How to grow a better garden

Grow your skills as well as your garden, with helpful advice from a green-thumbed horticulturist.

Autumn is a magnificent time to be out in the garden. Working up a sweat in the late afternoon sun, planning and preparing new patches ahead of spring and crunching leaves underfoot.

Whether you’re a beginner or seasoned pro, Angie Thomas, expert horticulturist from Yates, has something to inspire you this golden season. 

Why do you think some people love gardening and some people loathe it? 

I think some people loathe gardening because they perhaps have tried in the past and felt they failed. This can be disheartening! It’s often because they have not been given the correct (or any) knowledge or guidance to know what to do. By following some simple guidelines, gardening can really be quite easy. As for the lovers of gardening, there is something so satisfying about nurturing plants, seeing their gorgeous displays of flowers and enjoying basketfuls of your own home grown produce. 

With autumn upon us, what should we focus on in the garden? 

Air temperatures are milder but the soil is still warm enough for plants to grow, so it’s a perfect time to plant new trees and shrubs, prepare garden beds for planting spring flowering bulbs like hyacinths and daffodils and enrich the soil in the vegie and herb patch with organic fertilisers like Yates Dynamic Lifter before the cool weather vegies go in. 

Where do you get your gardening advice and inspiration from? 

I love talking to other gardeners, hearing about what they grow in their gardens and the tips and tricks they have learnt over the years. I also read lots of gardening magazines, books and websites, which not only provide good horticultural information but also have photos of gorgeous gardens. I can then borrow their ideas for use at our place. 

What can food can anyone grow no matter their gardening skills or where they live? 

For a beginner gardener with limited space such as balcony, a simple pot of tasty mixed herbs and veggies is a great place to start. Baby spinach, Asian leafy greens and spring onions are all perfect for growing in containers in autumn and it’s simple to start – fill a pot with good quality potting mix, scatter seeds over the surface, cover lightly with a bit more potting mix and then water. 

Gardening

“For a beginner gardener with limited space such as balcony, a simple pot of tasty mixed herbs and veggies is a great place to start.”

What can people do to improve their gardening skills, whether they’re a beginner or advanced?
Beginner gardeners

Seed packets and plant tags contain really helpful information. They tell you what type of spot the plant likes to grow in (sun or shade), how deep to sow seeds and how big the plant will grow. 

Plants need regular watering to grow well, particularly plants in containers, which dry out much more quickly than in-ground plants. Feeding plants is also a very important step. Poor plant health is often due to lack of nutrients, but it’s so easy to fix! Choose a fertiliser that says ‘all purpose’, like Yates Thrive All Purpose Liquid Plant Food, and give plants a feed each week.

Intermediate gardeners

Joining a local garden club is a great idea. You can learn from other interested gardeners and garden clubs often have guest speakers who come and share their knowledge. There are also evening gardening classes and online horticulture courses that are packed with interesting information. 

As an intermediate gardener, it also could be time to expand the type of plants you are growing – step out of your comfort zone and try something new. And of course reading, reading, reading! Local libraries, gardening websites and magazines contain a wealth of gardening information.

Experienced gardeners

Visiting lots of garden centres, botanic gardens and parks and studying the plants is always a great way to get inspiration and new information. And why not try a new gardening skill such as grafting or topiary? The key is to find an element of gardening that you love, whether it’s growing your own food, attracting birds into the garden, having an immaculate lawn or having the best roses in the street, and then research, experiment and above all, have fun.

For more greenthumb tips and tricks, head to yates.com.au

Recommended reading - Vices

In Brief

Australians are going to hospital more than ever before

Medibank data shows the increasing costs of hospital admissions and our most common procedures

Read more
Lifestyle

How to do a daily digital detox

Australian's spend more time scrolling than sleeping. Here's how to take time to recharge yourself.

Read more
In Brief

Giving up smoking improves mental health

Think smoking calms you down? Research shows quitting is much better at boosting your mental health.

Read more
Experts

How to quit smoking

Quitting is hard, but trying again is always worth it. Quit Victoria’s Dr White is here to help.

Read more
Community

FebFast

Reach for better health by giving up alcohol, sugar, smoking, junk food or social media for February

Read more
Lifestyle

Bad fad diets

A look at some of the worst fad diets that somehow managed to gain a global following.

Read more
Lifestyle

8 benefits of cutting back on sugar

From weight loss to healthy skin, there are plenty of reasons to reduce your sugar intake.

Read more
Experts

How to take a break from drinking

Given up alcohol for FebFast? Here’s some expert advice for making the most of the experience.

Read more
Guides

How to take a break from alcohol

Staying away from alcohol for FebFast? Here’s how to make it a whole lot easier for yourself

Read more
Experts

The real reasons you’re craving sugar

Here's how to understand and outsmart those sugar cravings.

Read more
Lifestyle

6 better ways to get your chocolate fix

Go on, indulge those chocolate cravings with these light, naturally sweet treats

Read more
Community

6 new healthy snacks

Satisfy your post-lunch cravings with our pick of the latest nourishing snacks to hit the shelves

Read more
Lifestyle

9 super-easy healthy food swaps

Creating a healthier lifestyle can be as simple as making a few small changes each day.

Read more
Experts

Do you really need to quit sugar?

Thinking about quitting sugar? Here are some tips on the best ways to manage sugar intake.

Read more
Guides

How to cut back on sugar

Replace those sweet treats with more energy, better sleep and a slimmer waistline

Read more
Guides

P is for Pinot Noir

In moderation, red wine may decrease heart disease, prevent cancer and strengthen the immune system.

Read more
Community

Preventing type 2 diabetes

For Stephanie Jang, positive fitness, diet and lifestyle changes helped reduce her diabetes risk.

Read more
Lifestyle

6 benefits of giving up caffeine

Feeling inspired to kick the coffee habit? Here’s 6 ways your body (and your wallet) will thank you.

Read more
Experts

Cutting back on caffeine

Giving up caffeine for FebFast? Here’s some expert advice for letting go of your daily brew.

Read more
Experts

5 simple ways to cut back on sugar

Sweeten the deal naturally – here's how to reduce added sugar in your diet

Read more
Lifestyle

6 soft drink alternatives

Fun and fruity alternatives that satisfy your sugar cravings, look impressive and the kids will love

Read more

For full functionality of this site it is necessary to enable JavaScript. Here are instructions on how to enable JavaScript in your web browser.