Tech Review: Dig into these garden apps

Apps that help users stay connected. Apps that help users stay connected. Photo Credit: AFP / Getty Images

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Spring is finally here after a cold, snowy winter, but if you're a gardener, your days of shoveling are far from over. Hopefully, you'll be digging into dirt and not snow as you get down and dirty in your garden. These apps may help you reap a bumper crop, whether you sow fruits, vegetables, herbs or flowers.

Vegetable Garden Guides

(iOS, $1.99)

After a winter of white, a sea of green will be a pleasant sight. This app has advice on planting, growing and harvesting more than 90 vegetables. Vegetable Garden Guides advises you how deep the seeds of various vegetables should be planted and the amount of spacing needed in your garden to ensure best growth. The app is aimed at experienced gardeners and newbies.

Landscape & Garden Calculators

(Android, $4.99)

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More about blueprints than green thumbs, this app is aimed at professional landscapers and determined do-it-yourselfers. The app features more than 40 specialized calculators that can help you build backyard fences, decks, walls and enclosures and even install landscape lighting. For gardeners, there are calculators that tell you how much seed and fertilizer you need to ensure a green lawn and robust plants. The area, volume and angle calculator offers help for projects in wide-open expanses or tiny nooks and crannies. The "experimental" GPS measurement function is a nice idea but is not useful for small areas.

Garden Tracker

(iOS, $2.99)

As its name implies, Garden Tracker lets you follow the growth of your vegetable patch while offering advice on soil and watering needs for about 50 vegetables and herbs. Because every gardener and garden is different, the app lets you add notes as the planting season progresses, so you can record what grows best and repeat your success next time you plant.

Gardenate

(iOS, Android; $1.99)

In addition to advice on growing vegetables, Gardenate has tips on planting and harvesting herb gardens. And because all vegetables don't play well together in the ground, Gardenate advises you which crops fare best in the proximity of a backyard garden. The app tells you the best time to plant each vegetable and what to look for when it's ready to harvest.

 

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Tech bytes

 

 

March madness

 

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Watched the NCAA Tournament at a bar Saturday night and had too much to drink? You have company on Twitter. The microblogging site analyzed members' use of certain words and phrases in 2013 and found Sundays in March turned up lots of tweets with the phrase "hung over." December had the most tweets with "happy." But it also had the most tweets with the word "sad."-- PETER KING

 

SimCity adds offline play

 

More than a year after its launch, SimCity has been updated to allow for offline play. The popular video game was criticized by users because it required an active Internet connection and could be played only through SimCity's online servers, which crashed repeatedly. The update is free for all registered SimCity users.-- PETER KING

 

Uber ups insurance coverage

 

Ride-sharing service Uber expanded the insurance coverage it offers to drivers, a step toward easing regulators' and lawmakers' concerns. Uber allows members to hail rides via a smartphone app. Ordinary drivers rather than professionals typically answer their requests. The company has been scrutinized after an accident involving an Uber driver resulted in the death of a girl in San Francisco. -- Reuters

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