Larry Caplan shared this:
I’ve been playing with a number of garden- and nature-related apps on my iPhone, and I thought I’d share some of them with you. Please note, I don’t know if these are available on other smart phones or computers; I also have no monetary stake in any of these apps or developers. Unfortunately, since I own these apps, I can’t easily figure out what, if anything, the cost is.
• Map of Life: What wild animals, insects, and trees can be found “here”? “Here” being relative, because you can punch in any location in the world and find out what native wildlife can be found. Some nice pictures, good accompanying information. Somewhat incomplete: lists butterflies, but not moths, for example. Still, a great educational tool.
• Like That Garden – Plant/Butterfly identification. Supposedly, you can take a picture of a flower or butterfly, and the app will identify it for you. I haven’t had a chance to try this one out (being that it’s winter and all), and I don’t have high hopes that this will work all that well, but it’s free.
• Skippy’s Spring/Fall/Winter Vegetable Planting Calendar – 3 separate apps, $0.99 each. Knowing when to plant in the spring is easy, based on knowing when your average last frost date is. But how early do you need to start seeds or plants to get a fall crop? Or even a winter crop? These apps can help with the timing; you can even have the app send you an alert at the beginning of the week for whatever crops should be planted at that time (weather permitting). I checked the developer: they are from Boston, Massachusetts, which is zone 6 A. Most of southern Indiana is zone 6A, with southwest Indiana being in zone 6B, so this app should be fairly accurate.
• ID Weeds – From the University of Missouri. You can use this app to search for weeds by plant features (grass vs. broadleaf, leaf arrangement, etc.), or by name. Slow to respond, and a little awkward to navigate through, but it has good pictures, excellent descriptions. No control information.
• Forest Insect Pests – Lots of photos to help foresters, gardeners, and others recognize some of the common pest insects affecting trees in North America. Superb pictures, good description of the pest. Also contains links to open up a web page on your device to get more information.
• BeeSmart – Great free app to help find plants that will grow in your area or ecoregion that are beneficial to bees and other pollinators. Somewhat scanty information, but it does provide information on what types of insects are benefited by this plant, how it grows, requirements (sun, moisture), flower color, and bloom time.
• Purdue Plant Doctor apps – Purdue has developed Tree Doctor, Tomato Doctor, Annual Doctor, and Perennial Doctor apps, which work for Apple and Android devices. You can search the apps for plant problems based on species of plant, plant part affected, or by name of disease. Good pictures, great descriptions of life cycles; shows damage at different stages, and provides control recommendations. Also includes some common insect problems. Highly recommended.
• VegDr (Vegetable Doctor) – similar to the Purdue doctor apps, but this is put out by Univ. of Georgia, and includes a wider range of vegetables: cantaloupe, cucumber, peppers, pumpkins, squash, tomato and watermelons. Good pictures of the diseases, but the control options list farmer products, which most users may not have access to. Still, pretty nice app.
• Plant Diagnostic Sample Submission – Ok, you have NO IDEA what is wrong with your plant. Well, you can use this app to take pictures of the problem, and then automatically send them to your state’s plant diagnostic lab. The app will guide you to attaching pictures, providing background information on weather conditions and what you’ve done in the garden. The photos and information will then be uploaded to the university diagnostic lab, where specialists will examine what you’ve sent and try to provide a diagnosis and control option. Please note, as with sending a sample up to the lab, you will be charged by the lab for this service.