Use these Free Apps to Design Your Garden

Use these Free Apps to Design Your Garden

Most cell phone owners have smart phones that give them the Internet at their fingertips. Despite the fact that we are living in such a technological era, the age-old practice of gardening is also growing in popularity.

From housewives to executives, more and more people are planting their own fruits, veggies, and flowers. Not only is it a soothing hobby, gardening can help you save money in the kitchen and help you avoid ingesting harsh commercial pesticides. A garden can also add beauty to your backyard.

Are you ready to work on your green thumb yet not quite sure where to begin? No problem, just break out that beloved smart phone or sit down with your iPad. These four free apps can help you design and maintain the perfect garden:

1. Organic Gardening Planting Planner

A free app for iPhone and iPad, the Organic Gardening Planting Planner helps take the guesswork out of planting a garden. Select what you want to grow, and the app helps you figure out when to start growing your seeds indoors and when to plant inside based on average frost dates for your phone’s GPS location. Planting Planner also provides weather information, sunrise and sunset times, and even moon phases for biodynamic gardeners.

2. Royal Horticultural Society’s Grow Your Own

Grow Your Own is a free iPhone and iPad app from the Royal Horticultural Society, one of the world’s leading horticultural organizations and the leading gardening charity in the United Kingdom. Grow Your Own is designed to assist users in choosing which fruits and vegetables to grow in their gardens depending on how much space or time they have available. The free version of this popular garden design app covers 20 of the most popular varieties of fruits and veggies and additional content can be purchased if you desire. Grow Your Own is perfect for less-experienced gardeners or people who would like a confidence boost when designing and planting their garden.

3. Leaf Snap

A unique app for all of the gardeners and plant lovers out there, Leaf Snap is the first in a series of electronic field guides being developed by researchers from Columbia University, the University of Maryland, and the Smithsonian Institution. This free mobile app is available for iPhone and iPad. It uses visual recognition software to help users identify tree species from photographs of their leaves. See a tree that you would love to plant in your own garden? Simply snap a picture and let Leaf Snap identify the species for you. The app also contains user-submitted photos of flowers, fruits and seeds.

4. Rain Harvest

Once your garden is planted, it will obviously need watered. Do you know how much rain falls on your roof during a rainstorm? Rain Harvest is a free iPhone and iPad app that helps you calculate how much water can be collected from your roof or other surface during a storm. Use it to determine the best spots outside your home to collect rainwater than you can put to good use you water your garden.

These free apps can come in handy for all gardeners, from novices to experts. Put them to use and help transform your basic backyard into a garden sanctuary where you love to spend time.

Meg Jones is a technology geek.  She works with a Toronto landscaping company, providing information to home owners and gardeners on the side.  Stop by  to see some of the fabulous work they do.

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