Garden help apps

How does your garden grow? It’s time to start harvesting those vegetables we’ve been growing all season. Even if we’re not a gardener, chances are that sumptuous summer produce is showing up on store shelves. I have some apps to suggest that will help you get the most from your garden’s bounty.

As those great garden vegetables start to be harvested, the question we often have is how to know when they are ripe, and then how to cook and prepare them. That’s where the Perfect Produce app from Spark People comes in handy. It tells you all that and more. Cost is $1.99 for Apple and Android.

Everybody’s garden develops problems over the growing season. The Garden Compass Plant and Disease Identifier app lets you take a photo and submit it to a team of garden experts. They will identify it for you, as well as provide specific recommendations to resolve the problems.

If its hungry insects devouring your crops, get the Bugs in the Garden app for iPhone and Android devices. Through illustrations and photos, you can ID the critters eating your veggies and then learn what to do about it to rid your garden of those pests.

Mike is a veteran journalist whose video "PC Mike" reports have been distributed weekly to all 215 NBC-TV stations since 1994, making him one of the most experienced tech reporters in the country. His tech stories and videos have appeared on MSNBC, CNBC, the Today Show, The New York Times, USA Today and in numerous national newspapers and magazines. In addition to the PC Mike tech blog, he also publishes the Roadtreking.com RV Travel Blog in which he travels North America in an RV reporting about interesting people and places.

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