Welcome to your free trial of Tend! The goal of this two-week introduction is for you to get a feel for what Tend can do, the basics of how it works, and how you can use it in your farm business.
Tend is a robust, long-term farm management platform, and no two farmers will use it exactly the same way. Part of the power of Tend’s tools is how they grow with your business and customize themselves to your systems as you use them to plan and achieve your goals, so we encourage you to use this trial period to start imagining what you’d like to accomplish with Tend as you dig into its tools and workflows.
This guide will orient you to Tend’s key Features and get you out into the fields with Tend as quickly as possible, so you can start exploring the possibilities. Let’s get started!
Set up your farm.
Tend streamlines management by pairing in-depth planning in the Web App with on-the-go plan referencing, updating and note-taking in the Mobile App. We’ll get you started with the Mobile App soon, but for now, the Web App is the launching point for your free trial.
Let Tend know what you want to grow.
Before you can use any of Tend's features, you'll need to add at least one crop to your list of My Crops. In My Crops, you use Tend’s crop database to create and manage a list of the specific crops and varieties you grow on your farm.
This curated list will appear wherever you have the option to select from a list of crops or varieties to help keep your Crop Planning and season management in Tend quick and efficient. If you want to add or remove crops and varieties from your list, you can always return to the My Crops Feature to refine your list by activating or deactivating crops.
Learn more about managing your crops and varieties throughout Tend in this article.
Tend Tip: To keep your free trial experience streamlined, we recommend you start by adding just a few crops and varieties to start. You can always add more later when you’re oriented!
Review your farm settings.
Navigate to Farm Settings to orient Tend to your production realities by:
- Confirming your timezone, so dates will be synced in the Web and Mobile Apps.
- Customizing the first and final frost dates to accurately reflect your production window.
- Specifying when in the year you farm, so your plan corresponds with your local season.
Now the fun really begins! It’s time to set up your farm’s sites (distinct addresses where you have land in production) and to map your fields and beds in the Locations Feature. During your trial, you only need to create one site and map one or two fields to get a sense of how this works.
The key in this step is to not get bogged down creating a picture perfect map of your farm. The goal is to define your production space with precise field and bed measurements, so you can start Crop Planning in Tend. The correct number of beds and their lengths is all you need. If your beds are curved, draw straight beds that match the length of your curved beds.
Dig into Crop Planning
The Crop Planner is the heart of Tend. There are a multitude of opportunities for powering your season with detailed data in this Feature. To keep your free trial experience streamlined, we recommend adding just a few crops to your Crop Plan at first.
Tend streamlines Crop Planning by enabling you to add multiple plantings at once, so you can input all of the successions for several crops into your plan quickly and efficiently.
Now that you have some crops in your plan, take a few minutes to explore the Crop Plan Feature to see how the planting details you added for your crops populate the different Crop Plan Views to provide tools and insights to guide your season planning.
The All Plantings View stores and organizes all of your Crop Plan’s planting details for you to reference and edit as you develop your plan and put it into action over the season.
Take a moment in this view to experiment with the various tools for fine-tuning your plan and tracking progress toward your goals. Toggle on the Timegraph for a visual representation of how your plan will play out over time, and try out using the Live Edit tool to quickly adjust the timing and growing periods of your plantings.
Finally, toggle on the Revenue and Space Graphs to view the projected cash flow from your Crop Plan and to assess whether you’re over or under-planning for your production capacity. These Graphs are quick reference tools to help keep your plan on track for your goals. Try adding one or two more plantings and watch your estimated revenue and occupied space go up in the graphs!
Tend Tip: Make sure you input an estimated yield and sales price for your plantings as you add them. They don’t have to be accurate yet! You can nail down your yield numbers if you decide to start using Tend to track Harvests and Yields later.
In the Greenhouse Plantings View all of the greenhouse production data for your plantings is organized into a comprehensive greenhouse plan, so you have everything you need to organize your workflows.
Take the Live Edit and Bulk Edit tools for another spin to edit your greenhouse plan, and toggle on the Greenhouse Flats Graph for a visual representation of your greenhouse workflow based on which flat or pot types are in use over the season.
Put your plan into the field.
Once you’re oriented in the Crop Plan Feature, try zooming out to a bird-eye-view of your fields and beds over the season in the Plantings by Location View. This is where you turn your Crop Plan into a fine-tuned field plan by visually interacting with your fields to optimize the placement and timing of each planting in your Crop Plan.
Select a planting in the All Unassigned Panel and click on one of the beds in the Fields and Beds View to assign it to that location. Continue assigning your plantings to beds to piece together your ideal plan.
You can further refine your field plan by clicking on plantings in beds to bring up the Planting Details Panel, where you can select to move the planting to a new field or bed or edit the planting details
Dig in: Learn more about working in the Plantings by Location View in this article. For more information on different ways to assign plantings to locations in Tend, read the Assigning Plantings section of the Crop Plan chapter in Tend's Getting Started Guide.
Scope out your Seed List
When you create your Crop Plan in Tend, a Seed List is automatically generated based on the data from your added plantings, so you have all the information you need to place your seed order and kick off your season. Check out the Seed List Feature to see how Tend calculates seed quantities and captures any seed specifications you entered for each of your planting varieties.
The Seed List is one of many Lists and Reports you can download to CSV and print in Tend — it’s all part of our mission to reduce your administrative overhead, so you can spend more time where your farm needs you most.
Tend Tip: Download your Seed List to CSV and send it straight to your seed rep for quick and easy winter planning!
Tap into Task Management
When you navigate to the Task Feature, you’ll notice that all of your key Planting Tasks are already included in your Task Calendar. As you added your plantings to your Crop Plan, Tend automatically created a production plan based on those plantings, so you’ll be ready to bust out your boots and hit the ground running when spring rolls around.
Include other management priorities in your plan by adding Tasks to your Calendar.
Try dragging and dropping Tasks to a new day on the Calendar to simulate updating your schedule as the season (along with its unexpected road bumps and changes of plan) unfolds.
To save time incorporating particular management practices into your Task Calendar, create Task Templates of linked bundles of Tasks that encapsulate your systems. Applying Task Templates to plantings that you manage the same way helps you to build best practices into your plan and save time entering individual Tasks.
Try creating a Task Template for one of your management systems and applying it to a planting to see how the Tasks will appear on your Task Calendar as well as the planting’s planting details screen.
You can apply a Task Template right away when you first add the planting to you Crop Plan, or apply it later by selecting the planting to open the planting details screen. To apply Task Templates to multiple plantings at once, use the Bulk Edit Tool in the All Plantings or Greenhouse Plantings Views of the Crop Plan Feature.
To keep your Task Calendar on track all season long, link Task Templates to plantings’ key dates such as the greenhouse sowing or field transplant dates. This ensures that the Tasks from your Template will be rescheduled automatically if you need to make a change to your planting dates.
After adding some Tasks to your Calendar, try printing out a Task List for the day, week, month, or time frame of your choice. You and your crew can always access Task Lists in the Mobile App (more on that in a second), but for farmers who don’t have wifi or cell service in the field, this is the best way to take your plan into the field with you (plus, some of us just like having an old fashioned paper copy in our pockets).
Take it to the fields
Now that you’ve created a Crop Plan that’s dialed-in on your goals, turned it into an optimized field plan, and put all your best management practices on the Calendar, you know what time it is — it’s time to hit the fields.
Download the Tend Mobile App, and see all of your Crops and Tasks listed in a lean, functional format for you to reference, update, edit, and complete on the go. While you’re out in the fields, take a few Notes in the Mobile App, assign them to plantings or locations, and upload a photo for your Records.
For a preview of working with your team in the Mobile App, invite a crew member to your account and have them download the App. Try assigning them a Task and have them complete it in the App to see how Tend helps you communicate throughout your work day.
Review for insights
Tend is a long-term management tool that helps you capture the information you need to refine and optimize your operations season after season.
As you plan and manage your farm in Tend, your data is funneled into sortable Records for you to review and analyze. Information from these Records feeds into the Reports Feature, where the information from your season is transformed into actionable insights to help you achieve your goals.
Before you wrap up your trial, be sure to check out the Planned vs. Actual Report to see how your farm data will flow into this Report as the season progresses and you update your plan.
Tend Tip: For the purposes of this Report, “planned’ refers to the very first dates and information you entered for a planting when you added it to your Crop Plan.
At the end of the season, you’ll be able to look back and see how your production varied from your expectations, so you can make any necessary adjustments for next season.
We’re always working to strengthen the tools we build for farmers, and we’re particularly eager to learn more about how farmers are using this Report. Please send us any feedback at firstname.lastname@example.org. We’d love to hear from you.
We’re proud to be a part of your season.
From all of us here on the Tend Team, thank you for spending two weeks with us getting to know Tend and taking it for a spin on your farm. We hope this guide helped you get a good sense of Tend’s tools and how you can use them to bring out the best in your farm business.
If you have any more questions about the free trial process, check out this article on free trial FAQs, and please don’t hesitate to reach out to us at email@example.com if you don’t see your question on the list.
If you’d like to subscribe to Tend after your trial, follow these simple instructions, and you’ll be all set to keep planning your season in Tend. We’re proud to be a part of your season. Let’s grow something together!