The Underground Internet

The Underground Network

We’ve been so spoiled with rain this summer and there’s certainly been no shortage of lush greenery in the garden. March has its own almost-autumn adventures in store with intelligent ornamental grasses leading the pack. It’s time to unearth the internet underground, prep cool-season herbs, and keep an eye out for some pesky bugs. 

 

Networking, smart grass 

Plants have a secret language underground that allows them to ‘talk’ to each other. Communities of plants network amongst themselves to transfer information about the environment, share nutrients, and even provide help to other plants in distress. This underground internet is an essential part of all forests and flourishing landscapes everywhere. 

Instead of growing plants alone, rather go for a community of intelligent ornamental grasses that will adapt and multiply, filling up barren spaces and creating the ultimate abundant look. 

Try these fantastic fountain grass varieties:

  • Pennisetum ‘Fireworks’, ‘Rubrum’ and ‘Vertigo’
  • Pink muhly grass 
  • Miscanthus sinensis ‘Zebrinus’ (Zebra grass) 
  • Carex ‘Frosted Curls’
  • Coman’s ‘Khaki’
  • Festuca ‘Silver Eye catch’ 
  • Indigenous restios like Elegia tectorum (Cape thatching reed)

Top tip: Collect seeds from flowering grass to keep as birdfeed for our beloved hungry winter visitors. 

Did you know? Mycelium is the multicellular vegetative body of fungi. Think of it as an underground root system that super-charges the sharing of information and nutrients to the entire plant network. Mycelium grows outwards, looking for water, nitrogen, carbon, potassium (and more), which is then transported back to plants around the garden. Incorporating some super mycelium into your landscape is easy. Edible, non-toxic mushroom grow kits are available at GCA Garden Centres with simple instructions and access to all resources needed. 

Pink muhly grass
Carex ‘Frosted Curls’

Uncapped Earth Wi-Fi

Maximise your plant network with these fuss-free, friendly perennials: 

  • Long-flowering - acanthus, campanula, centranthus, diascia, gaura, Japanese anemone, kangaroo paw, nepeta, rudbeckia and echinacea.
  • Drought resistant - armeria, artemisia, bergenia, felicia, eryngium, salvia and penstemon.

4 Season Gardening Goals

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Life is a Garden has compiled an easy-to-follow, 4 season gardening guide to help you sow, grow, and eat all year round. Enjoy another year in the garden and never miss an opportunity to plant your favourite veggies and flowers. Don’t forget to keep an eye out for those pesky pests! 

Summer (December, January, February)

Pretty plants 

  • Grab seed packets of show-stopping violas, primulas, pansies, snapdragons, ornamental kale, poppies, wildflowers, sunflowers, gazanias, and dianthus.
  • Towards the end of summer, you can sow calendula, cosmos, daisies, violas, primula, pansies, snapdragons, ornamental kale, gazanias, poppies, wildflowers, Bellis, dianthus, and marigolds.
  • Seedling trays for quick colour include petunias, impatiens, calendula, dahlias, verbena, alyssum, cosmos, marigolds, nemesias, and dahlias.
  • For picture-perfect cut flowers, harvest your roses, cornflowers, hydrangeas, carnations, delphiniums, lilies, gladiolus, sweet peas, cosmos, gypsophila, agapanthus, sunflowers, and geraniums.

Top bulb tip: Buy flower bulbs for the new season but don’t plant them just yet. Wait for the weather to cool down and prepare the soil with well-aged organic matter before planting.

Everything edible 

  • In January, sow from seed or plant from seedling treys: dwarf beans, beetroot, broccoli, cabbages, carrots, cauliflowers, celery, lettuces, leeks, radishes, rocket, spinach, Swiss chard, Brussels sprouts, celery, eggplants, peas, potatoes, and pumpkins.
  • You can harvest beans, beetroot, capsicums, chillies, courgettes, cucumbers, eggplants, garlic, lettuces, onions, and tomatoes this month.
  • In February, you can sow beetroot, broccoli, cabbages, carrots, cauliflowers, celery, kale, leeks, lettuce, radishes, rocket, spinach, Swiss chard, coriander, parsley, Brussel sprouts, peas, rosemary, sage, and thyme.
  • You should be able to pick passion fruit, strawberries, raspberries, apricots, peaches, plums, and apples during your last month of summer. 

Top fruit tip: Once nectarines, peaches and plums have finished fruiting, prune the plants to shape, and remove any dead or disease-infected branches.

gardening, gardening guide, gardening tips, seasonal gardening, gardening for beginners, spring gardening, summer gardening, fall gardening, winter gardening, garden maintenance, plant care, garden design, gardening ideas, seasonal plants, gardening techniques, gardening advice
gardening, gardening guide, gardening tips, seasonal gardening, gardening for beginners, spring gardening, summer gardening, fall gardening, winter gardening, garden maintenance, plant care, garden design, gardening ideas, seasonal plants, gardening techniques, gardening advice
gardening, gardening guide, gardening tips, seasonal gardening, gardening for beginners, spring gardening, summer gardening, fall gardening, winter gardening, garden maintenance, plant care, garden design, gardening ideas, seasonal plants, gardening techniques, gardening advice
gardening, gardening guide, gardening tips, seasonal gardening, gardening for beginners, spring gardening, summer gardening, fall gardening, winter gardening, garden maintenance, plant care, garden design, gardening ideas, seasonal plants, gardening techniques, gardening advice

Quick Maintenance

  • Mulch all beds and containers well to improve water retention and keep the soil moist.