GARDENING: QR codes can be a Gardener's Best Friend

QR codes are starting to pop up everywhere, kind of like Tribbles (for you old Star Trek fans). For some of you that may not know what a QR code is, you probably have seen them here and there on products, magazine ads, outdoor billboards and building signage. They are little black and white squares with digitized squares, almost like a mashed up UPC code. (see below)

QR codes are great, but you do need a smart phone with a camera to read them. SO if you were like me (up until 3 months ago) and still have a cell phone that just does a silly thing like MAKING CALLS, then you will not be able to experience the magic sparkle dust of QR codes. But if you do have a smart phone, download a free reader such as Bee Tagg, and scan away!

Marketers are finding more and more ways for QR codes to help them with messaging and sales. But more specifically, I have been noticing them popping up on plant tags at some major retailers, and wondered at what content they would be pushing. After scanning a tag on a hydrangea bush, I was tickled to find a complete plant "work up", how to care for tips, and even on some herb plants-recipes and a recipe promotional give away.

This is very handy at the store when you are not sure about certain plant choices, and the tag is only going to give you so much information. You can open your Bee Tagg app on your phone, focus your camera on the code, have it scan, and it will give you options to go to the link provided, emailing the link, showing the link, copying the link or saving it to favorites. If you go to the link, there will be tips on sunlight needs, feeding, moisture, troubleshooting, how to plant, and a nice picture of the plant. If you want to save the info, and go home and look at your garden plans with the info before making a decision, you save the link to your favorites then access it later.

Gardening is a very old pastime. It is a very tactile, dirty, imperfect, physical hobby that doesn't feel like technology fits well with. But as I have shown you is some past posts, technology is finding it's way in all aspects of our lives, and gardening is one of them (gardening apps, plants sensors, etc.). Sometimes technology is too pervasive and steals away time, creativity and deep experiences and connections. But sometimes, it truly helps with the sharing of knowledge and efficiencies. These little QR codes on plant tags seems to me, a great benefit to "Old Fashioned" gardeners like me.


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