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Hello & welcome to May! Autumn is well & truly here - with Winter just around the corner; officially at least! There are always some gorgeous days in May - sunny but not hot; the perfect combination to get outside and enjoy your outdoor space. It doesn't matter how big your area is - you can make it a pleasing sanctuary - your own happy place!
Perth Garden & Outdoor Living Festival was on 6-9th May at Langley Park in the City. It was pushed out a week due to Covid restrictions - but luckily the event went ahead & the weather was great!
A versatile vegie, Broccoli can be eaten raw, steamed or boiled (don’t cook it for too long or it will become mush). It is great added to salads and stir fries. Excess can be blanched and frozen.
Do these pests make you 'hopping mad?' Grasshoppers are chewers, ripping holes in plant leaves and spreading disease. It appears with our changing climate, species of grasshoppers that weren't previously common in Perth have moved into our gardens. Not exactly good news.
They seem particularly active at the end of summer & into autumn; many people are complaining of damage in their gardens lately. Grasshoppers will nibble on tissue of some crops causing it to rot and go brown, and in large numbers they can defoliate plants very quickly. Insect netting will protect vulnerable plants. Luckily, they're solitary creatures, coming together to breed. However they can eat half their own weight in plant matter daily - so they can do a fair amount of damage in a short time.
They attack a whole range of plants - vegetables through to ornamentals; and seem to quite like citrus trees, often attacking the new growth.
Praying mantis are a natural predator; as are many birds - so encourage them in your garden by planting a few shrubs around & supplying a bird bath to provide shelter and habitat. Frogs, lizards and spiders also help with control. Grasshoppers are sluggish in cooler temperatures early in the morning. If you go out then, you should be able to hand pick quite a few off your plants. You can also use a small hand held vacuum to suck them off sturdy plants. Squishing or decapitation with secateurs is effective - but not for the squeamish. Chickens will devour grasshoppers; and they're edible for humans too - if you're interested!
Spraying your plants with a garlic, cayenne pepper & chilli spray helps as a deterrent. Blend well with water, strain and spray onto your plants. Use every few days as a deterrent Another simple remedy is to sprinkle plain flour on your plants! This is supposed to gum up the mouthparts of the insect, causing them to starve. Avoid using self raising flower as the raising agents may be unhelpful to your garden.
A similar concept you may wish to try is 'Clay Spray' - the superfine kaolinite clay that you mix with water and spray to form a barrier over your plants that we carry @ GLSC. This is useful against sunburn of fruit/vegetables, and there's some evidence that shows effectiveness against Citrus Gall Wasp and chewing insects like grasshoppers. Clay Spray forms a coating that lasts for several weeks (except if we get lots of rain!). Our 500gm and 250gm packs are pictured right.
Diatomaceous earth is also an effective deterrent; but must be used in decent quantities where the insects come into physical contact with it - which can be hard as the insects are usually up and amongst plant foliage. It is useful in dry conditions (not as effective if wet).
You can also try Neem oil. Some studies have shown it to be a deterrent for grasshoppers, as well as a control if they ingest it. Neem affects the breeding cycle so will help decrease numbers. Direct contact sprays (for spraying directly onto the pests) include pyrethrum and/or horticultural soap (potassium soap). Remember these products will impact a wide range of other/beneficial insects too.
Traps can be made by floating small bits of yellow plastic on top of bodies of water (eg. kids wading pools, or plastic washing basins); the grasshoppers are attracted to yellow and will drown when they hit the water. You can also try 10% molasses in water solution, cover with a thin film of oil on top to deter bees, (canola oil is said to attract grasshoppers) and leave in small jars/containers around the garden. Again, if you can paint them bright yellow this may help. Yellow sticky traps close to the ground are worth trying too - just be aware these have caused problems with small birds that have been trapped on the strong glue; some yellow traps now have a 'cage' built into the design to prevent this (or you can fashion your own out of chicken wire).
Keeping weeds down will also help keep numbers down. Grasshoppers love long grasses and lay eggs in the soil around them. So keeping grassy areas outside of your edible garden may be a useful decoy.
Companion planting might be worth a try. Grasshoppers are said to dislike tomatoes, peas and squash plants, as well as coriander, wormwood, sage (and other salvias), dianthus, marigold (pictured right), lavender and other strongly scented foliage plants.
This month we're bringing back one of our most popular freebies for members - a FREE 3kg tub of Blood & Bone with any purchase over $100.
This is our own quality Certified Organic mix containing rock dust - it's great for a light top up of your winter vegie garden, and to use around fruit trees, roses and flowering plants. It's also safe to use on natives!
Online customers - please mention in the 'Delivery Notes' section of your order to provide the VIP freebie offer. If ordering over the phone or in store - ask our friendly team to help you.
Limit of one per customer & offer ends COB Monday, 7th Jun 2021.
I'm very sorry to say we received NO entries for the competition this month. See how easy it would have been to win a $50 store credit?? If you want to be in it next month - send us in a photo or photos of your garden with a brief story about what you're growing. Send via FB or email - with the title 'photo competition'.
So this month - here's some photos of OUR garden. We got quite busy during the Anzac day weekend lockdown when we were closed - and put the time into our garden (although most of this bed was planted out a week earlier).
The first photo shows a garden bed rejuvenated & planted out 18.4.21 & the 2nd photo is that same bed today (12.5.21). The third bed is garlic that was planted 18.4.21.
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.
Beaufort Garden World - Inglewood 9271 0585
Evergreen Studio - North Beach 0419 091 095
Garden Elegance - Subiaco 9381 2197
Guildford Town Garden Centre - Guildford 9279 8645
Hass & Co Botanics (Indoor Potting Mix) - Leederville 0414001017
Nibali Stockfeed - Hamilton Hill 9433 2211
Richo's 4 Hydro - Joondalup 9301 4462
Stanbee Stockfeeds - Barragup 9581 2390
Swan Valley Station - Swan Valley 0427 371 001
Tass1 Trees - Middle Swan 0419 988 344
Thrive Sustainability - Lower Chittering 0408 157 301
Urban Revolution - Victoria Park 6102 1068
Waldecks Bentley - Bentley 9458 5944
Waldecks Kingsley - 9309 5088
Waldecks Melville - 6317 0939
Waldecks Stirling - 9254 6730
Zanthorrea Nursery - Maida Vale 9454 6260
Ardess Nursery (Albany) 9842 9952
Australind Landscaping Supplies 9796 1720
Blossoms Nursery (Denmark) 9848 2014
Boyup Brook Co-op (Boyup Brook) 9765 1001
Margaret River - Nutrient Ag Solutions (formerly Landmark) 9758 7677
Soils Ain't Soils (Busselton) 97515 322
Remember all stockists carry different items - if there's an item of ours they don't usually carry, in most cases they'd be very happy to add it to their next order for you.
Know of anywhere in your area that you'd like to stock our products? Let us know (as well as letting THEM know!) and we'd be happy to approach them.
Remember to keep an eye on our Facebook and Instagram pages for news & updates regularly.