Correct planting techniques

Brisbane City Council has provided the following tips for you to follow to create a healthy and lush garden. Learn about soil types, preparing the site, and how to plant the new species you have chosen.

Before you plant

  • get to know your soil -  read more about soil types
  • prepare the site
  • consider the overall garden design
  • choose suitable plants – read all about the right plants for you and your property, visit public gardens and open gardens, talk to your local nursery or landscape expert and avoid weed species that will cause problems for you and your local area
  • know the sunny and shady areas and where water flows or pools in your garden
  • plan for the mature height and spread of trees and for root growth

Steps to help you plant efficiently

  1. Dig a hole at least twice as wide and slightly deeper than the pot size. 
  2. Loosen the soil at the sides of the planting hole. Fill the hole with water and allow to drain away.
  3. Place the gently loosened root ball in the planting hole. Fill back soil with some slow release fertiliser. The top of the root ball should be level with the surrounding soil. 
  4. Press the backfill down with your hands and shape the soil surface slightly to hold water. 
  5. Water the plant deeply after planting, once a week for the first two months, then water generously only when the soil feels dry. 
  6. Using a zone of mulch of at least 50 centimetres in radius and 10 centimetres thick will help to retain moisture and discourage weed growth. Avoid placing mulch against the stem of the plant. 
  7. Fertilise using composted animal manure, grass clippings or leaf litter provide adequate nutrients when applied with the mulch layer. Only apply commercial fertilisers strictly in accordance with manufacturer's specifications.
  8. Only prune broken branches or suckers from new plants. 

Other planting tips

  • phone 1100 Dial Before You Dig to check you're not planting over plumbing, sewer pipes or service or power lines
  • avoid importing topsoil for your garden
  • apply at least 10 centimetres of mulch to garden beds but keep it away from the stems
  • Brisbane's climate is suitable for growing plenty of food plants - check drainage, soil type, sunlight and available space
  • use water sensibly so plants get the maximum benefit
  • tall, shady trees can cool your house in summer, but beware of overhead power lines
  • do not plant or prune trees on Brisbane's footpaths, in parks or waterways
  • be proactive about fire management - place garden beds and trees away from the house, regularly clean gutters and remove vegetation overhanging your roof.

More information

For more information about protecting your home and garden from fire, or if you want trees planted or low-hanging branches removed on Brisbane's footpaths, contact Council.

Last updated: 10 May 2019

Brisbane City Council acknowledges this Country and its Traditional Custodians. We pay our respects to the Elders, those who have passed into the dreaming; those here today; those of tomorrow.