Gardening: It is all about the tools and the effort. But sometimes the best tool you can have in your gardening endeavors is the right information to work smarter and plan better. 

This is where an iPad can be a great tool in your gardening utility belt (theoretically speaking). With the right apps installed on the device, you can have a valuable resource to help your garden grow to its potential. What are those apps, and what do they offer to the gardener? Let's take a look.

iGrowIt

If you want to know what you can plant in your area starting today, then take a look at iGrowIt. The app features a photographic vegetable selector to help you make an easy decision. You can even look ahead to the coming months and plan accordingly, with detailed preparation and planting instructions. 

Experienced gardeners will find iGrowIt is a handy reference guide for planting schedules. iGrowIt is available on the AppStore for $0.99.

Garden Tracker - Bumper Crop 

Garden Tracker is a tool that lets you design your garden's layout by the row. You are presented with a grid sized to your gardening space, and by selecting one of the included 40 vegetables, you plan your vegetable growing space. 

Once you have the layout complete, the program gives you information on your vegetable selections, including planting depth, spacing, water needs, planting season and more. The program also includes places to keep notes on your garden, and gives you the expected harvest date. 

Other tools include a sunrise and sunset calculator, lunar calendar, garden zone map, and a pest database. Garden Tracker - Bumper Crop sells for $4.99, and it can be found on the AppStore. 

Plants Pro 

Plants Pro works with the gardener to build a task list associated with your plants. The tasks are clearly marked, and once you complete a given plant task, it is simple to mark it done for the next cycle. 

The plant library includes photos, a plant taxonomy, and instructions for care including irrigations, feeding hardiness and lighting. And if your gardening runs to the more esoteric, you can add to the library. 

Plants Pro can be found on the AppStore for $4.99.

iGardenUSA 

iGardenUSA is not a native iPad app at the moment, which means that it will run on the iPad in 2x mode, but given the functionality present it belongs in this list. iGardenUSA helps you to track and plan your garden by providing recommended planting dates, planting depths, planting spacing and more. 

Once the garden is planted and on its way, the app gives you a way to track its progress, down to an estimated harvest date. iGardenUSA sells for $4.99 on the Apple AppStore.

Garden Plants Database 

Sometimes all you need is a handy reference on your plants, and this is where the Garden Plants Database will come in handy. At only $0.99 and with over 1,000 entires, gardeners of all kinds can find something applicable for their projects in this iPhone/iPad app. 

Garden Plants Database also includes horticultural and gardening tips, and you can find it on the AppStore.

Gardening with an iPad at your side can make your gardening project a successful experience. The key is to get the right information at your fingertips, and that means loading the right app that fits the way you garden.

This post is written by guest blogger D. Salmons on behalf of TestFreaks, the world's largest product reviews database, where you can find everything from netbooks to digital camera reviews.