Plants newsletter #5.
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What's new with Plants app

Plants Icon

Plants 1.1 new app icon

The Plants 1.0 app icon was widely acclaimed and was one of the reasons for Plants to be featured in the App Store for several countries. Now is the time to meet the new app icon! It is modern and vibrant, and we hope you will like it too.



Care properties

Plants version 1.0 had a list of plant properties like irrigation needs, hardiness, or lighting conditions. In Plants version 1.1 we are introducing care properties (watering, repotting, etc.)

The first image shows the care properties summary in addition to the already known plant properties.

The second image represents the care properties in detail. For each care property, the user will be able to schedule the tasks related to the corresponding care property (e.g. water once every two weeks) and take property and task specific notes (Pro version only).


Plants app on Twitter and Facebook

During the past months we collected a lot of data about different plants for different horticultural interest groups. This is time and labour intensive work that needs to be done by plant specialists. Now we are entering the phase of preparing plants data for Plants app. Version 1.1 of the app will group plants data in four distinct categories: compatibility with Plants version 1.0, selected easy to grow or popular plants for the beginner, and selections of indoor and balcony plants.

Every time we prepare a plant for the Plants app collection, we will tweet this plant together with one or more photos. We will also share this information on Plants app Facebook page. Follow us on Twitter and Facebook to see the growing collection of plants. We will appreciate your feedback as well as your suggestions for your beloved green friends or exotic catalogue suggestions.

On Twitter we are @PlantsApp


Plants app beta testers are now welcome

In the coming weeks we will start beta-testing version 1.1 of Plants app. This will give also a wider group of people the chance to provide us with valuable early feedback. If you'd like to participate in the beta-testing, please subscribe to the special Plants tester mailing list.


Plant of the month: Primula vulgaris - Primrose

Primula vulgaris is one of the most popular and attractive wild, early spring flowering plants. The Primrose is a small plant, no more than 10cm (4in) high. This carpeting perennial produces flowers in many different colours - white, cream, deep yellow, pink, purple, and crimson. The size of the flowers is about 2cm (1in) in diameter, but many cultivars exhibit significantly larger and more complex flowers. The bloom forms a basal rosette of simple leaves. Primrose grow in clusters or solitary.

Primrose usually bloom best in March and April and continue blooming well into May or even early June. The flowers are hermaphrodite and have both male and female organs. The plant prefers cool sites in shade or partial shade, and clay-sandy soils that should never dry completely. Primrose can carpet large areas if the grass is not cropped too closely. Primrose provides perfect feeding for early pollinators.

Primula vulgaris is widespread throughout Ireland, the British Isles, and mainland Europe. Natively it is found only in woodlands and on mountain and coastal cliffs, but in gardens it is planted near hedges, north facing banks, or rock gardens.


How to grow

• Primrose can grow from seed or by division. Grow in partial shade or half sun (but only if the soil is moist at all times). Grows well in heavy clay or clay-sandy soils. Plants are hardy to about -25°C (-13°F).
• Plant primrose in woodland gardens as ground cover, or in containers. Mulch is important, especially in climates with hot summer.
• The best propagation is by division in autumn. Divide the roots every other year. In early spring sow stored seeds in a cold frame. Germination is inhibited at temperatures above 20°C (68°F). When seedlings are large enough to handle, prick them into individual pots. Repot them in summer after bloom or plant them directly in the garden.
• No pruning is required, but deadheading will extend the flowering period.
• Primrose may be attacked by aphids, glasshouse red spider mite, leafhoppers, vine weevil, slugs, primula brown core, and grey moulds.

Use in medicine and in the kitchen

Primroses have many medical and culinary uses:
• The leaves are used to dress wounds. Young leaves - raw or cooked, could be used as potherbs, added to soups. The leaves are often available all trough the winter. 
• The flowers are edible and were once popular in a dish known as Primrose pottage. They make an attractive garnish to salads and can also be used as a cooked vegetable or in preserves. Picked when first opened, the flowers are fermented with water and sugar to make a very pleasant and intoxicating wine. In the medicine they are used for treating painful conditions such as rheumatism, paralysis and gout. An infusion of the petals makes Primrose tea. 
• The roots exhibit anodyne, antispasmodic, astringent, emetic, and sedative characteristics. The roots could be harvested in autumn when the plant is two or three years old. Dry for later use.

Links: Primula vulgaris in Wikipedia
          Primula vulgaris in RHS


Seasonal task - lawn aeration

Beginning of spring is the ideal time to prepare the lawn for the new lush grass grow. Grass health depend to a large extent on the root system. It is important to allow air and water to flow deeply into the root system. The mowing and walking on the grass during the last growing season normally did compact the soil and prevents free air flow. To loosen the soil one should aerate it before the beginning of the active growth season.

To aerate the lawn you will need:
 • Horticultural (or sharp) sand and compost
 • Aerator or garden fork
 • Appropriate garden rake
 • Hard garden broom


1. Best is to aerate a day after rain. If there are early dry spells, water the loan a day or two before aeration. The grass should be fresh and sturdy like before mowing.

2. Clean thoroughly all remaining leaves and moss with the garden rake. Repeat several times until the grass is free of moss and decaying materials.
3. Run the aerator over the lawn in a pattern that covers the area only once. If you do not have an aerator, use a sturdy garden fork or a manual aerator and make deep holes each 5-8cm (2-3in).
4. Cover the lawn with ca. 1/2in (1cm) thick layer of mixture of mostly horticultural sand and some compost. Depending on the soil nutrition levels, you can add wood ash and a slow releasing fertiliser. Spread the sand and compost with the hard garden broom until all the holes are completely filled.

For more information visit Plants App website

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