Deck Hack

We love spending time in the outdoor spaces around our homes, whether it’s on a deck, veranda, balcony or patio. We want them to be a weekend or after-work haven, to relax and entertain in. It’s time to give your outdoor space an easy spring facelift by including a variety of leafy, edible or colourful potted plants. You won’t need a builder – just some gardening gloves!

Choose a plant theme for your deck transformation:


Leafy foliage plants and fragrant and vibrant flowers can bring back memories of your favourite tropical holiday destination. Lush palms, colourful bromeliads and cordylines, dwarf bougainvilleas, frangipanis, climbing mandevilla and clumping bamboo can all be grown in pots and positioned around outdoor areas. Place taller growing plants towards the back, smaller plants at the front, to create a layered effect that gives the impression of a larger space.


If you love cooking on your BBQ and serving meals outdoors, then growing a range of potted vegies and herbs within easy reach will help add gourmet flair and taste to your menu. Grow graceful lemon grass and use the stems for basting or kebab skewers, fragrant sweet basil for mouth-watering bruschetta and loose leaf lettuces and cherry tomatoes for fresh and healthy salads. Convenient and delicious!


Create an inviting outdoor oasis by growing lots of beautiful potted flowers. Colourful petunias and calibrachoa, impatiens, marigolds, geraniums and daisies can bring quick and easy colour into outdoor areas. Perhaps go the extra insta-worthy mile and coordinate flower colours with table setting plates, drinkware and serviettes.


You may not be able to travel to Mediterranean countries at the moment, however you can bring a touch of Tuscany to your deck or outdoor space by growing pots of fragrant rosemary, olives, dwarf citrus, pretty purple lavender and bay trees.

Refresh your deck

STEP 1: Clean your deck using Cabot’s Deck Clean. Using a mix of Cabot’s Deck Clean and water in your Cabot’s Deck Hand® Bucket scrub your timber with a Cabot’s Deck Prep scrubbing broom to remove degraded/grey timber fibres and dirt. By eliminating the impurities and surface contaminants you ensure a smooth finish when you apply your decking oil. Once dry…

STEP 2: Apply Cabot’s Aquadeck to your timber. Apply Aquadeck liberally to the entire length of the timber board using the Cabot’s Deck Coat lambswool applicator, approximately 2-3 boards at a time. Cabot’s Aquadeck is a water based decking oil that will enhance the look of your timber without drastically changing the colour. If your deck is exposed to heavy traffic and the elements, we recommend a second coat for added durability. When you’re done, wash your tools thoroughly in water. Wait at least eight hours before replacing furniture on your revitalised deck.

PLEASE NOTE: Preparing your deck correctly is dependent on the current condition of your timber. If your deck has an old coating that has deteriorated unevenly or is peeling/flaking, we recommend sanding back to bare timber to ensure your decking oil adheres. For advice on preparing different conditions of timber correctly please visit

Give your BBQ a ‘Spring’ Clean

After the cooler winter weather most BBQ’s need a bit of tender loving care to get them ready for their starring role in spring and summer. BBQs can get pretty mucky with baked on grease and grime, which if left, can build up bacteria. Also as they are outdoors- they can pick up dirt and bird droppings. Luckily, it’s easy to keep your BBQ area in top shape with Selleys® BBQCleaning products.

Get rid of the tough grime left from your last great feast with 

STEP 2: Apply Selleys® BBQ Tough Grease and Grime Cleaner  and  Selleys® BBQ Tough Wipes. Get your stainless steel BBQ to shine like new again with  Selleys® BBQ Exterior Clean & Shine.

Now that the deck and the BBQ are ready to go, it’s time to bring in the green life! Many plants can be grown in or around decked areas providing a large variety of uses. Here are a couple of our favourite plants to have around your deck. 


Create a natural mosquito repellent

There is nothing more annoying in summer than being bitten by mosquitoes so why not plant a natural mosquito repellent on your deck to help keep those nasties away! Some of our favourites are:

  • Lavender – Lavender is a great plant to repel mosquitos! It’s beautiful scent actually confuses mozzies as it hinders their ability to smell!
  • Basil - Basil is another herb that can also double as a pest repellent. The scent of the basil leaves will help keep nasties such as flies and mosquitoes away.
  • Geraniums – The strong scent of Geraniums are another popular plant to help keep the mozzies away. They love warm, sunny climates so perfect deck plant in the summer. To really boost their pest fighting power, crush a couple of their leaves to release their aromatic scent and scatter around the deck area.


Grow lemons on your deck

If the thought of squeezing a wedge of freshly picked lemon on your steaming hot barbequed fish has you salivating, then why not grow a dwarf lemon tree on your deck!

A variety such as Dwarf Meyer Lemon is perfect for your deck as they only grow to around 1.5m  and are prolific fruiters – meaning more lemons for you to enjoy!

Growing Guide:

  • When planting citrus into containers, choose a well drained pot that’s at least 50 cm in diameter and position in full sun.
  • Use a good quality potting mix like Yates Potting Mix with Dynamic Lifter. It’s also beneficial to apply a few centimetres of mulch over the surface, which will help the potting mix stay moist.
  • Keep the mulch a few centimetres away from the trunk to allow good air flow and reduce the chance of collar rot disease.
  • While citrus trees are maturing their fruit during late autumn and early winter, continue to feed citrus each week with Yates Thrive Citrus Liquid Plant Food. Dilute 2 capfuls of Yates Thrive Citrus Liquid Plant Food into a 9 L watering can and apply over the root zone each week.


Choosing the perfect pots

Yates® Tuscan® pots make perfect homes for your potted outdoor plants. They have a beautiful classic look that suits a wide range of exterior space design styles. They are made from UV stabilised plastic to withstand harsh conditions and help keep the pot looking great and are light weight, which makes them easier to move around than traditional concrete or terracotta pots.

Yates Tuscan Pots have been designed by horticulturists to provide plants with the best growing conditions. They have vertical ridges on the inside wall which encourages the roots to grown downwards, rather than circling around the pot, and the ridges also add strength to the pot. These pots are well drained, having a large number of drainage holes in the base, helping to reduce problems with overwatering, and are available with matching saucers.

Colours in the Yates Tuscan Pot range include on trend Colorbond® Monument® and Dulux® Timeless Grey and traditional terracotta.

More project guides & articles


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