There’s An App for That

Weekly View Correspondent Creates Garden Building App

INDIANAPOLIS — A local Indianapolis-based company has released a new mobile app for gardeners in recognition of Earth Day. Garden Bilder, an iPhone app that helps homeowners and gardeners feed themselves and their families by transforming backyards into sustainable gardens is now available in the iTunes App store. The free app enables gardeners to create a kitchen garden or orchard with the correct number of plants necessary to feed a household. Users can also use the app to share the garden and any excess production over the Internet, creating a virtual community garden.
By modeling their backyards in the app, gardeners can experiment with different arrangements to improve yield and optimize every square inch of space. The app’s built-in logic estimates the amount of plants that fit in each garden bed and also the amount of food those plants will produce. These yield estimates are based on the founders’ experience creating urban gardens in cities across the country. Designed specifically for urban and suburban homeowners and gardeners with small plots of land, Garden Bilder predicts yield for each plant added to a garden design.
“Gardening in all forms is a challenging, addictive hobby,” said Peter Kuhns, co-creator of Garden Bilder, “and nowhere is this more true than in the city, where gardeners are limited by tiny backyards.” The app provides common tools to help create gardens up to an acre in size, and also includes wide-row planting tools that demonstrate how much food can be grown on tiny plots of land. “We created a wide-row feature we call ‘patches’ that we encourage everyone to try in place of rows. It’s an eye-opener to see just how much food a small urban lot can produce,” said Kuhns.
Garden Bilder allows for multiple garden plans, which may help spur users to move beyond summer gardening into separate early spring, fall, and even winter gardens for those in the Southern and Western states. “One thing we learned while building this app was how large the growing window really is, even in Northern states,” said Kuhns. By modeling their backyard, then duplicating that footprint, Garden Bilder users can experiment with three-season gardens up North and four-season gardens in places such as Florida and California.
Future plans for the app are to build a large user base that assists newcomers to gardening via social networking. “I was exposed to urban gardening when I was young,” said Kuhns. “If you weren’t out there on a hot July night helping dad water tomatoes, you might not know where to start.”
Will this app spur the average homeowner to give kitchen gardens a try? “When homeowners and young professionals see how much food a tiny lot can produce, we think they will hop on board,” said Kuhns.
To learn more about the new, free app, visit: