Wow that weather has been really nice, I mean yes the rain came back but I get the idea we might be in for a nice summer. Thankfully, my friends over at AT&T did some geek homework and found that there are mobile apps galore for gardening enthusiasts of all experience levels – from the beginner gardener to the master gardener. After weeding through many of these apps, AT&T has compiled a top 10 list to help your garden grow:
1. Food Gardening Guide (iOS) – If you’re interested in venturing into organic food gardening, this free app from MOTHER EARTH NEWS magazine provides expert gardening techniques, information on top crops, and access to the magazine’s blog feeds covering “Do It Yourself” projects, natural health, green homes and more.
2. My Garden Lite (Android) – With this app, you can create a list of your plants, store information about them, such as the type of plant, its location, the date it was planted, and get useful tips of the week. You can include photos of each plant as well. And most importantly, the app provides you with reminders to water your plants.
3. Grow Your Own (iOS) – This app from the Royal Horticultural Society is designed as an aid for the “less confident” gardeners. It’s a good resource for anyone looking to start growing their own produce. The free version of the app provides useful information about 20 common varieties of fruit and vegetables. The profiles for each plant will help you decide what to grow based on your competence and the space you have available. The app provides sowing and harvesting instructions and information on common problems. Additionally, you can add fruit and vegetable profiles to the “My Garden” section of the app, which offers calendar alerts to remind you what to do and when.
4. Garden Insects Guide (iOS) – Not all insects are bad for your garden, but you don’t want to let the ones that are bug your plants to death! This free guide from the editors of MOTHER EARTH NEWS magazine will help you identify the bad bugs from the good bugs. It provides advice on how you can prevent damage from the pest insects and attract the beneficial ones. The app has a “Pest Control” section that tells you how to get rid of insect pests organically and naturally.
5. Pacific Northwest Bugwood (iOS/Android) – For those of us in the Pacific Northwest that are digging in the dirt and removing plants, there is always the possibility that we could encounter invasive plants and insects. Thankfully, you can report invasive plants and pests straight from your smartphone with the Pacific Northwest Early Detection Network app. Use your phone’s camera to submit an image of your sighting to add validity to your report and the GPS automatically captures your current location. The app also includes Species ID Guides include images and information on the worst non-native invasive insects.
6. Washington Wildflowers (iOS/Android) – The University of Washington Herbarium at the Burke Museum, the authors of Wildflowers of the Pacific Northwest, and High Country Apps partnered to produce the Washington Wildflowers plan identification app for mobile devices. The app provides images, species descriptions, range maps, bloom period and technical descriptions for 870 common wildflowers, shrubs and vines found in Idaho, Oregon and Washington.
7. Veg Garden (Android) – The Veg Garden app helps you plan your kitchen vegetable plot before you even go near a seed shop. For each month, the app shows how you are progressing through each produce schedule. Crops are grouped into categories, Sow Indoors, Harden, Sow Outdoors and Harvest. The app provides you with sowing instructions and tips for each produce. You can also store editable notes associated with any of the produce you’re growing.
8. Planting Planner (iOS) – This is the official Organic Gardening magazine’s app, and it’s a great tool to make sure you’re planting varieties at the right time. Once you’ve set up your garden on the app, you can select what you want to grow from the apps extensive database, and it then gives you information about how and when to plant seeds. The app also offers weather information, including frost dates, to protect your seedlings from harsh elements.
9. Garden Squared (Android) – This app assists in planning and tracking square foot gardens—ranging from 1’ by 1’ to 4’ by 8’—and even patio containers, seedlings and raised garden beds. Details of every plot can be saved along with a journal entry/task tracker. Great for beginners!
10. Garden Manager: Plant Alarm (Android) – This app reminds you exactly when to water, fertilize, spray pesticide and more. Custom tasks are also available so you will be reminded to tend to specific plants. You can take a photo log of how your plants grow, and then brag about your success on social media.