The App Guide to Growing your Best Garden Yet
Forecast for the week? Sixties and seventies with sunshine! That’s right — spring is just around the corner. I, for one, couldn’t be more excited after what seemed like one of the longest winters we’ve experienced in quite some time. And I only live in Colorado.
Spring is one of my favorite seasons for numerous reasons. Along with the long awaited warm weather comes a number of wonderful outdoor activities. One that I particularly enjoy is gardening. I’m not the greatest at it, given that I’m still learning, but there’s just something so therapeutic and satisfying about getting down in the dirt and growing your own food. Not to mention, the peace of mind that comes with knowing exactly where your produce is grown and what went into it.
There’s a lot more to gardening than I ever realized though. From garden design to soil, the vast number of varieties, care and feeding, all the way to harvesting — there are a lot of factors to account for. Naturally, I turn to technology to do the heavy lifting.
I love bringing my Agility encased iPad out to the garden to play music and videos, or look up instructions for various things I need to know. What’s great now is that there are so many different kinds of tablet optimized apps out that are specifically designed to help guide you every step of the way! Here are some of the best ones I’ve found for every kind of gardening you’re looking to do.
Free for iOS
Sprout it is a great option for the beginner gardener complete with a wealth of support and knowledge and an easy-to-navigate interface. From deciding what to grow, creating a grow plan, and providing instructions based on the goals you want to achieve, Sprout it guides you through every step of the way. The app shows you how big your plants should be throughout every stage of the process and even keeps track of the weather and average statistics in your area in real time. In turn, Sprout it provides tips on how to help your plants thrive along the way — right down to alerting you when each plant ripe for the picking!
Garden Plan Pro
$7.99 for iOS, Works best for iPad
For the gardeners out there looking to really start digging in, download Garden Plan Pro. A step up from Sprout it, Plan Pro is one of the best tools available for garden planning purposes. The app not only provides seasonal growth info, which includes spacing and area requirements, it also allows you to plan the exact to-scale layout of what you’re looking to grow. What’s more, it keeps track of the plans you’ve had in previous years, so you know when to rotate the crops. If you’re limited on space and are only looking to create a square foot garden, Garden Pro has a feature for that too. Whether you’re looking to cultivate vegetables, herbs or fruits, Garden Plan has the growing information and advice needed to provide the most comprehensive guide for all your gardening needs.
Landscaper’s Companion – Plant & Gardening Reference Guide
For the best comprehensive guide on everything plant related the Landscaper’s Companion is the place to turn. With a database of over 26,000 plants stretching 17 different categories, Landscaper’s Companion has it all. Find data on sun exposure, water usage, growth rate, bloom time and other useful tips and information for almost any plant you’re looking to grow. It also has over 21,000 beautiful photos of plants from around the web for anyone looking for ideas on what to grow, or those trying to identify a species growing in their area.
Free for iOS
Pests are an annoyance every gardener has to deal with at some point. Getting rid of them is a pain, but identifying the kind of pest you’re dealing with in the first place is just as tricky. That’s where Garden Compass comes in. With this app, you have a team of horticultural experts on hand to diagnose the problem and provide recommendations on how to resolve it — all in the palm of your hand.
If you’re in need of garden design ideas, this app is a good way to go. Into Gardens is more of an interactive magazine than an app, complete with tips and videos that teach users about a variety of different topics —everything from seasonal tips to caring for particular flowers. Although it includes plenty of free content, you do have to buy extra episodes if you want more. Another nice thing about it is that it allows you store notes and photos as a kind of digital scrapbook with the ideas you like. Into Gardens then lets you to share and compare with your friends on social media.
Do you have any useful tips or advice on gardening? Tell us in the comments below!