3 Tips for Your Dream Aussie Garden
Here in the Lucky Country, we’ve got some pretty unique climatic conditions that are perfectly suited for gorgeous gardens – with a little bit of effort and know-how, that is. With our mild winters, we don’t have to worry about subzero temperatures freezing our garden every winter and having to start the whole shebang again in Spring; but many of us are dealing with sandy soils (or just sand, for that matter), 40+ degree summer days, and water restrictions as part of everyday life. So, how do you get your dream garden happening in Australia? Read on!
1. Understand your soil.
What works well in other countries (or even other cities; or other parts of your suburb!) may not work well for your backyard. Most local shire or councils can give residents info about what kind of soil is found in your area, and what sort of plants will thrive there. You can also check in with your local nursery. If you want to really up your garden game, you can also head to your neighbourhood Bunnings for a soil testing kit; based on that, you can either try to adapt your soil for the plants you want to grow, or you can grow plants based on the soil that you have. You can improve your soil in many ways – manure, compost, etc. – and another simple tip is to plant nutrient rich “green manures” like beans and peas, which increase the nitrogen content in your soil.
2. Harvest rainwater.
Have you ever noticed how gorgeous your garden looks after a good soak in the rain? Being watered with tap water just isn’t the same, and there’s good reasons for that. For one, mains water is all chemically treated, which is a necessity for drinking water (goodbye, dysentry); but the treatment process involves chlorination, which kills off water-borne nutrients that plants love. On top of that, the chlorination makes the water a bit more alkaline than rainwater; plants prefer that acidity. So, what should you do? Harness nature’s abundant, free resource – rainwater! Some gardeners will get a rain barrel, or even leave out a bunch of old (carefully washed) ice cream containers – this is a bit of a budget fix, though, and isn’t great for more than the smallest of gardens. A better solution for the serious gardener is harvesting rainwater via a slimline water tank or round water tank. These can be painted in cute colours, and actually become a gorgeous feature of your garden – and with about half of the average Aussie home’s mains water consumption being used outside, it’s a great way to cut your water bills, beat those water restrictions and have a healthy, green garden year-round.
3. Companion planting.
Companion planting has become more and more popular in recent years! This method involves growing plants together to assist each other in some way – for example, deterring plants, improving growth, etc. It also involves knowing what NOT to plant next to each other, as some plants can cause other plants to struggle (or even kill their neighbours off – not what you’re looking for!)
Companion planting is more widespread in the northern hemisphere, and looks a bit different here in Australia; you’ll find a great resource on what works well here at Sustainable Gardening Australia.
We hope this guide has helped you get off on the right foot with your dream Aussie gardening! Keep an eye out for more great ideas on our blog.
- Home Improvement – Tips for Your Dream Aussie Garden - May 10, 2021