The best apps for gardening
Tap your way to green fingers with these six downloads
There’s no denying that gardening is a rewarding hobby, but it can also be demanding, frustrating, and often downright confusing, especially if you’re new to it. So if summer’s got you itching to get outside with a trowel, this handful of apps will get you growing like a pro in no time.
For many people, there’s a lot of appeal in producing their own veggies. My Potager ($0.99, iPad and iPhone) is the ideal companion for your kitchen garden, enabling you to lay out your plot, keep track of how your harvests are going, and look up information on your various herbaceous delights. There’s even info on the phases of the moon, if you think that sort of thing makes a difference. If stats are your thing, try ePlant (Free with in-app purchases, iPad and iPhone) to keep track of how your garden grows. You can log what you’ve done to every plant - whether that’s the usual watering and fertilizing, or something more exotic such as repotting, pruning, or even a friendly chat – you know what they say! Watching seedlings’ measurements means you can easily see what’s had an effect, too.
Sadly, not everyone has room for a full set of flowerbeds, so if you’re short on space, My Garden
Containers (Free, iPad and iPhone) will help you make the most of what’s available. An encyclopedia of pot-friendly plants and how to help them thrive, it lets you filter by a range of criteria. So if you want a purple bloom that lives in the sun and can handle your neglectful watering habits, looks like it’s celosia for you.
If the environment is important to you, you’re likely keen to keep the bees coming to your yard.
BeeSmart Pollinator Gardener (Free, iPhone) lets you search by ZIP code to see what kind of ecological area you live in, and then recommends the requisite greenery to attract your industrious insect friends.
It’s good to have goals, which is where Permaculture (Free, iPad and iPhone) comes in. The brainchild of an Australian couple pursuing a sustainable lifestyle, it’s full of articles and videos detailing eco-friendly projects. It might not all be achievable for a layman, but you’ll certainly absorb some fascinating knowledge.
Finally, when your family and friends tire of hearing about your fondness for foliage, get yourself on Garden Tags (Free, iPad and iPhone). Essentially Instagram for horticulture, it enables you to follow other gardeners, publish pictures of your own plot, and even set upcoming task reminders for the plants in shot. As a bonus, being able to tag your photos by the season in which they were taken means it’s also a great way of keeping a visual record of the year’s progress.
Here’s our herb garden – we’re just waiting for the Garden Tags likes to start pouring in.
Never considered kale a decorative crop? Think again, says My Garden Containers.
Tagging something “Planted” in My Potager turns it blue; harvested tiles are red.