Tips AU

Beginner’s guide to: Gardening

By Rhiannon W

Updated: October 24th, 2019

If you’re embarking on your first gardening project and you’re not sure where to start, our beginner gardening tips will "Beginner’s guide to: Gardening"

If you’re embarking on your first gardening project and you’re not sure where to start, our beginner gardening tips will help you succeed.  Knowing where to start, planning and understanding your garden design will be the key to your success. Before you get down to the local landscaping store, there are a few considerations you need to make.

gardening roses and bench seats
Source: Pinterest

What type of gardening do you want to enjoy?

How do you want to use your garden? Are you doing some landscaping to finish off a newly constructed home, or giving your existing garden a facelift? Will this space be used as an entertaining area, children’s play area, veggie patch or chook pen? Do you want to build a feature garden? Understanding the purpose of your garden will help you plan the design.

tuscan gardening
Source: Pinterest

Landscaping and layout

Think about the space you have and how you might make the most out of it by carefully planning the layout. Garden goers with large, country back yards are blessed in their options. But if you’re in a terrace house in suburban Sydney and don’t have more than a 4 meter squared courtyard, you’ll need to be a little bit smarter with what you have. Draw up your design and experiment. Yates have a really handy Virtual Garden tool that you can use; it takes in to account your climate, garden size, what type of garden you’re interested in, and your level of gardening expertise.

Design ideas

A little bit of design inspiration never goes astray. Again, thinking about the space and how you want to use it, seek out plants, grass, garden accessories and possibly even outdoor furniture to complete your design. Are you into water features? Would a flower arch complete your garden’s English tea party look? Would a grape vine work nicely with a Tuscan theme? Landscaping centers often have mini display gardens that you can walk through, and there is plenty of design inspiration online.

beehive gardening
Image credit: Harold Lloyd
Source: Homestead Revival
Get your own homegrown honey by having a quaint little back yard beehive.

wheelbarrow flower gardening
Source: Italia Post
Find an old wheelbarrow in a second hand store and bring it to life with some brightly coloured flowers.

We also have some great small backyard design ideas and quirky garden design ideas for you to look at.

Drainage and ground preparation

When planning your garden, don’t forget to consider things like drainage and ground preparation. You don’t want half of your backyard flooded and turning in to a mud puddle every time you get a sprinkling of rain. You may need to level the ground, dig it out, and even prepare the soil if it’s lacking nutrients. If you have a bit of labouring work ahead of you, think about when the right time to do it will be; there’s no point in scheduling a landscaping job in the ‘wet season’ (okay, ‘wet weeks’ in Australia); mud and rain won’t allow for much productivity.

lawn and turf gardening
Source: DIY Network

Read up on what you are planting

Research is key for beginner green thumbs. Know whether the plants, grass, flowers, vegetables, etc. you are interested in will do well in your climate, how to care for them, and what their maintenance requirements are. For example, how much water does Sir Walter grass need? Will it do well in a hot climate? How much sun does it need? What are the best conditions for laying turf and how long will it take to settle?

Tip: ‘Sun-mapping’ is a thing – how much sun does your garden actually get and where? Spend a day outside to find out.

sunshine gardening
Source: Thiên nhiên

Spacing plants appropriately

When designing a dream garden, something many enthusiastic beginners neglect to think about is spacing of plants. If you’re constructing a tropical paradise of different varieties of palm trees to surround your pool, anticipate for them to get big. They’ll drop fronds, seeds and maybe even coconuts; they can grow over roofs, pools and block gutters. Do some research on the species you want to use and space plants appropriately; they grow.


Once you’ve established your garden, to keep it looking amazing you’ll need to have a good maintenance routine in place. Think about this in the planning stage. Consider:

  • Lawn care – aerating, watering and mowing
  • Weeding
  • Hedging
  • Pruning
  • Fertilising
  • Cleaning (e.g. bird baths)
  • Pest control
  • Irrigation, sprinklers
  • Gardening tools and equipment, e.g. hoses, shovels, etc.

gardening hose
Source: hey there, home

Budget check

Budget check = Reality check.  Now that you’ve got your design planned out, measure out your requirements (i.e. 10 meters squared of that beautiful Sir Walter turf) and cost it out before you get started. Don’t forget to consider ongoing maintenance costs as well; think in terms of money, time and effort.

Get ready to get started!

By having a good, well planned garden design, you’ll be on the right path to green thumb success. If you’ve identified certain tasks that you’d like to do yourself, think about your skills and experience and consider watching some online videos, or getting advice from a professional before you start. If for example, you don’t want to level the backyard or lay turf yourself, Airtasker have plenty of landscaping professionals available to assist. Get a free quote today.



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