The Mobile Garden: App To Save Citrus

Got greenish oranges, or spots on your lemon leaves? There’s an app for that!

Now that spring is officially here; the brilliant sunshine and balmy weather inspired me to try to find a way to combine two of my favorite things; mobile technology and gardening. And, while cruising the USDA website for story ideas; I found just that–an iPhone app that allows both professional growers and backyard gardeners to help keep America’s citrus trees healthy and productive.

Called the Save Our Citrus app; it allows users to send pictures of potentially infected crops to USDA (US Department Of Agriculture) experts who can help them determine whether their plants are sick.  Areas where citrus crops are at risk include Western and Southern States, along with Hawaii,  Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands, Guam, and American Samoa.

Those include Citrus Canker, Citrus Blackspot, Sweet Orange Scab, and Citrus Greening Disease. Citrus Greening Disease has already killed millions of plants in the Southeastern US, and could possibly spread nationwide. In order to keep that from happening; backyard gardeners are being urged to only enjoy their fruit at home, and not to transport it across state lines. It causes fruit to be green, misshapen, bitter, and inedible. Spread by a pesky insect called the Asian Citrus Psyllid, the disease has also damaged crops in Asia, Africa, Brazil, and the Arabian Peninsula.

Californians are particularly worried. Citrus Greening Disease could destroy crops and devastate the $2 billion dollar California citrus industry.

The Save Our Citrus app seems to be a great way to combine the high-tech capabilities of mobile with the deep roots of nature.

Mobile for the garden. I like it!!


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