Kylee Baumle lives and gardens in Zone 5b and writes from her garden blog, Our Little Acre. She is the co-author of the book, Indoor Plant Décor: The Design Stylebook for Houseplants (St. Lynn’s Press, 2013).

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There’s an App for That!
by Kylee Baumle       #New Trends   #Tech & Gadgets   #Tools


In addition to books, classes and magazines, you can glean a lot of gardening knowledge from your smartphone and tablet.

Gardening is a hands-on activity. We need to (and like to) get down and dirty while practicing our craft, but after we’ve come back inside and cleaned the dirt from underneath our fingernails (toenails too, sometimes), we can continue from our chair where we left off in the garden.

Basics never change – plant a seed and watch it grow – but some of the ways we do things have. Seeking help and gaining new knowledge about our plants and how to grow them is very much a part of the digital age, as evidenced by the growing number of garden-related apps developed for use with tablets and smartphones.

When deciding which apps are worth taking up space on your smartphone’s hard drive, be sure to read users’ comments and reviews that accompany the app listings. Keep in mind that not everyone is as comfortable with technology as some, and comments may be a reflection of that.

Here are some of the gardening-related apps that are available in iTunes and Google Play:

Garden Time Planner


Garden Planning

• Gardening Tool Kit (iOS) from Applied Objects. This app, which claims to have it all, does have a lot: a database of more than 1,000 plants, month-by-month advice, idea lists, watering guide and more. $1.99.

• Garden Plan Pro (iOS) from Growing Interactive. Helps you plan and keep track of your vegetable, herb and fruit gardens with suggestions based on your location. $7.99.

• Garden Time Planner (iOS, Android) from Burpee. Vegetables and herbs are featured with all the information you need to have a successful edible garden, including links to videos, region-specific tips and task lists. Free.



Home Outside Palette 

Landscape Design

• Home Outside Palette (iOS, Android) from Julie Moir Messervy Design Studio. One of the best landscape design apps I’ve seen, allowing the backyard gardener to create professional-looking renderings of their own designs, which can be shared via email and social media. A desktop version is being developed. Free, plus in-app purchase options.

• iScape (iOS, Android) from iScape Apps. This is a pretty standard landscape design app that allows you to create images of your design ideas. The basic app is free, but most of the elements you’ll use in your design cost extra. Free, plus in-app purchase options.

Plant Reference and Field Guides

• Landscaper’s Companion (iOS) from Stevenson Software, LLC. With a database of more than 26,000 plants with about 21,000 pictures, this app boasts of being the number-one plant reference guide available. An upgrade with additional pro features is optional. $4.99 basic/additional $4.99 pro upgrade.

Plant Picks for Small Gardens, Leafsnap

Armitage's Greatest Perennials and Annuals

Dirr's Tree & Shrub Finder, Garden Compass


Local Pickins, Farmstand

• Plant Picks For Small Gardens (iOS, Android) from Sutro Media. More than 90 plants are featured as viable choices for small spaces with sorting by USDA Zone, flower color, drought tolerance and more. Basic gardening information plus links to videos and online nurseries are included. $2.99.

• Audubon Wildflowers (iOS, Android) from Green Mountain Digital. Get help with identification of more than 1600 North American wildflowers. Includes range maps, color photos and natural history. Just one of several Audubon apps. $4.99/$3.99.

• Leafsnap (iOS) from Columbia University, University of Maryland and Smithsonian Institution. Uses visual recognition software to help identify plants from your photos of their leaves. Free.

• Dirr’s Tree and Shrub Finder (iOS) from Timber Press. Based on Dr. Michael Dirr’s classic and popular book, The Manual of Woody Landscape Plants, this app contains information on more than 9,400 woody plants, searchable by 72 criteria. $14.99.

• Armitage’s Greatest Perennials and Annuals (iOS, Android) from Sutro Media. More than 70 genera of plants are featured, including photos and videos with growing tips and why each plant made Dr. Allan Armitage’s list of the greatest. $4.99.

• Garden Compass Plant/Disease Identifier (iOS, Android) from TeamSOA, Inc. Take a photo and submit it and you’ll get identification of plants, diseases and pests from their team of horticulture experts. Free.

• Sprout It (iOS, Android, Desktop) from Växa Design Group in partnership with Miracle-Gro. Get help with plant choices, how to grow, common problems, storage, cooking tips and more. Location based for a personalized experience. Free.

Local Farm Markets

If you don’t grow your own, and you want fresh local produce, these apps will help you locate it:

• Fresh Food Finder (iOS, Android) from Andrew Trice. Free.

• Farmstand (iOS, Android, Desktop) from Mostly Brothers. Free.

• Local Pickins (iOS, Android) from Local Pickins. Free.

The biggest share of gardening apps are developed for the iPhone and iPad, but Android users will find plenty to choose from. Many of the iPhone apps already have Android versions and others have indicated that they’re in the works, so keep checking Google Play for current offerings.

Both iTunes and Google Play suggest other similar apps on the same page as the one you’re looking at, so be sure to take a look at those, too. You can also search on each of those download sites using the search term “garden” or google “garden apps” to find other available apps.


A version of this article appeared in a March/April 2015 print edition of State-by-State Gardening.
Photography courtesy of Michelle Byrne Walsh.


Posted: 05/02/17   RSS | Print


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