A new tech-savvy means of gardening is now available through iPhone and iPad apps. Certain vegetables require more water than others, some more space. How much time after planting does one wait to enjoy their harvest? How many gardeners were surprised when watermelons started growing where they thought corn was planted due to mislabeling?
There are apps that address all these gardening questions and more, and many are being created here in our own Research Triangle Park area.
Custom gardening applications bring a new level of efficiency to backyard planting. When one is at a garden center trying to determine how many bags of fertilizer their plot requires, time can be saved by plugging dimensions into the application Garden Buddy ($1.99 download) by Island Apps. The app operates a simple calculator that processes the complicated computing instantly. Garden Buddy also makes suggestions about frequency of fertilizer application, which conserves supplies and saves money. By applying the appropriate amount of fertilizer gardens will be able to grow to their full potential and yield an optimal harvest.
Garden Tracker (free download) is an iPhone and iPad application created in the Triangle by app developer T. Basel of Portable Databases. The app enables users to plot their garden grids with lists of pre-loaded vegetables and plants, offers organic solutions for pest control and advises on care specific to each plant. The company has recently partnered with Square Foot Gardening, a non-profit organization focused on maximizing garden space, and features recommended plants per square foot in the vegetable database
Raleigh residents are using iPhone apps for the garden. Angelika Teuber is a fan of the lunar calendar option on Garden Tracker. Danel Troisi finds the option for plotting garden grids on Garden Tracker helpful and having separate plots makes for easier maintenance.
For those who forget to label their plants, using apps while you’re planting can solve the mystery. Nursery tags and old-school Popsicle sticks poking out beside each plant can become a thing of the past. Plotting one’s garden digitally creates an instant map for reference and care.
Apps are also useful for identifying invasive pests, molds and fungi. Some apps come with image directories that assist users in determining what is harming their plants, and then makes recommendations on how to treat the problem.
Two common garden mistakes are not preparing the garden’s soil before planting and over watering. Both of these mistakes are preventable when using iPhone applications specific to gardening. As a result the garden will have more opportunities to thrive as appropriate care for each plant can be customized, over watering prevented and optimal sun exposure ensured.
New and seasoned gardeners can reap the benefits of gardening applications for the iPhone and iPad. Plus, it’s another social tool for families and friends to connect, share gardening tips and forecast more efficient gardening practices in the years to come.
Tara Lynne Brown is a freelance writer residing in Cary, NC.