Gardening, Other Obsessions

Organizing Your Gardening Tasks

Obsession versus organization.

One major plus of being a retired SAHM,  (stay-at-home-mom, for the uninitiated), is being able to tackle many of those organization projects that were impossible to do with your kids running around.  But many might say that I’ve moved from being organized to being obsessed.  Doesn’t everyone hang their clothes according to the colors of the rainbow and put away dishes and cutlery using the FIFO rule (first in, first out)?   I can provide reasons for all of them—I find my clothes a lot more quickly, and why use the same plate and fork over and over?

And, I’m sorry, but I think my spice drawer (alphabetical, of course) is a work of art.

I am particularly proud of a project I’ve been working on for the last year—a spreadsheet of my garden.  Don’t tell my husband, but as my garden began to grow, I got increasingly confused as to how to care for the various plants.  Old wood, new wood, cut back, don’t cut back, when to prune, it’s all very overwhelming.

I love the Internet!

In the past, the death knell to my gardens was always access to information.  What was only available by paging through book after book is now instantly accessible on hundreds of gardening sites.  I’m grateful to the many people who are sympathetic to my black thumb.

I have always saved the little tags that come with the plants you buy.   I staple them in a notebook with the date I purchased the plant and add notes when I think about it.  I recently updated it, adding diagrams of each garden bed, giving each plant a code number (okay, that’s a bit obsessive), but it’s gotten very large and unwieldy.

Enter the spreadsheet.

It’s not completely finished, but the most important information is there, including location, plant care according to season, how to fertilize as well as how to propagate.  The feature I like best, though, are the check boxes.  The botanical names are just icing on the cake.

Isn’t it a thing of beauty?

Now that it’s time to get outside and do the spring clean-up, all I have to do is open the spreadsheet to see what needs to be done. Check it off, and voila!  Organization!

If you’d like to benefit from the fruits of my labors, you can download the spreadsheet here.  Unfortunately, the check boxes did not translate when converting the Mac Numbers file to Excel.  You’ll see “True” and “False” in place of them.  Many of the plants in my garden are common in the Midwest, so rather than just share an empty spreadsheet, I’ve included the information I gathered.  Why make you do all the work?

Happy Spring!