When you’re outside working in your yard, it’s kind of a pain to go back inside to consult lawn care websites or gardening books. With a smartphone in your pocket and the right mobile app installed, you can get information with the press of a button, and even layout a complex landscaping plan.
iScape Free (iOS, free): Take a picture of your property and insert stock images of trees, shrubs, patio furniture, and other yard decorations. You can resize objects and recolor areas with the pen tool. Although the end result wouldn’t fool anyone into thinking it’s a real photo, it’s a useful tool for visualizing how changes to your landscape would look. Save and share the pictures you make by e-mail, Facebook or print right from the app.
Upgrade to the full version of iScape for $4.99 for a much larger selection of trees, flowers, shrubs, vines, walls, furniture, arbors, fences, cacti, and pools.
Landscaping Ideas! (Android, free): It’s basic and more of an e-book than a proper app, but hey, it’s free, and it’s enthusiastic. It includes chapters on planning, materials, plant placement, terracing, and other landscaping topics. There are even links to landscaping videos and podcasts by “Garden Guys.” If you like this app, the same company makes Lawn Care! and Vegetable Gardening!, also free.
Lawn Envy (iOS, $1.99): To get your lawn looking its best, Lawn Envy advises you on weather, grass seeding, and even threats like weeds, insects, rodents, and diseases. It includes a calendar, how-to guides, tips, and a photo guide to common problems. You can even ask an expert if you’re still stumped on an issue. (Full disclosure: although developed by my company, Lawn Envy is independently distributed.)
Landscape & Garden Calculators (Android, $7.99): Yes, that name is plural, because there’s a total of 35 calculators and estimators included in this app. They include generic area, volume, and angle calculators as well as landscaping-specific tools for estimating mulch or rock aggregate, lawn fertilizer, grass seed, sod, plant spacing, drainage, ponds, and other features. Most calculators give results in the area, volume, and weight when applicable, and numbers can be copied and e-mailed easily.
mpengo LawnCare (iOS, $9.99): If you’re dealing with lots of lawns as a business, mpengo LawnCare wants to be the app you use to manage your customers. Its logs and reports include fields for lawn/turf maintenance, fertilizer, trimming, irrigation, seasonal items, and your own custom comments. You can also record weather conditions and photos and share lists of properties and clients with other iPhones and iPads in your company. There’s a complementary mpengo Snow app, also $9.99, if you do winter snow removal.
Whether you’re already an expert or just starting to maintain the lawn at your first home, there’s an app made just for you.