It’s been so warm lately that I want to start my seeds early this year. And I know many of my friends are thinking the same thing. Maybe I’ll use toilet paper roll planters or some plastic veggie containers to start the seeds.
But I know I am going to need help this year because well, I did ‘ok’ last summer with a BIG help from my mother. OK, it was more like “SHE” did well last summer with “NO” help from me.
I am determined to make my own food, without my mom’s help.
So I was so thrilled to find an awesome online tool called, Smart Gardener. I even love the name. It’s not “Gardening for Dummies” which would make me feel ‘this’ small. But “Smart Gardener” sounds so encouraging. It’s not mocking me or berating me for being a ‘dummie’. The site is going to be my savior, my teacher, and my “Wikipedia” of gardening!
Kristee Rosendahl, the Founder
I interviewed Kristee, in person, a couple of weeks ago when she was visiting NYC on business. Imagine that – I actually interviewed the woman who will be responsible for growing my own food! But besides that, she was uber generous to donate jute market bags for the Martha Stewart’s event – don’t worry; you have a chance to win one.
You can read the full interview on Green Living Ideas but in short, she said she started Smart Gardener because of her own frustration of finding herself with too much information on gardening and not enough time to digest them all. She spoke my language!!
Every weekend, I would start to head out to the garden and then realize I really wasn’t sure what I should be doing. I’d turn around and spend the next half of my Saturday back inside, reading a dozen books and googling until I was even more confused. There is alot of information out there, but no place for me to collect or go to that was about my garden, my conditions and what we wanted to grow and when. I wanted a “To Do” list of exactly what I should doing that week to help my garden grow great food. I started talking to people who had many of the same issues. At the same time, the food movement, health concerns, and the economy started to really force the issue of how to get good food. It seemed like a perfect time to get this product out there – for the rest of us who want to be growing our own food but have a million other things we also have to be doing. I wanted this product to help mainstream sustainability.
Amen to that Kristee! She sure has her green thumb on the pulse of many many frustrated gardeners, experienced and novices (like me)!
How does Smart Gardener help you grow food?
Have you ever read gardening magazines and go, “Whaaaaa? What is my “zone” and when is my “Frost Date”? I just want to plant my seeds! Just tell me when!” Been there, done that. right?
Well, Smart Gardener tells me when to plant what seeds and when to harvest. If I put in my zip code, it will tell me when the frost date is in my zone, what seeds to start indoors and when to plant them outside. Seriously.
Take a look at what Smart Gardener does, in a nut shell.
It is so comprehensive that there’s no reason why I won’t be able to grow food! And you know what’s better?
It is FREE!! There are ‘add-ons’ that you can buy to add your garden’s special features but the free version has plot plans for raised beds, container garden and conventional garden.
I know when my “Frost Date” is and when is my best growing season is! Based on this information, I’ll know “what” to plant and “when”!
Kristee is planning to add options like recipes timed perfectly with your harvest. So when you harvest your greens, recipes for your harvested veggies will show up automatically, right in your journal! You don’t have to search the internet for recipes after you harvested your bounty of goodness! How user-friendly is this? Eh?
Here is a video of how you can use Smart Gardener.
Again, read the full interview on Green Living Ideas for more background. But register and open an account today! It’s fun and very resourceful. I love the colors of the site too. Very aesthetically soothing. Oh, they are working on an app for the iPad right now. Kristee thinks an iPad will be more functional than an iPhone app since the screen is larger than an iPhone to see your plot and what’ growing on your garden.
What are you planting this year?