Let’s face it, Winter sucks. However, I don’t go South like some people I know. Instead, I spend my time thinking about Spring; specifically, vegetable gardening. I really enjoy looking through seed catalogs, consulting my garden journal to see what worked last year and what didn’t, and planning this year’s garden.
To that end, I have developed a spreadsheet to help me keep track of my seeds and now to help plan my planting schedule. I start my serious planning by taking an inventory of the seeds that I have on hand. I check for quantity and for age. Seeds lose their viability with the passage of time.
Some seeds (think corn) are only good for one year. Others are viable for up to four years. Then they’ve gotta go.
True story: My Dad gave me his old hermetically sealed seed case when he got too old to garden back in the mid-nineteen nineties. There were seeds from the 1970’s in that case.
HOW I USE MY SPREADSHEET
- List seed varieties by type of crops (leaf, fruit, root, legumes, herbs, flowers
- When I know it, I try to include days to maturity
- I list the year that is listed on the seed packet
- I list the quantity of seeds remaining. Some quantities are approximations which is fine for this exercise.
- I also list supplier
- I color code indoor starting month, planting out month and harvest month (This helps make sure that I don’t overplant or underplant things like lettuce, cabbage, etc.
ONE FINAL THOUGHT
The larger and more diverse the garden the more one will benefit from careful planning up front.
All the best,