Saturday, February 16, 2013

Garden Planning Spreadsheet

It is that exciting time of year again, in between the end of hunting season and the start of fishing season, when the seed catalogs have mostly arrived in the mail and we get to start planning out our garden for the next summer!  Many people have started using computer spreadsheets to keep track of what they are growing, when, where, and how much.  Some of the nice examples we've seen are from Anna over at The Walden Effect and from Fritz over at The Homestead Fritz. (Actually, to give full credit, Anna's post was how we found Fritz's blog, which is how we discovered the 13 Skills Challenge we had inadvertently approximated in our blog plans).  We noticed in the Jung Seed catalog that they are offering a free trial of their garden planning software, which adds quite a bit of functionality and an intuitive graphical interface to the standard spreadsheet approach.

However, we realized that we could actually get a bit of additional utility out of standard spreadsheet software, and in fact even the mapping that Fritz and Anna do outside the spreadsheet could be incorporated in an approximation of the Jung program.  We can't begin to approach the complexity of the Jung software (in part because we don't want to incorporate any macros in our spreadsheet), but by resizing cells to make a to-scale map and using formulas integrated between worksheets, we thought we could put together a fairly serviceable compromise.

This is the current version (file hosted at OpenDrive)--we'll continue to develop it as we gain experience with more types and varieties of veggies, but feel free to take it and modify for your own circumstances.  Let us know if you make any improvements on it--we're eager to see it upgraded!

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