No smart comments please… no a QR code can’t dig your potato beds for you as Mr G hopefully asked! So if it can’t do that, what exactly can a QR code do and why would I be including it in a gardening blog?
First things first, for those of you who may not of heard of them, what is a QR code?
As a non techie, I’m not going to begin to attempt to give you all the whys and wherefores, there’s a great post at www.whatisaqrcode.co.uk that explains the concept in way more detail than I can. In a nutshell, a QR Code (Quick Response Code) is a two dimensional bar code (similar to those scanned in shops, only different) that can be scanned by Smartphones, mobile phones with cameras, Nintendo DS’s, iPhones, iPods, iPads, and android devices. Once scanned the link will take you to a URL (the address of a web page), phone numbers, text messages, or text. You don’t have to be connected to the internet to do this, meaning if you spot one whilst you’re out and about, you can scan it, the information will be stored on your device, and you can check it later when you are connected.
There are many ways of using them – some companies have them on their business cards, others point them at web site addresses. Some QR codes are used well, and as Mashable have discovered, some are the funniest fails.
Denis Coleman of InnoChan Solutions gave me some excellent advice when I was researching the concept of the seed collection packets and as a result all of the cards and seed envelopes have a QR code. Once scanned, the links will take you directly to the Greenside Up gifts page where information on each of the collections can be found, including links taking you directly to Greenside Up blog posts relevant to each seed collection.
Whether it’s preparing soil, pest and disease help, or how to sow and grow the seeds, posts have been written that will help you to get the most from your seed packets. If a post isn’t there just yet, it soon will be! The posts are collated in date order with the newest post appearing first. So if you click the link today you may be reading about winter soup recipes but in the coming weeks the posts are likely to be about sowing the seeds and care of your plants.
How do you scan a QR code?
You can download a free app from the Play Store or Apple’s iTunes. I use QR Droid on my phone which you can download here. On my iPod I’ve download QR Reader for iPhone which works well too.
Once you’ve installed the app, point your camera at it, hold it steady and wait for the scanner to capture the image. Once the camera recognises the code it will take a picture and save it to your device. Every time you scan a code it will be saved, allowing you to open it later, copy it, share it… all the usual options available when using your device.
QR Codes in the Garden World
Have you seen any QR codes you particularly like?
Or how about this one that was grown in a temporary garden in Place Stanislas, Nancy, France using over 1,700 plants. The code linked back to a website containing information about the garden and upcoming events.
What do you think? Are you a QR fan or can you take em or leave em?