Starting a garden diary sounds like something only hardcore gardeners do, right? Well, maybe so, but it shouldn’t be. Even for the amateur gardener, it is a great way to keep track of what works and what doesn’t when it comes to your yard, inspiration, and seasonal cycles that are forgotten about over the winter. Gardening is less research and more a ‘learn from your mistakes’ kind of hobby. In fact, some of the best gardeners I’ve met aren’t formally trained, but simply observe nature and do their best to keep up with it. However, most people go through winter and forget what they saw and learned last year…enter the garden diary. It doesn’t take much to jot down a few notes throughout the year to get your yard in its best shape for the entire growing season. Here are some things to take note of when you start your diary and some things you can include.
- Keep a page just for important weather information in your area… first and last frost dates, dry spells, etc. This way, you can prepare ahead and know when to water and plant. Write down important milestones and you will begin to see a pattern emerge.
- Go through your yard about 4 or 5 times per season and write down areas that are lacking in color, shape, variety. That way, next season you can add what’s needed when the plants are available. Nurseries tend to carry what’s in bloom so if you only go in spring and grab a bunch of available plants, then by late summer and fall, you’ll have nothing blooming. Take note on color patterns and what colors and textures are needed in certain areas. Take note on blank spaces that may need some vertical interest or help
- Keep a fertilizing schedule and take note about results so you can amend as needed for the next year.
- Jot down any garden fails. Did you plant spirea in a certain spot and they didn’t do so well? Don’t make the same mistake twice.
- Keep track of light and soil conditions in certain areas of your yard so you can plant accordingly
- Dedicate a section to inspiration. Are there plants that you’ve never grown that you like to try? Techniques that sound tempting? Do some research and when you’re ready, you’ll have all the information to make your venture a success.
- Remember the what, where and when: What did you plant…species, size, where did you purchase it? Where did you plant it….did you do well, spread, how big did they get? And when….When did you purchase it, when did you plant?
So whether it is a shoebox full of plant tags and receipts, or a detailed notebook, a garden journal will help your gardening skills and keep your yard looking its best
Happy Gardening Friends!