to protect sensitive plants/pot plants etc.  With the hottest weather still to come, planning how to provide some shade and protection will ensure your precious plants survive.  We have 30%, 50% and 70% shadecloth in stock - so come and see them to decide what will work best for your situation.
  • wormCheck your worm farm.  Do you need to move it to a more protected position for summer?  Worm farms may need extra water put through to keep the castings/food scraps moist (this makes an excellent liquid fertiliser) and on VERY hot days, freeze an old milk or cool drink bottle full of water and lay it on the inside surface of the worm farm.   It will thaw out over the day, but provide a 'cool spot' so your worms don't overheat.
  • Keep an eye on developing fruit.  Remove any struck by fruit fly and make sure you solarise (seal in a plastic bag and leave in the sun for a few weeks) or freeze before disposing or composting - as larvae can survive if fruit is allowed to rot on the ground, or is buried outright.

What to Plant Now

cornCheck out our FREE downloadable planting guides here - we've got one for vegetables, herbs plus our favourite 12 top edible plants for Spring/Summer and Autumn/Winter - and more!  At this later stage in the season, planting out from seedlings is usually preferable to raising seeds - you're paying more per plant but you're buying time, and crops will be ready to harvest sooner.  

Some ideas are:-
Artichokes, Asian Greens, Beans, Beetroot, Capsicum, Carrots, Celery, Chilli, Cucumber, Eggplant, Ginger, Leek, Lettuce, Melons, Okra, Parsnip, Pumpkin, Radish, Silverbeet, Spring onion, Squash, Strawberries, Sweet corn, Sweet potato, Tomato, Zucchini.

Many herbs will also do very well planted in the warmer months, including:
Aloe vera, Basil, Chives, Fennel, Lavender, Lemongrass, Lemon Verbena, Mint, Oregano, Mint, Rosemary, Sage, Thyme, Parsley, Rocket ~ and more!  

We get in fresh seedlings & herbs on a weekly basis; plus we have arguably Perth's biggest range of heritage seeds available.  Come on in and check out our range!

Ensure any new plantings are watered in well (kelp tonics are great!) and watered at least once daily until they are more established, and roots have had a chance to develop.

Last minute Christmas gift ideas for gardeners.

moon calendarBooks!  We've got the following great reads available:
  • The Essential Edible Pharmacy
  • How to Permaculture Your Life
  • Square Metre Gardening
  • Edible & Useful Plants for the Swan Coastal Plain
Plus our range of laminated growing guides on lots of useful gardening topics!  Also, we've got lots of practical odds & ends that will be appreciated by a garden loving friend; for example:

Insect netting (6m x 3m  +  6m x 6m  +  6m x 10m) 
Vegie grow bags - 25L and 75L
Gardening gloves
Worm farm kits
Fertilisers (fish, kelp, humic acid, fulvic acid, rock dust, blood & bone)

2019 Moon Planting Calendars (pictured above) are on order & will be available SOON!


Creating Shelter in the Summer Garden

hose nozzleWhile we've had a mild Spring, Summer has now arrived and we know the heat is coming.  Each year there's a turning point in the garden when the lush growth of Spring starts to look a little stressed - and while we want resilient gardens that can cope with a bit of stress; we also need to conserve water and do what we can to keep things healthy and productive.  There are a number of things we can do:

Soil prepThe effort you've put into your garden beds during the year - improving the soil, adding organic matter & feeding soil microbes and adding minerals like clay & Charlie Charcoal will all pay off now.  Plants have their feeder roots in the top layer of soil; and this is where the microbes are too - so making sure this is protected is vital to keep "life" in the soil.  If you haven't already done so, incorporate water holding minerals, use a liquid soil wetter (like Eco-Wet or Eco-Hydrate) if you need to, water well then MULCH, MULCH & MULCH!  There are many different types of mulch available depending on your budget, and aesthetic ideas.  We're happy to give you advice and help you choose.

Microclimate.  This involves spending a bit of time in your garden.  Observe what conditions are like at various times of the day.  Where does the sun reach?  Does heat build up on a wall or fence that is reflected back into neighbouring garden beds?  Do trees or structures provide shade at any time of the day?  Use what's going on in your garden to position plants that will thrive in that space.  Move smaller planters & pots into areas where they'll be protected.  Work out whether shade structures (permanent or temporary) are required.

pygmy perchWater IN your garden Having water around your garden - whether a pond, fountain, water feature or birdbath adds ambience and a cooling effect.  It also provides a vital water source for birds, insects, lizards, frogs etc. - many of whom help us in our garden by pollinating our crops, or helping keep pest numbers down.  So make sure that you check and replenish these water sources regularly.  For insects, use a shallow bowl land add some stones or sticks - so that flying creatures have a "landing pad" so they won't drown accessing the water.  If you have a pond and are worried about mosquitoes - GLSC carries native fish (Western Pygmy Perch [pictured right] and Western Minnows) that are suitable for frog friendly gardens and LOVE eating mozzie wrigglers.  You can grow edible plants in your pond, too!  Watercress, Kang Kong, and Water Chestnuts are some of the favourites - we have a range of pond plants available.  Pond plants make great shelter for fish and help keep water quality levels up. 

WaterING your garden.  Check your retic is working, and do any maintenance before the height of summer hits.  Efficient watering systems will save you water and money.  Specialist retic shops and installation/maintenance companies can help.  If you can't DIY, the money it will cost you to hire a professional will be less than the expense of having to replace valuable garden plants and lawns.  Watering (whether by hand or automated systems) is recommended in the early morning, so that plants can take up water prior to the heat of the day, and less is lost to evaporation.  This also gives the opportunity for leaves to dry out; plants watered overnight may retain more moisture on their foliage, which makes them more susceptible to fungal diseases.  Watering directly to the root zone (rather than overhead watering) is also more efficient in most cases.  Where possible, drippers should be installed underneath mulch - that way water is getting directly to the soil, and the mulch remains above as an insulating layer.  If setting up a new garden - have you considered wicking beds?  Check out our guide here.

shadeclothShade.  We're often asked "what percentage shadecloth is best?"  The answer - like most things related to gardening - totally depends on your style and location of garden.  If your garden is reasonably protected, and only gets full sun for a part of the day - a lesser percentage is probably fine.  Our vegie garden, in the Perth hills (where it's usually a degree or two hotter than Perth) is totally exposed.  We trialled 50% and found it to be not enough, so have gone to 70% shadecloth which seems to work very well for us.  We recommend white or light coloured shadecloth.  Dark colours are more comfortable for us humans; but for plants it tends to change the light spectrum and plants will often grow too leggy.  The 30% shadecloth we have in stock ONLY comes in green - but then the weave is more open and would allow more light through anyway; so the growth is less likely to be affected.  (Pictured right)

On stinking hot days ANYTHING is better than nothing.  Grab old sheets or curtains (op shops are great places to look) and drape them over stakes, directly over your plants, peg them to the fence - anything that will provide some protection.  Remember that many of our common garden plants and vegetables originate from mountainous or tropical environments that are quite different to our hot and dry 'edge of the desert' conditions.  I reckon if YOU couldn't stand outside all day in the fierce sun - there's a good chance many plants won't thrive either! 

VIP Special Offer ~ Merry Christmas!

bag stackSpend $50 or more with us this month and receive a FREE bag of one of our soil blends.  Online shoppers - please write "December VIP offer" & specify your 'preferred flavour' in the delivery instructions box.

NOTE:  This offer is for GLSC's own bagged soils, concentrates, potting mixes, manure, compost, soil improvers and mulches only - in our standard 25L bags. 
(ie. Charlie Charcoal, 60L mulch bags, Multigrow, Lucerne pellets, etc. are not included.)

Valid one per customer, for a single bag.  From available stock on hand. 
Valid until COB 31.12.18.  Please ask for the December 'Merry Christmas' offer!!

helens gardenVIP Photo Competition

Congrats to Helen H. who sent us in this gorgeous photo with the comments:  

"We are regular buyers of GLS vege soil and seedlings. Came back after a month away and the garden had gone absolutely nuts. Took an accidental shot of a passing bug as I was aiming at the roses."

Helen wins a $50 voucher to spend with us.  You've got to be in it to win it!  Send in your photos via our Facebook page or via email (subject "photo competition") with a short description.  It's that easy ~ so why not have a go?

Retail Stockist Reminder

Please support the local & independent businesses who support us. You'll find great advice and friendly service close to home!
(Please note - the range of products available will vary from store to store so it's always best to check with them for what you're looking for. If it's something they don't usually carry they would most likely be happy to add it to their next order.)

bunbury marketBeaufort Garden World - Inglewood 9271 0585
Dunn + Walton - Doubleview 92427711
Garden Elegance - Subiaco 9381 2197
Guildford Town Garden Centre - Guildford 9279 8645
Nibali Stockfeed - Hamilton Hill 9433 2211
Stanbee Stockfeeds - Barragup 9581 2390 
Thrive Sustainability - Lower Chittering 0408 157 301 
Waldecks Bentley - Bentley 9458 5944
Waldecks Melville - Melville 9330 6970
Waldecks Kingsley - 9309 5088
Waldecks Stirling - 9254 6730
Wandilla Nursery - Wattle Grove 9453 9779
Zanthorrea Nursery - Maida Vale 9454 6260

Busselton - U scape Garden Centre 9751 3995
Geraldton - Succulent Kiss 0488 374 444
Leschenault - Fancy Plants Nursery 0428 844 597
(and check out Deb's stall at the Bunbury markets - pictured here!)
Margaret River - Landmark 9758 7677

Thanks again for reading & see you all in the New Year!

NASAA Organic Certified ProductsNASAA Organic Certified Products