App-tastic

As most people in their 20’s, I’m somewhat attached to my phone. The fact it’s an iPhone really doesn’t help – so many apps to play around with, from BBC News to Snapchat. The great thing is, so many people are inventing 100’s of apps a day, all catering to different people and needs. I thought I’d write a short blog on two that I’ve stumbled across that I think are brilliant for the ‘modern’ gardener.

So firstly, RHS. This is pretty much the bible for all gardeners. Their website is jam-packed with information on every plant you could possibly imagine. They have details on how to care for, possible pests and treatment, plus more. If I’m unsure of something, or have any problems in my garden, it’s my go-to. They have loads of books available too if you want to stack your bookshelves full. However, now, they have an app. It’s called ‘RHS Grow Your Own’ and looks like this:

rhs

It might have been available for a while, but I’ve only just discovered it, and I’m glad I have! You start by setting up your profile. You can then add all the plants you have in your garden to your profile. I’ve started with all the veggies I’ve planned for 2017; raspberries (not too relevant as they’re not canes), tomatoes, courgettes, salad leaves, cucumbers, garlic, onions and peppers. It sends you calendar notifications of when to plant, tend to and harvest each one. For example, my app is telling me that my garlic can now be planted. Amazing.

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If you’re not sure what to grow, you can easily add in some details about your garden, for example the space you have and your level of expertise, and it will recommend what is suitable for planting in your garden. A nice bespoke touch.

Another great feature is the weather updates. You can say yes to receiving frost notifications. You just need to add your location/postcode, and it lets you know when to prepare for frost. Hence I’m now wrapping up my potted plants and less hardy ones in my bed!

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Unfortunately this app is only available for iPhones at the moment, but it is free – hurrah! You can also pay to upgrade to have a fuller package which gives you access to more plants and info.

The second gem I’ve added to my many apps is the ‘Garden Answers Plant Identification’. It’s so handy for when you’re wondering around gardens or spy a plant/flower when you’re out and have no clue what it is! You simply open the app, snap the picture and wait for the plant to appear with it’s name and description.

pi

I’ve tried it with several indoor plants I’ve purchased that are just described as ‘foliage cubes’ or something nice and vague. Therefore, this app is super helpful to narrow down the plant so I can care for it appropriately.

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The only trouble I’ve run into with this was the identification that appears are from other peoples plants – not a nice illustration from an expert as I’d hoped/assumed. If you are unable to locate the right plant from scrolling through the options given, you can pay for an expert to have a look and identify for you. Not something I would personally bother with though.

There are other features which help you with pests and problems too. I haven’t explored these options yet, but I’m guessing they’re similar in the way the app works with identification. This app actually has some awful reviews, but for what I want, it’s good. Find links to both apps below:

iTunes – RHS GYO App

iTunes – Garden Answers Plant Identification App

Have you downloaded either of these apps and what’re your thoughts? Have you tried any other gardening apps? I’d love to hear about them – just drop me a comment below.

xo

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