A garden of delights, mapped out in your hand

A garden of delights, mapped out  in your hand

It’s spring time folks and I now have a handy arsenal of gardening apps to help me in my garden. Garden Pro, a $4 (Rs 217) iOS app, is a reference app that can help you plan and manage your garden. Its main interface is an exhaustive list of flowers, herbs and vegetables, giving for each the common name, the botanical name and icons that indicate when the plant blooms and what type of water and light conditions it prefers.

Tapping on a plant takes you to a page with more information, including what type of soil it prefers and some basic care instructions. You can add the plant to a list of your preferred plants, which is a separate section of the app. In this section, you can program the app to remind you to do things like water – a reminder will pop up when a particular plant is due for a drink.

Landscaper’s Companion, $5 (Rs 271) iOS and Android app, is slightly more professional in terms of detailed data and a bit better organised. The plant database is arranged in classes like annuals, grasses, herbs and so on. Each plant’s entry includes a short description, typical size, cultivation advice and pictures.

If you’re new to gardening and have an Android device, you might like the Beginners Gardening Guide. It’s a free text-based app, jammed with useful information and imagery. The app starts with advice about good soil management, then talks about composting. It also offers more detailed information about garden design and on growing vegetable or flower gardens.

Garden Tracker, a $2 (Rs 108) iPhone app, will be useful if you already have some idea about what plants you want in your garden. A square grid represents your garden plot.

Tapping part of the grid and then selecting a plant from a long scrolling list tells the app what crop or flower you want to plant in that part of your garden. The list has both a description of the plant and a picture. If you can’t find the plant you want, you can add an entry with details like the kind of conditions the plant prefers and even a photo.

Gardens are a place where you’ll also find bugs. And if you want to know whether a particular insect you’ve spotted is good or bad for plants, there’s the app Bugs In The Garden, $1 (Rs 54)  on Android, which has photos of some common insects. The $1 (Rs 54)  iOS and Android app Garden Bugs is similar, with a more comprehensive list of insects and also lists of plant diseases, including advice on treatment.
NYT

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