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The 7 Best Virtual Garden Planners to Cultivate Your Green Thumb
You may have some pretty big ideas for your garden this year, but do you know how to make them happen? if not, that’s where these awesome garden planning apps can help. Working on a budget? Many of these popular apps are free, although some do come with a minimal upfront cost, while others have recurring monthly or subscription fees. Search these apps for information on a number of topics—ranging from how to decide what to plant and how to lay out a garden to specific topics like planting pumpkin seeds to full-sun perennials. They’re also useful if you want to update the landscaping around your house, add to your perennial border, or identify that mystery flowering shrub that’s been growing next to your patio for years.
Depending on what you’re trying to accomplish—say, planting a fall vegetable garden or looking for deer-resistant garden plants, these planners can help with a swipe of the touch screen. Even better, most of these gardening apps are intuitive, so you don’t have to spend too much time playing around before you get the hang of them. Take a peek at our carefully curated list of the best garden planning apps to find the one that best suits your needs and can take your garden to the next level.
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1) Armitage’s Great Garden Plants
With this mobile app, you get tons of knowledge from a respected authority at your fingertips for a few dollars. Allan Armitage, PhD, professor emeritus of horticulture at the University of Georgia, offers a look at exactly what landscape, ornamental (and even houseplants!) you should choose for any garden setting. You’ll also learn about solutions for hungry deer, pest control, and native plants.
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2) Kitchen Garden Planner at Gardener’s Supply
Need a layout for a new veggie garden? Use the free online planner to design a new bed or update an old one. The planner is simple to use, and you even can save, e-mail, and print your design—a perk not all free programs allow. The planner also gives in-depth planting tips and even tells you how many plants or seeds to buy. It’s an incredible tool for anyone interested in getting the most out of their edible garden.
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3) Garden Manager
This brand-new app is all about helping you plan and manage your edible garden for a successful harvest. New to this stuff? No worries. The virtual gardening coach takes you through a list of questions to guide you about how, what, and when to plant. Three levels of subscription services guide you throughout the season and send reminders about what to do when. It’s also tied into weather stations so it can alert you when to cover the basil, for example, if an early frost is on the way.
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4) Garden Planner
Design your garden and landscape by arranging trees, buildings, fences, decking, paths, and buildings with an easy drag-and-drop interface. The planner helps you lay out a vegetable garden, too, so you can maximize your space. A free trial lets you get your feet wet before deciding to purchase the reasonably-priced design software, with future updates coming in at no extra cost.
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5) Garden Planner at Territorial Seed
For a reasonable annual subscription, you can draw vegetable garden plans of any size, get personalized e-mail planting reminders, and interact with other gardeners with this online planner. The free mobile app, Garden Journal, is another useful tool to track what and when you’ve planted and when you’ve watered, fertilized, and harvested. There’s also a disease and pest database to help you identify a host of potential issues. The system also uses climate data to send specific planting advice for your area.
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Need help deciding what to plant in your vegetable garden? For a minimal subscription fee, this online planner and accompanying mobile app help you plan and manage your garden from the daydreaming stage through the harvest. The planner tracks garden tasks and when to do them, sending weekly "To Do" e-mail lists so you’ll never forget when it’s time to weed or sow another row of lettuce. It also includes a journal where you can record your own comments, notes, and photos.
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7) Gardena My Garden Planner
This web-based planner from a garden products company in the UK helps you draw and plan your landscaping including types of surfaces such as grass or paving, furniture or water features, and fences. It also gives the approximate mature size of plantings when placed in the grid, so you know what fits where. It doesn’t have a ton of in-depth features, but for a free tool, it’s worth a look.