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Square Foot Gardening Forum
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Log Book Toplef10Log Book 1zd3ho10

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.

Log Book I22gcj10Log Book 14dhcg10

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Post  Chuck d'Argy 10/29/2022, 12:55 am

Do you keep Records?

If so what do you record?
Chuck d'Argy
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Post  sanderson 10/29/2022, 2:39 am

I used a college notebook as a daily journal my first year and part of the second year. After that, I only kept records for each of the compost piles I built. I learned so much that first 12-18 month period at the beginning that I pretty much knew what worked and definitely what didn't work.

I now only use an Excel plot plan that I print out for summer and for winter gardens and an Excel spreadsheet for seeds that I start indoors in February. Most of my notes are written on the plot plans. I recently made a 1-page Excel calendar of major events.

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Post  Chuck d'Argy 10/29/2022, 9:53 am

sanderson wrote: I only kept records for each of the compost piles I built.  
What did you record about your compost pile?
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Post  sanderson 10/29/2022, 12:59 pm

I recorded what materials I used and the number of 5-gallon buckets of each material it took to fill the 3'x3'x3' cage to the top. Then, twice daily temperatures at 18" deep, each day that I turned the piles inside out, if I needed to water or leave the material spread out on the tarp to dry a bit (30 minutes of escaping steam), and "events" like days on end of rain, sick, or out of town, that prevented me from properly tending each pile. Also, quality of the rough finished compost - just right or clumpy or sticky from too much moisture.

In order to turn a thermophilic cage, limitations on space meant I had to remove the material and stockpile on a large blue tarp into 2 windrows: outer 6" material and inner core. Then rebuild with the inner core material as an outer shell and the outer shell into the middle. I did this 8 times so everyone got a chance to heat up in the middle to kill seeds and pathogenic microbes from the manure. I used the Berkeley 18-day thermophilic method for rapid rough compost and to kill pathogens and seeds. (Manure pathogens will normally be replaced with beneficial microbes in long-term compost piles.)

When I bought an 80-gallon Lifetime tumbler, I recorded the same information, only I didn't have to break down the pile and rebuild it. Just turn it slowly to let everything re-mix.

Hope this helps.

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Post  JAM23 10/30/2022, 8:46 am

I have not entered the world of logging the compost YET, but I have a 1 inch binder with loose leaf paper that I use as short of a diary. I log what is happening in the garden every couple of days throughout the growing season. I have done that for 2 years now and I find it really helpful to be able to look back and see what worked and what didn't work and when I started different veggies both indoors and out. I also included in the binder blank calendar pages so I could add all the start dates of when I started things indoor, transplanted, or direct sowed into the garden. I jot down when it rained, how much it rained and when I watered. There is also a hand drawn diagram of my garden beds with notes on where I put everything. It is also a great place to add any gardening wisdom that is shared on this forum that I want to remember. I have learned so much from others on this forum! I find it enjoyable to keep records because they are fun for me to look back on.

I will probably continue to do it this way next season but I have also created in Google docs a master list of what seed packets I have with a column for germination days, days to maturity, the year they were purchased and a note section for whatever else I feel like I need to remember. This way when I am seed shopping on line, I know what I already have. I was able to create grids in a Google doc that matched my garden beds and I am going to  print that out now and fill in where I am planting everything. It is probably similar to what sanderson mentioned with Excel plat plan. 

I was thinking about creating another doc that would list what I planted, when I planted it and when I can expect to be harvesting. I have not been good about that so far and always wonder, "Is it ready yet?" Especially for things like carrots/beets. But I was thinking I could just get better at adding this information to the blank calendar pages. Smile

It continues to be a work in progress but one that I find quite enjoyable!
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Post  sanderson 10/30/2022, 1:10 pm

JAM23 wrote:. . . There is also a hand drawn diagram of my garden beds with notes on where I put everything. It is also a great place to add any gardening wisdom that is shared on this forum that I want to remember. I have learned so much from others on this forum! I find it enjoyable to keep records because they are fun for me to look back on. . .
This Forum has been a valuable source of information and helpful hints for me.  Without it, I wouldn't still be gardening.  I'm going to re-read my 2013-2014 journal the first day of rain. I imagine it will be great entertainment Razz  as to all of my early mistakes.  (as well as bringing back good memories)

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