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We are a gateway site for the amazing gardener, horticulturist, garden office builder and landscape gardener Laura Lyons who is a registered member of the UK Gardeners Guild. She is more than happy to advise on any garden project, large or small, within her working area. References are available for her previous work involving garden play equipment, forts, zip slides, greenhouses, sheds, raised beds, fences and hedge creation and maintenance, coppicing, ponds and drainage, garden offices, greenhouse, plant and soil advice, landscaping and borders, hahas and orchard management amongst all other aspects of her work.



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Jane gives some of her best tips for those starting a garden for the very first time. Subscribe 🔔 http://ab.co/GA-subscribe

Think like a beginner gardener and don’t be afraid of asking questions for help and advice. Everyone needs it and gardeners love to share it.

Starting a garden is exciting! It’s easy to want to run out and buy everything all at once. But this can be compounding any problems that lie ahead. 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? It’s best to start small, try a few plants first and see what survives. Some plants may die, but that helps you learn what suits your garden.

Community gardens are a great place for budding gardeners. Jane meets Isabel Robinson at a garden in St Kilda and she’s interested in growing her own food. Jane’s first piece of advice is to know your area and your soil. The community garden is near the sea and has very sandy soil so it needs additional nutrients in the form of compost each year, in late winter or early spring. It’s best if the soil is friable which means that it falls apart easily and has a crumbly texture. This provides space and oxygen for the roots to grow. If the soil is compacted, then fork it over, add compost, as this will help.

How much room do you need to plant? Think about the final size of your crop and read the instructions on the seed or plant label as these estimations of size are accurate. If you choose one large tree, then it will dominate. Weigh this up against planting lots of different smaller vegetables.

Think about seasonality. Sometimes planting lots of one vegetable, such as zucchini, results in lots of zucchinis all at once. Succession planting means sowing a small number of the same vegetable at intervals of a few weeks. That way you will have a longer, more continual supply.

How to bring in the bees? Jane suggests salvias as they are easy to grow and will bring in the birds and the bees. They need pruning once the flowers are finished but they are easy to prune, so that’s a good way to learn this technique.

How to decide where to plant something? Take a photo to show experienced gardeners or to take to your local nursery for advice. If it has a label, it will give the height and width, and often the conditions required, so take note of that.

Don’t overwater. Beginner gardeners often lavish attention on their gardens, killing their plants with kindness as they over-water and over-fertilise. Too much water can suffocate the roots, and lead to fungal infections. Research where the plant grows and what environment it likes; does it grow in the desert (cacti) or in a wetland (pond)? If your plants suddenly start to look crook, with yellow and brown leaves drooping and falling off, think about if you’re overdoing it with the water.

If you apply too much fertiliser, these nutrients simply wash away, unused by the plant. Really high amounts of fertiliser can also accumulate into toxicities. Different plants will have different needs, deciduous plants like a top up in spring (grapevines at site), natives don’t need much and annual veg want it every couple of weeks.

Dealing with dead plants. Every gardener loses plants. The trick is to learn from the experience. Jane’s biggest tip for beginner gardeners is “don’t be afraid of making mistakes. Every mistake means a lesson learned. And the more you learn, the better gardener you will become. So go out and enjoy it.”

Featured Plants:
APPLE – Malus cv.
BROCCOLI – Brassica oleracea cv.
MEXICAN SAGE – Salvia cv.

Filmed on Boon Wurrung, Bunurong & Wurundjeri Woi Wurrung Country | St Kilda, Vic

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Gardening Australia is an ABC TV program providing gardening know-how and inspiration. Presented by Australia’s leading horticultural experts, Gardening Australia is a valuable resource to all gardeners through the television program, the magazine, books, DVDs and extensive online content.

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Comments

Patreeky says:

Australia became a 3rd world country over one of the safest viruses known to man

Chris B says:

I love gardening my back yard and front are full off flowers even though my parents say your buying to much I will be getting native trees and hydrangeas can’t get them any where

Angus William says:

The silverbeet and the spring onion. They are so good. I add them to many meals. Straight from the garden there's like a extra element to them. Eating with them as ingredients is like a super food. Shelf produce is nowhere near as good. Peas are easy too, I chose snow peas this year and have more than I can use.

John James says:

Jane's a treasure.

Jasmine Hill says:

This looks fantastic, I live close to this community garden and I think that I should come and say hello. I recently started and apprenticeship in gardens and maintenance but I unfortunately have very little room for my own plants.

D Russ says:

Oh Jane is so beautiful she reminds me of my grandma who passed a few years ago… they absolutely loved gardening ad their garden was so beautiful… I recently found pictures of me as a child repotting pot bound plants with her. Made me cry. Watching this lovely lady helps me relive those memories. Thankyou so much <3

Augustine Kopa says:

Yay!!! Love your guys are amazing!!

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