With our smartphones and tablets now capable of so much, as well as the wealth of apps out there that take advantage our devices’ capabilities, it can be easy to lose sight of those parts of our lives that mobile technology can enrich or make easier. Gardening in particular is an area that we don’t often associate with mobile technology. Getting down and dirty in the garden is often a time when we want to, and, for the sake of our devices, need to put our phones away. Our phones and tablets, however, can be a helpful tool in the garden. While maybe not quite as indispensable as a trowel or a watering can (or your Orec Brush Cutter!), there are a cornucopia of terrific apps out there that can inspire us with new garden ideas and can help give us the tools we need to make those garden ideas a part of our gardens.
Below, you will find some of our favorite gardening apps to help with your garden ideas and planning, along with some of those apps’ notable features. We’ve divided the apps based on their functionality, but there is some overlap of course as many of these apps have a number of features. For more information, please click on the app name to go to that app’s page.
Inspiration & Planning for Your Garden Ideas
There are a lot of great tools that put garden ideas at your fingertips, and many of those same tools can help you plan and adjust your garden on your smartphone or tablet to help you set those gardening ideas in motion. Here are some of our favorites:
- Garden Tracker (IPhone, $3.99) With Garden Tracker, you create a grid of up to 50×50 squares. You can then use this grid to size and plan your garden, and to track your progress on your garden, including the number of days since you last watered and how many days it has been since you last fertilized.
- Perennial Match (IPhone, $4.99) Use Perennial Match to create combos of perennials from a library of more than 240 perennials. You can then view combos visually or in table form. The app allows you to sort perennials by filters as well.
- The Dirt Organic Gardening Magazine (IPhone, App is Free but you have to purchase the magazine issues). You’ll find plenty of tips and gardening ideas to help make your organic garden just that much better. Each issue includes topics that are both seasonal and relevant, and are helpful for both the novice and seasoned organic gardener.
Awesome Guides for Garden Ideas
Want to search for some new vegetables to plant next spring? Want to sort those vegetables by where you live and when to plant them? No problem! Here are a few great apps that include a wealth of flowers, fruits and vegetables that you might want to include in your garden as well as helpful information for each listing. You may even find some great pointers while you’re looking for that next vegetable.
- Essential Gardening Guide (IPhone, $1.99) This is a great app for those getting started with gardening. You’ll find plenty of useful tips that are essential to putting your garden on the right track, as well as some great information on fruits and vegetables that are common to home gardens.
- Vegetable Tree (IPhone, $3.99) With Vegetable Tree, you have not only a plethora of information on garden vegetables, but a customizable feature that will allow you to add those vegetables to your own garden. You can use the “plant now” feature to be alerted of when you need to plant those vegetables, and you can keep track of when to water the vegetables you add.
- Garden Pro! (IPhone, $3.99)This is a helpful database of over 9,000 different plants that includes descriptions, common and botanical names, soil and water requirements and planting & blooming times. Another nice aspect of each listing is the most important care to-do list, which helps you know what you need to focus on. Also includes a complete disease and pests guide
- Foolproof Plants for a Small Garden (IPhone, $0.99) This app has a database of more than 90 plants in seven different categories. What do these plants have in common? They all stay a manageable size, making them perfect for the small garden. Includes a feature to allow you to filter plants by USDA climate zone, flower color, drought tolerance and more.
- Gardenate (IPhone and Android, $0.99) With Gardenate, you have plentiful veggie database at your fingertips, with advice on which veggies to plant when, helpful hint on planting those veggies and veggies grouped according to climate zone.
Identifiers for Great Garden Ideas
Wonder what that flower that you saw in your neighbors was? How about that plant that you saw in the park the other day? With these apps you can snap a picture (might want to be a little careful if it’s in your neighbor’s yard), and the app will come up with a match; or you can send that picture to an expert who will tell you what the item pictured is and give you some helpful information and maybe even some tips about including that item in your garden.
- Garden Compass (IPhone, 3 Free Requests Plus One Free Request for Each Month) Snap a picture, send it to the experts at Garden Compass along with your questions and you can get feedback from the experts.
- Like That Garden (IPhone and Android, Free): with this app, you snap a picture of a flower or plant and, so long as it is in the plentiful database (and you didn’t take a bad picture), the flower or plant will appear with name, information and care tips right there. Magic!
- Bugs in the Garden (IPhone, $0.99) Includes over 40 different photos on common garden bugs, with both adult and larva pictures included. Listings include advice on management and damage assessment for the bug listed.
- Leafsnap (IPhone, Free): developed by researchers at Columbia University, the University of Maryland and the Smithsonian Institute, Leafsnap lets you compare pictures of a leaf that you take on a phone to pictures of leaves in its database of trees. As of this writing, database only includes trees common to Eastern North America.
Helpful Tools for Keeping Your Garden Healthy
Along with being a great help at inspiring your garden ideas and helping you build that garden, there are some great apps for maintaining and keeping your garden healthy. Here are just a few:
- Fertilizer Calculator ( IPhone, $2.99) A lot of great information on fertilizer in this app, which (among other things) lets you calculate the amount of nitrogen, potassium and phosphorous in a bag of fertilizer in both pounds and kilograms, and to calculate how many square feet or square meters a bag of fertilizer will cover on your lawn.
- ColdSnap! (Android, $1.58) Set a temperature and ColdSnap will alert you when that the forecast temperature falls outside the range you have set. A great tool for protecting your garden during the intemperate days of spring and fall.
With so many great apps out there to inspire you with new garden ideas and to keep your garden going, you may just need to make space in your tool belt for your phone!