Allotments 4 All

Allotment Stuff => The Basics => Topic started by: tottieheed on February 25, 2012, 18:13:00

Title: Garden Design Software
Post by: tottieheed on February 25, 2012, 18:13:00
Hi again

I was not sure whether to post this in the computing section but decided it belonged here, sorry if I got it wrong!

Having just become the proud owner of brand new allotment I am considering my options as to where to put everything. I would like to make my plans using some type of design software.

So the question is, is there a free piece of software for designing gardens/allotments that can be downloaded from the net?

It does need to be free as it is not a new career I'm looking for in garden design, just something to play around with.

Thanks for reading my post and an even bigger thanks to those who reply with suggestions
Title: Re: Garden Design Software
Post by: Melbourne12 on February 25, 2012, 19:14:14
When we first got an allotment, I tried various software pacages.  Some of them cost money to buy, others had a free trial, others you paid a yearly licence.  Some were spreadsheets or simple databases, others offered 3D rendering of your plot.

All of them suffer from a requirement for too much data.  It wasn't that they were difficult to use, just tedious.

In the end I've concluded that a few simple spreadsheets and few home-drawn diagrams on Microsoft Visio (or similar) are more than sufficient. 
Title: Re: Garden Design Software
Post by: elsie on February 25, 2012, 19:23:41
I agree. I abandoned the program I bought in favour of a notebook (the pen and paper type  ;) )
Title: Re: Garden Design Software
Post by: powerspade on February 25, 2012, 21:44:27
I draw a scaled plan of my plot and used that with a pencil
Title: Re: Garden Design Software
Post by: Alex133 on February 26, 2012, 08:10:31
This works for me.
Draw an outline of the plot on a piece of paper. Scribble your planting areas on it until you're happy with the basic layout. Transfer neatly on to a master copy, photocopy and keep that. Use a copy for each year, fill in what you are going to grow and hang on shed wall at allotment to refer to. I've got 2012 and 2011 side by side and very helpful for rotation.
Also keep a nice fat notebook at the allotment with a page for each crop you are growing and note everything you do on it - manure, compost, sowing dates etc, etc. This is brilliant the following year as a reminder of what worked, what didn't........
Much as I love computers having a hard copy where you are actually working is brilliant even though it all gets a bit scruffy and scribbled over as I change my mind.
Title: Re: Garden Design Software
Post by: Jayb on February 26, 2012, 08:15:16
Grow veg has a free 30 day trial to use their planner.
Title: Re: Garden Design Software
Post by: shirlton on February 26, 2012, 09:34:09
I'm afraid we just do it as we go along. We just keep a big marker in where the plants have been so that we can put something different there next time. Otherwise we would foget. ;D
Title: Re: Garden Design Software
Post by: elvis2003 on February 26, 2012, 10:42:29
I wouldnt even bother with your first year as your plans will change so much according to which beds you have cleared and ready first..good to record what went where at the end of the season though. Good luck!
Title: Re: Garden Design Software
Post by: pigeonseed on February 26, 2012, 19:52:13
I tried that free planner - I find it just couldnt cope with anything like a real garden, where things overwinter. It finishes on 31st Dec and starts on 1st jan. Gardens aren't like that.

so yes, I use paper and pen.  :)
Title: Re: Garden Design Software
Post by: Ophi on February 26, 2012, 21:33:21
I use a spreadsheet with a basic drawing of the plot and a tab with jobs to do for each month.  Until we got the allotment I just used to have the seeds in sowing order for the year but the allotment means I have to be a bit more organised as last year I forgot things or was a bit late and did not get as good a crop as if I had sown on time.