Thursday, January 26, 2012

Planning for this years garden.

Garden Journals      
Should you or shouldn't you?
Michele Koskinen   Philadelphia Master Gardener

Seed catalogs are mailed, gardeners are clipping, using stickies, dog earring pages, making list, making a new list, it is winter doldrums waiting for spring. So how many gardeners take the time
to journal about their garden? I would think the really organized and serious gardeners know the value of journals. They have learned that gardening is an adventure in trial and error. Keeping track of the plants, insects, weather and growth habits of their favorites help decision making in the future. I have taken notes, photos, drawn maps and a used a variety of other tactics. I have them all, stuffed in a notebook with a rubberband. I do go through them but since I have no times or dates it is useless.

Note the color and divide for the fall.
This year I am vowing to be more organized. To know what I need to make my garden more productive and beautiful, good note taking practices are essential. If growing from seed keep the packet and detail date of planting and how the seedling matured. Map out perennials already established and look to see if they have similar growing habits, take a photo and use in selecting new plants in the future. Record the vegetables planted and how they produced and any possible problems with insects. Detail what needs to move in the spring of the following year. Nothing too involved just enough to jog the memory next year when I am planning my garden. I bought a notebook now to work.

Your journal should contain photos of the garden and notes with dates and observations. Why? Because if you are like most we forget from month to month year to year. Another idea is to take your camera or phone with you to photograph flowers or ideas you have seen in nurseries or in other landscapes. It is another way to learn about your likes and dislikes.           

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