-> Gardens page
-> Gardens Overview
Welcome to the overview of the Gardens section of the Vegetable Garden Planner. This section, which includes the Logbook, is designed around four key entities. Familiarity with these will provide the foundation for understanding how to get the most from the Logbook. The following will describe them and how they are utilized in this section.
The Vegetable Garden Planner allows you to maintain multiple Gardens which normally refer to a well-defined physical area. For example, you may want to create separate gardens for your raised beds and the pots you keep on your patio.
Once you have a Garden you can populate it with Plants. A Plant normally refers to a single physical plant such as a tomato or squash plant. A Plant can also refer to multiple physical plants of the same type and variety such as a row of carrots or a cluster of strawberries. It's up to you to determine when you want to group a number of physical plants under a single Plant. If you want to track the history of numerous physical plants of the same type as a group, rather than individually, then add them to your garden as a one Plant. When you add that Plant you can specify how many physical plants you are referring to.
The names of Plants in the Planner (PlantName) are composed of three parts as follows:
PlantName = Plant Type: Variety: Label (optional)
Examples of "Plant Type" are "Tomato", "Carrot" and "Lettuce". Corresponding "Variety" examples would be "Big Boy", "Purple Haze", and "Romaine". The "Label" is optional and is normally used when you have two or more Plants, with the same "Plant Type" and "Variety", which you want to record history on separately. The Labels can be very simple such as [1,2,3 . . .] or [A, B, C . . .]. Or you might use the Label to indicate the difference in the Plants such as [Staked, Ground] or [Sun, Shade]. An example of a PlantName would be, "Tomato: Big Boy: Staked".
Also feel free to use the optional Label field if you want to add text in the PlantName that will assist you in remembering what Plant it refers to. For example:
"Tomato: Big Boy: From Seed" and
"Tomato: Persimmon: Orange"
In the Logbook you record history by attaching Notes to a Garden or one or more Plants. There are three types of Notes:
- Observations - Are used to record things you have observed such as the health or yield of a Plant. These are recorded using a simple 4-star rating system.
- Actions - Are used to record things you have done to your Garden or Plants such as planting, mulching and harvesting.
- General Notes - Are used to record things that are not specific Observations or Actions.
The Notes you attach to a Garden and or Plant comprises its history. The Logbook allows you to record a history of your garden at the level of detail you prefer. The level of detail is normally determined by how you plan to use the information in the future. We would suggest that if this is your first attempt at journaling that you initially limit your recording to some of the major actions and observations. Then as you become more experienced add more Notes that provide the additional information you desire.
In the Logbook you can attach Photos to your Notes. This is useful in capturing what a plant looks like at a specific moment in time.
Keeping in mind the entities described above the operation of the Planner can be simplified as follows:
- First create a Garden that represents a physical area on which you want to record history.
- Second, populate this Garden with Plants of various types and varieties
- Begin to attach Notes to your Garden and/or specific Plants that record actions you've taken and observations you've made.
In the future you will be able to review the history of your garden and use it to make improvements every year.