What’s your garden’s story?
The days are longer and the temperatures are rising. Spring is just around the corner and it is time to plan your garden. If you are novice gardener, this will take a couple of years of trial and error planning to determine what grows best and where. One of the most important things you can do for a successful garden year after year is to start a journal and write down everything from what you planted to what succeeded and what failed. Keeping a journal gives your garden a story. There are so many variations of vegetables to plant that not all of them are successful in certain conditions and areas. If you live in an area where hibernating your garden for 6 months is necessary, forgetting what worked and what didn’t is likely. Having a garden journal guides you to plant new varieties and avoid old mistakes. Some of the things to keep in mind when keeping a journal are:
Plant and seed names
It is very important to write down the full name of the vegetable you are planting. Just writing tomato is going to confuse you when there are so many varieties. For example, Roma tomatoes are a determinate tomato plant and do not grow as big as a cherry tomato that is an indeterminate tomato plant. Documenting plants that are disease resistant will also aid in less stress for future plantings. Taping or attaching seed packets to your journal will help in identifying plants you have planted, not to mention add color and character to your journal.
Map your garden
Draw a map of your garden making sure to note companion planting as well as types of flowers you plant. Having several different drawings will give you options once you start planting. After a couple of years of gardening, taking pictures to add to your journal will help prepare you for the next season.
Successful gardening starts with observing what diseases your plants are inflicted with to what pest seem to come back year after year. Recording how often you have to water and fertilize will also make the following year easier and less stressful. Jotting down growth rate and harvest times will help you determine succession planting to keep your garden growing and productive.
Writing a paragraph describing individual days from the weather to what you harvested will give your garden history. Adding pictures and memos will give you delightful memories as well as insights on what to do and not do the next season. Writing down dates of seed starting and plantings as well as harvest dates will help you know how much you can plant each year to ensure a high yield garden.
There are so many different resources to use to journal your garden. Online templates are available or designing your own works as well. (Click here for an example of one to use) Using notebooks, purchased journals, or even scrapbooks will give your garden journal that personal touch and one of a kind aspect.
Your garden has a story! Don’t forget it and start a journal today!