I’m always on the lookout for new tech tools, especially ones that could make life easier for my clients. A few months ago I stumbled across Plants Map, a cloud-based way to document and record plants you’ve planted, plants you’ve found and loved, and more. Winter’s the best time to share these new finds with the landscape and garden obsessed, but I’m having the busiest January of my life. What else could I do but punt, and ask Plants Map’s co-founder Bill Blevins for a guest post. Read what Emily from the Plants Map team has to say:
How to get organized in the garden with Plants Map
It’s that time of year when gardeners are poring over seed catalogs, ogling new offerings at plant shows and otherwise dreaming of great things to come in the 2016 growing season.
But how do you keep your seed-buying list organized and separate from the pie-in-the-sky garden wish list you keep adding to? How can you organize all of your garden notes and pictures from last year in a way that allows you to build on them in the seasons to come? And where can you get professional-looking, durable garden signs to add context to your landscape?
All of those questions were on the minds of Bill and Tracy Blevins when they founded Plants Map two years ago.
Plants Map is a website that allows you to catalog the plants in your garden, the plants you encounter and admire, the seeds you’ve ordered and the big plans you have for your landscapes.
Getting started with Plants Map is easy, and once you start filling out a profile, you’ll be amazed at how many ways you can use this tool to broaden your garden horizons. Here are a few ways to use Plants Map to get an organized start to the 2016 gardening season.
- Take control of your wish list. Whether you find them in catalogs, magazines or at garden centers, plant ideas are everywhere. The great thing about a plant wish list on Plants Map is that it’s with you wherever you go on your smartphone or tablet. You can snap a picture to add to it on the go or reference it to see if what’s on sale at the garden center is in fact that specimen you’ve been pining over. Read Tracy Blevins’ thoughts on how to set up a great Plants Map wish list here.
- Easily order garden signs that will impress all the neighbors. Want to instantly make your landscape look polished and professional? Plants Map makes it easy to order durable garden signs and tags once you have documented your plants on the site. These tags are made of aircraft-grade aluminum and come with a QR code that can link anyone with a smartphone to the online profiles of the plants they label.
- Keep track of what works and what doesn’t. Plants Map allows users to tell the story of their plants (See some great examples in the profile of Dr. Annkatrin Rose.). Start a profile for a plant and you can document your efforts to identify it, journal its journey from seed to maturity and make notes on where it thrives, what pests like it and other lessons learned. When you need to remember what you did last year, just scan your Plants Map tag and read your notes.
- Explore, learn and connect. Plants Map isn’t just for one particular type of gardener. Schools, universities, botanical gardens, nonprofits, home gardeners and various plant associations have all found a home here. Once you have a Plants Map profile, you can “follow” these organizations, so that every time you visit PlantsMap.com, you’ll see a customized feed of the groups you’re interested in and what they’re up to. You may not have the travel budget to visit gardens in California and Pennsylvania in the same year, but with a quick visit to Plants Map, you can keep tabs on growing seasons in a variety of climates. This kind of exploration helps us all to learn and grow as gardeners.
Spend some time exploring at PlantsMap.com. Maybe start by creating a collection for your 2016 seed orders. If you need any help along the way, a large collection of help articles and direct contact with the team running the site are just a few clicks away.
Plants Map was created and is run by avid gardeners who are constantly trying to solve the garden organization problem while also making public landscapes in the United States and beyond easier to explore and learn about. Come join this growing community in 2016.