Smartphones, tablets and smart watches are ubiquitous here in 2018 and have become invaluable tools for the landscape professional, whether on a job site or back at the office. There’s an app for just about everything these days, and many have been developed just for our industry, some by contractors themselves who know what other pros are looking for. Are you making the most of your mobile devices on the job? We’ve identified apps that can put information and productivity tools right at your fingertips. Here are just a handful of the many apps we've found that may be useful in your business.
1 Turf MD. An interactive tool for the identification and management of turfgrass diseases, this app also has a directory of turf extension sources that you can consult for more information.
2 Landscape & Garden Calculators. When it’s time to “do the math,” this app comes in mighty handy. It features 41 landscaping calculators and estimators useful for a myriad of project types. Users can share results or save them to a clipboard for future reference.
3 Landscaper’s Companion. This app contains information on over 26,000 plants with 21,000 pictures. Users are able to search for plants by either their scientific or common names and receive detailed information on how to care for them.
4 iScape Landscape Designs. This free app was designed by a contractor to help clients visualize their outdoor projects. The client uploads a picture of his yard and selects from preloaded elements such as plants, trees, pavers, fountains and more, and simply plops them down where he wants them. The goal is improved collaboration between client and contractor.
5 Slack. Quick communications are crucial in today’s world. Slack can help all members of your team chat back and forth quicker than they can via emails and phone calls. This app is designed to simplify communication using private messages and channels.
6 Turfgrass Management and Turfgrass Management Lite. Turfgrass Management is a subscription-based app that provides easy access to pictures and recommendations for managing and diagnosing turf weeds, diseases, and insect pests in the field. It features a pesticide database, where you can search product rates, tolerant turfgrasses, labeled uses and pests controlled by common or trade name. The Lite version contains content from the subscription edition but does not include the pesticide database.
7 Tsheets. Lets your crews track their time with their phones. TSheets is a cloud-based time tracking and scheduling app that allows your employees to clock in and out from the job site with the devices they’ve already got in their pockets, the App Store description says. It has a “who’s working” feature that allows you to see where your employees are located and who is working on what in real time.
8 PRO Landscape Companion and PRO Landscape Contractor. PRO Landscape Companion is a free app for users of PRO Landscape design software, a serious tool for landscape professionals. The PRO Landscape Companion app requires PRO Landscape Version 18 or higher to function. If you are interested in a stand-alone app, PRO Landscape Contractor may be an option to consider. You snap a picture of your client’s (or potential client’s) property, then drag and drop elements onto it.
9 Leafsnap. Developed by researchers from Columbia University, the University of Maryland and the Smithsonian Institution, this free app helps you identify tree species from leaf photographs.
10 SoilWeb. Created by the California Soil Resource Lab at the University of California, Davis, this GPS-based app is formatted to retrieve graphical summaries of soil types associated with location. Soil survey data from the U.S. Department of Agriculture-National Cooperative Soil Survey is also accessible with the app.
It was eight years ago that Apple trademarked the slogan, “There’s an app for that.” This is truer now more than ever for the green industry.
The author is digital content editor, Irrigation & Green Industry.