With Chelsea Flower Show inspiring us, we download the very best apps for gardeners.

Whether you run a professional greenhouse, merely potter in the garden on weekends or manage your own farm, here are five apps that every gardener - and every type of gardener - needs to download on their phone. We asked Julie Woodworth from Gardeners Path, an online resource for gardening advice, to select the very best apps for gardening in 2018.

GrowIt!


One of the biggest frustrations for gardeners, and what can take years of trial and error to achieve, is figuring out what types of plants grow best in your climate and in the type of soil you have to plant in. In addition to providing a database of information about thousands of different types of plants, GrowIt! acts as a social media platform for gardeners to help connect you with other gardeners who may have faced exactly the same type of challenge you may suddenly find yourself up again.

Move into a new area and need to find out what would be best to plant in your new garden and when? No problem, just ask the GrowIt! community in your new area.

My Garden (formerly Gro)


My Garden is a particularly great app for new gardeners or people keen to expand their gardening horizons. My Garden will ask you a series of questions about your gardening preferences, such as what kind of space you are working with, how much time you want to spend tending your garden and what you hope to get out of your garden - just something beautiful to look at or an abundant harvest of fresh veggies.

It will analyze the region you live in, the weather and mostly likely soil conditions and then make suggestions to help you find exactly the right types of herbs, flowers, veggies or plants to plant. It can even give you helpful hints and suggestions to help make your new gardening venture a stellar success.

Agrobase


No matter how carefully you plan and prepare your garden, there is always going to be something looking to eat, ruin or spoil it. From weeds to insects to funguses, infections and diseases, gardeners have to protect their precious flowers, plants and crops from all kinds of spoilers. Agrobase can help you determine exactly what kind of weed, pest, disease or insect you are dealing with and how to combat it. Agrobase is designed for large commercial farmers, however, so not all of their solutions may be ideal for smaller gardens.On the other hand, knowing is half the battle, so if you can at least identify the problem, you can consult with other local gardeners to devise a solution that might work better for you than for a commercial farmer.

Garden Answers


Whether you are trying to identify the specific weed growing in your own garden or the type of beautiful flower growing in someone else's, the Garden Answers app can help.Garden Answers allows you to snap a photo of almost any plant, weed, bush or flower and submit it. Garden Answers will then compare the photo to a massive database to tell you exactly what kind of plant it is and give you some information about it. Any photo the app can't identify will be analyzed by a horticulture expert to give you the answers you need.

iScape


Simply choosing a plot of land to plant in is only half the battle… How you plant your garden is every bit as critical the success of a garden as choosing the right plants, soil or fertilizer and planting at the right times. Some plants need direct sunlight, while others do better in slightly shadier areas. Some plants benefit from being planted under or near other types of plants, while other thrive best all on their own. Some plants have roots that will spread wide or need room for support structures, while others have roots that will dig in deep and stand just fine all on their own. iScape is like having your own landscaping professional right in your pocket. It will help you determine exactly how to plant and lay out your garden to not only maximize your space but also take a number of different variables into account that will help all of your greenery thrive together.

Apps can help you problem solve a wide variety of issues both before, during and after planting. They can connect you with both digital databases as well as invaluable information from nearby gardeners to farmers across the globe. With the right apps, your thumb no longer has to be quite so green to produce a healthy, thriving garden.

May 2018