The gameplay is similar to that of Cooking Mama, with players using the stylus to plant bulbs, dig trenches and water plants. Players can also make items such as jack-o-lanterns and jams from their fruits and vegetables, and players can trade their produce with others.
As the course of the game continues, the player can also unlock better made homes when viewing the Garden
There is also a sequel that is called "Gardening Mama 2:Forest Friends" were players needs to help Mama's friends garden crops and help some animals run some stores!
There is just one main mode in this game, but there are 5 in total, plus the Options Menu.
Let's Get Growing! - The main mode of the game! When a plant is dying a friend will let you know.
Decorate the Garden - As the name implies, one can decorate their garden here. For a list of items view "Decorations" under the Unlockables heading further on this page.
Make it Fancy - Here you can dress Mama up and make some cute jewelry for her using flowers. For info on what Mama can wear or have view "Unlockeables".
Cute Treasure Chest - The player can view their special grown fruits, flowers, and vegetables. They can be given/traded to friends and transferred to their Cooking Mama 3: Shop & Chop games.
Let's play together - this is the multiplayer mode
- Morning Glory
- Sweat Pea
- Trailing Rose
These are fruits, flowers, or vegetables you can come across while playing or tending to a new plant. They are aquired when you unlock a special item and use it when growing. They are:
- Giant Sunflower
- Rainbow Tulip
- Metallic Silver Rose
- Metallic Black Rose
- Butterfly Pansy
- Golden Apple
- Giant Pumpkin
- Star Potato
- Giant Strawberry
Fruit Garden- This garden is unlockable. This is where you grow fruit and Papa watches over it.
Rose Garden- This garden is unlockable. Where roses are grown. Grandma is here.
Special Garden- This garden is unlockable. Special plants are grown. Mama is here.
In this game, Mama can choose to wear 10 different outfits.
- Apron: Yellow, pink, blue, green, pale yellow
- T-shirt and Kapris: Yellow, pink, blue, green, purple
- Overalls: Green shirt with yellow overalls, red, blue, dark green, purple
- Stewardess: Yellow, red, blue, green, black
- Meido/Maid/Waitress: Yellow and pink, pink and yellow, blue and white, green, and black
- Texas: Yellow, red and pink, blue and teal, green and ice blue, purple and pink
- Flower Dress: Yellow, red, blue, green, purple
- Pixie/Fairy: Yellow and green, Pink and red, blue and green, ivy-green and dark blue, black and red
- Lovely Dress: Yellow, pink, blue, green, black
- Trench Coat: Yellow, red, blue, green, gray
- Thick glasses
- Kerchief: Pink, yellow, green, blue, gray
- Sun hat: pink and yellow, yellow and pink, green and blue, blue and green, gray and white
- Beret: Pink, yellow, green, blue, gray
- Baseball Cap: pink and yellow, yellow and pink, green and blue, blue and green, gray and white
- Cowboy Hat: Pink, yellow, green, blue, gray
Decorate Your Garden
Here one can change the top screen objects or decorate the garden!
Later on when one unlocks the big pumpkin it will show up here and can be decorated as a Jack-o-Lantern.
- Clocks: Pink normal, light blue sad, dark blue happy, yellow perky, green calm
- Bar: Blue with green, pink, yellow, green, purple
- Banner flowers: Pink with pink ribbon and orange bar, blue with yellow and pink bar, red with blue and yellow bar, vegetables with red-pink bar, fruits with purple bar
- Scoop: red, pink and yellow, green, blue, yellow and pink
- Shovel: Red, orange, green, blue, pink
- Watering pail: Red, yellow and pink, green, blue, pink and yellow
- Dirt driller: red, yellow and green, green and yellow, blue, pink
- Sprayer: Red, green and yellow, yellow and green, blue, pink
- Pesticide: Red, yellow, green, blue, pink
- Brush: Red, yellow, green, blue, pink
- Pot: fancy white, orange, small bucket, wood, clay
- Mini pot: Blue, yellow, red, green, yellow teapot, clay, crate, silver point, fancy, white
- Small decorative: pink gnome, red gnome, blue gnome, orange gnome, green gnome, orange dog, white dog, red mushroom, blue mushroom, green mushroom
- Long planter: silver, orange, wood, red, orange box
- Big planters: layer, orange, silver cart, pink cart, wood, barrel
- Big decorations: White, Chair topiary, pink flowers, yellow two person stool, red oriental
- Cute: Goat, teddy bear, elephant, christmas tree, Jack-o-lantern
- Other: Swing, bigger swing, see-saw, scarecrow, rocket
- Tables: White, wooden, Mushrooms, topiary, oriental
- Wall: White fancy, orange, pink curvy, wooden wheel, wood screen
- Wall decoration pots: Blue, red bucket, Orange, basket, orange bucket, white box
- Wall Wreaths: grass, roses, christmas, stars, Halloween
- Archway: White, orange simple, red roses, grass, oriental
- The sprites for the characters were reused from Cooking Mama 2: Dinner with Friends. The only character who did not return is Natasha.
- Unless if Cooking Mama: Cook Off is counted, this is the first game where David appears without Kate.