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Hello Guest!
Welcome to the official Square Foot Gardening Forum.
There's lots to learn here by reading as a guest. However, if you become a member (it's free, ad free and spam-free) you'll have access to our large vermiculite databases, our seed exchange spreadsheets, Mel's Mix calculator, and many more members' pictures in the Gallery. Enjoy.

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Gardening Charts / Labels

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Post  markqz 5/28/2022, 10:07 pm

I know I've posted other strategies for labeling, but can't seem to find them today. Most small labels have various problems, but particularly they can't record a lot of detail. Labels often get lost as plants get bigger.

The SFG system lends itself to an external recording approach.

The utility of notes is that they help you remember when you put in plants. This is useful to compare plant growth from season to season, whether plants are ahead or behind in growth, and what prior plants were in a particular square.

My current strategy is to record plants on a 4x4 grid. Some of my earlier ones were just that -- 4 x 4 grids. More recent versions allow for standardized abbreviations so notes can be kept short.

The pages are printed out and kept in plastic envelopes. I have a clipboard available for when taking notes. I'm thinking of getting some water-proof paper for future pages.

For now I've posted them here:

Gardening Charts

Don't know how long I'll keep them there.


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Post  Soose 5/28/2022, 10:54 pm

markqz wrote:I know I've posted other strategies for labeling, but can't seem to find them today. Most small labels have various problems, but particularly they can't record a lot of detail. Labels often get lost as plants get bigger.

The SFG system lends itself to an external recording approach.

The utility of notes is that they help you remember when you put in plants. This is useful to compare plant growth from season to season, whether plants are ahead or behind in growth, and what prior plants were in a particular square.

My current strategy is to record plants on a 4x4 grid. Some of my earlier ones were just that -- 4 x 4 grids. More recent versions allow for standardized abbreviations so notes can be kept short.

The pages are printed out and kept in plastic envelopes. I have a clipboard available for when taking notes. I'm thinking of getting some water-proof paper for future pages.

For now I've posted them here:

Gardening Charts

Don't know how long I'll keep them there.



Markqz,
Thanks very much for sharing the gardening charts!  There's certainly a lot to record (couldn't possibly remember myself). 

Is the "2" in " B2~5/2022"  Bone meal, second application (or whatever code you created)?

You seem to have gone thru several iterations.  I assume you use the last more detailed chart nowadays.  (Right, I re-read your post.)  Had you thought of doing this is a calendar version?  Sort of like the planting charts in the original book?  The thought of a visual record appeals to me.  I have a family member who writes everything down on a wall calendar.  She refers back to it all the next year many times.
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Post  markqz 5/29/2022, 3:11 pm

Soose wrote:Is the "2" in " B2~5/2022"  Bone meal, second application (or whatever code you created)?
Yes, so the notation can be terse wherever it is used.
Soose wrote:Had you thought of doing this is a calendar version? 
I had previously tried making a computerized version. But there was too much key-punching. I think I've come up with a method to simplify the key-punching. The advantage of a computer approach is that you could, in theory, generate different views of the same data at the push of a button.
Soose wrote:Sort of like the planting charts in the original book?  The thought of a visual record appeals to me.  I have a family member who writes everything down on a wall calendar.  She refers back to it all the next year many times.
I'm trying to think how this would work. If you started each plant on its own week (assuming week granularity), you'd quickly run out of space to the right. You could start each plant (square) in its starting block on the left, but then each plant would be on a different timeline.

Hmm. I guess one approach would be to print a detailed page for the left side, and then a continuation sheet for each page you need on the right. You would tape the pages together and then fold them down for storage.
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Post  Soose 5/29/2022, 5:57 pm

markqz wrote:I had previously tried making a computerized version. But there was too much key-punching. I think I've come up with a method to simplify the key-punching. The advantage of a computer approach is that you could, in theory, generate different views of the same data at the push of a button.
Soose wrote:Sort of like the planting charts in the original book?  The thought of a visual record appeals to me.  I have a family member who writes everything down on a wall calendar.  She refers back to it all the next year many times.
I'm trying to think how this would work. If you started each plant on its own week (assuming week granularity), you'd quickly run out of space to the right. You could start each plant (square) in its starting block on the left, but then each plant would be on a different timeline.

Hmm. I guess one approach would be to print a detailed page for the left side, and then a continuation sheet for each page you need on the right. You would tape the pages together and then fold them down for storage.

Markqz, I definitely don't think adding in a job of computer data keeping is something I can DO on top of gardening!    I will need to record it as I do it in the garden.  And I couldn't possibly spare the time and energy to transcribe when I got inside.  This is not an exercise, right? This is real life.  There would have to be an overwhelming need for the data interpretation/sorting.

But I really do get behind the idea of keeping track and having the record to refer to next year[s].  I've been drawing the beds in my little bound journal and noting what I planted when, but going back to that while I'm outside and noting what I DID to the plants like spray with something or add something -- that's a real gap in my record keeping and I just barely started. Much less a whole year of tending...

[ The only thing I did so far is look daily for cabbage worms and tie up vines.  On four beds!  (And I'm looking for a way to get around that daily task, prevent the problem starting in the first place. Need to stay ahead.) ]

I'm not understanding your idea above.  But this is what I was meaning (see picture below)...
X-axis/columns would be "time" or planting week. 
Y-axis / Rows are each square to track, organized by bed.

Like in the original book.

I guess I would have 8 beds x 12 so that's 96 rows for just the SFG not including the 18gal tubs.
So that would be at least two pages, maybe more...

BUT it could be fold-out or 11x17, and cover a whole season.  Or Spring into Summer on one side, and then continuing late Summer into Fall on the other side (just flip the chart over).  Need 52 weeks across. 

Sorry I can't fill more in on this example,  because I am not plant - savvy enough yet to come up with examples. Sad  But I think visually this would help me and I could see when I replanted each square, just keep on going across the row.  Harvest, replant.  With notes on any treatments done in between. Or even = " H 2" would be harvested 2 squashes from this square's plant? 

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Post  sanderson 5/30/2022, 2:25 pm

I kept a journal my first year. I could be as long winded or as brief as I wanted. It was so much fun reading the journal in the winter.

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Post  markqz 5/30/2022, 11:58 pm

I've added an experimental timeline chart.

There's space at the top to write the week. You can see at a glance how many weeks it's been. Instead of using A1, B2 ... notation, there's a mini grid where you can fill the box showing which square you're referencing.

The question is whether there is enough space available to make it useful. If people find it useful, I could extend the weeks on the backside.

Gardening Charts / Labels 3s25osH
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Post  Soose 5/31/2022, 8:03 am

I spent some time with Excel yesterday creating a tracking chart for my own garden (nine 3x4 beds to start, haven't done anything about additional planters). 
I could have made it smaller but think I am going to put a season on a page.

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Post  Soose 5/31/2022, 8:09 am

markqz wrote:I've added an experimental timeline chart.

Mark, I wish I'd waiting before creating my more elaborate garden-specific chart.  Obviously experience tells.

I can't click on the image to look at it larger or to print or download.  Can you please attach one that
I can get to? This seems to be only a thumbnail.

[ Have you got  a chart for helping plan or track your seed-starting indoors? Or is it not needed? 
It's the planning part of that -- knowing when to start what and how many -- that befuddles me,
and I've got, what, a couple of months max to figure it out for the Fall starts? ]
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Post  markqz 5/31/2022, 9:12 am

Soose wrote:
I can't click on the image to look at it larger or to print or download.  Can you please attach one that
I can get to? This seems to be only a thumbnail.
There's a link above the thumbnail.
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Post  Soose 5/31/2022, 9:31 am

markqz wrote:There's a link above the thumbnail.
Ah, took some staring to see it's under the word "added."  Eyes not so good.

I like your chart. I wish I had not spent the time making mine.  I've printed a double-side
copy.   We'll try it out in the garden, and discuss which to use here.  I see right away, yours
has twice the space to record.  Bigger grid.
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