Need help in the garden? There's an app for that

By Allison Marlow
Posted 8/11/17

It can be hard to get good gardening advice along the Gulf coast. The climate and growing season here is different than anywhere else in Alabama.

The Baldwin County Extension Office has help …

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Need help in the garden? There's an app for that

Posted

It can be hard to get good gardening advice along the Gulf coast. The climate and growing season here is different than anywhere else in Alabama.

The Baldwin County Extension Office has help ready, with local garden tips at your fingertips.

The Sow App has been available in iTunes for nearly three years and was designed by James Miles, a commercial horticulture agent in Southwest Alabama and Ellen Huckabay, county extension coordinator for Baldwin County. The pair was looking for a way to put information direction into their clients’ hands. Auburn University took their idea for an app, Huckabay said, and ran with it.

She said she knew gardeners needed a simple guide because the cumbersome extension website held so much info that it could be hard, and daunting, to sift through.

“We wanted to take all the useful vegetable gardening publications and have them all in one place instead of having to search through a whole bunch of stuff,” she said.

Now the Sow app, which is free to download, includes a simple list of vegetables and fruit you can plant now, videos of garden basics such as planting seeds and transplants, a list of farmers markets, and a tab to keep track of what you plant and when.

The reaction has been positive.

“People who download it love it,” Huckabay said.

It is so well loved that other states have requested help adapting the app to fit their own state.

“We quickly got requests from other states to help them adopt it for their state,” she said.

Huckabay said the extension hopes to continue to add to the app and make it more interactive.

Currently, there is a spot to directly email your question to an extension agent.

“That was a great way to have more interaction with people,” she said. “In the spring we get a good bit of email. It just depends on the time of year.”