3 gardening apps to help you grow

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Let’s face it, it wouldn’t be easy to bring a plant encyclopedia into the garden with you, and your friends don’t necessarily have all the answers. But your phone is always with you, so what would be easier than launching an app to get to the, er, root of your planting problems?

Here are 3 great apps to get you started.

iScape

Like an interior designer for your exterior, the
(Credit: iScape)

Like an interior designer for your exterior, the iScape app lets you arrange, move around and see how plants will look in your garden -- and with each other -- before you invest time and money planting them. $9.99 for the Best Landscaping Design App at the Apple app store and Google Play; the Free Landscape Design App is available if you want to "test drive" the app.

Leafsnap

A joint venture from researchers at Columbia University,
(Credit: Leafsnap)

A joint venture from researchers at Columbia University, the University of Maryland and the Smithsonian Institution, Leafsnap: An Electronic Field Guide uses visual recognition software to identify trees growing in the northeast from photos you snap of their leaves. Think of it as a Shazam for trees, sort of. Free; at the Apple app store.

SmartPlant (Previously called Garden Compass)

Simply take a photo of a plant, pest
(Credit: SmartPlant)

Simply take a photo of a plant, pest or disease element, and one of some 50 experts will identify the species or provide advice to solve the problem. You can also set up monthly reminders specific to your garden. Shopping for plants? Starting this spring, you'll be able to scan a barcode, and the app will display care instructions for your area. Geared toward 25-35-year-old non-gardeners, personalized advice is pay-as-you-go after using your allotted credits (you get two free credits upon downloading the app, and one free credit every month thereafter.) Free at the Apple app store and on Google Play, with in-app purchases.

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