Favorite format for a garden log/records

I’ve seen a number of helpful posts of pics of folks’ plants from years past. I’m unskilled at keeping track of information. I have never been good at jotting anything in a baby book, for example!:pensive::kissing_smiling_eyes: I wondered if there was an app or simple way anyone really likes for a person who is organizationally challenged. Online/ digital seems ideal as I could search back. I’d like to record things like temps/ general weather, when my asparagus started coming up, when something else started leafing out; maybe when I’ve noticed particular animals’ activity etc. What and when I’ve sown /transplanted something. When stuff is harvestable, etc.

This may be easy / second nature to some folks and insignificant to others. I’m NOT a pro grower of anything but I want to learn and improve and hope that good notes would help me.

Thanks for any ideas!

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Consider the school days mantra: Read it, Write it, Say it … Remember it.

Journals can be very helpful this way, and nowadays you can do them electronically instead of bothering with all those log books. Further, you can break them down into a document per plant or veggie planter. In fact if you start a thread here for each of the same then they’ll be preserved well past our lifetimes and you’ll also get feedback from others!

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There are plenty or choices if you want to keep records online. Google Keep is easy use for android users. Windows has OneNote. Google Docs word processor can be used by anyone. You can put pictures in all of those. Create topics like Peach, Plum, Apple, Rootstock, Insecticide etc. or organize by year or do both. Just a plain notebook or index cards also works but storing pictures with those is more difficult.

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I keep an orchard log in a text file noting all sprays and other events, a tasting log in a text file of year by year entries how how things tasted (as well as other by-variety issues for that year), and an excel spreadsheet with my orchard layout by row where I also have columns for bloom, harvest, etc. All of these I synch to my android phone so I can edit in the field.

Many formats work, even just having one file for everything is good and you can always expand it later. Thats how I started.

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Free. Super easy to use. Calculates estimated harvest times based on your and other peoples data. If everyone used it we would have an amazing resource for understanding plant survival and fruiting for a large variety of zones.

I can’t recommend it enough.


if you start a simple text file and make the first line “.LOG” and save, everytime you open the file, it will time stamp every entry after you save it

I didn’t know that, very cool feature.

I’ve asked them to add Walnut to their plant types. How long does it usually take them to respond?

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If it is not in the catalog/list and you have an account set up at the site, you can still add it to your planted listed. I asked that Hakuto Peach and Spring Ruby Plumcot be added to the list earlier last week. It doesn’t show in their catalog/list but I was able to add it to my plantings for this past weekend. Go to the main website page and you’ll see that I planted them this weekend and think this was a change/option that was added sometime this year.

The creator is a member here. It might be easier to contact him through the forum @ChrisHashtags

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I’ve poked around a bit there and still don’t totally understand it. I will look on my laptop later. Thank you! I think something like this is what might help me best…

How? When I go to the New Garden Plant page the Plant Type is required.

When you have that page from the website up, right above the pull down menu for Plant Type* you should the following…

Don’t see your plant variety? Click here to add a new variety to our register.

On that page you should see this

Suggest New Cultivar

Database additions need to be approved by site administrators before they are published to the register. However, you will be able to add it to your garden immediately.

Plant Type*

Variety Name*

Chill Hours

Growing Zone - Low

Growing Zone - High

DescriptionRemaining: 1500

Fill in all the info that you have for the plant or tree and it will get added to your list.
I don’t remember if it automatically gets planted or not. You may have to go back to the New Garden Plant page and it will appear in the drop down menu for Plant Type.

So I went to the Suggest page and entered data for Zaatar Oregano (see 1st image). Then I went to the New Garden Plant page and it was not in the drop down menu (see 2nd image).

It’s only my guess but it appears that from your screenshot of Suggest New Cultivar it says…
Plant Type*-------- where you have not selected a plant type from the drop down menu and any field that has a * next to it is a field that MUST be filled in. If there is no appropriate Plant type from that pull down menu then you are going to have to email Chris about it. You will get a quicker response from him if you personal message him on this message board here.

But that was my original question :laughing:

Ah ha…I just went back to the website and we are both a little confused here until now. I was referring to the new cultivar page plant type pull down menu and you are referring to the new garden plant page pull down menu but at this point it doesn’t matter because herbs and walnuts are not listed in that pull down menu! You are going to have to pm Chris about it, sorry about all this. I didn’t have to go through this much because Hybrid Prunus and Peach are in the pull down there.

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I believe that @ChrisHashtags current approach of using a single drop down menu for plant types is poor. By many estimates there are well over 1000 types of food crop plants cultivated in the northwest hemisphere. If the canonical use of the term “type” were employed, that would be a very long list to traverse. Further, the current organization combines type nomenclature with cultivar names – of which there are about 13000 in the U.S. alone – increasing the intractability of site navigation.

I also believe the expectation of building the lists of plant types and cultivars from user input to a single admin is poor. It just doesn’t scale. I’ll argue that it is less work to scan an existing record set and extract types. For a list (or lists) organized by nomens you could invert the data in Cornucopia II, or for a list(s) organized by Tribe-Genus-species you could import the GRIN database.

I started using the Garden register last year and after about a month I decided it was easier for me to keep things in an excel spreadsheet. I exported the garden register data to a spreadsheet and then customized it to fit my needs. The spreadsheet basically contains plant date, cultivar, rootstock, obtained from, bloom date, harvest date. and a comments field. I organize and color code them by fruit type and then alphabetically.

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