The GROW Observatory app is a service stemming from the GROW Observatory project, a European Citizen Science project on growing food, soil moisture sensing and land monitoring that ran from 2016-2019.

GROW-Observatory-App © IIASA

The GROW Observatory app allows users to explore the Edible Plant Database and get plant information that is tailored to specific locations across Europe. Users can also select plants to grow “right now”, at their respective location.

Detailed information about more than 140 plants is provided, such as plant images and a description of the plants, including special requirements for optimal growing, sunlight or nutrient requirements or the optimum germination temperature, which is the temperature at which seeds will sprout best. Also planting and harvesting dates are provided for each plant, that are location specific and may differ significantly across Europe. The app also provides detailed, science-based information on regenerative growing practices. This includes practices that help improve soils and support the wider ecosystem. Each practice is described in detail and it includes overall benefits of the practice and special considerations to be aware of. It also includes examples and hands-on tips for trying the practice in one’s own garden or food growing plot.

From 2017-2019, the GROW Observatory ran the GROW Changing Climate mission in nine GROW places across Europe. With the GROW Observatory app, mission participants also recorded and shared data about landscape features, soil properties and land management activities linked to a specific location and soil moisture sensor.

They recorded information on - for example - land use and land cover as well as topography of a sensor site. They also took pictures in each cardinal direction and of the sensor on the ground. This additional information was essential for interpreting the soil moisture data from the sensors. During the soil moisture sensing period it was also important to document any management activities undertaken around the senor. Therefore, mission participants were able to continuously record activities such as irrigating, fertilizing, mulching, and others.

GROW-Observatory-App-screenshot © IIASA

Source: GROW App

This project has received funding from the European Union's Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No 690199.

Download GROW from Google Play

Download GROW from iOS App Store


Ajates, R., Hager, G. , Georgiadis, P., Coulson, S., Woods, M., & Hemment, D. (2020). Local Action with Global Impact: The Case of the GROW Observatory and the Sustainable Development Goals. Sustainability 12 (24) e10518. 10.3390/su122410518.

Ajates, Raquel, Woods, Mel, Gulari, Nil, Hemment, Drew, Georgiadis, Pavlos, Hager, Gerid , van der Velden, Naomi, Verrall, Susan, & Burton, Victoria (2020). From contributory to collegial: A model to foster citizen-led open data innovation in Citizens’ Observatories. In: European Citizen Science Association Conference 2020: Encounters in Citizen Science, September 2020, Trieste, Italy.