Plants Go Techy!

November 25th, 2015

As we continue to use technology in our lives more and more, I have discovered that using it in the garden is also becoming a reality and I believe it can be a huge help. The winter months are a good time to explore some gardening apps that we can use to plan for spring or to use during the garden season.

Armitage's Greatest Perennials and Annuals appI have just started looking for ways technology can help me and assist me in helping my clients have a better gardening experience.  I recently downloaded Armitage’s Greatest Perennials and Annuals from iTunes for my iPhone. It was just over $5 but I figured that is much cheaper than a book and I will always have it on me.

I have found this app very easy to use and it covers many categories:
* Perennials
* Annuals
* Bulbs
* Houseplants
* Veggies
* Herbs
* and more

Within these categories it is divided simply by sun and shade. As you know from walking around any garden center, there are many (too many at times) plants to choose from. The app only highlights ones that have been tested and proven by its creator, Dr Allan Armitage.  Dr Armitage is a professor of Horticulture and author of over 14 books on plants and gardening.  It was very important to Dr Armitage to make sure the app was easy to use and helpful for the average gardener. I think it is just the type of app I need on my phone as I stand at the garden center overwhelmed by all the plant choices.  I recently interviewed Dr Armitage on Down The Garden Path radio show. Have a listen here:  https://www.down2earth.ca/dr-allan-armitage-horticulturist-writer-traveler/

plants map appThe second tech program I am learning about is called Plants Map.  It is free to sign up and it is a way to catalog your existing garden, a way to connect with other gardeners if you want or if you just want to organize your plant photos. I am always taking photos of my plants (and yours) but organizing those photos is a challenge especially if I want to find one again.

If you are new to gardening or if your garden is small, creating a profile on Plants Map is a good way to document your plants as they grow. The site has the capacity for you to add as much detail about the plant as you want. Not everyone wants to learn the botanical names of the plant and it is not required. You can enter what information matters to you. This can also be a vital tool if you are planning on moving. You will “virtually” be able to take your plants with you as you will have created a handy reference guide for your new garden.

I also interviewed co-creator Tracy Blevins, from Plants Map on Down The Garden Path radio show and we discussed the launch of the site.  I am very much looking forward to putting all my plants on the site and looking forward to having pictures of them all in one place that I can readily access.

Please check out both Plants Map and Armitage’s Greatest Perennials and Annuals and let me know what you think. If you use another site or app that you love, let me know about it in the Comments below.

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