Who doesn’t love gardening? It’s such a relaxing, fulfilling activity that lets you enjoy the fruits of your labor (and show it off to the rest of the neighborhood too).
But as the summer months heat up, getting out there and mulching, digging, planting, and pruning can be a sweaty and daunting task that’s more work than fun.
With the help of a few top gardening apps, you can spend much more time enjoying your garden than stressing over it.
These apps are designed to make your life easier while keeping your garden healthier. What’s the best gardening app for your needs? Curious about what time-savers could be hiding in your phone? Read on!
Getting Started with Gardening Apps
1. My Garden (Formerly GRO), Free (iPhone/Android): This is an excellent app for the gardening rookie. Although it’s created and sponsored by Scotts Miracle-Gro, there are tons of helpful gardening tips for beginners and instructions for every step of the gardening process. They’ll help you pick your plants, monitor their upkeep, and provide specific articles on tricky topics like plants that can resist drought or when to plant tomatoes to prevent frostbite.
2. Perennial Match, $4.99 (iPhone): This is basically the dating version of the garden planner app. Perennial Match will tell you if your favorite plants can grow happily together (also known as companion gardening) or if their relationship will end in heartache. The app also takes your sunlight, climate type, and aesthetic preferences into consideration as it gives you recommendations.
You put in basic information like your weather and climate, and Perennial Match will provide you with perfectly-coupled plants that will make even the pickiest homeowner happy—down to the maximum height of the shrubs and color of their blooms.
Planning Your Garden Landscape
3. iScape, Free (iPhone/Android): This awesome garden planning app lets you create the layout and details of your ideal garden or yard digitally, saving you lots of time and work by letting you visualize your space before you shovel a single scoop of dirt.
You can customize your garden’s square footage, choose your favorite plants, and even buy the supplies and plants you decide on directly through the app. There is a paid version, but the free trial will get you plenty of access to game-changing gardening tools.
4. GrowSquared, Free (iPhone): GS is a simplified garden planning app. In contrast to the hyper-realistic images in iScape, GrowSquared uses a very basic lawn app that allows you to create garden bed sizes and choose types of plants for your space with the ease of dragging and dropping.
One feature of GrowSquared that iScape doesn’t offer is a calendar option, which helps you create a planting and watering schedule, as well as harvesting guidelines.
5. Garden Plan Pro, $7.99 (iPhone): While some gardening apps focus on the layout of your lawn, Garden Plan Pro tells you what will thrive and what may suffer in your area. The app uses your phone or tablet’s location services to determine a very nuanced climate report, helping you choose your desired plants and estimate their productivity based on the exact location of your greenery.
Troubleshooting and Showing Off
6. Garden Compass – Plant and Disease Identifier, Free (iPhone/Android): There are several plant-identifying apps out there, but this app sets itself apart because of its diagnostic qualities. If you see something funky growing on a leaf, notice a sudden change in one of your crops, or see patchiness in a particular spot of grass, just snap a photo of the problem area on your phone or tablet and upload it to the app.
Plant pros receive your picture and give you a full assessment of the issue, along with solutions they suggest to get things growing in the right direction. It’s like WebMD but much less scary.
7. GrowIt!, Free (iPhone/Android): This app is perfect for someone interested in growing an incredible garden and showing it off. GrowIt! boasts an extremely comprehensive glossary of plant types which you can filter by your location and preferences to find out exactly what will work for you.
Once you’ve created an enviable garden, you can use the app’s social networking feature to share photos of your handiwork and offer tips on how you made it happen and to offer help with gardening to other aspiring gardeners.
8. BeeSmart, Free(iPhone/Android): Want to grow a beautiful garden that also helps the environment? Why not, right? BeeSmart is an app created by Pollinator Partners that helps you choose the best plants for bees that can thrive in your specific location. Win-win.