Wednesday, April 3, 2013
How to Keep a Garden Journal
Garden journals are like a gardener's almanac. They are often incredibly beneficial for home gardeners, who have varying soil compositions, shade availability, and other variables at play. The more you know about your garden every season, the more information you will have available to help you in selecting suitable plants. By following these simple tips, you can ensure the future productivity of your garden, simply by keeping track of your data.
Record the full name, variety, and seed batch number of every plant in a column of your gardening journal. It would be wise to save the seed packets, informational spikes, or other details about the seeds in a pocket or folder in your gardening journal. If you use hardbound moleskine journals for gardening, there is a pocket available at the back of the book that will do well to hold your information.
Make a note of the date on which you plant the seeds, and where you plant them. If you are growing your plants indoors before relocating them outside, this is worth noting in your journal. Take note of when you relocate the plant saplings, too, to give you an idea of the recommended wait time for relocating your plants. This is especially helpful if you grow them again next season, and forget how long you kept them indoors for.
Make a list of which plants succeed best in the locations where you plant them. If you place a specific type of plant in an area that does not get a lot of sun, consider moving them to a more sunny area next time you plant them. Similarly, note which plants are beside each other, as some plant roots draw a lot of water or nutrients, which can be detrimental to their neighbors.
Make a note of failures in your garden! Hypothesize why they failed-- were they victim to parasites? Was there adequate sunlight? Did they have neighbors? How did they do previous years? Taking note of minor failures can help you adjust and adapt your garden to better accommodate the needs of other plants.
Make a diagram of the bed layouts in your journal. This will help you to see how well your plants do year by year, based on where they are in your garden. This is particularly beneficial if you are considering doing some landscaping or otherwise moving your plants around next season. It will also allow you to see which plants draw the most from the soil per season, which you can use to plant crops that complement the soil later in your garden.
Note which of your plants does the best. This can be indicative of good seeds, good soil, or a good combination of crops and a good supply of nutrients. It will also help you to keep track of how well your garden does in the long-term.
Remember where you plant bulbs in your garden by marking them with an 'X' or other symbol on your chart, and using stakes or flags in your actual garden itself. This will prevent you from accidentally digging them up later.
By keeping a simple garden journal, you can help improve the productivity of your garden by gathering data. By keeping track of your garden, you can have a wonderful and enjoyable experience in gardening.
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