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Julianne Idleman

Very jealous PC user over here! This sounds like great stuff Mark. I wish I could try it out. :-( Good tracking is something I have struggled with for a couple years now.

Next I'm going to search your site for the best plant marking technique. That's one I haven't figured out yet either!

H. Mark Delman

Hi Julianne:

You can create a similar tracking system using Windows Excel spreadsheet but it will not be as convenient -- no search feature, no drop down menus pre-populated with vegetable types, locations, no stars icons for flavor, texture ratings etc., etc.

I exported the column headings from Bento to an Excel spreadsheet and add this to the original blog posting. This will give you some idea of what I was tracking. You would need to create your own calculation in Excel to make it work. Hopw this helps.


vegetable garden

Thanks for the information. That was really great having Apple Bento as a plant in your garden.


Nice work!

One other option if you want a social version of Bento is to join - we're essentially the world's largest garden tracking community. Most of our garden tracking features are completely free, and advanced features are on a "pay what you think they are worth" system.

Mark - I'd love to give you a review account so you can try out all of our features, get in touch if you are interested :)

Our tour page has a brief rundown of features:

- Nic (Creator and Founder)

H. Mark Delman

Hi Nic:

Im happy to give MyFolia a try. You can send any relevant ID and Password information to my e-mail address:
Based on some spelling variations versus US English, I suspect you are based in the UK. Is that correct?


new york mortgage

Can you start a garden on top of a preexisting garden?

H. Mark Delman

If you mean, can you put a vegetable garden into a space that formerly had a flower garden etc., the answer is yes. However, the soil may be very depleted or the ph level (acid/basic) may not be optimal. I recommend using a soil testing service to get a good understanding of what soil amendments need to be added. You test can test in the Fal or the Spring. Heres a link to a posting on what you get from a professional service:

new york mortgage

How can I start a vegetable garden?

H. Mark Delman

Heres an abbreviated answer. To start a vegetable garden you need to do the following:

1) Decide what types of vegetables you would ideally like to grow (What do you like to eat)
2) Check to see if your climate will allow you to grow them. (For example, if you want to grow sweet corn with a maturity of 110 days, you have a better chance of achieving this in a temperate or warm geography than in a place like Maine which has a short growing season. In Maine, you need to either choose a different variety of corn or not grow it at all) Search on line for Last Frost Date. Youll find sites that allow you to check your last and first frost dates. These dates determine the length of your growing season.
3) Choose a site on your property and again see if it receives the
number of hours of sun required to grow your veggies. Crops like tomatoes need a lot of sun -- a minimum of 7 hours and 10-12 is ideal. If your garden patch is shady, you can only grow low light veggies.
4) Check your soil using a professional soil testing service and determine if you need to adjust the PH or add compost etc.
5) Plant during the right season. You can find this information online or in books. For example, you plant potatoes, cabbage, peas and other cool season crops in the early spring. Tomatoes and squash are hot weather crops that get planted later in the year. If this is your first year growing vegetables, it will be easier to buy seedlings at your local garden store or home center than trying to start from seeds.

Theres a lot of detail to each step listed above, more than I can cover in a comment. As a next step you might buy a book from Amazon or take a class on
gardening. You can find local classes by doing a Google search on Vegetable Gardening + [name of your town] . You should find something. Generally, these classes are about 3 hours long and cost about $25. It will help.


You would need to create your own calculation in Excel to make it work.

H. Mark Delman

The way I have my program set up you would use Excel to add up yields for all types of vegetables. In other words, many pounds of tomatoes, squash, cucumbers and cabbage did I grow. But within a particular vegetable type, I have fields set up for individual harvests. If I harvest 10 pounds of tomatoes on Monday, I enter that into a field called harvest #1. If a week later, I harvest another 5 pounds of tomatoes, I enter that into a field called Harvest #2 etc. I have something like 10 harvest fields set up in the template. In Bento, there is a field called Calculation that allows you to sum various fields. I use this to calculate the grand total of all harvests for a specific veggie type.

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