Northern Shade Gardening

Garden Record Keeping Part 2

Wednesday, June 11, 2008 Category: Garden Record Keeping

In my last post, I described how I use a spreadsheet to keep track of my plant information. You can see how to set up the details for a garden record keeping spreadsheet here. I attached a sample spreadsheet to show how useful it can be for sorting plants by different categories. I’ve included a screencast here to show how it can rearrange information about your plants.

Here is a flash demo sorting the northern shade spreadsheet by height. It starts automatically and the cursor shows the steps being completed. Just click the green arrow in the bottom left to see it again. This just shows the upper left corner of the spreadsheet, but I hope it gives a better picture.

This is shown using Microsoft Excel 2007, but I use an open source program called calc to create my spreadsheets. It is very similar.

Although I find it very helpful to organize my plant data and keep records for planning, I realize that sometimes beauty is intangible and hard to quantify.

impatiens, double flowering

Linum perenne flower Dianthus foliage

8 Responses to “Garden Record Keeping Part 2” »

  1. commonweeder :
    June 12, 2008 at 1:41 pm

    I am so impressed by your record keeping and I definitley know the benefits. Unfortunately, the best I can do is keep a journal for months at a time – with occasional hiatuses. I’ve been pretty devoted lately.

  2. Northern Shade :
    June 12, 2008 at 10:13 pm

    Commonweeder, a journal is fun too. You can put more assorted information in there.

  3. Doctor Mom :
    June 13, 2008 at 2:21 pm

    I’m impressed by your record-keeping system! Very cool! I use an Excel spreadsheet, too. For me–because I am so forgetful–I also include a column for plant care.

  4. Northern Shade :
    June 13, 2008 at 5:07 pm

    Doctor Mom, that’s sounds like a good idea. A column for general care, or amount of water required would be useful.

  5. Kati :
    October 5, 2010 at 6:52 pm

    Thanks for the information the open source spread sheet. I will have to check it out.

  6. Northern Shade :
    October 5, 2010 at 8:28 pm

    Kati, I use openoffice for word processing, spreadsheets, etc, since it is free and works very well. It is very handy for keeping my garden plant information organized and sortable.

  7. Katarina :
    September 24, 2015 at 5:45 pm

    Thank you very much for all the info on shade planting. This year was my first to plant front garden under the huge ever green trees. Without your site I could not do it. (I have very little patience)
    Now I got tulips and crocus bulbs. Have to plant them. I think you said somewhere that is better to plant the bulbs earlier. Hope this is good time. Plan to plant crocus in the lawn to. How deep would you say I should plant crocus. You mentioned you used shovel and then just dropped the bulbs in.
    Thank you

  8. Northern Shade :
    September 26, 2015 at 9:45 pm

    Katarina, I plant mine around 7 cm (3 in) deep. If you are in a cold climate, then planting earlier in mid September will give them time to settle in before the cold weather, although I’ve planted later and had success, too.

    I love the look of crocus in the lawn, and am always happy that I planted large groups of them when they make a carpet of blooms in early spring. To get a thick look, I dig a series of adjacent squares in the lawn about 30 cm (a foot) by 30 cm, cutting down on 3 sides, while leaving one side to the turf attached, so it makes a flap. Then I just place about 15 to 20 crocus corms in the hole, and lower the sod over top. It doesn’t take long to plant a number of corms this way, and it works really well to create a thick patch of flowers.

    Good luck with your crocus lawn. I think you’ll be very happy with it next spring.

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