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Old January 3, 2019   #1
GoDawgs
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Default Tracking Garden Tasks and Data

I’m not sure this is the right place for this post but it’s about tools, computer tools, that I created a good long time ago to help me track garden tasks and data.

Last night I updated the list of stuff to grow, adding in new things that have been ordered. I'm an admitted spreadsheet junkie so that's how I track things. This is a partial section of the spread I use for growing stuff. Unseen to the right are columns for first pick dates and notes. Orange items are for fall only. Over the years these notes have become invaluable to me.



Now that the grow list is pretty much finalized I need transfer some of that to the growing schedule. The schedule breaks the season into weeks with various tasks like seed starting, bed prep, etc. listed. There are also dates telling me when to start watching for things like Japanese beetles, cabbage moths, etc. It keeps me on track so, for example, I don't arrive at the day before planting something only to not have the bed ready for planting.



Once a task is done, I change the type color to black to I can tell at a glance what still needs to be done. Weather and other circumstances will mean changes for sure but the schedule has really made everything less hectic. It's raining today and tomorrow so it's a good time to work on the schedule.
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Old January 3, 2019   #2
Rajun Gardener
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Very nice!!!

I'm an excel junkie too and have been wanting to make one for a while but I hate the thought of sitting for hours setting it up with the dates and when to start seeds.
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Old January 3, 2019   #3
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Originally Posted by Rajun Gardener View Post
Very nice!!!

I'm an excel junkie too and have been wanting to make one for a while but I hate the thought of sitting for hours setting it up with the dates and when to start seeds.
Thanks! But it wasn't this extensive at first, just the basics and then things added on as I decided to track them. Each year is on a separate tab. Once you have it set up, you can copy and paste to a new year's tab, keep what data you're continuing and dump variables (harvest dates, etc). I do a separate tab and map for each fall too.

I've also tortured excel to map the garden to scale, one square per foot. Since the beds are permanent, it's cut and paste the basic layout year to year. One can get a little OCD by color coding plant families to help with rotation. I also note under each bed what was in there previously for three years back. This is the upper portion of the garden for this year:

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Old January 3, 2019   #4
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Yep, I use Excel to track seed type, start date, germination time, germination %, 1st flowers, transplant date, plants to keep, plants to give away. Separate spreadsheets for seed maps, etc... Very similar to yours, except I did have to keep my drink from spitting out of my nose when I read "a waning moon in Capricorn".

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Old January 4, 2019   #5
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LOL! I hear ya! For the last three years I've been doing the "plant by the moon" thing using the farmer's almanac just to see if it really works. There have been good results; definitely an overall improvement.

Now, is that due to moon planting or just coincidence? I really don't know. I should plant a few things in phase and more of the same 180 degrees out of phase just to see. Let's just say I'm hesitant to mess with success.
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Old January 4, 2019   #6
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I try to go by signals from nature (when I remember), but generally just the traditional time-of-year and short/long-term weather forecasts.
Good article here: https://harvesttotable.com/nature-pl...les-phenology/
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Old January 6, 2019   #7
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rhines81, thanks for that link. It's no surprise that I have an annual list of lots of spring signs specific to this property and also the area (Mrs. A's forsythia blooming, etc). The list goes back to 1996, added to over the years and of course on a spread sheet.
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Old January 6, 2019   #8
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I spreadsheet, too. I use Open Office, which allows different sheets within one file. Sheet 1 is a list of all tomatoes I have ever researched that I might be interested in, with descriptions, DTM, sources, etc. Sheet 3 is the garden layout, Sheet 4 is each year's tomato list and potentials for next year, sheet 5 is my crossbreeding program, etc. The garden layout is color coded by hours of sun each 2'x2' square gets. (I do sun studies). Then the different crops are boxed in by heavy boundary lines.
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Old January 8, 2019   #9
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Haha, glad to know I’m not the only data freak out here!

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Originally Posted by Nan_PA_6b View Post
I spreadsheet, too. I use Open Office, which allows different sheets within one file. Sheet 1 is a list of all tomatoes I have ever researched that I might be interested in, with descriptions, DTM, sources, etc. Sheet 3 is the garden layout, Sheet 4 is each year's tomato list and potentials for next year, sheet 5 is my crossbreeding program, etc. The garden layout is color coded by hours of sun each 2'x2' square gets. (I do sun studies). Then the different crops are boxed in by heavy boundary lines.
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Old January 6, 2019   #10
Goodloe
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Wow...I'm still in The Dark Ages!
20190106_131534.jpg
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Old January 6, 2019   #11
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If it works, don't fix it.
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Old January 7, 2019   #12
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GoDawgs.. have you grown the Alabama Black eye Butter bean before? I think I saw it for the first time last year in Baker Creek's catalog.. I'm eyeballing it for the garden and I'm wondering how it grows here in the hot, humid south....
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Old January 7, 2019   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by upcountrygirl View Post
GoDawgs.. have you grown the Alabama Black eye Butter bean before? I think I saw it for the first time last year in Baker Creek's catalog.. I'm eyeballing it for the garden and I'm wondering how it grows here in the hot, humid south....
I've tried all kinds of bush butterbeans and pole limas over the years and although the plants would do well, the pods just wouldn't fill out. I had about given up until my sister spied that Alabama blackeye butterbean last year at Baker Creek so it was ordered as a last resort. They worked! At least last year. I'm doing them again this year from saved seed.

I grew them on part of a trellis made from field fence (6x6" mesh). They were sown Apr 26, seeds up May 3 and first pick Jul 17 although I probably could have gotten some earlier. The shelled beans a somewhat purplish or tannish tinge to the beans so they're not real pretty on the plate but they were pretty tasty! No disease problems and I'm hoping for a repeat this year.

Here's the trellis on June 27, butterbeans on the right section (cukes on the left).



More growth by July 5:




Saved seed:



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Old January 8, 2019   #14
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GoDawgs, Your garden is stunning!
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Old January 9, 2019   #15
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Thanks, Jane. It keeps me occupied. When I retired seven years ago I started converting most of it to 16 raised beds and two open areas at the bottom for corn, pole beans and squash. This is a pic from 2017. Fenced muscadine grapes in the foreground, asparagus patch middle left. This is why being a data junkie comes in handy for tracking!

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