7 Australian Gardening Experts Share Their Top Tips for a Thriving Garden

Whether you’re looking to grow a bumper crop of tomatoes, improve your soil health, or create a sustainable garden, these expert tips will guide you towards a thriving and beautiful garden.

Gardening can be a rewarding and therapeutic activity, but it can also be challenging, especially for beginners. To help you get the most out of your garden, we’ve gathered top tips from some of Australia’s favourite gardening experts. 

Whether you’re looking to grow a bumper crop of tomatoes, improve your soil health, or create a sustainable garden, these expert tips will guide you towards a thriving and beautiful garden.

Jane Edmanson

Start Small and Learn from Experience

Begin with a few plants to see what works in your garden. Some plants may die, but this will help you understand what suits your garden.

If you can’t say from experience what works in your garden, how will you know all those plants in your shopping trolley are going to work when you get them home? – Jane Edmanson

Know Your Soil

Understand your soil type and amend it as needed. For sandy soil, add compost annually in late winter or early spring. Friable soil, which is crumbly and falls apart easily, provides the best environment for roots to grow.

Community gardens are a great place for budding gardeners. They help you learn about different soil types and how to manage them effectively. – Jane Edmanson

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Angus Stewart

Conserve Moisture with Mulching

Use mulch to conserve soil moisture. Organic mulches like bark or wood chips are effective, but consider inorganic mulches like gravel for fire-prone areas. Mulch creates an insulating blanket that reduces moisture loss, essential during hot, dry conditions.

Mulching while you’ve still got the moisture in the soil, creates an insulating blanket that reduces moisture loss. – Angus Stewart

Use Efficient Irrigation Methods

Consider using wicking beds for irrigation. These beds have a water reservoir underneath, providing a continuous supply of moisture to plants, making watering more efficient and reducing water usage.

Wicking beds are a much more efficient way of irrigating, you probably use at least 50 to 80 per cent less water. – Angus Stewart

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Tino Carnevale

Get to Know Your Garden Site

Observe your garden’s microclimates, sun patterns, and weather before making major changes. Understanding where the sun travels and identifying spots with the most sun or unique weather patterns will help in planning your garden effectively.

Watch where the sun travels in the sky throughout the year, noting which spots get the most sun and where the microclimates are. – Tino Carnevale

Improve Your Soil

Add compost and manure to enhance soil structure and fertility. These amendments provide body to sandy soils and help retain water and nutrients. For clay soils, also add gypsum to break up heavy soils and improve drainage.

To create a veggie garden, add lots of gorgeous compost and manure to feed the soil and your plants. – Tino Carnevale

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Margot White

Timing Your Tomato Planting

Plant tomatoes when the soil temperature reaches a minimum of 16°C, ideally 18-20°C. Ensure the last frost has passed before planting.

While there are many different anecdotal dates for tomato planting, it all comes down to temperature. – Margot White

Deep Planting for Strong Roots

Plant tomato seedlings deeper than the soil line of the pot, so that just the top few leaves remain above the surface. This helps develop a stronger root system.

This enables the plant to develop adventitious roots along the stem, resulting in a healthier, stronger plant. – Margot White

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Penny Woodward

Promote Diversity

Grow a variety of plants to ensure some will thrive regardless of weather conditions. A diverse garden supports a healthy ecosystem of birds, insects, and other wildlife.

In a diverse garden there is a greater chance that plants, pests, and predators will live in harmony, giving you healthier plants. – Penny Woodward

Maintain Healthy Soil

Keep soil rich in organic matter by regularly adding compost, manure, and other amendments. A healthy soil food web supports plant health.

Healthy plants need healthy soil, with a good balance of fungi, bacteria, protozoa, and worms. – Penny Woodward

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Costa Georgiadis

Experiment with Plant Locations

Try growing crops in different locations to see which spot serves best. For example, plant some garlic in various areas like a raised garden bed, street verge, pots, and a front yard garden bed.

I always love a bit of backyard science experimentation to see how things respond! – Costa Georgiadis

Utilise Recycled Materials

Look out for steel reinforcement mesh off-cuts from local building sites. These can be used as climbing frames or to arch over garden beds, keeping valuable resources out of landfill.

There are valuable resources in those skip bins, so let’s keep them out of landfill and into the garden growing for us. – Costa Georgiadis

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Jamie Durie

Sustainable Gardening

Incorporate native plants into your garden to create a natural-style landscape. Group plants with similar water requirements together to conserve water, and choose water features that minimise water costs.

Sustainable landscaping is extremely important now. Aim to incorporate more natives into planting schemes along with exotics to create a more natural-style landscape. – Jamie Durie

Recycle Garden Waste

Compost green garden waste and use kitchen scraps in a worm farm to reduce rubbish and improve soil health. This creates a fertile mixture that enhances plant growth.

By composting green garden waste and feeding kitchen scraps to worms in a worm farm, you not only reduce the amount of rubbish in your bin, but at the same time, you improve the health of your garden soil and plants. – Jamie Durie

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Linda Jones

Based in sunny Brisbane, Linda has a keen interest in ornamental plants. She firmly believes that gardens are as much about aesthetics as they are about functionality. Despite being a life-long gardener, she still enjoys learning about new plants and gardening techniques and sharing her discoveries with the Ultimate Backyard community. When she's not immersed in her garden, Linda loves reading and walking.


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