If you’re completely new to gardening, it can be difficult to know where to start. Sprout it, a new Web-based app supported by Miracle-Gro, is hoping to solve that problem by offering tailored advice on what vegetables you should grow, when to grow them and timely reminders for when they need to be watered and harvested.
The main interface is split into three separate tabs; the plants, your garden and your profile. The former offers information on 21 plants, all of which will grow into some type of delicious vegetable, such as green beans, potatoes or sweet peppers.
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It shows how difficult the plant is to care for, the amount of sun and water needed for it to grow properly, as well as ideal soil conditions.
The growing options underneath is even more helpful though. A check-list will let you know if it’s a “starter plant” – perfect for gardening newbies – as well as whether or not it needs a container or garden bed.
For the more experienced trowel enthusiasts, there’s also a more detailed breakdown of when the best time to plant is, germination time, the amount of space required and ideal number of plants to seed.
If it sounds appropriate for your allotment, users hit the “add to your garden” button and carry on browsing the list.
The garden tab, meanwhile, is useful for keeping track of everything you have in the ground. Based on your location, it automatically displays the current temperature, as well as the high and low for that given day.
All of the different plants are then shown in a line, with a box underneath for starting a “grow plan”. This is when Sprout it gets really smart. The website will ask how you’re seeding the plant – either indoors or outdoors and in a container or bed – as well as when you plan to start growing it.
A profile page for the plant is then generated. Here you can see a checklist of any tasks that need completing, as well as detailed tips on how to look after it. Some of the more interesting notes include which of your plants should be grown next to it, as well as crop rotation strategies and an initial planting guide.
As you choose more plants, the tasks collate in a window at the bottom of the garden tab. Along with an estimated harvest time, it’s a very quick and simple way to keep on top of everything.
“Foodies, young professionals and aspiring mixologists are just some groups who are drawn to the idea of growing their own vegetables and herbs,” Matt Armstead, CEO of Sprout it said. “Why make another trip to the grocery store when you can simply head outside?”
It’s a great concept, but one that could be improved with other plant types (not just vegetables) mobile apps and reminders that operate outside of the website. For now though, it’s a solid jumping off point for anyone looking to pick up the trowel.
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