Hi, we’re the founders of From Seed To Spoon! We started converting our backyard from an urban lawn into a food farm in 2015 and now you can do the same using our free iOS & Android mobile app!

We started building our app in 2017 and now it's the top search result for "gardening" on both iOS and Android with over 200,000 downloads! Dale & Carrie Spoonemore started From Seed to Spoon to teach people how to grow their own food. They started learning how to code to build the app, and Justin Williams and Patrick Hartley joined the team to build Garden+, our new ultimate gardening tracking solution!

Growing your own food doesn’t have to be difficult and we’re here to show how you can grow your own organic produce economically, efficiently, and sustainably!

Proof (Patrick): https://imgur.com/FYrCKim

Proof (Justin): https://imgur.com/Bfn18XL

Our Website: http://www.seedtospoon.net

Download App on iOS: https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/from-seed-to-spoon/id1312538762?ls=1&mt=8

Download App on Android: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=io.ionic.seed2spoon&hl=en

Edit: Lots of questions around international availablity. We were getting a number of bugs due to time zones and also found that our algorithms weren't applying as well to locations that we weren't familiar with. In keeping with trying to give our users the best possible experience we pulled the app from the international markets until we can do better.

The app is available for everyone, everywhere over the web at app.seedtospoon.net

We're also open to all comments in order to make the app work better so please feel free to send us feedback.

Comments: 590 • Responses: 63  • Date: 

RikVanguard331 karma

If your last name wasn't Spoonemore, what would you have called your app?

FromSeedToSpoonApp236 karma

Haha! That's a great question! You should have seen how excited I got when I had the Eureka moment idea for the name. SmartGarden and PlantSmart were two of the other names I considered.

Dale Spoonemore

lookingrightone150 karma

[question] how often you work in garden every day in order to get vegetables? Is this your primary job ?

FromSeedToSpoonApp236 karma

I spent several hours every day in our garden at the house in the city when we set it up, but over the past few years it's only been 15-45 minutes a day after planting since we have automation for watering. We just moved to the country and will be spending a lot more time out there getting our new garden set up!

Dale & Carrie Spoonemore

lookingrightone46 karma

Is it cost effective? How many persons has to work in garden ?

FromSeedToSpoonApp171 karma

For us, it is. We grow a lot of things we used to buy every week like kale, spinach, oregano, basil, rosemary, thyme, etc... We also grow for the health benefits associated with eating food that's fresh and free of pesticides

Dale

jdenbrok36 karma

What kind of system do you use for the water automation?

FromSeedToSpoonApp82 karma

Xylarky92 karma

The app single handedly helped me decide to finally pursue gardening. It's a nice way to spend quarantine. How can I go about finding info on plants that aren't in yall's database? Is there a way to request info on certain plants?

FromSeedToSpoonApp66 karma

Hi! This is Patrick! Thanks for the question. This is actually one of our most requested features! We're currently trying to add new plants as much as possible but we're also working on a feature that will allow you to create your own custom plants for those that we don't have available in our database yet. you can also request plants to be added by emailing us at [[email protected]](mailto:[email protected])

https://www.seedtospoon.net/addressing-your-most-common-garden-questions/

Spinnakerr20 karma

Sort of off-topic I guess, but will you include cannabis in your future database? I grow my own food gardens on some property but I also grow my own cannabis. It would be neat to have an app for that.

FromSeedToSpoonApp55 karma

Great question! Currently we're partnering with several schools and organizations and are trying to keep the app 100% kid friendly. Plus with the strains and varieties involved, we felt like there are already a lot of apps that can get more granular than we can.

-Patrick

Spinnakerr11 karma

Ahh I see! Well that makes sense to me. I will definitely download the app today and see what it's like. Thanks for doing what you do!

FromSeedToSpoonApp11 karma

Thanks for the download and the question! Please feel free to leave us feedback as well!

[email protected]

mimariposa15 karma

I just downloaded the app! I've been looking for a good way to keep track of my plants and plan my garden each spring. I've checked out the FAQ, but it would be super helpful if you had a Getting Started guide for the app!

FromSeedToSpoonApp19 karma

Hi, this is Justin!

That's a great idea! For now if you open up the side menu and tap on the "Support & Help Docs" button it'll show you various guide videos we have created. We'll try to get something that goes over the entire app out there though!

As far as general gardening goes, if you go to the "Articles" tab there is a "Getting Started" section that has tons of really great information on getting started with gardening!

Thanks so much for your question :)

jalapenofroh82 karma

How can I fix leggy seedlings? Great app btw

FromSeedToSpoonApp184 karma

Great question, it’s been recommended that leggy seedlings can sometimes be saved by gently brushing your fingers back and forth along the tops of the plants every day. This motion simulates an outdoor breeze and tricks the seedlings into thinking they need to grow thicker stems to hold up against windy conditions. Also here is a video addressing leggy seedlings!

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=qxzoDsAebQs

Thanks! Andrew Sartain

ReasonableVegan90 karma

Aim a fan at your seedlings on low speed. It makes them grow stronger.

FromSeedToSpoonApp56 karma

This is what I do as well.

Dale

BeepBoopMcGee57 karma

Is it worth growing just a few stalks of corn? I want to bring some up, but have limited space.

FromSeedToSpoonApp120 karma

I wouldn't mess with corn unless you have a 4x4 minimum area for it. They require other corn plants in order to pollinate correctly. A 4x8 for corn is great though!

Dale Spoonemore

aminmelalae48 karma

We are planting our first garden, what sq ft would you say is reasonable for a beginner? Any tips for a beginner? We're a family of 6 and water bill isn't a concern

FromSeedToSpoonApp39 karma

Hi! When we first started out we did 2 4x4 beds. We did this so we could get a handle on it and still grow multiples of plants we wanted! I would definitely stick to growing simple things (success is key!) and things that you will actually want to eat! I would recommend the Smart Pot beds because they are so easy to setup and don't require much upfront work and cost! We have a section in the app just for beginners that link to several blog posts that should help you out! It's the "Getting Started" tab under "Articles". Good luck!

-Carrie

Franceseye37 karma

Why is the app not available to download in Italy?

FromSeedToSpoonApp41 karma

Hi! This is patrick! We were getting a number of bugs due to time zones and also found that our algorithms weren't applying as well to locations that we weren't familiar with. In keeping with trying to give our users the best possible experience we pulled the app from the international markets until we can do better.

The app is available for everyone, everywhere over the web at http://app.seedtospoon.net

We're also open to all comments in order to make the app work better so please feel free to send us feedback.

BMY6131 karma

Love the app and all that you put into it. Are you going to implement any sort of subscription into the app with the Garden+?

FromSeedToSpoonApp44 karma

Hi! This is Patrick. Currently we're offering Garden+ for free while we work out the very last bugs. After we feel comfortable with the final product it will go to a subscription model for $3.49/month. I think we'll also be offering year long subscriptions for a discounted price.

themarmotreturns28 karma

Thanks for all your work! This app haa been a great help for me this season. What's next for you guys?

FromSeedToSpoonApp26 karma

Thank you! We love hearing when our app helps people! Here's a blog post we just released that lays out our vision for what's next with the app!

https://www.seedtospoon.net/addressing-your-most-common-garden-questions/

Dale & Carrie Spoonemore

Farva8526 karma

What technology did you use to build your app?

FromSeedToSpoonApp51 karma

Hi! This is Patrick! We used the Ionic javascript framework with Angular. This allows us to create multiple apps (ios, android, web) from a single code base. Thanks for asking!

gygtejdb13 karma

Any particular reason you went with ionic over react native?

FromSeedToSpoonApp8 karma

We all use Angular at our day job and so the transition just seemed easier to get everything up and running faster. Thanks for the queston! - Patrick

samara1127822 karma

I love your app, but this is my first garden so dont know what to expect! Will the app push me a notification when something is almost ready to harvest?

FromSeedToSpoonApp39 karma

Hey this is Justin! That is actually a feature we're really excited about that is next on our to do list! We'll also be adding in watering reminder notifications. For now you can see the expected sprout and first harvest dates on any plant you add by looking at the summary. You can also log events for things like actual sprout date, watering, fertilizing, pest encounters, when it rains, and anything else you'd like to see (choose Other). Photos and notes can be added to plants as well!

samara1127812 karma

Thank you! Watering reminders would be great too! Will they be tailored for each species' requirements?

FromSeedToSpoonApp29 karma

Yes! We have an algorithm that takes into account each plants specific needs and will be notifying you when each species needs to be watered. We will also take into account rainfall in your area to make sure you're not over watering!

-Patrick

JazzlikeSpinach319 karma

How has the coronavirus situation impacted your gardening? I know there is a surge in small gardening and farming right now.

FromSeedToSpoonApp22 karma

Hi! This is Patrick! My gardening journey has really only just begun. I'm more of the tech guy and not as knowledgeable as dale about those things. I can say that the response we've been getting as far as downloads, website hits, and gardens created through the app have absolutely gone through the roof. It's been a wild ride.

FromSeedToSpoonApp14 karma

We were in the process of moving to an acreage already when this all started, but I'd definitely say it's made is move faster on getting chickens going after we moved in!

Dale Spoonemore

primothy19 karma

Where is the garden in your backyard? All I see is grass

FromSeedToSpoonApp20 karma

You can see a before and after photo of our garden on our website at http://www.seedtospoon.net

Dale Spoonemore

FromSeedToSpoonApp13 karma

Hi this is Patrick! Dale is really the master gardener of the group. But lately my wife and I have started growing our first tomatoes, cucumbers, peppers, and herbs! Dale's helped all of us to try and be a bit healthier

ddaryanani19 karma

How do you prep your soil for optimal growth for herbs and vegetable ?

FromSeedToSpoonApp26 karma

We typically make our soil mix for our containers, however we've also had success using the "Back to Eden" method of covering the yard with cardboard and wood chips, then planting in that location the next year.

Here's a guide on how to make your own soil mix.

https://www.seedtospoon.net/qa-what-soil-do-i-use/

Dale Spoonemore

kindanormle18 karma

What technologies did you use to make the app? What's your backend? I've been thinking of writing my own app for awhile and I'm just not sure what to use since there's Google, Microsoft and Amazon and they all have their own toolchains and such. I'm curious to know what you used and why you chose that one?

FromSeedToSpoonApp35 karma

Hey, this is Justin! We use Ionic Framework v5 with Angular v9 for the front end. We went this route because it let us focus on a single codebase and we all already work with Angular at our day jobs. We're kinda biased from using it at our day jobs but Angular is awesome to work with and if you're an Angular developer it's surprisingly easy to jump into Ionic and make a good looking app with it (iOS/Android/PWA). Another thing that's nice about Angular is it's kind of a strict framework so you end up writing maintainable code more often than not with it.

For the backend we're using Google Firebase (Auth, Firestore, Storage, and Cloud Functions). The main reason we chose this was because of how easy it is to get a real-time updating app going with Firestore. The Firestore angular library also has offline saving / sync support to make it feel more like an app and less like a website in the way data is saved (when the device goes offline it falls back to offline mode and lets you keep using it, then syncs stuff to Firestore once you're back online). It's pretty nice, although it's possible we may switch to C#/Microsoft SQL later down the road (a lot later down the road, we're not outgrowing Firebase yet) since it would be nice to have the app run from a relational DB instead of a document DB.

Great question, let us know if you think of anything else or I didn't hit on anything!

highhdeff15 karma

Hi I recently discovered your app and I really love using it for my garden! I was wondering if you were planning on adding more varieties to it (such as Asian herbs) or breaking down some broader categories into more specific categories (I.e. Tomatoes into tomatoes and cherry tomatoes)?

FromSeedToSpoonApp13 karma

Hi! This is Patrick! Thanks for the question. This is actually one of our most requested features! We're currently trying to add new plants as much as possible but we're also working on a feature that will allow you to create your own custom plants for those that we don't have available in our database yet. you can also request plants to be added by emailing us at [email protected]

ext1nct0n12 karma

We just started a garden today and planted our crops. How much of a issue are there with critters and plants in raised beds? Should we put a chicken fence around it?

FromSeedToSpoonApp10 karma

We tend to have an issue with insects more than critters, but it really just depends on where you live. A fence around would help, as well as motion activated sprinklers and other cool tricks. You can find more tips like this in our app in the Critters section!

Dale Spoonemore

backgroundview10 karma

When is the right time or circumstances to use wood ash in a garden or orchard?

FromSeedToSpoonApp13 karma

Wood ash can be great to use in the garden, but can alter the PH if you use too much. We typically add it to our compost sparingly.

Dale Spoonemore

Brothernod8 karma

I want plants and maybe fresh vegetables/herbs but grown in my house and with little to no work. Is it reasonable to think most of the effort can be automated/invested away?

FromSeedToSpoonApp6 karma

It just depends on what you want to grow. Crops like blackberries with few pests that come back year after year are easy to grow, but plants like squash that have to be planted by seed and have a lot of pests require more care.

Dale Spoonemore

ChiefQuinby7 karma

Why did your app go from really useful to commercials for seed companies? Do you think you'll redesign the companion gardening feature?

FromSeedToSpoonApp13 karma

Hi Chief,

We've added an entire Garden tracking solution with Garden+ since we integrated with Burpee and we aven't had a video in the past year that I can recall that even mentions Burpee. I hardly see how we could be viewed as a commercial for a seed company. Our primary reason for integrating with Burpee was to give our users additional information about varieties and days to harvests available. We've made less from Burpee purchases than we pay for our Mailchimp service every month, so it certainly isn't as you're attempting to frame it.

As far as companion planting features are concerned, we'd love to be able to work on a layout building feature that lets you lay your garden out visually. Right now we all work on this part time since we have full time jobs, but are hoping that's something we're able to build by hiring a full time developer.

Dale Spoonemore

ChiefQuinby6 karma

I guess that i removed the app at the beginning of the merge with burpee and I was frustrated with it at the time and there was no way to pay for an add free version. I would likely reinstall it if I was able to pay for an add free version.

FromSeedToSpoonApp13 karma

We'd love for you to download it again and let us know what you think! We were excited about the Burpee partnership when we landed it because we were finally able to provide more detailed information for varieties. We may have been overzealous in our promotion, but I promise it came from a place of excitement. Ideally, we'd like to have hundreds of seed companies integrated so that we can show you seeds that grow well where you live. Unfortunately, Burpee was the only seed company we talked to that had the technology to pull an integration off.

Dale Spoonemore

Micksel7 karma

Would love to try your app. Unfortunately I can't download it in the Netherlands. What's up with that restriction?

FromSeedToSpoonApp4 karma

Hi! This is patrick! We were getting a number of bugs due to time zones and also found that our algorithms weren't applying as well to locations that we weren't familiar with. In keeping with trying to give our users the best possible experience we pulled the app from the international markets until we can do better.

The app is available for everyone, everywhere over the web at app.seedtospoon.net

We're also open to all comments in order to make the app work better so please feel free to send us feedback.

EstroJen6 karma

I just downloaded the app and I love it so far! Just one question: is there a way to set up multiple gardens in the app? I have my own home garden, but my employers are letting me build a veggie garden behind our office building. Can I set up two different gardens to keep track of their needs?

FromSeedToSpoonApp8 karma

That's a commonly asked for feature that we'll be working on soon! until then you are able to tag plants by 'location' and filter by that location as well. Thanks!

-Patrick

unicycle-road-head5 karma

what is the airspeed velocity of an unladen swallow?

FromSeedToSpoonApp10 karma

24mph

cassihibbett5 karma

How many different variations of natural pesticides or fungal control do you actually spray on your plants and how often? Also when do you start? Last fall, i lost 50-75% of my plants to this bug or that bacterial wilt and it seemed like by the time i noticed my efforts were pointless and the damage was done. I dont want to waste my energy, water, or money just to end up with the same result. And i find it to be a little unrealistic to check under every leaf for bugs/eggs where you are growing in a larger quantity.

FromSeedToSpoonApp5 karma

I completely understand how difficult it can be to search constantly to catch the bugs causing these problems! Whenever we start to notice a problem we step in with natural solutions. We build a DIY cucumber trap and use yellow sticky tape a lot to help catch the bad bugs in the summertime. We occasionally will use items such as BTK or DE as well. We use these very sparingly though and try to depend more upon nature and beneficial critters! Good luck!

-Carrie

why__meee4 karma

I’m am interested in having a small garden on my patio, I live near Savannah GA and I’m not sure what would be a good start for an apartment garden. I have more of a brown thumb but I’m trying to get better. What good suggestions would you have to help?

FromSeedToSpoonApp4 karma

There are lots of things that can be grown with limited space and sun. Here's a blog post that gives more info!

https://www.seedtospoon.net/the-top-10-foods-to-grow-on-your-shady-balcony-or-patio/

Dale Spoonemore

howtofriends4 karma

What language/framework did you use? Also really good app!

FromSeedToSpoonApp4 karma

Hi! This is Patrick!

We're using the ionic javascript framework with angular 9. our backend database is google firestore. Thanks for the question!

FucksWithCookies3 karma

Is chicken wire a good mesh for a trellis or should i use something more like a cloth or plastic. Also can I face trellises to the east or west so they don't block the sun from each other? Love this app. Great work.

FromSeedToSpoonApp2 karma

We like to use cattle panels or wire remesh panels for trellises. Here's a video showing more!

https://www.seedtospoon.net/urban-garden-tour-what-were-growing-in-our-oklahoma-backyard-to-feed-our-family-march-2020-2-2/

Dale Spoonemore

Ortster3 karma

What is the strangest or most unexpected issue that you have ran into in the apps development / launch?

FromSeedToSpoonApp3 karma

I don't know how strange or unexpected it is but one thing that happens when you tell people that you work on an app is them asking you to develop an app they have in mind.
After quoting them your hourly that usually goes away

-Patrick

TheJamDor2 karma

How are you celebrating World Naked Gardening Day?

FromSeedToSpoonApp5 karma

Clothed. My neighbors are eternally grateful.

Humanthe2 karma

Hey guys, thanks for doing AMA!

That's actually the first time I'm hearing about this app/project, but it sounds very exciting.

Did you enjoy learning coding and writing your own app? Are you planning on doing more software development, or was it just this one thing to share your ideas with more people?

FromSeedToSpoonApp3 karma

Hi this is patrick! Dale, Justin, and I all have day jobs working as software developers. Learning to code was one of the hardest things I've ever accomplished but I can't imagine doing anything else for a living. It's truly a passion. Because the app is technically a side project, it takes a lot of nights and weekends. But we're all happy to do it :)

SnowGlobeTrekkr2 karma

I live at 9k’ (Rocky Mountains). Would love to at least grow herbs (veg if possible) but no idea where to start. Advice?

FromSeedToSpoonApp2 karma

Start in containers and work up from there. Herbs are an easy starting point and take less work than any other varieties.

www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2014/aug/15/ten-best-herbs-grow-containers

Thanks for the question! Andrew Sartain

qpv2 karma

Is there is a way to filter searches by temperate zone on the app?

FromSeedToSpoonApp5 karma

No but that's a good idea for us to look into! Thanks for the feedback!

-Patrick

magocremisi82 karma

what is the most rewarding cold and hot climate vegetable/fruit for beginners to grow?

FromSeedToSpoonApp4 karma

cold - kale / spinach

hot - basil / okra / squash / oregano

Dale

Threwthelookinglass2 karma

I have a summer vegetable garden for four years, and this is my first year to use your app. I LOVE it!! Any advice on keeping fire ants out of raised beds?

FromSeedToSpoonApp2 karma

Plant mint in the garden! Also consider some of these home remedies: https://www.lvpest.com/6-natural-ways-get-rid-ants/

Consider a soapy water mix or boiling water once you need to get rid of them. https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=UJh5pfaFwhk

Thanks for the question! Andrew Sartain

NotTooStoned2 karma

Have you seen an increase in downloads since the start of COVID-19?

FromSeedToSpoonApp3 karma

YES! All of our numbers have jumped off the map over the recent few months.

-Patrick

DumbestBoy2 karma

Does your app have info about which vegetables and such should not be grown near each other? Either way I just downloaded it. I want to start doing this and could use help so thank-you guys!

FromSeedToSpoonApp2 karma

Yes! When you select a plant, you can go to the friends tab. It also has a list of plants that we consider 'enemies'. Plants that don't grow well next to each other. Thanks for the question!- Patrick

TheMysticFez2 karma

Do you like The Beatles?

FromSeedToSpoonApp4 karma

The are my favorite. I listen to them every week <3

-Patrick

yAz_942 karma

How did you get into programming and app development. Like how did you start? I wanna start learning programming using JS but I really don't know where to begin.

FromSeedToSpoonApp2 karma

Here's the resources that I started with when learning around 3 years ago.

https://www.udemy.com/course/the-web-developer-bootcamp/https://www.freecodecamp.org/

Patrick

Rhowell672 karma

I've enjoyed pics of the kids and the animals. How much land to you have to farm? I live in a subdivision and my mother is a little less than half acre. I have a designated 30'x30' garden space but have moved outside of that. Wish I was back in the farm

FromSeedToSpoonApp3 karma

We've lived on a 1/3 acre urban plot for the past 5 years, but just moved to 5 acres this month!

Dale Spoonemore

GlobalWarmer122 karma

Are glasses enough to hide your true identity and how would you describe being married to Joe Exotic?

FromSeedToSpoonApp4 karma

Oh man, I'm really hoping this isn't directed towards me lol
-Patrick

quirkycurlygirly2 karma

Is the druit and vegetable supply in the US on the brink of collapse?

I love your app by the way.

FromSeedToSpoonApp3 karma

From what I've read and heard, I think our meat supply is more in danger than anything else.

-Patrick

harryspack2 karma

What inspired you to make this app and what did you guys do before you designing gardening apps?

FromSeedToSpoonApp3 karma

We converted our back yard into gardens over the course of a few years and wanted to make an app to make the whole process easier. I felt inspired in 2016 to do something to try to make things better instead of worrying about the state of the world all the time. That's basically where it all started. Here's a talk I gave that explains more about how and why we got started with this project.

https://www.seedtospoon.net/details-diy-pallet-compost-bins/

Dale Spoonemore

Solome62 karma

Where did you guys learn the software required? What online platform or books did you use? I’m trying to build an application of my own so I am deeply interested.

FromSeedToSpoonApp3 karma

Hi! I started developing about 3 years ago and here are the resources I started out with. After these, I started looking at Angular courses at Pluralsight.com and at that point was able to learn the ionic framework from the documentation alone. Good luck in your journey!

https://www.freecodecamp.org/
https://www.udemy.com/course/the-web-developer-bootcamp/
(don't pay full price for udemy courses, they're always on sale)

-Patrick

FromSeedToSpoonApp2 karma

I learned from Justin and the rest of the team at our day job, as well as Pluralsight and other on-line platforms. Here's a recording of a talk I gave that talks about how I learned to code and what we did to start building the app.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JUn8-2jJI1Y

Dale Spoonemore

GingerSnake3212 karma

How’re you addressing composting?

FromSeedToSpoonApp5 karma

We have a few different ways that we use composting. Here's a blog post with more details!

https://www.seedtospoon.net/details-diy-pallet-compost-bins/

Dale Spoonemore

Azura_Skye1 karma

Do you plan on incorporating a calender or watering reminder? Or would you consider putting together a guide of what plants grow well together for mutually beneficial purposes, ie planting marigolds with tomatoes? It would be a nice cross reference for garden planning. I really appreciate the container size needed for each plant since I have limited yard space. Thanks!

FromSeedToSpoonApp4 karma

Hi! This is Patrick! We currently have a cross section of which plants will grow well with your selected plant. and we are working towards both a calendar view and notifications that will inform you when to water, harvest, plant, etc all your favorite veggies.

Thanks for asking!

wildclover11 karma

Can you describe your design/planning process for this app? How you went about planning and implementing on a feature/overall level?

I’m so impressed with what you guys have done!

FromSeedToSpoonApp1 karma

Thanks so much, it's always great to hear positive feedback! So originally we kinda just jumped into things to get something working without too much planning. This worked out really well since we didn't have to fight against decision paralysis to get the original app out to everybody!

Since then we've relied heavily on user feedback to prioritize which features to work on and we reprioritize things as needed every update. We have some tools we use to keep track of all the feature requests and we'll do group brainstorming sessions on them every week and assign tasks to each other.

-Justin

stephvmp0 karma

Can i use fish fertilizer on my dwc hydroponics system instead of the special nutrients?

FromSeedToSpoonApp1 karma

This is certainly an option! Fish fertilizer can help add key enzymes to protect your plants.

https://www.advancednutrients.com/articles/organic-nutrients-and-fertilizers-used-in-hydroponics/

Thanks! Andrew Sartain