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Apps for gardening are getting better all the time

Mobile gardening apps are getting better all the time, supplanting manuals and magazines as the way people dig for information

By DEAN FOSDICK, Associated Press
Published: August 10, 2017, 6:00am

Gardening apps are getting better all the time, supplanting manuals and textbooks as the way people dig for information. Many university Extension services are developing digital aids to extend outreach to clients.

• Purdue University Extension specialists, for example, have created a series of diagnostic apps — software programs for tablets, smartphones and other devices — for gardeners that provide solutions to dozens of problems for hundreds of plants. This low-cost Plant Doctor app suite focuses on perennial and annual flowers, tomatoes, turf grass and trees. (https://www.purdueplantdoctor.com)

• A new app from Toca Boca called “Toca Lab: Plants” aims to plant seeds of interest in gardening for children. It features a digital botanical laboratory that helps kids discover scores of plants with differing personalities. It also enables them to create new species. (https://tocaboca.com/app/toca-lab-plants)

• PlantSnap is a recent entry in the expanding field of apps intended to identify unknown plants and flowers. (See also Plantifier, NatureGate, Leafsnap, Like That Garden, PlantNet, ID Weeds.) It instantly identifies plants and weeds from a photo, and along the way is producing what its creators claim is the world’s largest plant database. (http://plantsnap.net)

Other gardening-related apps worth considering (all those listed below are free):

• For landscaping: iScape, Rain Harvest.

• For diagnosis: Garden Compass, Plant Health, My Garden Answers.

• For plant guides: GKH Gardening Companion, GardenMinder, GrowIt!

• For naturalists: Audubon Bird Guide app, Insect Encyclopedia, Bee Smart Pollinator Gardener.