Knoxville, Tenn. – Gardeners are known for having all the right tools to tackle the toughest landscape challenges. Now there is a high-tech tool at their fingertips that will help keep them aware of pests as they develop over the season, as well as provide them how-to information on insect and disease management, pruning and fertilization schedules, and more. The tool is not your typical gardening tool, but an app called IPMLite available for both iPhone and Android platforms.
Much smaller and lighter than gardening books and cheaper than a yearly subscription to a gardening magazine, IPMLite offers immediate access, right in the landscape, to current pest and plant disease information, plant care recommendations, and IPMLite alerts users when destructive pests emerge in their locations.
“Avid gardeners crave sound information on plant care and pests. We built IPMLite to give them just that,” explained Amy Fulcher, lead developer and University of Tennessee Institute of Agriculture assistant professor in the Department of Plant Sciences. “IPMLite includes all the information they need condensed down into a quick, easy-to-read format and great images.” It features real-time alerts to gardeners and homeowners so they can stay on top of emerging pests and timely plant care.”
IPMLite enables users to:
- Receive text-like alerts for time-sensitive pest issues and plant care – alert date adjusted to location so they are always aware of current pest issues
- View images, pest lifecycle, and management options for major pests of woody plants
- Reference how-to information and images of cultural practices
- Track pests and cultural practices in calendar view or a chronological list
“The information is so good, and it is written in understandable language for the person looking for a solution to their home gardening problems,” explained Master Gardener Faye Beck, whose own gardens have twice been featured in Fine Gardening magazine. “The pictures are very clear. I can see where this app would be invaluable to the Master Gardeners who respond to questions from the public, or the home gardener to know more about cures for their gardening problems or questions. I think this will be a valuable tool for landscapers and gardeners too.”
IPMLite, or Integrated Pest Management Lite, was developed through a collaborative effort of horticulturists, entomologists and plant pathologists at seven land-grant universities. The University of Tennessee Institute of Agriculture, working with Clemson University, University of Georgia, University of Kentucky, University of Maryland, North Carolina State University and Virginia Polytechnic Institute, developed the first Integrated Pest Management mobile app, IPMPro, for nursery growers, landscapers, arborists and educators that includes alerts, major horticultural practices, and disease and insect information, as well as pesticide recommendations and electronic recordkeeping for professionals. Now the developers are introducing IPMLite for the homeowner.
IPMLite was built for the USDA Plant Hardiness Zones 4 through 8 (with capability for Zone 9a and 9b), which includes 20-plus states from west of the Mississippi River, east and north to Pennsylvania and New Jersey, and south to the Gulf Coast.
IPMPro and IPMLite are the first applications of their kind developed in the United States, and development was made possible through funding by the University of Tennessee Institute of Agriculture, through its Extension and AgResearch units, and support from the University of Tennessee Research Foundation.
For less than a subscription for non-interactive tools with quickly dated content like books and magazines that professionals and home gardeners currently use, IPMPro is $24.99 and IPMLite is $9.99 and are available through Apple (iPhone and iPad) and Android marketplaces. For more information, visit ipmproapp.com and ipmliteapp.com
The University of Tennessee Institute of Agriculture provides instruction, research and public service through the UT College of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources, the UT College of Veterinary Medicine, UT AgResearch, including its system of 10 research and education centers, and UT Extension offices in every county in the state.