Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Planning the Gardens for 2011...phase 1

I have been spending a great deal of time this past week or so working on garden plans for this year. Most of the time has been spent on seed ordering, seed organization and researching some varieties of veggies and fruits. I am pleased to say, that I think that I have this part pretty much worked out. All of my seeds and most plants have been ordered. I still have to order the raspberries, strawberries and asparagus plants though. I even found a local source for artichoke plants! This was a big relief since I really don't think I will have the time to try to grow them from seed this year.

"The Italian" and I have been working on the excel worksheet where I try to keep track of everything for the garden. A lot of changes have been made to it....so, hopefully I will keep it updated as the season progresses! I do think that I am going to create a separate sheet and print it out to keep track of the daily harvests. This sheet will be kept in the kitchen and "The Italian" can then update the worksheet in the computer once a week......unless HE comes up with a better idea!!

We have estimated the amounts of produce that we think we need for the year and added that to the sheet. Hopefully, Mother Nature and the critters will cooperate and we will have most of the staples we need this coming year!! Believe it or not, with the 221 lbs of tomatoes harvested last year.....we did not have nearly enough to keep us for a year!!

I have already received two of my seed orders. This is the first time that I have ordered from Pinetree and Baker Creek. I only ordered two packs of seeds from Baker Creek and they sent me two free packs! How Nice!

Phase 2 of the garden planning is the garden layouts. I have worked on them a bit on paper....but, most of the information is still in my head!

So...how are your gardening plans for 2011 coming along??


  1. You will just love Baker Creek, last year is the only year I had an issue, a certain variety of tomato NONE of them germinated, and when I called and asked for a simple replacement/substitution, they went as far as to check the testing date on the seed, took down my info to collect in case they had any more problems reported and then sent me a beautiful replacement of 4 different kinds of heirlooms tomatoes with an apology letter! That's customer service! I understand that seeds have issues sometimes, what makes the difference is the service and "nice people" I get on the phone! I'm excited to start my planning now that I'm getting a lot of chores done around here to give me the "time" I need to devote to this fun "chore"!

  2. We had a spreadsheet last year and totted up everything that we harvested - it was incredible just how much we grew.

  3. This year will be the first time that I keep track of my harvest. The last few years I've just gardened for fun and gave away the produce. This year I will continue to give away as much as last year but have epanded my garden to give me plenty for myself. I'm building a food storage area in the basement that will be big enough to withstand many garden expansions which I have one more in mind for 2012. Little steps keep me on track. I'm really not sure about how I will keep track of the harvest but an EXCEL sheet seems to be the best answer.

    Have a great garden planning day.

  4. I have been doing the same thing! It's like Christmas all over again when my seed packages come in the mail!

  5. I love Excel spreadsheets! Does anyone know how to put one on a blog? I would love to share mine to give others ideas on how to track their data! Did you know that you can even do a garden layout in excel just by using it's features?

    If you know/can tell me how to load an Excel spreadsheet onto a blog, please email me the information at:


  6. I'm just pacing the floor, wishing I had written down all the seeds I have stored at home. I have no idea of the varieties that were added just before I left! I also cannot get into planning the beds on the computer, and my graph paper tablet is 1200 miles away. Maybe I'll have time to stop in Yuma tomorrow and pick up another one, so I can begin scribbling and dreaming once more.

  7. Erin, It seems like Baker Creek is a good company. We will see how I like the varieties I purchased from them.

    GLA, I was amazed last year to see how much we actually harvested.

    David, Last year was the first year that I weighed my harvests. Before that I did keep track of planting dates etc. I'm going to continue to weigh my harvests since it provides me with a lot of valuable information.

    Shawn Ann, I agree...I think that it's better then Christmas!

    VP, I don't know how to load an Excel sheet and post it on blogger. My sheet is very detailed with dates, amounts, how old the seeds are and where I got them from. I will have to mess around with it later this week. I'm trying to take down the Christmas decorations and clean my really dirty house.

    Granny, You can always fly out here to PA and help me clean my house :) I'm sure "The Italian" would be more then happy to make us some great food and get us a little fatter!!

  8. I registered for the free newsletter from the website Kitchen Gardeners International and the current edition entitled "Everybody Loves Seeds" has numerous articles on seeds: saving, buying, organizing. I always get a bit overzealous at this time of year. The seed catalogs have the same effect that the Sears Christmas Catalog had when I was a child. :-)

  9. Such an exciting time of the year with all the dreams of fresh produce dancing in our heads. I planned last weekend and hope to have my seed order placed soon.

    I usually use an excel spreadsheet too, but this year used google docs. This allows me to share the document on my blog easier and I can access it on any computer.

  10. Patricia, I will have to check out that site. I'm with you with regard to the Sears catalog! Do you believe that I received 5 more catalogs today??

    GrafixMuse, I like that line!! I will have to check out google docs..Thanks for the info!

  11. Yeah for seed orders. I placed 1 order through Johnny's and still have to place my Baker's order. What did you end up gettiing??

  12. I haven't really thought about the garden at all yet! I better get working on this. I have a lot of seeds I didn't use this year, so I'm pretty set with that. I should get working on a layout though!

  13. I've placed two orders for heirloom seeds. So far just tomatoes, peppers, and cold stuff like lettuce and spinach. I just came in from weeding in my biggest bed. There's tons of bermuda to rip up. I hate that stuff. It will be gone and I think I've gotten most of it, then I dig just a little further to find scads of roots. Rotten stuff. It's still pretty wet, but since I have raised beds, I'm able to get out there earlier than ever before. I also use Excel to keep track of how much and when I harvest. Last year was the first year I did that, and I was flabbergasted!! Really made myself feel good, though! Still need to organize what seeds I have left, and figure out what else I need. I love this! Viva la garden!!!

  14. I have ordered my tomatoes and peppers long time ago - beginning of December. So, I have all of them. And I think that other seed I will buy in garden centers.
    Last year I kept my data in excel sheet and it was very helpful with this year's planning.

  15. I do love this time of year. It's fun planning and researching, and in my mind everything will turn out perfect! I track my orders, seed inventory, harvests, and garden log using Excel. I know how to upload and make them available in Wordpress, but I haven't a clue about Blogger.

  16. Last year, I either grew too much or too little of everything. I'm really excited about making this year's garden much more efficient based on our needs.


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