Stocksy_txp390c4e9cjVt000_Medium_636535-600x580

If you want to get in to gardening, it can be hard to know where to start. No problem! Talking to family and friends can help – you’ll be surprised just how much some people know. Your local garden or hardware stores are also great places to get information and ideas. Before you sow that first seed, though, here’s a quick checklist of kick-off decisions you’ll need to make:

Location

Location

  • Sounds obvious, but you need to consider it. Maybe you’ve got the perfect patch in your back yard or maybe you need to consider a balcony garden. Remember, there are also community garden options – your local council can help with that.

Design and site analysis

Design and site analysis

  • Decide if you’d like to dip your toes with a few pots on the deck or small beds in the yard, or take the plunge with a larger-scale garden. This will depend on your experience, location, what you want to grow and budget.

  • If you know the location – check soil, drainage and sunlight conditions before drawing up your plans. Depending on conditions, raised beds or shade cloth might be worth considering.

  • Think about a vision for your garden. Will it be getting bigger? Will you want to change out what you grow? How do you want to be using it in 5 years? Here’s a guide to what veggies will work best in your area


Equipment

Equipment

  • Make an inventory (and a budget) for the equipment you will need, including tools, fertiliser and soil. If you’re planning on going big you might also need to think about construction materials and possibly equipment hire.


Community garden

If you’re planning to start a community garden there are a few other considerations you will need to cover.

Community support and involvement

Community support and involvement

  • Who can you partner with – and how will you attract community members to join the project? Can you offer volunteer work for local schools and organisations in exchange for training – or host special classes and events for interest groups? Planning support networks early will make your garden sustainable into the future.


Organisational policies

Organisational policies

  • How will your garden grow? Will you operate on a fully communal basis, or offer individual plots to gardeners? How will meetings run and how often? How will you ensure ongoing maintenance of communal areas?


Split up who will take on coordinator roles

Split up who will take on coordinator roles

Assign roles for the start-up phase to make sure your garden gets off the groun


Plan for funding

Plan for funding


Local policies and guidelines

Local policies and guidelines

  • Depending on where you live, there might be guidelines and requirements you need to meet before you pick up a shovel. Check with your local council. Here’s a quick way to find yours.