How does everyone here plan their garden and keep track of its progress? Do you use pencil and paper, spreadsheets or are their helpful online tools? It seems that being able to carry something out to the garden would be helpful, but it also seems like a digital planner would be easier to update if changes were made. What do you use and why?
Actually, this is the first year that I am going to try to plan anything. I have an excel sheet, that is graphed out. I just put the name of each plant and what bed it is in in the square, and call it a day. If everything grows, then I figure that I've done it right. If not, I know not to get that particular type of seed next time.
I use a pencil and paper, laying out the shape of my garden then filling in areas with each type of plant that I intend to grow. It is easier to draw a picture than to try to make the computer do exactly what I want. There are programs for garden planning, but they take time to learn and are harder to use than a pencil. I can keep lists of dates planted, germinated, and harvested along with my opinion of the taste or productivity. If you want to be sure that you keep track of the pages, buy a composition notebook, the notebooks with the pages permanently bound in, like a journal would be bound.
Like i said in another forum, this is the first i planted a garden in 15 years. i germinated the seeds i plan on growing, as they sprout to transplant outside, i start planting. i build my garden as per plants that sprout, eliminating dud seeds and wasted space in a garden from a dud. but also, i keep track of all the necessary dates, what and where i planted so next year i can rotate my crops accurately.
My large flower garden is mapped out in an excel spreadsheet. I also have multiple pages for each year (so I know where I moved plants from, what didn't grow, etc), name and origin of plant or seed, yield, sowing and harvesting dates for the veggie garden. For my raised beds I just use a sheet of paper since I tend to change my planting location multiple times before I actually put the plants in the ground. And I have a garden diary to keep track of things like fertilizer, what cultivars of tomatoes I liked and didn't like, and the final version of where everything was planted in the raised beds so I can rotate the plants every year.