Sunday, March 3, 2013

Excel - it's not just for accountants

My apologies to those of you still under lots of snow with the prospect of yet more in your future, because this post is about the planting of my garden. Here in northern California, the danger of a freeze is past and so it's safe to plant all sorts of things right into the ground.

This year is different in many respects.

1. It's the 2nd summer in this house, so we know more about sun/shade/wind - the things that affect various plants in different ways.

2. We're starting many things from seed in our sunny kitchen window. If you want to eat at the kitchen table, you must cozy up to the two trays of peat pots with spindly little shoots straining toward the light.

3. Mr. OneWoman'sHands (let's call him S) is involved in a major way. Last year I did all the donkey work while he strolled around sipping Chardonnay, gathering peppers into a basket and commenting on how the tomatoes needed better tying up. (note: my garden was haphazard, overgrown  and messy but it produced like crazy)

Well, the tomatoes won't dare get out of line this year because We Have A Plan! This plan was drawn up on a spreadsheet in Excel, one foot to a square, labeled with what plant goes where.

S loves Excel in the way that some men love their car. He sees it as a tool that can be employed in many ways, not the least of which is laying out the floor plan of a wood shop or the planting of a garden.

A couple weeks ago, after endlessly occasionally consulting me about how much space such-n-such veg needed, he eventually emerged from his office with two sheets of paper which he proudly handed to me with a self-satisfied smile and the air of a job well done.

We took these plans with us this afternoon when we sallied forth into the back yard to Plant. I stood by holding pots of veggies while he measured (you heard me right) the distance from the edge of the raised garden to where the first pepper plant should go.

Scrape chips away, set pepper down in bare spot, smile at wife - next!

We laid out most of the garden in this fashion, then went back and planted. There are many more plants to come, plus another (new) bed for root veggies, which we didn't have last year.

(I may have missed dead center by a few inches here and there but I expect it will all grow anyway)


  1. Now that is an organized man! Wow, that should be an impressive garden and I'm looking forward to seeing it as it grows.

  2. If I send a round trip plane ticket, you send this organized guy my way? How about two tickets?
    I love your yard and how the garden.

  3. wow you've been busy - still too early for us here - I'm too lazy to urban garden but I really should - just wander down to the Farmers Market instead LOL