Gardening tools used to be limited to physical objects like rakes and watering cans. Now, though, your iPhone or iPad can pitch in too, helping you to grow awesome crops or experience nature in a new way.
We admit that apps aren’t necessarily the first thing that springs to mind when you think of churning topsoil and tending to seedlings, but even the non-gardeners among you should get a kick from this garden-variety pack of all-natural apps.
So, let us lead you down the garden path with five of our favorite apps that celebrate and enhance the world of the humble gardener!
PlantSnap Pro ($15/£15)
With over 600,000 plants in its database, PlantSnap is the perfect companion tool for anyone with a keen curiosity for the natural world around them. By simply taking a picture of any flower, mushroom, or tree, PlantSnap will quickly identify what you’ve snapped – just like magic! The app comes with a handy profile to store all your pictures, so you can browse through the plants you’ve encountered and compare your collection with other users. Having a botanist in your pocket will enrich your next hike into the wilderness (and your trivia knowledge)!
Candide is an app that grants you access to a “growing community” of green thumbs to give them a place to discuss their favorite activity – gardening! Candide’s community offers a whole range of opportunities to learn tips from other gardeners, find new ideas for your own garden space, and show you the location of nearby interesting gardens, nurseries and outdoor centers. It also features a handy audio companion for selected public gardens, and a similar ‘Plant ID’ feature to PlantSnap.
Not just for gardeners, mySoil is an app for anyone interested in the soil beneath our feet! From geologists to land-use planners, knowing detailed information on soil can be crucial information – especially for gardeners to know what they can plant in their back garden! Sadly, this one’s only includes data for Europe and the UK, but for those places it’s a veritable treasure trove of detailed information, curated by the British Geological Survey.
Branded as “smart gardening”, Gardenia is the perfect gardening companion app! Gardenia has a wide database of over 2000 plants with lots of helpful information on each of them – such as how often each plant requires watering – to help you develop and maintain the perfect garden.
Stardew Valley ($4/£4)
A little different to the other apps in this list, Stardew Valley is a humble, intimate farming adventure game that embraces the simple pleasures of domestic life, from raising and breeding happy animals and growing a variety of seasonal crops, to exploring vast, mysterious caves, encountering dangerous monsters and discovering valuable treasures! Whether you decide to settle down and start a family or spend a relaxing afternoon at one of the local fishing spots, Stardew Valley is a game about player choice, and how you choose to spend your time is entirely up to you. Your character, home, and farms are fully customizable, with hundreds of options at your fingertips.