Transplanting my seedlings

I have transplanted most of the seedlings that I started earlier. Today I did 64 mostly tomato plants. Since I usually manage to get them mixed up I adapted the method that someone here described a few weeks, marking a start corner and the doing a grid, A thru L and 1 thru 6. Then making a chart listing what is in A1 or c6. I made a chart using graph paper. I was careful and since all but one row in each of the boxes were tomatoes I put another kind of plant in a row so that if the tray tag got lost or switched I would be able to figure out which tray is which.
The graph paper can be made for free here: http://www.incompetech.com/graphpaper /
I used an asymmetric plan so my charts matched my trays.
I'm golden if I don't lose my charts.
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wrote:

That was probably me. The "home" marker identifies the flat (so "2012-03-22-A" would be the first flat seeded today for instance, if I'm seeding several. I usually omit hypens though.

I did that the first year or two that I employed the technique, but after that, just went to listing them on lines in a journal (easy to do on the computer too).
Tomatoes - 20120209 row    # per    seed ID / Variety A    3    SD-2008-021    Amish Brandywine B    3+    SD-2010-034    Black Cherry                         Emptied the container.                         Seed very humid C    3+    SD-2010-035    Lemon Boy D    3    SD-2009-018    Sweet 100 E    ?            Yellow Pear (2009)                         Off paper towel F        SD-2009-024    Big Rainbow G1-4    2    Ferry-Morse    Black Krim G5-6    1            Wapsipinicon Peach H    2    Cooks        San Marzano                         Emptied container I    2            Cherokee Purple J    1    Johnny's    Moskvitch                         Emptied container K    2            Paul Robeson L1-3    2            Creme Brulee L4-6    2            White Wax
etc. I often note number of seeds per cell - "3ea" or "4+" or somesuch. If there's a seed quality concern, I also note that, as it can explain poor germination. "seem moist", "dry", "light". The "SD-xxxx" are labels on the seed containers I store saved seed in - unique identifiers for every container. When I have poor germination, I take them out of inventory.
It is easy to search for a specific variety by searching the journal document. A spreadsheet program (i.e. Excel) is invaluable as an alternative.
And, since I'm self-diagnosed OCD, I sometimes (er, more often than not) note germination success by date (and may have more than one seed seeded). It's sort of like tallying, but I'm noting the cell number 'x' times based on how many things are germinated there.
An actual cut-n-paste from a tomato germination tray:
Several weeks ago:
5    A 34444 7    B 3333455 0    C - 22    D 1122223333344444555566 6    E 233356 18    F 111222333444555666        100% germ! 8    G 23344556 8    H 22344556 11    I 11223344566 4    J 3456 8    K 12233456 5    L 22344
Today:
16    A 1112334444555666            Lost 23 17    B 11133333455666666            Lost 22 0    C - 25    D 1111222233333344444555566 10    E 2333445666 15    F 111223344555666            Lost 234 10    G 1123445566                Lost 3 9    H 223445566 11    I 11223344566 4    J 3456                    Lost 2 12    K 111223334556 11    L 11224445666                Lost 3
Yea, that's 140 tomato plants, I may tease some out and replant in newspaper pots. I note losses - usually individual seedlings which shrivelled up, though sometimes damaged because I did something stupid like trying to pry off a seed pod stuck to a leaf. They're noted in tally form as well.
Note the _ZERO_ germination of the Lemon boy (C) - I've decommissioned that cylinder of saved seed. The Black Cherry (B), despite having been noted as very humid, had very good germination success (though I have no idea if the plants themselves will be robust or not). Moskvich seems like a low germination rate when you look at the table, but then noting that because I'd used up the last of my seed, there was only 1 seed per cell, still managed a 66% germination rate, which on the surface isn't great -- but I checked my records (an Excel spreadsheet in which I inventory all my seeds, sources, etc), and those were seeds packaged for 2007. 66% germination from seeds marketed for use five years ago ain't at all bad.
(I'm trying to get Baker Creek to carry Moskvich - they're wonderful early, cool tolerant tomatoes)

Smart. You can also put tape (or a mailing label) on the side of home cell, or do any number of things to identify it. Best to do this BEFORE you start planting of course, and check that it's the home position.
Another approach is to seed a different number of seeds in some cells, just ensuring you don't do it symmetrically. When the second row (or group) has several cells with four seedlings in them, you can be pretty sure that it's not the second from last, which had only 2 seeds per cell. That allows you to stick to one class of plants in all the cells, which can be beneficial if you're planting into the burstable packs (the germination trays that are perforated to 6 or 9 cell sub-packs).
Where I'm dealing with burstables, I assign a letter to each pack, and number the cells across and down, as I expect to plant the same type of plant in each burstable pack. For example (best viewed with a fixed-pitch font):
[1][2][3]|[1][2][3]|[1][2][3]|[1][2][3] [4][A][6]|[4][B][6]|[4][C][6]|[4][D][6] [7][8][9]|[7][8][9]|[7][8][9]|[7][8][9] ---------+---------+---------+--------- [1][2][3]|[1][2][3]|[1][2][3]|[1][2][3] [4][E][6]|[4][F][6]|[4][G][6]|[4][H][6] [7][8][9]|[7][8][9]|[7][8][9]|[7][8][9]
The lettered cells here are oviously cell #5, but the idea is to show how these 9-packs are numbered as an example. I don't use a lot of burstable packs though (I don't operate a nursery selling plants) - I have several hundred (!) of the non-perforated 72-cell trays stored under my barn, and only use 4-6 of them in a season (and even those are reusable).
These are merely ideas, not hard and fast rules. As always, use what works for you.

Graph paper can be useful for laying out plantings - such as diagraming your garden space.
You can go paperless and tabulate your plantings using a spreadsheet application (which, conventiently letters the columns, and numbers the rows), using cut-n-paste to pop variety names into the different cells, and you can update that later with germination dates if you're so inclined. You can still print these out on a dead tree (compostable!), with the benefit that the data should be very legible compared to most peoples handwriting.
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On Thu, 22 Mar 2012 16:11:59 -0700, Sean Straw

I just needed a way to track which seedlings are which since most tomato seedlings look alike. I have a program that tracks my inventory of seeds from purchase to harvest. I know where I got them, date and price. It also tracks the number on hand if it is possible to count the seeds. I can set up a plan of how many seeds I want to plant and when. When I actually plant the seeds then I can track planting date, first germination, last germination, plant out, and maturity. There is also a log section to track where the seeds were planted, container, soil and the same information about transplanting. You can also track the level of germination. Then there is a section for notes.
I can go to the log and see the information for back years. When did I plant, etc.
Unfortunately the company is out of business and the program requires a license which includes name and address. I keep my original file and license number very safe and several copies after a computer crash and I had problems getting it going again.
I also use a spreadsheet to track the harvest of tomatoes. Each time we pick I record the amount of each variety. I can then tell you how much we picked total each day, how much of each variety and average per plant for the season. Last year I decided that I was not going to plant as many varieties so I looked at the last several years to see what produced well and what didn't. Then I thought about what we used each variety for. So I planted 30 Viva Italia which I use for canning and six each of Better Boy, Brandy Boy, Early Girl, Jelly Bean and Yellow Jelly Bean. I probably will not set out all of the slicers or jelly beans. I also planted some Window Box Roma.
My garlic, planted last fall, is looking good. The beets, and onions are also looking good. I can start picking some small spinach leaves for salads.
--
USA
North Carolina Foothills
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Holy Cap, I am excited if I keep up with my Office Maxx calender and that was my goal for the year
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The Cook wrote:

wow, that's a lot of tomato plants. :)

:)
i've used different colored pebbles for marking pots of sprouts. after planting out they are usually mapped if there is some question about what we've put where.
songbird
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