Gardening is going social.
Thanks to Ball Horticultural Co.’s Mason Day and Seth Reed, gardeners can now share photos of their plants, interact with other growers and learn about what grows best in their area with the duos new app, GrowIt!
The app officially launched July 2 in the iTunes store, and an Android version will be available soon.
Connecting with other growers, Day and Reed hope, will foster the growth of a network of young gardeners who spend a lot of their time using apps.
Day and Reed wanted to create a way to reach millennials to get them interested in gardening. And taking a cue from Yelp, the pair thought the horticulture industry could use a rating and review system for plants, based on one’s local area, using the standard geo-location features of today’s smartphones.
GrowIt users can browse the photos of neighbors’ plants and choose to “leave it,” “like it” or “grow it” to help them determine what kind of plants they will grow at home.
The rating and review system, the pair found, is popular with millennials who “are twice as likely to look at reviews and ratings of their products as other generations,” Day says.
“We saw that there are two kinds of gardening apps,” he says. “There’s the heavy information app and apps that aren’t really apps at all, just a continuation of a website. GrowIt is a separate entity that connects gardener to gardener and gets away from the lecturing and knowledge-based app that can be overwhelming.”
Another way the founders are reaching out to the millennial generation is through universities.
Now through Oct. 31, students can download GrowIt, upload 30 photos and fill out a form on growitmobile.com/scholarship to be entered to win one of three $500 and three $100 scholarships.
After all, Day says, GrowIt is a social networking app that is about plant education, but in a fun, relaxed setting.
“If we can get students using it, horticulture students will talk to other students and that word of mouth will get other students using it,” Day says. “That’s a good in for us.”