Hartley Magazine

All the latest news, hints, tips and advice from our experts

Gardening goes digital in North America

The digital revolution has touched almost every walk of life. From shopping to socialising, people are turning to the internet. It is a source of inspiration and information for many and mobile technology has made access to it almost universal.

The US is one of the most pioneering countries when it comes to web access and has been championing next-generation mobile broadband for some time.

But how has the digital revolution affected gardening, which, let’s face it, still requires old-school tools and old-fashioned labour.

The answer is, like all other aspects of life, gardening has been changed by digital technology – especially in amateur gardening circles.

So when the North American Membership Group (NAMG) launches its first iPad app that helps people grow flowers and veg on their home patch, few people should be surprised.

iPads could be as common a garden accessory as the humble trowel before you know it and the NAMG is banking on that.

It’s Gardening How-To offers invaluable advice, hints and tips, FAQs and of course plenty of vibrant images that make gardening far easier.

It is a digital version of the National Home Gardening Club magazine of the same name and it has already received praise from a journalist working for the New York Times – a solid endorsement.

The app comes complete with access to four free issues of the magazine.

Addressing concerns that the iPad is too fragile a tool to be used in the garden, the NAMG said: “The iPad provides extra convenience for gardeners because if wrapped in a clear bag, it can still be used and the pages can be turned without getting anything dirty.”

Other organisations in the US are also promoting the internet as a source of reliable gardening knowledge, with the University of Minnesota Extension Master Gardeners online forum providing direct access to experts in the field of botany.

The uni has 71 Master Gardeners offering hints and tips through the portal and there is an extensive archive of past questions.