I decided this year to plan and inventory my gardening efforts using GIS. The PDF map below is tied to a database that will allow me to track planting dates, seed/plant cost, compost and soil applications, maintenance, disease, pests, and yield. I think this will also help me in successive years to keep track of my crop rotations from bed to bed.
I think the most powerful function of the GIS, especially from a permaculture standpoint, is the platform it provides to catalogue and analyze observations. This approach is a small-scale version of the type of inventory and analysis described by Ian McHarg in “Design with Nature”. I haven’t figured out a good way to inventory and symbolize the naturally occurring weeds and such that litter the areas between beds. These areas are dominated by bermudagrass but there are significant patches of henbit, chickweed, dandelions, and yellow-dock, especially at the edges.