help with database structure

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5 - Automation Enthusiast
5 - Automation Enthusiast

working on developing a better crop plan. each year, i have spreadsheets and my planting and harvest information never gets added so i'm trying to make a better workflow. 

REF reference file where most of the basic data about each crop goes. when it's plantable

INVENTORY is where i store my annual seed inventory. as I go about planting stuff, it would be nice to have this updated, but not absolutely necessary.

BEDS is where i have a list of beds in the field. this is also where i'd like to track what is planted each year and where.

GREENHOUSE is where i would log the plants i start in the greenhouse. i have a current list and just need to add the dates when I start the plants.

FIELD is where i would log the plants i start in the field and transplant from the greenhouse. (I merge this with the Greenhouse table and have a status update (greenhouse, transplanted, seeded)

HARVEST is where i can put potential and actual harvests and see them through time. most farmers start here and then work backwards to create their planting dates, but i don't know how to work this way?

it's a lot, I guess, but maybe someone can help me figure out if i'm going in the right direction or need to pivot (spreadsheet pun)

See attached for slightly more info.

3 Replies 3
7 - App Architect
7 - App Architect

Hi Stephanie,

It looks like you're going in the right direction to me.  And you're right, it is a lot.  

If you want to talk about this further, feel free to schedule some time with me.  Here's my Calendly link:


First of all, I *love* this use case. Second of all, there's a lot of different ways you can go with this.

I'm a big fan of starting small and seeing what workflows are making your heart sing. I would get those CROP, INVENTORY, GREENHOUSE, and BEDS tables going with the info that you have already in your spreadsheets and then give yourself 30 days to work with the system. Then you can ask yourself the questions: am I using this? if not, why? if yes, what can i add? etc etc etc

Some things to thing about, with the caveat that I know almost nothing about crops:

  • Can the ideal planting date would go with the variety in your INVENTORY table? If yes, you can then use it as a lookup in your GREENHOUSE table.
  • It looks like you're trying to create records in your GREENHOUSE table that are based on ideal planting dates. I would suggest doing that table by variety and looking up the crop and ideal date from there, then inputting the number planted and your actual date.
  • Your GREENHOUSE table can have fields for the date you transplanted or direct seeded into the field and a link to the bed that it was planted in. I'm not sure you need a table for that? But I'm also unclear on what sort of tasks you need to track in that pulldown, so maybe you do.
  • For the HARVEST table, I'm thinking that you would create a new record every time you harvest something and then link those records to a field in the GREENHOUSE table. Then you can do lookups and rollups to get your yields (is that the right word?).

Feel free to DM me about this if you want to talk more. Like I said, I love this use case. Good luck!

thanks for your thoughts. I am thinking that what is confusing to me is that for each crop, not only do i have multiple varieties but also multiple planting dates, so by switching back and forth between different tables, i feel super confused, like "was that the 3/21 planting of carrots or the 4/21 planting?".  so i am leaning towards having all of the starting stuff (greenhouse, field, etc.) in one table with multiple views. and then something like a status field to indicate where the crop is (greenhouse, seeded in field, transplanted) 

then harvest can be a table that answered "on this date, i harvested this variety that was started on this date. tracking down that detail i believe is going to be tricky as i'll have to grab the tag in the field. i'm trying to resolve the high level of detail i want to capture with the ability to also view things at the top level, the crop. 

i might start exploring forms to input harvest data to avoid having to troll through what I know is going to be a huge planting table. i guess that would be something like "on this date, i harvested this crop (refers to active plantings on the planting schedule, and this variety (would love to have this be "of the available varieties of the crop i just picked") and then add the amount." 

it is good to talk this through!