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what would you expect from a seed inventory program?

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what would you expect from a seed inventory program?

Post  garlix on 9/27/2010, 3:34 pm

I was unable to find decent and free software to manage my seed inventory. As a programmer, I will just write my own. Please give me some input on what you would expect from a good seed inventory program. Would you prefer a downloadable program or on the web? What features? What data would you want to store? Looking forward to your ideas.
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Re: what would you expect from a seed inventory program?

Post  Wyldflower on 9/27/2010, 3:56 pm

What a great idea! I'm thinking a downloadable program might be best, though I'd be fine with a web-based program too. I was starting to do this sort of thing in a spreadsheet, but didn't get too far with it.

To start, I think we'd want the name of the seed (common name, latin name and variety). Then the recommended zones for growing and water needs, and best planting time (such as 'in ground two weeks before last frost') I'd also like to see the typical germination time and typical time to harvest. If it's possible for the program to allow us to put in our own first and last frost dates, it might be helpful.

I think having a "NOTES" box would be good - where we can input our experience with a seed, etc.

I'm sure that there are a lot of other items that people want to keep track of... Thanks so much for thinking of this!
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Re: what would you expect from a seed inventory program?

Post  acara on 9/27/2010, 4:19 pm

From a complete newb's perspective .....

..... A "growing difficulty" rating would be helpful

..... Transplant vs direct-sow listing
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Re: what would you expect from a seed inventory program?

Post  middlemamma on 9/27/2010, 4:53 pm

I prefer web based...I hate the hassle of having to back up my computer. If my PC crashes I don't have to deal with re-entering all my seed data or a restore from backup.

Sometimes I have 3 seed packets all the same seed, but different companies...I like to know which of the three packets I am working with, so having a feild for what company the seeds came from, or were they seeds from another gardner, or seeds I harvested myself...that would be nice.

Depth to plant, sun requirements, everything that you would find on the packet coupled with what wyldflower said and then the ability to hit a few buttons and have it spit out dates you would plant inside or outside based on the requirements of the seed in your area with your frost dates.

For example...if I input that I have cuke seeds...and its something I would direct sow, not start indoors, and my last frost date is X..I want to print out a report that tells me when I can plant that seed.

If I have tomato seeds I need to start inside 8-10 weeks before my last frost...the report would tell me when I need to start that seed indoors.

THAT would be so helpful I cannot even tell you....then I would be able to sort that by date and know when I need to start what.

So ideally I could have all my seeds listed...then I could "select" the seeds I plan on growing in spring...and then this report would say ok then you need to do this by this date. Voila!

Yeah...I know thats kinda like asking for the moon and stars. LOL

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Re: what would you expect from a seed inventory program?

Post  Odd Duck on 9/27/2010, 4:53 pm

I second all of the above and refine with "sow inside" dates and "sow outside" dates, "transplant" dates, etc.

Texas (and the whole south for that matter), will give you fits, because we kind of have our own set of rules on sowing dates - for instance, we sow onion seeds outside in the fall, but plant onions by sets or slips in January or very early spring at the latest. We also use short day onions (have to get them grown up and bulbing before the extreme heat hits). I mention onions in particular since the allium group was the hardest for me to figure out.

IF you could figure out how to help us transplanted southerners sort all this stuff out for the different crops/seeds, that would be extremely helpful. Very Happy

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Re: what would you expect from a seed inventory program?

Post  middlemamma on 9/27/2010, 4:57 pm

Oh and can I just volunteer to be a beta tester...LOL. Razz
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Re: what would you expect from a seed inventory program?

Post  boffer on 9/27/2010, 6:06 pm

Yep, don't forget the best phase of the moon to plant.

And expiration dates.

And companion plants.

And whether to turn around in a circle once or thrice before opening the seed package.



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Re: what would you expect from a seed inventory program?

Post  middlemamma on 9/27/2010, 8:28 pm

WELL!!! GASP!!! BOFFER I'll be! I turn around 1.5 times before I open!! Geesh. rofl

Garlix....are you sorry you asked??? Embarassed
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Re: what would you expect from a seed inventory program?

Post  garlix on 9/28/2010, 1:17 am

Wow, great ideas. This gives me something to get started. As much as I love the outdoors, I can't get my hands off the keyboard Smile Thanks for all the suggestions. I'll post an update soon.
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Re: what would you expect from a seed inventory program?

Post  acara on 9/28/2010, 5:48 am

Another suggestion....... whether to scratch, score, soak or just sow.

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Re: what would you expect from a seed inventory program?

Post  Blackrose on 9/28/2010, 9:25 am

Wow! This is an absolutely amazing idea! While I can't think of anything to add off the top of my head that hasn't already been suggested, I would also like to volunteer to be a beta tester. Very Happy
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Re: what would you expect from a seed inventory program?

Post  Megan on 9/28/2010, 7:56 pm

Did anyone mention which year the seed was packed for, if known? (If so, sorry!)

Love this idea and would like to try it.

I'd like to see a notes section, too. I have list of all my seeds on a Google document if you would like to see it. I just cut, pasted and edited from my Baker Creek receipt, so it has the catalog number in there, too. In my notes I have comments about how it has grown throughout the season... and also, if someone gave me the seed, who it was.
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DB or Spreadsheet

Post  GloriaG on 9/28/2010, 10:27 pm

Hi garlix,

I've taken a slightly different approach., I created an Excel spreadsheet for "Garden Management" that I'm now converting to a MS Access database. Having something like that on line would be WONDERFUL!

Its' interactive and quite detailed: I have all the standards - Information about the plant "group" (ie. What varieties are best in my area, what pests/diseases attack the plant, companions, plants that don't work together, how many I need/person, if I should start from seed/plants, if the seeds have any special requirements, when to plant for spring & fall, etc.) The "When to plant date" is a calculation based on the average date of last frost in spring and the average date of first frost in the fall.

Then I have a section on each specific variety I'm using - this area keeps growing as I add new varieties. (ie: how many per square, size of fruit, soil requirements - pH, fertilizer & water, days to germinate, days to maturity, days of harvest,) etc.

Next I have a section on this year's plantings: (Plant variety, date started indoors, outdoors, date it should germinate, start producing and be finished). Germination date, start producing date and finished date are calculations based on the data for the specific variety.

Since this is my first ever garden, and I wanted to maximize it as much as possible, I needed a way to figure out when to plant things and when I should start new plants, and how to care for each variety, etc.

So far it seems to be working OK.
Gloria

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Re: what would you expect from a seed inventory program?

Post  ribsyhuggins on 9/29/2010, 1:10 am

you all make me laugh a bit.

Since did a complete spreadsheet 45 different types of vegetables last year.

I think will post the template for you all this weekend. to save the time redoing it.

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Re: what would you expect from a seed inventory program?

Post  garlix on 9/29/2010, 3:07 am

ribsyhuggins, would love to see your template. I've had several tables, but they just weren't enough for what I wanted to do with it. I worked on the database structure last night. Once the user enters his/her seeds, it might even be possible to add some garden planning, but first I want to concentrate on just managing what seeds one has. I am also thinking of letting the user download their seed data as a spreadsheet or a comma-delimited text file which can then be used in any spreadsheet program.
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Re: what would you expect from a seed inventory program?

Post  garlix on 10/5/2010, 12:00 pm

I am trying to have something for you to try out by the end of the week. I would still like to see some of your spreadsheets. Feel free to post or private message me.
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Re: what would you expect from a seed inventory program?

Post  ribsyhuggins on 10/7/2010, 2:56 pm

garlix,
sorry for not posting sooner i got busy .
i will post the template soon.

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Please try it out!

Post  garlix on 10/16/2010, 1:34 pm

OK, after all the hard work I think I have something that's worth trying out. I plan on offering this as a free service. Please sign up, try it out and let me know what you think. I am looking forward to your suggestions on how to fine tune and improve what I started. You can use the contact form on the website: iSaveSeeds.com or private message me here.
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Re: what would you expect from a seed inventory program?

Post  sceleste54 on 10/16/2010, 1:38 pm

Y'all embarrass me.. I'm still writing on clay tablets rofl

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Re: what would you expect from a seed inventory program?

Post  Megan on 10/16/2010, 5:21 pm

@garlix wrote:OK, after all the hard work I think I have something that's worth trying out. I plan on offering this as a free service. Please sign up, try it out and let me know what you think. I am looking forward to your suggestions on how to fine tune and improve what I started. You can use the contact form on the website: iSaveSeeds.com or private message me here.

Neat! I likey! cheers
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Re: what would you expect from a seed inventory program?

Post  davidclubb on 11/18/2010, 5:32 pm

Being a programmer, you are probably familiar with cloud computing. A colleague of mine is the IT admin for Lamar University here in Beaumont. Most companies nowadays, he says, are converting to thin client technology. The reason is that they do not need to buy more software, and IT techs are nott running all over the place with their head cut off. So, I would say to make your program server based, in light of the direction of computing.
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