Planting in your garden

Brisbane City Council encourages people to think about planting shade trees, growing local food and making changes in your garden.

Green Gardening in Brisbane guide

Green gardening is about making easy, cost effective and sustainable choices in your garden that will save time, money and support our native wildlife.

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Planting shade

Trees help combat climate change in several ways:

  • trees provide shade and transpire water
  • trees make our streets more pleasant for walking and cycling
  • trees absorb carbon dioxide and transform it into woody tissue such as wood, roots and bark.

Tips to plant shade:

  • plant local, native, drought-tolerant species where you can
  • plant or retain shady trees for maximum cooling benefit
  • consider the overall garden design
  • plant responsibly by planning for future growth
  • keep in mind the mature height and spread of trees and root growth
  • make sure you're not planting a weed species.

Growing local food

A Consuming Australia report indicated that up to 30% of an Australian’s carbon emissions came from the food they ate, including:

  • raw materials production
  • manufacture
  • packing
  • transport or food miles
  • disposal.

Food miles are the distance food travels from manufacture to your table. It is worth considering that all the food items at a typical Brisbane barbecue may have travelled a combined distance of 200,000 kilometres to reach the table, with items from Europe and America travelling over 15,000 kilometres.

Handy tips

Tips to reduce your food carbon footprint:

  • plant some food
  • choose local and seasonal produce
  • visit your local farmers markets 
  • join your nearest community garden
  • try to avoid food wastage
  • share a meal with friends.

Gardening in Brisbane's urban soils

Since Brisbane was settled, the landscape and environment has been altered due to development that has occurred. Over this time, some products such as lead (from paint or petrol) or industrial contaminants may have found their way into soils and could pose risks to people.

Find gardening tips and planting choices to help ensure you stay safe in your garden.

More information

Learn more about using compost and mulch or attend a free compost and worm farm workshop.

For more information, the Consuming Australia Report is available to review on the Australian Conservation Foundation website.

Last updated:2 May 2019