The Garden Journal

Every year I plant a garden and sometimes I try new things. Last year was my first time trying to start most of the garden from seed rather than from plants purchased at the garden center. I had a pretty successful season but there were times that I was unsure about what my plants should be doing or when they should be ready to harvest. Half way through the season I started keeping a garden journal, better late than never I guess.

I drew a very simple garden layout so that I could remember where the plants were located and keep track of rotation. I keep notes about the weather, mainly big events such as flooding, drought and excessive heat. Tracking production is a very important part of the garden journal. When a particular plant is producing well I note how much it is producing and what I have done to influence production. For example, I add plain Epsom salts when watering once in a while and have noticed an increase in production of peppers afterward.

On occasion I have to make note of unfortunate garden events. Last year our cucumber plant suffered from powdery mildew. I ended up losing the cucumber and the zucchini was contaminated as well. I think that it was from me moving the cumber leaves that were covered and then touching the zucchini plants to harvest, lesson learned. Fortunately I recognized the problem in the zucchini plant quickly and was able to try several sprays that worked wonderfully to help me save the pants. My detailed notes in my garden journal include the recipe for each spray that I tried and whether or not they were effective. I hope to not have the same problem again this year but if I do I will be several steps ahead this time.

This year I utilized the garden journal much earlier. I wrote down every seed that I planned on starting and made a chart of sorts that keeps track of the date that the seeds were started. The area also contains a column for when the plants should be transplanted and when I actually transplant them and the final column is for me to write the date of the first harvest. I hope to use the garden journal more often this year and to be able to use the notes from last year to help me make improvements. 

Have you kept a garden journal before or have plans to start one this year?

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