Anyone who gardens, or is thinking about starting, is aware of how critical time-management skills are. Plants can’t always wait until tomorrow, let alone until you get home from work. No, you really can’t wait a few extra weeks to till the soil or apply pesticides, because a single bad day can ruin your vegetable garden for the entire season.
Beginners, don’t head back indoors just yet. Managing your garden has gotten a lot easier over the years. I’ve put together a list of gardening apps that promise to help you stay productive as well as save time and money.
iScape ($9.99, iOS)
If you haven’t started planning your garden yet or you have a makeover landscaping project, use iScape to snap a photo of your house or the section of the yard you’re thinking of gardening.
This app allows you to virtually transform your yard, so you know you’re making the right flower choices from the start. You can even design hardscapes such as patios, fences and retaining walls.
Garden Manager (Free, Android)
Garden Manager is one of my all-time favorite productivity apps for spring. My green thumb doesn’t extend to the plants on my balcony, but I can’t bring myself to give up on them either. This app lets you set multiple alarms. Think long term like when to plant, harvest or even spray pesticides, or a daily watering alarm. You can customize the alarms as much as you’d like.
You can also take and note photos, which helps me keep track of my plants when they’re nothing more than sprigs in the ground.
intoGardens (Free, iOS and Android)
This handy app is available on iOS and Android. In addition to gardening, it allows a bit of social media fun. You can take photos, caption them and send them to friends and family. You can also establish your own gardening scrapbook, which is good for record keeping.
From a productivity perspective, there’s everything from quick tutorials on pruning and other bits of garden care.
Garden Compass (Free, iOS)
Possibly the most frustrating part of gardening is identifying a pest or disease. It costs you time and money, especially if you treat a plant for the wrong problem. Garden Compass makes this process much easier.
Instead of trying to sort things out yourself when you’re completely clueless, you can upload a photo for advice from the experts on Garden Compass. They’ll also help you with plant identification; no more wondering if you’re about to rip up a weed or a flower or taking the time to drive to the nursery.
Sprout It (Free, iOS and Android)
Perfect for the beginner gardener or someone that needs instructions, Sprout It will help you stay focused on your herbs and veggies. This app is rich in illustrations and information on how and when to grow your produce. It’s available for both iOS and Android devices.
When to Plant ($1.99, iOS and Android)
If you want to keep things simple, Mother Earth News provides a When to Plant app, which is available for both iOS and Android. The advantage to using anything from Mother Earth News is that the site advocates companion planting and no pesticide use. Everyone can learn something from this app.
This app for spring included information on multiple growth seasons and can recommend more than 120 plants and crops for you to grow. You’ll learn when to start your seeds and how to sew them, too.
Gardening is a soothing hobby that provides edible rewards – some of my favorite kinds. Don’t be afraid to take the plunge and increase your garden size this year. With good organization, you can tackle the challenge.
Ready to garden? Good. Start your scheduling!
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