Gardening with apps

March 14, 2017

Gardening with apps

With the first day of spring finally arriving on 20 March we thought it time to turn our attention to the garden. Whether you’re an experienced gardener, or new to the whole idea of transforming your patch outside, there are apps to support you – and the Snakehive team has checked out the best.


For inspiration

Half the fun of gardening at this time of year is visualising what you’d like to create; for ideas and inspiration try these apps:

NGS Find A garden (Free| Android, iOS)

The National Garden Scheme’s app will help you find gardens to visit in England and Wales that open each year to help raise money for caring and nursing charities. To help you plan your visits, the app lets you search for gardens using your current location or by entering a postcode or town. Opening dates, times, prices, a description and photograph of each garden along with information about how to get there are provided.

Kew Gardens (Free | Android, iOS)

If you’re lucky enough to be planning a visit to Kew Gardens, enhance your experience once you arrive with their specially designed app.  As you walk around taking in the sights, sounds and scents, the app will tell you when you reach a 'Discovery Zone' at which point, on your device, you can access extra information, such as scientific facts, historical stories and behind-the-scenes images.


Magazines such as BBC Gardeners’ World Magazine, Amateur Gardening (iOS only), and The English Garden have their own apps that allow you to access the online versions of the magazines – removing the need to hoard lots of back copies in the house.  You have the choice to subscribe for a year, or to buy individual copies.   


For plant identification and care

Garden Tags (Free | Android, iOS)

This is the gardening version of Instagram – it’s a social media sharing platform for anyone interested in gardening.  Take a plant or garden photo and publish it into your ‘following’ feed for others to see.  If you don’t know what your plant is the community will identify it for you. You can also find like-minded gardeners to follow.  “…combines photo sharing, plant inspiration and a gardening community all in one package, ” says Gardeners’ World Magazine.

Shoot Gardening  (Free/subscription from £36 for one year | mobile responsive website)

Shoot is a brilliant gardening resource. Here you’ll find tools to help you create and manage your own garden without the need of heavy reference books. Novices, enthusiasts and professionals are all catered for, and similar to Garden Tags, the community aspect allows you to gain advice and help from fellow members.   You’ll receive two gardens (so you could add an allotment for example), plant lists and notes, personalised monthly email advice with suggested garden chores.   Free (up to 1 garden and 5 plants).  

SmartPlant  (Free plus in-app purchases |Android,  iOS)

Spotted a fantastic flower on your way to work or on holiday?  Simply upload a photo of a plant for identification and you’ll receive an answer with 24 hours.  The experts provide the name and advice on pictures of any plant or pest photos that you submit.  The free membership gives you a few free credits and then one a month thereafter.  You can buy more credits or subscribe.

My Soil (Free| Android, iOS)

The British Geological Survey has developed this app that allows you to check the soil in your local area.   You get to view a map and get descriptions of the soil depth, texture, pH, and soil temperature, which can help you can decide which plants will grow well. 

Weed ID (Free | Android, iOS)

The BASF Weed ID app identifies 140 species of weeds found in the UK with 1,000 images.  Helpful when you're not sure what's a weed and what's a plant!


For the allotment


Snakehive using apps to grow fruit and vegetables - gardening


Garden Plan Pro (Paid £7.99 | iOS)

If you’re looking to create the perfect veg, fruit or herb garden, consider investing in this app for an extensive library of plant suggestions  to design and create a successful harvest.  Local weather station data means you get recommendations for the best planting and harvesting dates for your area. 

Grow your own (Free with in-app purchases| iOS)

The Royal Horticultural Society app has been designed to help you choose and grow 39 fruit and vegetables as simply as possible. You get access to expert RHS advice with detailed growing, sowing and harvesting instructions as well as varieties that RHS recommend. Helpful tools help you chose fruit and veg varieties based on your available space and time. 

Aside from apps, we’ve discovered a really cool gadget to add to our tech fuelled gardening. The Olloclip (£59.99) is a clip-on lense that transforms an iPhone camera into a digital microscope enabling you to take amazingly detailed macro photos of plant structures or a close up on bugs that you can then share with your online gardening communities.  See the film below for a demonstration and take a read of our photography blog from last Autumn for top tips on taking photos with your phone.
Good luck with any ventures in the garden this season – we know we’re feeling a lot more inspired at Snakehive.  Some of us are avid gardeners, while others are new and to be honest, slightly over whelmed by the idea of even a pot plant creation. One useful buy could be our Vintage Leather Belt Pouch, which features a leather belt loop so you can attach your case to your belt - much safer than keeping your phone in your pocket when gardening!

We’ve challenged ourselves to all use one of the apps over the next few weeks – why not join us and share your gardening journey on social media? If you do, make sure to mention Snakehive either via hashtag or a mention (@snakehive). 



PS. Know someone who would like this?  We'd love you to share with a friend.


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