Not everyone has a green thumb or an eye for landscaping. Some people don’t even get to try because they’re so busy. Others watch HGTV over and over again and still never achieve the yard of their dreams because it’s easy to forget most of what you learned by the time you get outside.
But since you can take your phone with you when you walk out into the yard, there are now some digital tools that can make you a more effective gardener. We’ve gathered together some gardening and landscaping apps that can walk you through how to take care of your plants and keep your yard looking fabulous.
My Lawn: A Guide to Lawn Care
My Lawn (download for iOS or Android) makes lawn maintenance understandable and creates an easy-to-follow care plan so you know which products to use and when.
Recommendations are based on your lawn size, location and climate. You’ll get an alert when it’s time to feed, seed and water your lawn, so you will never have to guess. You can also create a custom lawn care plan.
Monitor the amount of water your yard gets each week from rain, hoses or sprinklers. Keep track of the specific needs of different parts of your yard, like the parts that are mostly shaded versus the parts that are always in the sun.
Share your garden and connect with others through the GrowIt! app (download for iOS or Android). Share photos of your plants and ask the community for help identifying them. The GrowIt! community is a valuable resource if you’ve just moved to a new area. If you’ve got a pest that’s eating your tomatoes, for example, others on the app might be able to help.
See what the people around you are planting to get some inspiration. If you find a plant you like, tap on the information tab to find out how to grow it. The information tab tells you how big the plant can get, how often to water and feed it, and when it will bloom.
GrowIt! teaches you how to properly prepare your soil for anything you plant, grow larger vegetables, and what you should and shouldn’t plant based on your location.
Design your outdoor living area with iScape (download for iOS). Use the design tools to make your project come to life. Snap a photo of an area that needs landscaping and virtually add flowerbeds, trees and shrubs to get an idea of what your yard will look like before you begin.
iScape offers 2D and 3D designs so you can see what your physical outdoor area looks like with virtual plants. Once you have a landscape layout, you can share with your spouse or a landscape pro and get your project started.
The app offers a free lite version, but to gain full access, you will need to subscribe to a monthly pro subscription for $20, or a yearly pro subscription for $200.
If you’ve ever wondered about an unknown plant in your garden, then you need FlowerChecker (download for iOS or Android). This app has a team of experts who can help you identify plants, moss, lichen and fungi.
To find out about your unknown plant, snap a few pictures of it and upload them to the app. Try to capture the different parts of the plant like the flower, leaves and stem. The typical response time for an expert to identify the plant can take a few minutes or a few hours. So far, the team of experts has been able to correctly identify an average of 90 percent of plants.
Identification costs $1 per plant uploaded. If the team can’t confirm what your plant is, you won’t have to pay anything. You’ll also have to purchase the app for a one-time cost of $1.
Identify plants easily with Garden Answers (download for iOS or Android). Unlike Flower Checker, this app uses advanced image recognition technology to identify plants instead of an expert. Simply snap a picture and submit it to instantly get detailed information about a plant.
To learn if your plants have pests or diseases, use the keyword search feature to ask Garden Answers a question. If you need more advice on gardening, ask the experts for more specific questions and recommendations.
Access any of your previous plant questions and answers within the app.
Learn about healthy planting year-round with SmartPlant (download for iOS or Android). Watch videos, view images and learn more about how to care for your plants in the app library.
Identify your plants and any pests that are preventing their growth. Scan plant barcodes in stores to receive monthly care tip notifications.
The app has a free version that offers occasional access to premium features. If you subscribe to premium, you will have access to expert assistance. Premium costs $4 monthly, $10 quarterly or $35 annually.
Make your garden immaculate with the help of Gardening Companion (download for iOS or Android). This app acts as your garden assistant to help you care for your plants. Browse through thousands of articles on horticulture to take the best care of your garden.
Track your garden’s growth by storing photos and notes in the app’s journal. The app records the weather in your location and you can compare how your garden did this year compared with last year.
Set up notifications to remind you to water and fertilize your garden. Gardening Companion can also alert you when the time is right to plant your vegetables.
Learn what you can grow in your area with Gardenate (download for iOS or Android). The app uses your location to show what is best for you to plant each month. Access plant descriptions and growing tips to become a pro.
In the app, record planting dates, harvest dates and notes about your plants. Save the details in the My Garden section. The app will send calendar reminders when it’s time to harvest your produce.
Access detailed information about your plants like when they germinate and at what temperatures, how far apart to space your plants and the amount of time it takes for them to harvest.