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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, i.e. 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

2014 2 Sweet Pea Sowed 5 each of Beaujolais, Blue Danube, Noel Sutton, The Doctor

11/1

2014 2 Onion Sowed 40 Brunton,40 Mammoth,40 Red Brunswick
16/1 2014 3 Onion Brunton and Red Brunswick germinated (5 days)
16/1 2014 3 Sweet Pea Beaujolais germinated (5 days)
24/1 2014 4 Sweet Pea Potted up 18 seedlings into 7cm. pots
28/1 2014 4 Onions Potted up 36 Red Brunswick,32 Mammoth,32 Brunton
23/2 2014 8 Chrysanthemum Took 10 N.B Wedding,5 Rose NB,5 White Margaret,5 Gold Margaret cuttings
26/2 2014 9 Chilli Sowed 12 Fresno,12 Bulgarian Carrot,12 Jalapeno,and 12 Habanero
2/3 2014 9 Tomato Alicante and Moneymaker germinated (4 days)
6/3 2014 10 Chilli Jalapeno and Bulgarian Carrot germinated (8 days)
Further details would be entred 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 example.

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
  Calabrese-4 Marathon Potato-5 Kestrel Leeks-8 Oarsman Onion-8 Red
6 Sweet Corn Cauli-4 Candid Charm Potato-5 Kestrel Leeks-8 Oarsman Onion-8 Red
6 Sweet Corn Cauli-4 Candid Charm Potato-5 Kestrel Leeks-8 Oarsman Shallot-8 Topper
6 Sweet Corn Cauli-4 Candid Charm Potato-5 Kestrel Leeks-8 Oarsman Shallot-8 Topper
6 Sweet Corn Cauli-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.


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 R/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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