App Smart

Gardening apps help get the springtime job done

The earth has reached its relevant­ position in space, and spring, ladies and gentlemen, has definitely sprung. While I have the opposite of green thumbs, I now have a handy arsenal of gardening apps to help me in my springtime garden.

Garden Pro

$4 for iOS devices at the Apple App Store

Garden Pro 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.

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A To Do section in the app can log events like fertilizing your garden or buying compost.

A Journal section lets you enter text and photo notes as your garden grows.

It’s a great app for more-experienced gardeners, and even beginners can use it as a learning resource.


But some of the menu designs are confusing, such as having to go to the separate Plants menu to add a new species to your list, instead of being able to do this in the main plant database.

Landscaper’s Companion

$5 for iOS devices at the Apple App Store and for Android devices at Google Play

Landscaper’s Companion is slightly more professional in terms of detailed data and a bit better organized. 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.

But this app is more useful for experienced gardeners, and to add your own data and photos will cost an additional $7 via an in-app purchase.

Its database can also be patchy, so you might not find the exact data you need.

Garden Tracker

$2 for iOS devices at the Apple App Store

Garden Tracker 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. When you’ve built your garden ‘‘map,’’ perhaps symbolically representing your own garden, you can tell the app when you have watered, fed, or harvested a particular plant.

Kit Eaton writes for The New York Times. Hiawatha Bray is not writing today.
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