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You Know You’re a Gardener

February 12th, 2009

You know you’re a gardener when the perfect evening at home consists of hours planning our your garden beds to make the most use of them for the short season. I guess I could be a bit of a geek too since I do it all on my computer (including a harvest total spreadsheet complete with graphs).
I had my list of things I want to order there by my side so I didn’t forget anything. I even had extra space so I added a few things to my seed list; how exciting.
A few new things I’ll be trying this year: chicory, birdhouse gourds, radicchio, rhubarb, peas, brussels sprouts and perhaps a few more herbs. I know I’m pretty late at getting my planning done, it seems like everyone else already has this finished. But last night was the first block of time I’ve had in a while. So I enjoyed a cup of tea, a few seeds websites & catalogs and my garden planning came together. I can’t wait for the weather to clear so I can actually get started!

How are you garden plans coming along? Are you trying anything new this year?

26 Comments to “You Know You’re a Gardener”
  1. Colleen on February 12, 2009 at 7:07 am

    I like planning, but you have it down to an art form. I’m totally jealous of your charts ;-)

    My plans are coming along. I think I’m done buying seeds (unfortunately) so now I just need to figure out where everything needs to go. That’s a lot more fun now that we’ve added the new beds.

    I can’t wait to be able to get out there, either. It has been the longest winter ever.

    Colleen’s last blog post..Book Review — Fresh Food from Small Spaces: The Square-Inch Gardener’s Guide to Year-Round Growing, Fermenting, and Sprouting

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  2. kristin on February 12, 2009 at 8:20 am

    Woah. Those speadsheets are impressive.

    Our new thing this year is trying not to go overboard. We are already failing.

    kristin’s last blog post..The Nosy Shopper

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  3. Allie on February 12, 2009 at 8:31 am

    That is seriously impressive! My gardening ideas are still just bouncing around in my head at this point. I really need to get on it!

    Allie’s last blog post..An Interview with Douglas Farquhar from ReJAVAnate

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  4. Sinfonian on February 12, 2009 at 9:50 am

    I hear ya on that! My spreadsheets aren’t nearly as orderly and complex as yours look, but a good evening is sitting down with some tea and planning the garden. Or for a little excitement, planning a get together to work on garden stuff. Can you tell it’s nearly spring?!?

    Sinfonian’s last blog post..February 11, 2009

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  5. Amy on February 12, 2009 at 1:02 pm

    Your spreadsheets are wonderful.

    I was hoping that you could bring your mind back to a beginning gardener level and give some advice to those of us who are just starting with the whole process. I have a Minnesota garden that is 3 foot wide by about 30 foot long (the length of our garage and slab). Last year my attempt at gardening was a disaster the only success that I had was my marigolds and two tomato plants. I am trying to figure out what I can do with it.

    Advice would be welcome and a post aimed at beginners trying to get started would be loved.

    I love your blog.

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  6. Susy on February 12, 2009 at 1:26 pm

    What a great idea Amy. I’ll have to come up with a gardening 101 section and make a few posts for those that are new to gardening.

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  7. warren on February 12, 2009 at 2:26 pm

    We’re behind too but making progress in huge strides now…the nice weather is helping that along. Anyhow, we are moving to heirloom/op/non-hybrid seeds and we are planning to save seeds this year…that’s a big change for us!

    warren’s last blog post..Blowhard

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  8. lee on February 12, 2009 at 3:26 pm

    I can’t grow much vegetables in my backyard because of my cats’ bathroom habits but the potted lettuces are doing well.

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  9. Carol on February 12, 2009 at 5:22 pm

    A fellow spreadsheet geek! I had no idea. :)

    Reply to Carol's comment

  10. Joe on February 12, 2009 at 7:59 pm

    Wow…you are a gardener!

    And so am I…with my guerrilla gardening! I mean, we’ve all been known to plant seeds where we shouldn’t…haven’t we?


    Joe’s last blog post..Drought Busters

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  11. Sherri on February 12, 2009 at 8:35 pm

    Impressive! Found your site a couple weeks ago looking for fellow zone 5 gardeners! Loving it! I’d love to get my hands on your spreadsheets haha!

    FYI – hope Lucy is doing well. Our Bailey just had the TPLO surgery 2 weeks ago tomorrow. Doing well – had to do surgery though. He also has hip dysplasia, so we thought for the longest time that was acting up – all the while it was a CCL injury. Had a complete tear. :-(

    Sherri’s last blog post..Food Planning

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  12. Susy on February 12, 2009 at 11:08 pm

    Amy – I’ll have to plan out a gardening 101 for beginners like yourself, great idea – thanks.

    Carol – oh a spreadsheet geek I am. I have them for everything, including tracking our utility usage.

    Joe – I also plant flowers in the empty lots on either side of us. Now if only I could use those for edible plants.

    Sherri – Hope your Bailey is doing well. It’s so hard to explain to pets that they need to keep quiet! I would love to make my spreadsheet available, I’m using a mac if anyone wants a template of my garden harvest tracker let me know, I’m almost finished with it.

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  13. Dan on February 12, 2009 at 11:51 pm

    I like to go out in the garden and plan in my head. It seems if the garden is not in front of me I start imagining that it is much large then it actually is. Wishful thinking right…

    I am trying radicchio for the first time this year as well. It is supposed to be a little problematic to get to form a head but from what I have read the new F1’s as supposed to be better. I think I will grow it as a late crop it and maybe over winter it in my coldframe.

    Great blog, I will add you to my blog roll.

    Dan’s last blog post..The State Of The Onions

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  14. Mangochild on February 13, 2009 at 4:24 am

    Late to chime in, but I had to say how organized you are! I have been staring at my seeds scattered on my kitchen island but haven’t had the chance to really “finalize” how I’ll organize it all…. how did you get the “harvest total” figured out?

    Mangochild’s last blog post..Bits and Pieces – Local In The News

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  15. Susy on February 13, 2009 at 6:34 am

    Dan: I like radicchio in salads and I’d love to try it grilled. I hope it does well. I’m also planning on growing it as a late fall/winter crop.

    Mangochild: For my harvest total spreadsheet, I’m joining in the Freedom Harvest Challenge over at, they’re trying to get a total tally of one million pounds of harvest from freedom gardeners. I was trying to figure out a way to keep track, I decided a spreadsheet would be the easiest way.

    I have columns for everything I grow, and then a place to add in each day and the total amount of harvest on that date. Then they add at the bottom and it charts them on a color coded bar graph. Each vegetable will have it’s own chart. I thought this would be a good way to see what was the most productive and worth it’s space in my small garden.

    I’m going to make it into a Numbers template (mac program). I’ll have to see if I can come up with something similar in Excel. I used to be great at that program before I switched to mac, but I’m a bit rusty.

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  16. Sherri on February 13, 2009 at 7:00 am

    Susy – I’ve considered signing up for their challenge as well. I’d just have to make peace with the fact that NONE of the berries would likely get tallied – those get eaten straight out of the garden by my eager son!

    I’d love a copy of your template, but I’m not a mac user either. Let me know if you get it into Excel at all!

    Sherri’s last blog post..Food Planning

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  17. Anny on February 13, 2009 at 7:01 am

    I love planning out my garden, but I always end up getting mad at my yard since I’m limited to where I can plant. I have a large black walnut tree of death in the middle of the yard (so I can’t plant much around that) and then most my yard is shade.

    Some day I’ll have a nice sunny lot.

    Anny’s last blog post..A little bit about bees

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  18. Kelly on February 13, 2009 at 2:36 pm

    For the first time this year I actually mapped out my gardens and planned using graph paper and everything. I figured it was a good idea because I had SO MUCH more space than I’ve ever had before (I think my total area is going to be around 450 sq ft of garden space). I was pleased to discover when I finished it that I had room for MORE plants than I thought. Yippee!

    As for new, I’m trying a whole whack of new varieties of tomatoes, peppers, squash, corn… pretty much new varieties of everything in my garden. I’m actually going to be trying melons for the first time this year too. I always assumed before because of my growing season I just couldn’t grow them at all, until I found a few heirloom varieties that were specially grown for shorter seasons.

    I’m very excited!

    Kelly’s last blog post..If You’re Going to do something, do it right.

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  19. Kathy on February 13, 2009 at 2:38 pm

    AHAHAHA! And I thought I was bad! You’ve got CHARTS! Whoohoo, someone way geekier than me! :) I do spreadsheets, colour-coded planting grids and seed-starting calendars.

    I still have no idea what I’m growing this year. I really got to get my butt in gear and plan it out. My main problem is understanding how crop rotation works and what I should/shouldn’t plant in one spot in relation to last year’s crop.

    I’m trying lots of new tomatoes this year like Berkeley Tie-Dye, Anna Russian, Aunt Gertie’s Gold, Green Doctor’s (really, I could go on about all the new varieties I have) as well as the craziest, most-hottest pepper in the world, the Bhut Jolokia. I don’t have the stones to try it though I’m growing it in the interest of social science. I want to know which of my friends is crazy enough to try it.

    Good luck on all your growing this year! Happy gardening!

    Kathy’s last blog post..Pre-sprouting 2009

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  20. Cindy on February 13, 2009 at 7:50 pm

    whoa, nice planning! Alas I am hopelessly behind since the raised beds arent even BUILT yet I havent made a planting map yet. I have 3 trays of tomatos, peppers, eggplants and salad greens. C’Mon spring!

    Cindy’s last blog post..spring cleaning

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  21. Dan on February 13, 2009 at 8:55 pm

    mm, grilled radicchio with a bit of balsamic… is it harvest time yet? :-)

    Dan’s last blog post..Saving Tomato Seeds

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  22. Judy on February 13, 2009 at 9:28 pm

    Hmmm. I’m a Mac user. I may be interested in the harvest tracker. I don’t have spread sheets but I’ve got my planting schedule on my ical and on the big calendar on the wall. My husband thinks I’ve lost it.

    Judy’s last blog post..Favorite comic

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  23. Andres on February 19, 2009 at 9:50 am

    I am definitely interested in the template of your garden harvest tracker. As I am new to this, anything to help organize myself the better. I do have a mac, although I currently use excel on it, but I’d love to play around with your template either way. Thanks.

    Andres’s last blog post.. Wintersown Seeds

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  24. My First Harvest of 2009 | Chiot's Run on February 19, 2009 at 10:53 am

    […] like enjoying a salad on a frosty February day from your own garden. I even got to enter in into my handy file to keep track of my harvests (which will be done as a template soon and available for […]

    Reply to My First Harvest of 2009 | Chiot’s Run's comment

  25. Scott on July 14, 2009 at 3:39 pm

    A fellow Mac gardener here. I’ve been looking everywhere for Numbers templates for seed planting schedules and the like. Could I impose upon you to email your Numbers files?

    Reply to Scott's comment


This is a daily journal of my efforts to cultivate a more simple life, through local eating, gardening and so many other things. We used to live in a small suburban neighborhood Ohio but moved to 153 acres in Liberty, Maine in 2012.

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