Back in one of my early planning posts, I talked about creating a spreadsheet that works for me. I have finally gotten around to creating that spreadsheet and populating it with my current data.
I think that one of the things that many gardeners dread is keeping track of what we plant, when we plant it and where we plant. I have only been keeping track of this information for the past couple of years. I used a notebook for this task. But I now have 20 beds and I want to ensure that I rotate my plants through the garden beds. This is getting difficult to keep track of because of the overlapping plantings.
In the Fall, I was reading the Garden Notes post over at Walden Effect. Anna has a pretty substantial garden, it is 60 beds. She grows the majority of her own food, so it is very important to avoid disease getting into the garden beds. Rotating crops is one of the best ways to avoid this. In that post, she shared her spreadsheet for tracking her garden.
While her spreadsheet works great for her, it isn’t quite right for me. I am still very much a beginner, so I need a little more information. If a technique does not work for me, I need to make note of that so I don’t reinforce a bad habit.
I started out with a map of the current garden. My set up is fairly easy to draw out. The fenced in garden plot is 40′x85′ and rectangular in shape. It isn’t a perfect rectangle, but is close enough to split into rows and columns. Along the fence that is closest to the house are 2 asparagus beds. I just planted these last year and the beds do not have boarders. I hope to get a couple of spears this year, but I’m planning on waiting until next year to harvest any of the asparagus.
Column A & B each have 6 beds, but right now C & D only have 4 beds. I plan on putting in the additional beds this year. If I don’t put them in row C & D, I’ll need to re-draw the map. The row numbers and column letters make it really easy to track my plantings.
Garden planning spreadsheet
For the spreadsheet, I started out with Anna’s spreadsheet. Then I sat down to think about what other information I would want. The first thing to come to mind is a seed starting date and date it was planted in the garden. The original spreadsheet only had a planting date. By breaking the dates into 2 columns, it will help me keep a handle on things a little better.
I also wanted a column to let me know if we liked this variety or not. I usually end up with extra seed. I don’t like to throw it away, so I always have a bunch of seed that I really didn’t like. This will help make sure I don’t plant anything we don’t like.
Finally, I wanted to keep track of how I planted the seed. Direct sow, indoor planting or planting in a cold frame. There may be more of these in the future. But this will also help me learn more about how to plant each plant.
Feel free to download my gardenspreadsheet. Make changes as you see fit. I hope it helps you keep track of your garden and allows you to rotate your crops.