Over the past couple of decades, the internet has become a vital and persistent aspect of modern life. No matter what your career or hobby, location or lifestyle, it’s likely that you will turn to online resources for advice, connection, goods and services several times a day. This is equally as true for gardeners of all shapes and sizes, whether professional or amateur, as it is for everyone else.

The internet holds a vast wealth of gardening knowledge, from the best time of year to sow seeds and plant bulbs, to the best ways to get rid of root rot and common pests. It’s also the perfect place to foster a community of likeminded people who enjoy similar interests. The possibilities are endless!

As we’ve become used to accessing our favourite pastimes and entertainment options through the internet rather than by using more traditional means, bespoke services have popped up online to cater to each and every type of customer. The runaway success of Netflix is down to its tiered price points, accessibility and variety of content available. Similar offerings come in the form of online gaming platforms, like PokerStarsCasino and Steam, as well as music streaming through Spotify and Apple Music, and the rise of social media realised through Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and more. As more and more of our life moves online, it’s a great time to explore the opportunities available on the internet for gardening enthusiasts.

A Supportive Community

One of the biggest achievements of the internet age is greater connectivity on a worldwide scale. Video calls, instant messaging, document sharing, and fast upload/download speeds are just some of the tools that we’re learning to take for granted. Utilising this technology as a gardener can be incredibly rewarding. For example, gardening forums like Gardeners Corner and Garden Banter offer supportive communities for gardeners of all levels where they can swap tips, ask for advice and chat about all things green. Social media can also be the amateur gardener’s best friend. Profiles across all outlets, including Facebook pages, Instagram profiles and even TikTok accounts, offer plenty of useful information about plants and gardens of all kinds, as well as a place to interact with fellow enthusiasts. The ease with which images and video can be uploaded to these apps makes the whole enterprise much more comprehensive and detailed. This leads to a better quality of knowledge being shared, as well as many more accomplished gardeners and plenty of genuine new friendships being formed.

Quizzes and Games

The very essence of gardening demands a quieter, slower approach to life, whether you’re waiting for the tomatoes to redden, the weather to change, or the snails to leave your lettuces alone. Accessing quizzes and games online is a great way to pass the time whilst sat in the garden, soaking up the sun’s rays, or hiding from the inclement weather in your shed. And it isn’t all just about putting your feet up – quizzes, games and puzzles can keep the mind sharp and help you maintain the wherewithal needed for a successful flowerbed. Gardening fans have long been devotees of weekly crosswords and sudoku puzzles in the newspaper, but an internet connection opens up a whole new world of games and quizzes – many of which are garden themed! Examples include Lily’s Garden and Gardenscapes, which are garden renovation-themed puzzlers with great reviews from avid players and plenty of levels to keep you occupied for ages. Alternatively, a more traditional option could be a slots game like Secret Garden or Garden Party, or even a bumper pack of sudoku puzzles at sudoku.com.

Plant, Pest and Disease Identification

One of the most impressive new pieces of gardeners’ kit made possible by the internet is the bevy of apps available which help to identify disease, pests and other problems via a combination of digital photography and AI. Garden Answers, SmartPlant and LeafSnap are just a few of the options currently out there which will spot the destruction left by a vine weevil grub faster than you can ask what exactly that even is… If you don’t know your sooty mould from your scale nymphs, then these apps can be invaluable aids in cultivating a healthy, happy garden. They can also be useful if you spot some unidentified shrubs in your flowerbeds and would like to identify them before you think about digging them up. Taking a good quality photograph of a flower, leaf or even the plant as a whole gives many of these apps enough information to identify what exactly the species could be along with how to care for it or eradicate it.

However you decide to use it, the internet can be a great friend to the modern gardener, whether you have acres of space to cultivate, or you’re confined to a small backyard or even a kitchen windowsill. It’s certainly having a look to see what you can find.