Here we’ve rounded up six of the best apps so that a beautiful, productive garden can be just a green-fingered tap away… and if you think your garden is one of Britain’s greatest, why not enter the competition. Read on to find out more
We live in an age where a hand-held digital device is not only your personal organiser/camera/map and entertainment, but also a portal to more or less all knowledge accumulated by mankind to date. As such, your smartphone is one of the smartest tools you can pop into your trug or the pocket of your gardening trousers as you set off to tend to your plot.
Want to know a local frost forecast or ask an expert to identify a self-seeder or crop-munching pest? Need a reminder to water your tomatoes or see what a patio redesign might look like? You can be sure that whatever help you need in the garden, there’s an app for it.
Garden Manager: Plant Alarm
This is a handy piece of tech for the absent-minded gardener. One of the main causes of a plant failing to take is forgetting to water/fertilise/tend to a plant at the right time. This app allows you to set alarms and keep an online journal of a plant’s progress, tracking its measurements on a graph and the weather conditions it has been exposed to. You can also share the results of your labours via Facebook and Twitter.
The app to help you: Know your plants
SmartPlant: Identify & Care
Previously known as PlantSnapp, this is fundamentally an identification tool but there are optional extras. Simply scan any plant – or pest – and it will ID it against what it claims is the world’s largest plant library, offering 95 per cent accuracy and plant-care advice. The app is free, but paid membership offers unlimited access to chat with hundreds of horticultural experts, plus monthly care notifications. (A free membership trials area is available.)
Helping hand: identify any unknown plants quickly and easily CREDIT: GETTY
The app to help you: Be a landscape designer
iScape: Landscape Designs
If you’re starting from scratch or redesigning your plot, this is an excellent way to visualise how your garden could look, whether you’re DIY-ing or hiring a landscaper. User-friendly tech enables you to take photos of your plot and set them as the background of a layout into which you then drag and drop features, such as plants, trees, hardscaping and even lighting. You can also create ground cover, such as grass, mulch, stones and more, with a special texture tool. You’ll end up with a virtual 3D garden to ponder over, along with a shopping list of plants and accessories, before laying the first paving stone.
User-friendly: visualise how your garden could look when redesigning your plot CREDIT: GETTY
The app to help you: Get sociable
This community-based app accesses a great horticultural resource – the wellspring of wisdom and passion for sharing with one’s fellow green-fingered enthusiasts. Users can reach out to more than 100,000 gardeners for help with plant ID, top tips, or simply to share progress and be inspired. After all, there’s nothing a proud veg patch owner likes doing more than telling others how he boosted the size of his butternut squash, or his “secret” recipe for an organic slug repellant.
The app to help you: Grow your own
Garden Plan Pro
Speaking of boosting your butternuts, there can be fewer pleasures in life greater than eating the ultimate in locally sourced food – fruit and veg fresh from your own patch. But all that planning and know-how can seem daunting. This app hugely simplifies the task and, despite the “Pro” in the name, it’s aimed at beginners. First it enables you to create a 3D plan, including the ideal spacing for plants and which ones grow well together. It also gathers geolocation data to advise on crops to suit your local climate and conditions, and tells you when they should be planted/sown and harvested. You’ll get reminders of what to water when, warnings of upcoming weather and even email support if you need it
Digging deep: simplify the task of growing your own produce CREDIT: GETTY
The app to help you: Have some fun…
Here’s something to enjoy with a cup of tea as you sit back on your patio and survey the results of your labours – a digital gardening magazine created by garden designer and witty horticultural wag James Alexander-Sinclair. Packed with gorgeous photos of inspiring gardens, shopping ideas, advice and entertaining features, it describes itself as “the sexiest thing to happen to gardening since Monty Don first unbuttoned his jerkin”.
Yorkshire Gold presents… Great British Gardens
In partnership with Yorkshire Gold, the Telegraph is running a competition to find Britain’s Best Garden, and sharing a wealth of expert gardening content so you can make the most of your outdoor space.
To enter the competition, simply take three photos of your garden (one of the whole garden and two other shots) and write a short paragraph on why you love it here for a chance to win gardening vouchers, a lesson with landscape designer Adam Frost and to see your garden professionally photographed in the Daily Telegraph.
With a bold, bright, balanced flavour, Yorkshire Gold is the finest blend of three leaf origins picked from the top 10 tea gardens in the world. Chosen from the very best Assam, Kenyan and Rwandan teas and carefully blended by Yorkshire Gold’s master blender in Yorkshire, it makes a rich, smooth and incredibly satisfying brew.