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5 mobile apps for farming gardening and yard work

5 Mobile Apps for Farming, Gardening, and Yard Work

Use your smartphone or tablet to plant smarter and get inspiration for your fields, lawn, and garden
By Scott Bish

Have you ever spotted local wildflowers and wondered if they could grow in your garden? Or have you noticed a new critter in your field and wanted to know if it's harmful or helpful to your crops? Fortunately, in our tech-forward world, the answers to all our lawn, garden, yard, and landscape questions are at the tip of our fingers, 24/7. 
From plant identification to augmented reality that can show how flowers, grass, and other landscaping elements will look on your property, mobile apps can help you take better care of your land.
Consider these five apps for help with gardening, farming, and yard care.


1. For Pest and Weed Inquiries and Identification: Purdue Corn & Soybean Guide 
Created by specialists at Purdue University, this iPad app equips corn and soybean growers with ways to manage their crop. For starters, you can find tips on planting, growing, development, and nutrient recommendations, and discover methods for keeping insects, parasites, and diseases from ruining plants. You can also use the sample submission tool to learn what weeds are growing on your land and how they may impact your crop production. In addition, you can submit a plant or pest sample to Purdue’s Plant and Pest Diagnostic Laboratory for testing. Cost: $12.99.

2. For Plant Care and Instructions: SmartPlant
Whether you’re a farming enthusiast, a flower fanatic, or just adding a little greenery around your home, this app can help you grow your plant-tending skills. According to the app, it houses the world’s largest plant library, and users can access videos, photos, and plant care tips through it. You can also chat with “green thumb” experts, add your plants to the app’s Digital Garden, and receive care instructions. Cost: Free to download; premium memberships have fees.

3. For Plant Identification and Expert Advice: Garden Answers
Garden Answers can identify over 20,000 plants and give you accurate information about them. Once you’ve downloaded the app, simply point your smartphone camera at any plant, snap a photo, and share it with the app to have the plant species identified on the spot. Your questions and answers are conveniently stored in the app, so you can go back and reference them at any time. You can also receive advice from horticulturists. Cost: Free to download; premium memberships have fees.

4. For a Virtual Garden Planner: Garden Plan Pro
This app brings virtual reality to the great outdoors. It features drawing tools and an extensive database of plants, helping you map out your garden before you plant it and as you expand or change it. The app can also make recommendations based on your climate and existing plants, sharing advice for how you should space out and rotate your crops. Cost: $7.99.

5. For Augmented Reality-Backed Landscape Design: iScape
Using augmented reality, you can map out what your landscaping will look like before you begin, which can help you lower project costs, minimize the number of changes you make, and avoid replanting down the line. Save and share your design concepts with friends, as well as your local landscape pro. If you’re ready to bring your design to life yourself, iScape can also help you identify all the products you’ll need. Cost: Free to download; in-app purchases available.