Planning Your Vegetable Garden With An iPad App
High-tech meets gardening with a new iPad app that makes it simple to design a vegetable plot. John Adams checks it out.
Garden Plan Pro is the easy way to draw vegetable beds, add plants and create the layout for any space.
It builds on the timesaving features of the award-winning GrowVeg.com Garden Planner, which has over 100,000 users worldwide. Using an extensive database of plants and weather stations it recommends the best planting dates for your area and can send email reminders of when to plant, based on your plans.
Unlike other gardening apps, Garden Plan Pro works with any shape of garden or plot. Whether you plant in traditional rows, raised beds, or using the Square Foot Gardening method, it calculates exactly how many plants can fit into the space you have. Its intelligent features assist with crop rotation and make it simple to plan succession planting month-by-month to maximize your harvest.
"Gardeners want to be able to walk around their garden or plot as they plan the crops they are going to grow," says Jeremy Dore, creator of the original Garden Planner at GrowVeg.com. "We realized that the iPad is perfect for taking notes in the garden, changing the layout of raised beds, or browsing Grow Guides for each plant."
Users of the desktop version can synchronize their plans with Garden Plan Pro, and plans can be shared with friends and family by email or on popular social networks. With an iPhone version coming later in the year, Garden Plan Pro is a truly 'ground-breaking' app!
Or so reads their press release. I have had the app on my iPad for a few months now and have had quite a good play with it. I have to agree that it does everything they say it does and does it rather well. It allows you to draw your garden with existing or planned beds, including paths, buildings etc, and trees can be specified at different sizes so you can see the shading effect they may have on your growing areas.
You can select vegetables to grow from an extensive list of varieties. These all have good descriptions plus spacing and planting infomation and when placed in your beds it will automatically show you how much space is required. If you don't like the default setting and wish to experiment with different planting times or row spacings all the plants are easily customisable.
Once signed up for the app you will recieve regular newsletters with prompts as to what to plant, prune, harvest etc. The newsletters also have links to a range of inspiring articles from growing techniques to recipies.
All in all I think Garden Plan Pro (currently £6.99) is a fantastic tool for any vegetable grower who owns an iPad. I just wish I had had it when I had my allotment, it would have changed my life. If anyone has experience of using this app in a less theoretical way please do leave us your comments.
For more details see: http://www.gardenplanpro.com