More spring-forward apps (Part 2)

In Part 1, we talked about two apps that will help make a great spring even better. But just as the beauty of spring knows no limits, neither do its apps. Here, then, are some more spring-themed apps that will make you blossom into the season as much as the leaves on the trees.

1. Making gardening a breeze. Gardening is not just confined to little old ladies and people attending to their suburban tomato crops anymore. In our world of organic everything, gardeners are everywhere – poking their head out of apartment windows and riding the subway on a soil replenishing run. So for all you gardeners among us – and for those who aspire to join the ranks – feast your eyes on Food Gardening Guide, a free app that can make a crop expert from even the most urbanized of us. Assembled from information in Mother Earth News Magazine, the app provides a how-to of gardening techniques, crop information and general green news. The app's website points to the many different and highly specific functions the app carries out, including helping you learn about onions, carrots, garlic and just about everything else that comes out of the earth and into your mouth. In addition to the crop information itself, Food Gardening Guide offers valuable information on crop maintenance, including the best strategies for water usage and harvesting guidelines. What the app does not tell you – but what we'll be happy to point out – is that dropping your iPhone in the mud while using the app won't cause it to grow. In fact, it may lead you right to a cell phone repair shop.

2. Detecting those allergens before they get you. There are only two bad things about spring. One is sitting in an office from 9 to 5 and having to stare out the window. The other is allergies. If you are afflicted with both conditions, our apologies. But Pollen.com's Allergy Alert can right at least one of those wrongs. The app – which is thankfully available for free – keeps track of the pollens in the air so that the allergy-prone can prepare themselves or, if needed, avoid some areas entirely. Providing a daily "Allergy Forecast," the app is like the Weather Channel for your nose. And because it is individually tailored to your specific allergies, you can ensure an accurate reading before you step in harm's way. According to the app's website, it also can account for asthma, cold and coughs and ultraviolet exposure. Hopefully you don't experience any allergies this season, but if you do – hey, at least you get to have your own personal forecast.

3. An app that's just chirpy. Back in my day, "Tweeting" meant something a lot different than it does today, and now there's an iPad app that's single-handedly working to reclaim that moniker for the birds. Designed for the bird enthusiasts among us, iBird is a gleaming repository of winged wonders, replete with a photo library and a database of songs and calls. Admittedly, this is more of a niche app than its hiking or stargazing counterparts. After all, there are only a select few people who genuinely enjoy the tweets that are emitted from birds instead of iPhones, but for that sector of the population, this app will doubtless be a source of excitement. For the seasoned bird-watcher and the amateur alike, iBird​ is a virtual companion that will help enhance the beauty of a bird day well spent.

Marcelina Hardy

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