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Cellphone apps feature garden themes


December 21, 2009
By Dean Fosdick The Associated Press

Dec. 21, 2009 – As smartphones keep getting faster, smaller and loaded with more features, there's something in it for gardeners: more than a hundred software programs, or applications.

As smartphones keep getting faster, smaller and loaded with more
features, there's something in it for gardeners: more than a hundred
software programs, or applications.

Gardening apps aim to help with everything from locating supplies
to fending off mosquitoes to converting cellphones into flashlights.
Some are offered free, but most cost a one-time fee for downloading
into your handset.

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Here are some useful gardening programs available online. Not
every app remains long on virtual shelves or operates with every
phone, so check for availability and compatibility before ordering.

For Reference (all prices in U.S. dollars):

"Pocket Garden" (iPhone, 99 cents) – Contains pictures and
advice about growing hundreds of plants, most of them vegetables.
You also can jot down notes about seeds and plants in a handy "My
Garden" section.

"Flowers Guide" (iPhone, $1.99) – Alphabetical database of 55
flowers with photos, botanical name, origins and descriptions,
growing requirements, planting and bloom times.

"Botanical Interests" (iPhone, $5.99) – Botanical Interests, an
online seed company, offers tips about growing vegetables, and a
primer on seed starting, soil preparation, attracting pollinators,
plant histories and much more.

"Botanica" (Android, free) – Pairs plants with hardiness zones,
provides space for photos and journal entries. It also issues alerts
telling you when it's time to water.

For Utility (How-to, when-to):

"Garden ToDo" (iPhone, $1.99) – Organizes yard tasks. Enter a
list of your plants or planting sites and the app will tell you when
to prune, mow, fertilize, divide and harvest, among other chores.

"Landscaper's Companion" (Android, $6.99) – Useful for
information gathering, selecting plants or simply gazing at pictures
of trees and shrubs, flowers and vegetables. Comes with cultivation
tips, water usage, plant size at maturity and sun requirements.

Other noteworthy apps:

"Garden Supplies Store Finder" (iPhone, 99 cents) – One click
gives you the directions or a map to the nearest home and garden
store.

"Repel Mosquito" (iPhone, 99 cents) – Developers claim it
transmits a sound frequency "unbearable" to blood-sucking
mosquitoes.

"myLite'' Flashlight (iPhone, free) – Work late in the garden?
Here's an app for converting your iPhone screen into a flashlight.
It also adjusts for brightness, provides some different pre-set
colours and includes a strobe.

"London: Kew Gardens Guide and Audio" (iPhone, $4.99) –
Continue gathering gardening ideas long after the growing season is
over by signing up for virtual visits. This Kew Gardens app displays
spectacular plants in gorgeous settings, with iconic buildings and
an hour-long soundtrack.


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