Win a copy of The Tourist Trail this week in the Writing forum!
  • Post Reply Bookmark Topic Watch Topic
  • New Topic
permaculture forums growies critters building homesteading energy monies kitchen purity ungarbage community wilderness fiber arts art permaculture artisans regional education experiences global resources the cider press projects digital market permies.com private forums all forums
this forum made possible by our volunteer staff, including ...
master stewards:
  • Nicole Alderman
  • r ranson
  • Anne Miller
  • paul wheaton
stewards:
  • Joseph Lofthouse
  • Jocelyn Campbell
  • Mike Jay
garden masters:
  • Steve Thorn
  • Dave Burton
  • Joylynn Hardesty
gardeners:
  • Carla Burke
  • Pearl Sutton
  • Greg Martin

companion planting garden planner software/app?

 
Posts: 8
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Does anyone know of a garden planning program that helps with companion planting? Something that, when you add a certain plant to the plan, it suggests other plants to plant near it?

If not, what would you suggest as the best free garden planner software/app/or online...or best low cost garden planner. Square foot gardening, Hugelkultur, food forrest, etc friendly?

I prefer something that can be downloaded to my computer or phone (Android), but online is OK too.

Thanks!
 
garden master
Posts: 4007
Location: Missoula, MT US Hardy:5a Annual Precipitation: 15" Wind:4.2mph Temperature:18-87F
1541
transportation forest garden tiny house books urban greening the desert
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
That would actually be a good thing for someone to pioneer; the niche for companion planting, food forestry, agroecology, and permaculture apps is really quite open and unfilled. That would actually be something for someone could do to make permaculture mainstream, create a good solid intuitive and informative app for permaculture.

OK, enough of my pondering of what could be, onto your question of what is.

The best app I could find for permaculture so far is the app called Permaculture (free).

If you can read Spanish, there is an app that is only in Spanish for Organic Gardening (free). It has good ratings, but complaints about, well, being only in Spanish. This app was installed, according to the Google Play between 1-k-50k- times and has an average 3.5 rating.

There is another Organic Gardening app (free) that is rated to be good for beginners. This app was installed between 100-500 times with an average 4.0 rating (1 person rated it).

Sadly, there are not a lot of good organic gardening, let alone permaculture or food forest apps out there yet. These are the rest of the search results, but I did not see anything else that looked very hopeful.

Some general good gardening, but not anywhere near permaculture let alone organic, apps are:

1. Garden Manager (freemium app) 3.8 stars, installed between 100k-500k times

2. Expert Gardening Solutions (free) 3.5 stars, installed 1k-5k times

3. Gardenate (free) 4.2 stars installed 5k-10k times

4. Landscape and Garden Calculators (free) 4.1 stars installed 1k-5k times

5. Vegetable Garden ($1.00) 3.8 stars, installed 1k-5k times

That was about the best I could find. I hope some of these were helpful.
 
pollinator
Posts: 169
Location: Emporia, KS
6
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I started to build a Web app to do exactly what you describe a few years ago, but I ran out of steam before adding enough plants (and other elements) to make it worth using. I asked here on Permies if other people were interested, and there was not enough interest to keep me interested. I have access to the data and the skill to build the framework and import the data... If someone would like to design a nice, usable front end for me and pay me to build the Web app, I'll give you a bargain price on the development cost, because I still think it needs to happen.
 
Posts: 8
Location: Winchester, IL (West Central)
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I know this isn't exactly what you asked for but this is my favorite resource for vegetable and herb companion plantings.

Midwestern Permaculture offers a free pdf booklet on tree guilds.

Graph paper is my favorite tool for designing, and Google Sketch-up is great for a basic computer aided design program.
 
Tuco Jacobs
Posts: 8
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Ben Stallings, I would love to see this happen! What do you mean by design a "usable front end"? I'm really good with graphics of that helps.
 
Posts: 1
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Hello There,

I've used this program:

http://gardenplanner.janesdeliciousgarden.com/

Produce the Perfect Garden Plan
The Garden Planner has over 130 vegetables, herbs and fruit and detailed growing information is just a click away. As you add vegetables the space they require is clearly shown by the coloured area around each plant and it calculates how many plants will fit into the area.

Crop rotation is easy as the Garden Planner warns you where you should avoid placing each vegetable based on what was in your previous years' plans.

The Garden Planner is completely free for 30 days - ample time to plan out your whole growing area.

Setting up your Garden Planner account is easy, no credit card details are required and there is no obligation to subscribe. If you find it useful the annual subscription is £15 (R170 approx).

I hope that helps you.
 
Posts: 13
Location: Fayetteville, AR
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Hey guys, I have posted a couple times with guild / polyculture design apps in mind to build. The trouble i've found is getting decent data to fill in the software. I've tried talking to both Dave's and PFAF with no luck, if someone has any idea on how to get the plant data to make good recommendations for polycultures or guild based design principles (height, function, soil type, etc), please let me know and I'll be happy to build out a front end for everyone to use ideally.
 
Posts: 32
Location: Oregon
2
cat urban woodworking
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Have there been any developments on this? Ivan, Ben, you guys need to get together!
Here's my 2 cents/questions if I were going to be a project manager for this:

1) How much would this cost to develop? Can it be done for under $5000?

2) Can we make the databases feed off of public input? Then you wouldn't have to spend so much time/money developing. Just get the interface and algorithms worked out, let the collaborative forces of the Internet take care of the rest. Think Wikipedia. suggest designing a web based tool, and then maybe developing a sync able desktop version later with a more fleshed out utility.

3) Kickstarter? If we could get someone to produce a video advert, we might be able to get funding (see #3). I might be able to produce a video btw, I'm living near Portland Oregon and there are lots of folks up here into gardening/permaculture/alternative lifestyles. If we simply had a video, that would make a huge difference in letting people know
A: What permaculture is
B: Why it's important
C: Why aren't people doing it?
I'm serious, just a little marketing could make this. If people realized there was a computer program that could guide them through the basics, I think permaculture could catch a fire among gardeners. I mean sure, not for most people. Most people don't even garden or care about it. But for gardeners/eco friendlies? Heck, yes. Have you seen the power of people on Kickstarter? People care about investing in good ideas.

4) Can we get anyone in the eco friendly blogosphere to raise awareness of permaculture in general? I think most organic gardeners don't do because they think it's way too complicated. I just checked out some permit books from the library and it is detailed stuff... Not something the public is going to be able to get their hands on in a very timely fashion. If we could reach out to as many eco groups as possible, maybe . I'm not exactly sure who to go to, Mother Earth News? That guy from Grow Your Greens? Yeah I'm pretty clueless. I'm more in tune with the homesteading movement than the permaculture movement. So bloggers like: Cheeseslave, Healthy Home Economist, Gnowfglins, Wellness Mama. Or what about the Paleo community? Food activists? Maybe that's getting too far away from gardeners but... Idk.

Anyways, thoughts?
 
Ivan Mayes
Posts: 13
Location: Fayetteville, AR
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Hey Amy! I've been working in very small pieces to put some of this together. I have a working version of something that I'll put up for people to try out at some point this spring. Its not a complete planning app like most gardening tools, right now its mostly focused on making groupings or lists of plants, and its serving you information about that whole group of plants together. Its like having all of their Plants for a Future pages up in a spreadsheet together, so you can see things like soil preference issues, which layers and functions are being filled.

I would like to make it smarter and alert you about functions that you haven't filled, like "You don't have a good nectary plant" or "You dont have any groundcovers" just as tips for people, and I would like to go from there to making a simple drag and drop builder where you can show what patterns you are using and then of course have these default as public systems that people can share to others or visit the site for inspiration based on a plant search.

Right now its mostly just my real job (and spring planting!) keeping me from making progress, but would love to open source this and get some help moving it forward, as soon as I can get people aligned to the roadmap. Thanks for your interest Amy!
 
Posts: 8
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Hi all I found this while looking to see if anyone is working on something like this opensource. I'm one of the people that started a project called Eco Hacker Farm: https://wiki.ecohackerfarm.org/ and I am project manager for one of the projects called Veintidós: https://wiki.ecohackerfarm.org/veintidos:start

Eco Hacker Farm brings together permaculture and technology, all the research etc we do is opensource.

I can see that there are passionate people here that maybe would have some time or information to share in order to make this happen.

If you are interested to collaborate on this and would like to take part in some way let me know

My email is aimee@ecohackerfarm.org

The idea is to get people into an online meetup in order to discuss this project, what's needed, what we have already, what people are willing to bring to the project etc.
 
Posts: 4
Location: Munich, Germany
trees urban bike
  • Likes 5
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
We just created a little website that should help to find good companions a lot.
It's called PlantBuddies and you can find it here: https://plantbuddies.serlo.org/.



The Permaculture Planner would be the next step, we have some ideas and a very basic prototype for that already but atm. we lack the development power to really start with this. If someone is interested in working on this (web-devs preferably) be sure to check out
https://en.serlo.org/sustainability

@Amiee: That sounds great! Thank you for the info.
 
Aimee Fenech
Posts: 8
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Hi Botho thanks for the link and the great work on this perhaps we can work together we have a location in Germany - a couple of hours outside of Berlin
 
Posts: 4
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator

Botho Willer wrote:

The Permaculture Planner would be the next step, we have some ideas and a very basic prototype for that already but atm. we lack the development power to really start with this. If someone is interested in working on this (web-devs preferably) be sure to check out
https://en.serlo.org/sustainability



Hi Botho, love the companion plant site.

I'd really like to get involved with the garden planner, how can I get in touch? Couldn't find a 'contact' page on the Serlo website.
 
Aimee Fenech
Posts: 8
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Hi all for those who are interested on working with us (Eco Hacker Farm: https://wiki.ecohackerfarm.org/) we will be putting a group together and hopefully get started with a discussion as to what the companion planting software would be able to do. At the moment we would like to provide not only combinations of plants but also be able to identify what type of soil is preferable for the plants, when to plant and when to expect a harvest. Planting tips and plant care information. We are looking at the moment to collate data for the norther temperate climate zone. if you want to know more get in touch aimee@ecohackerfarm.org
 
Aimee Fenech
Posts: 8
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
update

we have started working on this opensource app if you want to know more or get involved please read our wiki: https://wiki.ecohackerfarm.org/companion_planting#ongoing_work_on_a_companion_planting_database

We also meet every Sunday evening to discuss where we are and what is needed to push this forward
 
Posts: 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I have used a companion planting program called Kitchen Garden Aid (http://kitchengarden.sourceforge.net/index.html). It isn't very robust, but it it is fairly helpful with companion planting.

I would love to see more development on this type of software!
 
Aimee Fenech
Posts: 8
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
hello all who may be interested in this topic We have launched powerplant which is a web app that helps you with companion panting, at the moment we have limited data but it is already useable. We plan on developing it further, if you are interested in contributing by programming or even just providing user feedback this would be great:

powerplant.ecohackerfarm.org
https://wiki.ecohackerfarm.org/powerplant:start
 
Posts: 21
Location: Midwest USA
5
urban
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I'll throw my hat in the ring here.  I've created a simple companion planting planning tool that pulls from a lot of the common charts we see on this topic floating around the web. It has a good deal of data behind it, but I'm sure there's more that could be contributed.  

I hope to make it support community-submitted relationships and show reference data/links by year end, as well as add more capabilities based on other feedback I've received from the Permies forum and elsewhere.  I'd like to extend the concept into guilds as well, and add a timing element to it based on local climate, planting times, and soil temperatures for germination times.  

Right now I'm distracted because I'm working on other tools (Climate Analogues, Climate Explorer, and yet to be released Activity Planner).

https://www.growculture.net

I appreciate feedback and ideas on enhancements!
 
Posts: 203
Location: NNSW Australia
29
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
To anyone making or using an app, it's worth noting that most companion planting schemes are somewhat region specific.
Very few companion planting traditions from the northern hemisphere work in the southern hemisphere - this has prompted us southerners to write our own books (J. French) and disregard all the traditional matchings.
 
Jeremy R. Campbell
Posts: 21
Location: Midwest USA
5
urban
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator

Jondo Almondo wrote:To anyone making or using an app, it's worth noting that most companion planting schemes are somewhat region specific.
Very few companion planting traditions from the northern hemisphere work in the southern hemisphere - this has prompted us southerners to write our own books (J. French) and disregard all the traditional matchings.



That is an interesting concept, I’d be curious to understand this better?  At first glance it would seem to me that companions would work regardless of the hemisphere.  Three sisters is three sisters.  Maybe there are region/local-specific varieties or even different crops entirely being grown, or dealing with different pests.  That would make sense.

I couldn’t find the book you were referring to by a J. French, could you give me a little more direction on that?

Thanks!
 
Crusading Chameleon likes the size of this ad:
Perennial Vegetables: How to Use Them to Save Time and Energy
https://permies.com/t/96921/Planting-Perennial-Vegetables-Homestead
  • Post Reply Bookmark Topic Watch Topic
  • New Topic
Boost this thread!