I’ve always dreamed of having a gardening simulator on my PC.  Well, ok… not always, but ever since I seriously got into gardening when I bought my first house back in 2000. I mean the data is already out there, in spades – but no one seems to have come up with a decent algorithm for this.  There might not be a huge demand, but I do know that the many gardeners I’ve met over the years are quite passionate about their hobby and would love a tool like this to better plan their own gardens, or just to play around with to see what happens over time.

There’s tons of data out there for almost every garden plant imaginable including everything from seed germination percentage, to growth rates, to flowering times, etc etc. Besides all of the “hard data,” there’s also plethora of “soft data” too, (phenology).  Anyways, I see some game programming student’s next Master’s Project -hehe.

And what got me on this topic?  Trying to plan my own gardening adventure, of course!  Esp. since I’m going to try and make a dollar or two at it.  I’ve come up with 25 plants that I’m probably going to put in a test-bed this year and see how they do.  If they end up performing well under my local conditions, I’ll try marketing them:

  1. “Basket of Gold” ‘alyssum’ (it’s not really an alyssum)
  2. Columbine
  3. Carnations
  4. Gaillardia
  5. Gypsophila (Baby’s Breath – the perennial variety)
  6. Mint (quite an aggressive plant, bears caution)
  7. Oregano (other plant that warrants caution due to its vigor)
  8. Lavendar
  9.  Thyme
  10. Sage
  11. Echinacea
  12. Coreopsis
  13. Datura
  14. French Tarragon
  15. Sweet Pea (perennial variety)
  16. Clematis
  17. Prickly Poppy (might be weedy, although I’ve never seen them in my planned gardening area/locale)
  18. Blue Flax (possibly too happy to reseed)
  19. “Electric Blue” Delphinium (a short, almost ‘wild-flower’ variety)
  20. Rudbeckia
  21. Aconite (Monkshood)
  22. “Love Lies Bleeding” (Amaranthus caudatus) – has a tendency to heavily reseed.
  23. Peony
  24. Iris
  25. Lilies (inc. daylilies)

I’d like to try some foxglove and lupine as well, but I’ll just have to see if there’s space in the above list, or if I decide some of the above just won’t work in the same gardening area due to too large of difference in the required growing conditions between the various plants. For example, some may like a lot of sun, and others prefer shade, or divergent water requirements, etc.

 And that’s only one of the 20′ x 20′ “test-beds” (4′ x 4′ square, per plant).  I’ve got over 60′ x 80′ to “play” with, and an additional 60′ x 120′ that I’m hoping to use for “serious production.” And that’s not even counting the two orchard areas (80′ x 80′ and 80′ x 160′ respectively)…  Just sayin… I got A LOT of area to mess around with 😀   Hopefully I’ll be able to make something of it.

I hope the upcoming weekend finds you well and having some fun! Enjoy!

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