Computers and Gardening


 

Prior to Computers the most common method of keeping records of sowing or planting dates was to keep diaries, ledgers and notebooks.

This worked well, but after a number of years, the system could become rather unwieldy to such an extent, that finding past results could become a task in its self.

Now at the press of a button this type of information is available in an instant.

For example; when keeping a Diary in a data base format the information can be readily filtered out.

Similarly, by keeping bed layouts and cropping plans etc. in spread sheet format, one can keep a record of crop rotation.

Plus any further details can be noted to suit your personal preferences.

Examples;

The Diary;

The column titles and content can be designed to suit your own particular needs, then in future years you can filter out particular information, for example; details of an individual genus, or events in any given week/month.

Similarly,when studying this filtered information you can decide if the dates you carried out these tasks was to early / late and make adjustments accordingly the following year.


Date
Year
Week N°
Genus
Event
11/1
2017
2
Sweet Pea Sowed 5 each of Beaujolais, Blue Danube, Noel Sutton, The Doctor
11/1
2017
2
Onion Sowed 40 Brunton,40 Mammoth,40 Red Brunswick
16/1
2017
3
Onion Brunton and Red Brunswick germinated (5 days)
16/1
2017
3
Sweet Pea Beaujolais germinated (5 days)
24/1
2017
4
Sweet Pea Potted up 18 seedlings into 7cm. pots
28/1
2017
4
Onions Potted up 36 Red Brunswick,32 Mammoth,32 Brunton
23/2
2017
8
Chrysanthemum Took 10 N.B Wedding,5 Rose NB,5 White Margaret,5 Gold Margaret cuttings
26/2
2017
9
Chilli Sowed 12 Fresno,12 Bulgarian Carrot,12 Jalapeno,and 12 Habanero
2/3
2017
9
Tomato Alicante and Moneymaker germinated (4 days)
6/3
2017
10
Chilli Jalapeno and Bulgarian Carrot germinated (8 days)
 
Further details would be entered as the year progresses.


Plot layout:

One method of planning your layouts would be to let each column represent a Bed and each line a Row as shown in the followingexample.

A chart similar to this allows you to count how many of each type/variety of plant you will have to grow on, or buy to meet your needs.

As mentioned previously, by saving these charts, you will be able to plan crop rotation in future years.

Bed 1
Bed 2
Bed 3
Bed 4
Bed 5
Peas-Onward Calabrese-4 Chevalier Potato-5 Rocket Br.Sprouts-4 Maximus Onion-8 Mammoth
Peas-Onward Calabrese-4 Chevalier Potato-5 Rocket Br.Sprouts-4 Maximus Onion-8 Mammoth
Peas-Onward Calabrese-4 Chevalier Potato-5 Rocket Br.Sprouts-4 Maximus Onion-8 Mammoth
Peas-Onward Calabrese-4 Chevalier Potato-5 Rocket Br.Sprouts-4 Maximus Onion-8 Sturon
  Calabrese-4 Marathon Potato-5 Rocket Br.Sprouts-4 Maximus Onion-8 Sturon
Runner Beans Calabrese-4 Marathon Potato-5 Rocket Br.Sprouts-4 Maximus Onion-8 Sturon
Sweet Peas Calabrese-4 Marathon Potato-5 Kestrel Leeks-8 Oarsman Onion-8 Red Brunswick
  Calabrese-4 Marathon Potato-5 Kestrel Leeks-8 Oarsman Onion-8 Red Brunswick
6 Sweet Corn Cauliflower-4 Candid Charm Potato-5 Kestrel Leeks-8 Oarsman Onion-8 Red Brunswick
6 Sweet Corn Cauliflower-4 Candid Charm Potato-5 Kestrel Leeks-8 Oarsman Shallot-8 Topper
6 Sweet Corn Cauliflower-4 Candid Charm Potato-5 Kestrel Leeks-8 Oarsman Shallot-8 Topper
6 Sweet Corn Cauliflower-4 Candid Charm Potato-5 Kestrel Leeks-8 Oarsman Shallot-8 Topper
 
Contents and number of beds is subject to the size of the plot and preferences.


Seed Sowing Plan:


At the start of each season make a daily / weekly reference sheet by tabulating all the varieties of seed you plan on sowing / growing that season.

Then add the quantities you require, as indicated in your Plot Layout.

Planning your sowing order couldn't be easier!

List all the seeds types and varieties you plan on growing.

At this stage these do not need be in any particular order.

The next stage is to determine the sowing date for each packet of seed you have or cuttings you may wish to take.

Once this information is established filter / sort it by clicking on Tools > Sort > choose ascending, and all the information you have listed will appear in the order you wish to use them.


Genus
Variety
Group
Sow
Week N°
@
Temp
°C
Stock
Required
Comments
Sweet Peas
Mixed
ha
2
18
20
 
Onion
Mammoth
veg
2
18
24
 
Onion
Red Brunswick
veg
2
18
24
 
Chrysanthemum
Sprays
hhp
2
18
40
Put stools on hotbed
Chilli
Habanero
veg
9
20
6
 
Chilli
Jalapeno
veg
9
20
6
 
Tomato
Gardeners Delight
veg
9
18
8
 
Tomato
Moneymaker
veg
9
18
8
 
Calabrese
Chevalier
veg
12
16
16
 
Calabrese
Marathon
veg
12
16
16
 
Br Sprouts
Maximus
veg
13
13
24
 
Cauliflower
Candid Charm
veg
13
16
16
 
Leeks
Oarsman
veg
13
18
48
 
 
Continue in this manner until you have listed all your planned sowings.


Conclusion:


As the year progresses make comments on the reference sheet you have copied indicating any changes you wish to make in future years.

In this way you can keep up with new varieties and seasonal changes and how they affect you.

One great advantage with planning in this manner is you can plan available greenhouse and cold frame space much better*

*As many of you will have experienced, plants can take up a lot of space in a greenhouse or cold frame when hardening off, so by removing ‘excesses’ the issue can be less of a problem.


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