Garden Design

10 Gardening Apps With Reviews

Mix old-time gardening techniques with today’s savvy technology. Yes, your smart device is good for more than just streaming videos. Take it out to the garden with you and get higher yields or track rainfall. You may even find natural remedies lurking beneath your feet!

Here are 10 gardening apps that may work for you:
Plantifier is a gardening app that allows you to upload a photo of an unknown plant and then have it identified by a garden savvy community. It’s a free download. This is great during those times you ask yourself, “Are those seeds I planted sprouting or is this a weed?” The downside to this app is that feedback is not instantaneous. It can take some time as it relies on others’ willingness to help a newbie. The good news is that, so far, the community there has been really good about nurturing the tender seeds of knowledge sharing.

NatureGate ver 2
NatureGate ver 2 is a flowering plant identifier along the same thread as Plantifier, only this time, instead of a panel of experts, it asks you questions about the plant and then makes suggestions or a positive identification from a database of 702 plants. The upside to this app is that it’s instant and doesn’t rely on others to help you. The downside to the app is that it misidentifies plants or offers wrong suggestions almost as often as it’s correct. Use caution!

Mother Earth News
The app from Mother Earth News helps you with tips from how to can vegetables or jams to how to treat colds using natural remedies that might just be found in your own garden. Have problems with a weed? Look it up, and there’s likely a good use for it in the Mother Earth News app. For example, is Creeping Charlie taking over your garden? Pick it and rinse it. Use the leaves to brew a tea that will clear your lungs of congestion.

Guide to Organic Gardening
Also available from Mother Earth News is the Guide to Organic Gardening app. It’s a good reference from how to make compost tea to what soil amendments will improve your yields.The app is free and includes more than 20 articles.

Vegetable Garden Calculator
Vegetable Garden Calculator is an iPhone app that will help you decide how much of each plant you need to feed your family. So, you may ask yourself, how many broccoli plants do I need to feed four people? The answer: about 12, assuming you eat broccoli somewhat sporadically like most folks. If you’re worried about overdoing it again this year with the tomatoes, consult this app as a planning tool. The upside: It’s handy when planting and can be accurate. The downside: It doesn’t specifically take into account how much your family really consumes of any one vegetable.

Vegetable Planting Calculator
Vegetable Planting Calculator also for iPhone, is an app that’s supposed to help you know when to plant certain vegetables and whether or not they’re heat and frost tolerant. It’s a nice idea, but the app failed to score high reviews. If you still want to check it out though, you scroll through a list of vegetables and click on the one you wish to plant to find the supposed date it should be planted.


IntoGardens is part magazine, part app for the iPad that offers something for everyone, from advice on growing flowers and vegetables to videos and photos with interactive captions. Visit their website to watch a video walk-through of the app’s features and get a feel for it here. As of March 2014 though, each new episode costs $4.99.

Landscapers Companion

Landscapers Companion is another informational reference tool for plants, trees and shrubs. The full version ($10) has over 26,000 searchable plants and includes useful information such as sun exposure, watering requirements, growth rate, USDA zone exposure, bloom times and more. It also allows you to add your own pictures and notes. The free version doesn’t have much to offer, but it will give you an idea how the app functions and works with a limited database to draw from.

OrganicGardening magazine has an app that’s really the best when you honestly want to get down to the nuts and bolts of how to do things. It’s a great resource, but it will set you back $12.


Gardenate is what I use to take notes on the progress of my garden. For example an entry under “Cucumbers” might read: “Why did I plant so many cucumbers? It’s July 20, and I have 60 cucumbers on the counter. I’ve only eaten 3 this week.” But, then I find my jumbo pickles recipe under my notes in the same app and all is well again! Besides being a garden journal, you can use Gardenate to track certain crops and their progress in the app. There’s a wealth of built-in information that’s uber useful.