Plant it… in Your Garden Journal
Written by: Sumati Shah
Every year, I forget at least half of the remarkable things about how last year’s garden grew. I’m always so sure I’ll remember them, that I didn’t bother to get the journal. Usually when these insights strike me, my hands and shoes are muddy and going in to fetch the journal is easily dismissed.
Yes, a Garden Journal is the answer. Using regularly is my particular challenge, but it’s invaluable when I’m sketching new ways of enjoying the same spaces, deciding what’s going to go where, and consulting my “wish list” (it’s a long list – mostly seeds and perennials, varieties I’d like to try) and generally daydreaming about gardening, finally whittling it all down to size to fit my own actual backyard. (No shady fern friendly spots – check).
“In Season” journaling is what I’m committing to do more regularly: the “Aha!” moments that strike while weeding; the perfect solution to that problem; the great idea of how to arrange next season’s veggies. These are the useful details which elude me later if I don’t keep my garden journal with my garden gloves at the back door.
For example, I like my gloves to be spider free when I put them on thank you, they come in and out with me.
Garden planning begins with idea planting, and I definitely have more of those than I do garden space. The journal helps me discern which ones to weed out, and which ones are well worth growing.
Rule of Green Thumbs:
Once a week (or twice a month ~ just keep it regular) jot down some basics:
Wins – What was easy and grew well? Got great flowers, or tonnes of beans?
Losses – (Challenges, if you will) got bugs? Downy mildew? Poor harvest? What went…wrong?
Conditions: it’s worth noting how the weather has been, sun and rain factors pulse feeding and watering
Observations – I often get lost putting these in alongside the win or challenge – but it’s worth noting these separately even if it’s a second time…when you remember a problem is repeating it’s an easier way to reference your previous season’s notes.
Actions – When inspiration strikes but it’s the wrong season. Consider this your “To Do” plan!
And, of course, build a wild Wishlist for the garden you have and all the ones you dream of – you never know what’s around the corner, and expect the unexpected.
Start now…I promise your Garden Journal is impervious to frost dates!
Go Go Green Thumbs!