Landscaping Software for the Organic Garden
Garden design software has come a long way from early models that asked gardeners to drag and drop a few colorful blobs resembling flowers onto a cartoon-like landscape. Contemporary landscape software programs help organic gardeners save time, money, and natural resources before breaking ground.
Buy Computer Compatible Landscape Software
The first step in narrowing the choices of landscape software is to recognize that new versions of software may not run on old computers. Gardeners using Windows 95 or Windows 98, for example, may not have the computing capacity to run a program that displays high-resolution photos with millions of colors per plant, versus the 256 colors in many old software programs. Windows XP or Vista is required for most new landscaping service software.
Garden Plant Database
Organic gardeners should look for landscape software that features at least 3000 or more of the most common garden plants. Even if gardeners have a preconceived plant list in mind, a large plant database allows for unanticipated plan changes due to moving or plant failures.
Although garden design software systems allow gardeners to search for plants based on basic care requirements like sun exposure, drought tolerance, and growing zone, some programs offer even greater search capacities. Gardeners may consider landscape software that finds deer resistant plants or plants for seaside gardens. Garden software programs may even help the gardener put together a themed garden, such as one that attracts butterflies or a fragrant garden.
Garden Planning Tools
A useful tool in garden software programs is a feature that shows the gardener what the landscape will look like in 5, 10, or 20 years. New gardeners, especially, get excited about placing juvenile trees and plants too close together, which leads to costly plant removal or even structural damage when the specimens mature.
A variety of demo gardens in a landscape design program takes the guesswork out of flowerbed design. Most garden software features tools that let the gardener keep track of project costs, which is important when hardscape elements like patios, walls, or fences are included in the makeover.
Vegetable Garden Software
The majority of existing landscape design programs focus on the ornamental landscape, but software programmers are beginning to offer software for the vegetable gardener. One example is the web-based Plangarden.com, which lets subscribers download their vegetable plans by row, individual plant, or by blocks for square-foot gardeners.
Vegetable garden software includes elements like a harvest estimator, which helps growers stagger their harvest for preserving or farmer’s market sales. The software also saves prior garden plans, to help with crop rotation planning.
Web-based garden software like Plangarden.com has the advantage of allowing subscribers to receive upgraded versions whenever updates become available. The web-based format may also allow users to interact with each other, sharing comments and garden photos with other members.