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I also realized that as my garden grew there was much I wanted to record for the next year. Usually to prevent mistakes or disappointments in expectations, like bloom time. I have used Access for years as an accountant so it was a pretty natural end result. But it started with an excel sheet. I didn't have time to develop Access while I was still working but knew that I could import all my data into Access when I had the time. Voila! I retired and now it is huge. Well, huge for me. About 400 entries, each with a possible 30 data pieces, including pictures. The things I find most useful are the dates. After 5 months of winter and a month on each end of that that isn't too great, I am antsy to see who survived the winter, and who will bloom first. I have gathered dates for first green to appear, first bloom, last bloom. Have missed many but this will be year three and I can now print a report, put it on a clip board each time I go to the garden and it assures not regathering old info, correcting for year (I have a field where I can record sequential bloom dates by year as this may vary), and making sure I get pay attention to plants for which I have NO dates. Great fun.
I've used Filemaker Pro (and its predecessors) for 20 years to keep track of gardening chores (by month).
Not perhaps as useful for things like planting seeds and other one time events. I keep info by plant, by month and then fertilizing, spraying, pruning and notes printing out the lists at the beginning of the month (of all those plants within
each category that have something entered in the db for that category for that month).
I'm also very data oriented like mstella and I find this to work very well for me.
One downside perhaps to being so data oriented is that I do not revisit my entries as often (every few years?) as I think I should. Obviously if a plant doesn't work out or what I planned for June really should have been done in April, of course I revise the database. It works for me and might for others who do not or cannot devote huge amounts of time to thinking about the garden.
Texas Tam, if you would like a plain instruction (written out with pictures) on how to export from excel to access, I would be happy to provide. Writing documentation is also a second love. Had to write tons of it when I was working to develop books for my accounts who were somewhat technologically challenged. Or simply had never performed a particular function. Quite often involved combining excel with whatever our accounting application was. Loads of fun --- seriously.