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The BEST garden app

I am not an app person–my phone is often forgotten at home and every time I touch it I get the “you must enter your passcode because it has been a really long time since you turned me on” message. But I have an idea for an app that I think would totally sell. It’s a gardening app. No, it doesn’t tell you when to plant or remind you to thin your lettuce.*

First, if you are at a nursery just to buy a couple of things and you find yourself buying lots and lots of beautiful perennials, the app will tell you by how many hours the time required to plant them all exceeds the number of hours you have left in your LIFE. It will also tell you the physical condition that planting even a few of them will leave you in. Then it will issue a recommendation. For example, if you tell it that you’re pregnant and have about two hours a week in which to plant things, the app will recommend that you buy one very small plant. If you heed it, instead of being crippled and near death with exhaustion, you will feel sprightly and enjoy your one plant very much. It will also remind you that all perennials are eaten by deer and then mysteriously never come back. Much like annuals.

The app will also send you texts to tell you that your strawberries are being eaten by slugs right now and that there’s nothing you can do.

It will remind you that the ridiculously sickly watermelons you’ve been nurturing forever (they’re called moon and stars!) and hoping will somehow magically thrive despite being basically dead are being eaten by slugs right now. Or maybe it’s beetles.

When it notices you admiring the healthy little cucumber vines, it will text you to let you know they are going to get white flies soon.

After a long day of working outside, it will  let you know that your garden looks like shit, and ask you why you wear yourself out with this pointless and depressing hobby. You will try to tell it that it’s because Nature and Dirt and Where Food Comes From it will point out that your notion of where food comes from is a ridiculous fantasy and that if you really want to be part of the solution, you should get a CSA or at least eat in season because what were you doing eating CORN in JUNE?

SO. I’m thinking kickstarter so I can hire some programmers. You in?

(Actually, I’m enjoying the garden…but it is a valuable lesson in humility and futility.)


*Still haven’t thinned my lettuce, because the way to thin it is to eat it, and I actually can’t eat all that much lettuce, you know? I even tried making a soup with lettuce in it. It was very bitter, because, you know, it was made of lettuce.


I’m a bean! A toddler planted me.



I am supposed to be a watermelon, but I will be eaten by slugs because I can’t be bothered to grow.



It’s possible I may have enough peas to make pea risotto that doesn’t have quite enough peas in it!



I am going to be eaten by slugs tomorrow night. Right before I’m perfectly ripe.



I planted this mint behind our bench, thinking it would be nice to sit there and smell it. I was right about that. I was wrong about the part where much of it would be made into mojitos.


13 Comments Post a comment
  1. I don’t know where that hope despite all evidence to the contrary comes from but, having seen that one pathetic pepper plant rally against all odds a couple of years ago, I just can’t admit defeat until THE. VERY. END. That watermelon still has great potential from my vantage point.

    I don’t actually own a smart phone but, if I did (when I do? everyone keeps telling me that I will NEED one and once I recognize this I will go out and get one) that app would be for moi.

    Thank god that there are almost always some successes to balance out the failures. The legumes look glorious! And those strawberries are worth protecting. My kids often get them before they are actually ready and, if not, the pill bugs begin to feast.

    And the mint will be amazing in those mojitos – soon.

    June 14, 2015
  2. I hate leaving comments via my phone because it’s such a pain in the ass to log in and it’s always kicking me out whine whine whine. But this post made me laugh and made me cry (“a toddler planted me.” THATS what got me. Pathetic, I know). And so, I leave a comment via my phone.

    Ps. I need a gardening app that will magically stop me from killing my plants. Help??

    June 15, 2015
  3. I bought a copper little fence to keep them ugly-heeded slugs away from ma strawberries, it works alright, except them mofos slugs, cursed be their name, climb up nearby trees and fall (or hurl themselves, I wouldn’t be surprised if it were a planned attack) inside the copper-fenced area. And then they eat ma wild strawberries and strawberry until they fucking explode, or die of old age. Or because I slice them with a shovel. Hate them so much, sodding slugs…
    I thought I loved mint, and planted some in my garden. And then the stupid thing proved to have weed behaviour, and it invaded my lawn and garden. It is fighting with Muscaris and dandelions over the top position in my most hated plants list. I find mint EVERYWHERE. Year after year. Be warned.

    June 15, 2015
    • I remember my mom looking distinctly unkindly on my desires to fill my childhood garden plot (which, for some reason, was in the far back corner, the farthest you could get from either road our house fronted and still be on our property. I suspect the reason is rather similar to the one whereby all my favorite Christmas ornaments got put on the side of the tree that faced the wall.) with creeping charlie and catnip.

      June 15, 2015
    • SRB #

      It’s true. Mint needs to be in a pot, or a container sunk into the ground with the lip over the top of the ground level. Mint is a motherfucker of a creeper and impossible to rid yourself of!

      June 16, 2015
      • Well, I have a Designated Mint Area and don’t mind pulling it up when it exceeds that area. But yes, don’t plant mint unless you’re prepared to deal it.

        June 16, 2015
  4. We were visiting friends in April who have an extensive garden, and Gwen was promised that she could help plant some things; alas, rain dashed those plans so instead we bought one of those “grow peppers in a styrofoam cup” thing as consolation. Some of them actually did pretty well…until we decided it was warm enough to put the cup outside, where the cats wouldn’t eat them, and Gwen discovered one morning that SOMETHING had eaten them clean gone. (This was an immensely distressing thing; it happened while I was gone, and when I got back, late at night after she was asleep, and I went in to give her a kiss, she woke up enough to sob brokenly to me “an animal ate my pepper plants! I was very very sad! Daddy said we get more at the B&Q!” So we did, big strong healthy ones…that came in a 6 pack where I really only wanted one. And they were right next to the 6-pack strawberries, which were on clearance. And those tomato plants are only 20 pence? I’ll take three.

    Getting them home wasn’t the problem, the issue was that we have lots of empty flower pots, but no dirt. A trip back to the B&Q the next day and I discovered…potting soil is sold in LARGE bags. Potting soil is heavy.

    Heavy potting soil in large bags is NOT designed for people who go to hardware/garden stores on foot. (Thankfully, Joel also bought two 2×4’s, and thus he walked home with the lumber over one shoulder and the bag of soil draped over them…)

    Thank goodness I was able to make that one bag stretch to all 15 plants (none of which have died yet, and it’s been more than a week!). Now we just have to wait and see how these “8-hours-of-sunlight-per-day” plants do with northern English summers, where we’re lucky if it gets above 10C.

    June 15, 2015
  5. There is something called Escar-Go. I know nothing about it except that it is reputed to kill slugs. But the name! Don’t you want to buy it just for that??

    June 15, 2015
  6. SRB #


    I saw the title of this post and was like YAAAAASSSSSSSSSSSSS! I waaaaaaaaaant that app! I neeeeeeeeeeeeeeed it.

    But it doesn’t exist yet? WHY????

    Anyway. I have looked at a few apps, but since my veg garden is a dream for NEXT year, I got nothing for you. I enjoy the idea of this app. Would buy.

    Futility and humility. Yes. I love it.

    June 15, 2015
  7. Planting or tending I guess my first veggie garden this year. Hard mofo work. Holy crap Whole Foods, I get it now.

    Once deer lose spots, I killum bare hands they touch my garden.

    June 16, 2015
  8. the fact that you can’t enjoy those mojitos pains me, so if you’re enjoying gardening and making insanely sarcastic apps up in your mind, then I’m IN! Let’s make this happen. The kickstarter campaign starts NOW.

    June 17, 2015
  9. Mojitos….yummmm…I need an app for all things that I want to start doing that tells me “do you want to start this new activity or do you want a reasonable amount of sleep and peace in your life?”

    June 17, 2015
  10. I enjoyed looking at these pictures of the garden you created with your youngin’s. Then I cringed ever so slightly at the thought of lettuce soup. Pray tell – more details! What ELSE was in the soup? Sounds like you have some solid backing here for the app. I think you can pull this off. Oh yes.

    June 22, 2015

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