Using the iPhone App

Download from the AppStore

The SmartGardenWatering iPhone App is the ideal companion to the SmartGardenWatering.org.au website. Gardens you have modelled on the website can be added to this app to help easily monitor your watering requirements and local rainfall.

Download SmartGardenWatering from the AppStore. Requires an Apple iOS (iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch) running at least iOS version 5.0.

How do I find my PIN code?

The get the unique PIN code to enter into your iPhone, go to your garden and look for the "View on iPhone" icon near the upper right of the screen. Clicking on this icon will give you an 8-digit PIN code. Run the iPhone app, click on "Add Another garden" and you will be asked to enter this code.

What does the App do?

The SmartGardenWatering (SGW) iPhone app will give you additional local information to assist you in making informed decisions as to whether to water your garden today or not.

The SmartGardenWatering website gives you a watering schedule (frequency of watering plus duration) based on average rainfalls for your area – you can choose rainfall and evaporation data for a dry or average year, or for no rain at all. We have divided the greater Melbourne region into four areas for this purpose (Central, Western, Eastern and Mountain). This schedule is a good starting point for determining automatic watering system settings, regular hand-watering patterns, etc. However it doesn't account for recent weather patterns - that is, the actual rainfall patterns might be quite different from these average calculations.

This is where the iPhone app does several things to help you:

  • it shows you your schedule for each area of each garden that you enter (it assumes that you water on schedule each time);
  • it shows you how many days until your next watering – you can reset this value after you water;
  • it shows you the recent rainfall pattern as measured by the Bureau of Meteorology weather station nearest to your garden (we get data from 16 stations around Melbourne);
  • it will send a reminder to your phone on days that you need to water. (Every time you click the reset button it sets up the next reminder; no reset, no reminder! It can be disabled completely by going to the iPhone’s Settings > Notifications > SmartGardens screen).

So the best workflow is to reset the garden area each time you water - then you will always be able to see how many days to your next watering and also get a reminder when that day arrives.

How do I use this information?

Did it rain a few days ago and you can’t remember when or how much fell? Maybe there was sufficient that you don’t need to water tonight? The app helps you make this decision.

The SGW schedule tells you how often to water; the duration of watering is calculated to give your garden an effective 10 mm dose of water – this is the optimum amount (allowance is made for the impact of mulch, soil type, slope, etc.). If you look at the iPhone app’s rainfall plot you will see a 10 mm line marked to help you compare how much rain has fallen in comparison to a 10 mm dose. This is a rough guide only, as not all of the rain will make it into your soil, but it can help you to make decisions like these:

"I water every 5 days and was due to water tonight, but I see that we had 12 mm yesterday – I’ll skip the watering"

"I am watering once a week and I remember we had several days of rain a few days ago. But I see that it was only a mm or two in total – I will still water tonight"

"It’s January – hot and dry – and tonight is my weekly watering night. It dumped a summer shower last night – but only 3 or 4 mm fell in my area. I’ll do my regular watering tonight, but cut back the duration a bit."

Comments or suggestions?

Please use the 'Your Feedback' tab at the top of this screen and let us know what you like (and don't) about the app and website. Thank you!