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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
Here’s the list of Frequently Asked Questions so far. Click on the ‘+’ to get the related answer.
How to size the beds (and the paths)?
The Garden Planning Tool uses the beds area to determine where it is possible to add plants based on your selection. These are the borders of your garden.
When you add a bed area, it appears in the left corner of the graphics area. To move it, click on the red corner 🔴 of this area (top left point) while moving it to the desired location. To enlarge or reduce a bed, click on the blue corner 🔵 of this area (bottom right point) while moving it with the mouse until the desired size is obtained.
The grid in the graphics area makes it easy to find specific location when performing these operations. The small squares in pale gray are 2 “x 2” (5cm x 5cm) and the larger squares in dark gray are 12 “x 12” (30cm x 30cm). When you modify the dimensions of a bed, it is also possible to see the updated dimensions in real time in the Property box at the top right of the Garden Planning Tool.
When you have more than one bed area, the active one has a blue outline. Just click on the red or blue corner to activate a bed. When a bed is active, you can change its name or delete it by going to the Property box.
Lastly, all these operations are also valid for the Paths.
Why all vegetable tiles have the same size once my garden is optimized?
Indeed, all the tiles have the same size. This approach is used to facilitate the implementation of the layout plan in your garden. The size of the tiles is defined by the plant with the largest footprint (i.e. required spacing between 2 plants) among all those you select. Note that for each crop, you can customize the spacing required between each plant.
For example, if you select radishes and tomatoes for your garden, each tile will represent either 1 tomato plant or 81 radishes. That is because the tomato plant requires more space (18″x18″ or 46cm x 46cm) than the radish (2″x2″ or 5cm x 5cm).
When you print the layout plan of your garden (by clicking on the “Print” button located in the toolbar above the graphic area), you will obtain 2 pdf files, one of which represents the table of all your crops to grow in your garden. This file allows you to easily see for each crop:
• How many plants to grow per tile,
• How many plants in total you will have in your garden,
• The required spacing between each plant.
Finally, it is preferable to manually add as constraints plants with very large footprint or spacing, in order to avoid impacting the tiles of all your other plants.
How to relaunch the optimization of my garden layout?
To restart the optimization of your garden layout, you must first remove the crop tiles present in the graphics area. Otherwise, the algorithm will consider them as constraints – which can be useful in some cases.
To remove the tiles from the graphics area, there are 2 methods:
1) Click on “Clear All” in the Crop tiles section of the toolbar
2) Load the configuration saved automatically before the last optimization that is stored in the history table under the graphics area.
In both cases, you will keep your beds and your paths. However, if you had manually added constraints, such as a perennial plant, you must use the 2nd method, otherwise your constraints will also be deleted.
Note that relaunching the optimization is useful when you change a parameter in your list of crops and/or you change the bed areas / paths in your garden. If no changes are made, you will get the same solution by running the optimization again.
What are the differences between the FREE and the GARDENER license?
The FREE license is limited to an area of 6’x6′ (1.8m x 1.8m), or 36 ft2 (4m2). With this license, you are also limited to a maximum of 4 types of plants from our list of more than 100 plants.
The GARDENER license, offered at only $19.95/year, eliminates the limitations of the free license. Indeed, with the gardener’s license you have access to an area of 3,600 ft2 (400m2) or 60’x60 ‘(18m x 18m). Enough to design the vegetable garden of your dream! You can also choose an unlimited number of plants from our list of more than 100 plants.
Note that regardless of the selected license, the optimization parameters are set to ensure the best performance.
There is significant computational cost associated with the optimization process. Therefore, bounding allowed garden area is required to ensure viability of the proposal. For the FREEMIUM licence, the size of the land is just enough to let you play with the technology and familiarize yourself with the interface. On the other hand, for the GARDENER licence, the size of the land was defined to fit most users while keeping low subscription price. The allowed optimization attempts are also limited for the same reason. Note that optimization parameters are tuned to ensure best performance.
What are the limitations in the Garden Planning Tool?
Since the Garden Planning Tool is still at its beginnings, there are some known limitations worth mentioning. Please refer to Product Limitation section for all the details.
The Garden Planning Tool combines the intelligence of Nature with artificial intelligence (AI) to offer you the best layout plan for your garden. The algorithm behind the Garden Planning Tool takes into account several parameters that are often contradictory. It returns you the best compromise solution by simulating thousands of garden configurations that meet your needs.
The more the tool is used, the more it learns and the more it improves!
Does the Garden Planning Tool provide guidance for the growing season?
Not yet. HireNature ecosystem will soon evolve in that direction. Nevertheless, at this stage, we strongly advice you to consult your nearest qualified garden center in case you have questions related to the growing season, specific to your garden/location.