Garden Design

How Does Your Garden Grow? There's an App for That!

There’s almost nothing negative that can come out of the practice of gardening. In the small scale attempt to nurture plant life, we may fail to grow something. Fortunately, there’s an app for that. After running across 50 or so apps around the internet and in the major app stores, I’ve got a list of the best the net has to offer, both in terms of tools for gardeners and sources of knowledge for those just starting out. Unless noted, the apps below are available from the Google Play store free of charge.
#10 Gardener – A garden organizer app, allows the user to input each plant and schedule their harvest time. Has a very nice backup feature to keep the data together. Very simple interface that makes it easy to use, especially for a beginner.
#9 Vegetable Gardening 101 – VG 101 provides a free book on growing a garden for the purpose of supplying your own vegetables. There are ads scrolled at the top of the app but they’re not pesky. Chapters one & two are introductory, there is a great section in chapter 3 on when to plant and harvest the most common vegetables and the book goes on to describe the basics mechanics of starting and maintaining your garden.
#8 A Gardener’s Handbook, Volume 1 – A great app from Blue Tiger, this is another chapter based gardening book, but goes beyond vegetable gardening to wild flowers and landscaping. “The Genesis of Soil” chapter is particularly helpful to read before starting out.
#7 Food Gardening Guide – Very nice highly animated gardening tool. Consists of a general reader on techniques that is split by type of exercise in the top row, with a guide to growing each crop in the bottoms row. The focus is on vegetables and there is an RSS feed available with additional green living topics. Registration is an option for the user, with regular email blasts on gardening related topics.
#6 Organic Gardening – At a price of $1.37, Organic Gardening is a complete book in app form that’s very well organized in eight chapters on the ins and outs of organic practices at home. It feels summarized but is extremely comprehensive.
#5 Hortchat – A horticulturist’s chat room! This is a great app to have even if you’ve already got gardening managers running. Here you can post on your problems to other users, with the whole thing moderated by professional horticulturalists.
#4 Gardening Manual – Similar to the other calendar based apps, this one also provides helpful tips as you add you plantings. The calendar piece piggybacks on the phone’s internal calendar app and allows the users to set their alarms in the same way you would set your wake-up alarms.
#3 Garden Manager – A calendar based garden application, the functionality is that of a combined alarm and social network system. Users are encouraged to take pictures of their flowers over time. Each planting should be added as a separate set of plantings. Each time you add a planting you can set up
your alarms for watering, fertilizing, harvesting, etc.
#2 Gardener’s Lunar Calendar – Makes the point that planting and harvesting can be more powerful when synchronized with the lunar cycle. Each time you open it you will see the lunar calendar with the correct type of plant to set and harvest based on the light and gravity of the moon. Great for getting ideas about your upcoming plantings.
#1 Gardener’s Calendar – At a cost of $1.61 this is a great vegetable grower’s guide. No advertisements and a lot of information on planting techniques and crops as well as timing. Organization is along the lines of the sliding list typical to Android phones. With additional recommendations on when to sow and harvest this is a one stop shop of gardening knowledge. Only wish is that the calendar section were bigger.