Smart Gardener Review and Market Tote Giveaway

There are two kinds of people in my world.

Those who know what peat moss is and those who don’t. Those who know what “zone” they live in and those who don’t.

I am no way near the former group in either one of those cases and if you are like me,  you’ll NEED some help.

While the romantic notion of growing your own food and feeding your family throughout the year might make you want to take out every gardening book in the library, the reality is, it takes too much time to go through pages and pages of unorganized wealth of information that you just as soon just leave the growing food to the “experts.”

OK,  I did ‘ok’ last summer with some help from my mom but it was more like “SHE” did well last summer with “NO” help from me.

This year, I am determined to make my own food, without mom’s help.

But don’t tell her that an online tool called Smart Gardener is going to help me. No, it’s not replacing her but it certainly will make me feel a little more organized. And honestly,  I even love the name. It’s not “Gardening for Dummies” which would make me feel ‘this‘ small. But “Smart Gardener” sounds so encouraging. It’s not mocking me or berating me for being a ‘dummie’. The site is going to be my savior, my teacher, and my “Wikipedia” of gardening!

Kristee Rosendahl, the Founder

I interviewed Kristee, in person, a few weeks ago when she was in NYC on business. Imagine that – I actually interviewed the woman who founded the site that will be responsible for growing my own food! But besides that, she was uber generous to donate jute market bags for the Martha Stewart’s event – don’t worry; you have a chance to win one.

You can read the full interview on Green Living Ideas but in short, she said she started Smart Gardener because of her own frustration of finding herself with too much information on gardening and not enough time to digest them all. She spoke my language!!

Every weekend, I would start to head out to the garden and then realize I really wasn’t sure what I should be doing. I’d turn around and spend the next half of my Saturday back inside, reading a dozen books and googling until I was even more confused. There is alot of information out there, but no place for me to collect or go to that was about my garden, my conditions and what we wanted to grow and when. I wanted a “To Do” list of exactly what I should doing that week to help my garden grow great food. I started talking to people who had many of the same issues. At the same time, the food movement, health concerns, and the economy started to really force the issue of how to get good food. It seemed like a perfect time to get this product out there – for the rest of us who want to be growing our own food but have a million other things we also have to be doing. I wanted this product to help mainstream sustainability.

Boy does she understand me or what?

How does Smart Gardener help you grow food?

Like I said earlier, when I read a gardening magazine, I’d go, “Whaaaaa? What is my “zone” and when is my “Frost Date”? I just want to plant my seeds! Just tell me when!” Can you related?

Well, Smart Gardener tells me when to plant what seeds and when to harvest. If I put in my zip code, it will tell me when the frost date is in my zone, what seeds to start indoors and when to plant them outside. Seriously.

Take a look at what Smart Gardener does, in a nut shell.

You pick the plot size and its shape.
smart gardener planner

Pick what seeds you want to plant.
Smart Gardener Seeds

Your “To Do” list to keep track of what you planted and the progress of your garden in one place.

And your garden journal to keep a record of what you planted when, what to plant next, and when to harvest.

Smart Gardener Journal

It is so comprehensive that there’s no reason why I won’t be able to grow food! And you know what’s better?

It is FREE!! There are ‘add-ons’ that you can buy to add your garden’s special features but the free version has plot plans for raised beds, container garden and conventional garden.

Look at the start of my page.
*Click the image to enlarge
smartgardener

I know when my “Frost Date” is and when is my best growing season is! Based on this information, I’ll know “what” to plant and “when”!

Kristee is planning to add options like recipes timed perfectly with your harvest. So when you harvest your greens, recipes for your harvested veggies will show up automatically, right in your journal! You don’t have to search the internet for recipes after you harvested your bounty of goodness! How user-friendly is this? Eh?

Here is a video of how you can use Smart Gardener.

SmartGardener.com Quick Tour Simply grow great food. from Smart Gardener on Vimeo.

So what do you think? You should register and open your FREE account today! It’s fun and very resourceful. I love the colors of the site too. Very aesthetically soothing. Oh, they are working on an app for the iPad right now. Kristee thinks an iPad will be more functional than an iPhone app since the screen is larger than an iPhone to see your plot and what’ growing on your garden.

Oh, one more thing, this site would be a great information to share with your neighbors when we do our annual “Green Share” activity before Earth Day next month!

Giveaway

Kristee sent me this jute bag to review to see if it’d be appropriate for Martha Stewart’s event so I am willing to part with it and give it to the winner of this giveaway. You see how all those pretty goodies went inside the bag to give out at the Dreamers into Doers event? I’m sure the attendees loved the sturdy bag to carry all their ‘stuff’ back home.

The content is not included in the giveaway.

In order to win the beautiful tote that was sent with our swags, you’ll have to be our subscriber. Then, you can do any of the following for extra entries.

  • Register on Smart Gardener and let us know what you like about the site in the comment below.
  • Tell us what is your biggest obstacle in gardening in the comments.
  • ‘Like” Smart Gardener’s Facebook Page and leave a message on their wall & tag Eco Etsy *You’ll have to ‘like’ eco etsy in order for you to tag.
  • You can share and spread the word about Smart Gardener and let us know.

Giveaway Rules

  • You have to be 18 years old, living in contiguous states in the U.S.
  • The giveaway is ONLY for the bag and not the contents shown.
  • Giveaway ends at 8:00 PM on March 23, 2012 and the winner will be picked on Random.Org and announced on March 24, 2012.
  • Retail Value for the bags: $20

Good Luck!

Comments

  1. One problem very limited space. Apartments are small it really limits what you can plant.

  2. I Registered on Smart Gardens. I like the way the site helps people who are just starting there first garden. Lots of good ideas. Good site.

  3. I am a subscriber via E-Mail.

  4. My biggest obstacle is space

  5. I Registered on Smart Gardener. I liked the recommended garden plan for me. I also liked looking at others’ garden plans for idea.

  6. Wow, this is a really neat tool to have AND bonus for it being free! I have had the gardening bug for a while – I’m hoping that comes with a green thumb ;P I started a container garden in the last apartment we were in but since my husband lost his job, we have had to move back in with his folks. The biggest challenge in maintaining my little garden now is we live in a spare bedroom so my plants are all lined up in the window sill. Unfortunately the window faces North and is blocked by neighbors so there is very little sun light. My plants are still with us but they aren’t growing anywhere near as quickly as they were before. I’m looking forward to having a permanent plot that I can cultivate!

    • Oh, I’m sorry to hear that. Even if they are not growing as fast, at least they are still with you. I hope you’ll be able to move to a better situation soon to garden the way you want. :)

  7. I am pleased to see information I can actually use, for example, dates safe for planting

    • Pretty soon, it will feature recipes in time for your harvests! The potential for a variety of functions is limitless! And they are coming!

  8. I love to see stuff like this for beginner gardeners. It is well worth the effort to grow your own. It gets easier every year.

    • It sure is worth the effort, even if it’s just for some herbs or tomatoes. They taste so much better when they are home grown. :)

  9. Fabulous article, as always. I’m off to yoga to tell my friends in class the name of the site. I told them all how wonderful it was, but couldn’t remember the name. Oops.