One thing I love about gardening is the camaraderie and conversations that you get to have with other like-minded plant lovers. I always learn good tips from other gardeners, and they are usually willing to share plants, too! You know you have made friends with a gardener when they offer to let you take cuttings from a plant or give you some bulbs that they divided.
Several great gardeners that I admire recommend keeping a gardening journal, and that is one tip that I plan to try out this year. I always think I will remember
when I planted the green beans or which variety of lettuce I liked best, but when a new gardening season comes around I just cannot remember what I did last year. I am in denial that this could be old age affecting me!
A garden journal can help to keep track of gardening activities. It is a great way to plan out your garden space and set reminders for when to start transplants or seeds. Time goes so quickly, and I have been known to miss the planting window for a few vegetables. A garden journal is also a place to record pest problems and how you treated them, harvest dates and amounts, fertilizer applications, and frost or freeze dates. And be sure to mark your calendar for the Master Gardener Plant Sale on the first weekend of April!
You can go old-school or high tech for a garden journal. A paper calendar is a good way to keep track of dates for your gardening activities. A journal or spiral notebook will let you make notes. One Master Gardener shared that she tapes her empty seed packets into her journal and records the date that she planted them, so she can always look back to check the variety and all the details about when to harvest.
A similar option is a three-ring binder that includes blank pages to write notes, as well as space to include helpful gardening articles and photos. We have a great vegetable planting calendar that would make a great cover page!
High-tech garden journals might be an app on your phone like Evernote, Google Drive, or a calendar app. Using your phone allows you to add photos or link to helpful articles.
One neat thing about keeping up with a garden journal will be looking back through the years to see what worked best and how my gardening knowledge and skills have improved. Gardeners are always learning something new, and a journal can become a good memory book for all the good things you experienced and learned in the garden.
Join me this year in starting a garden journal! For more information about lawn and garden topics, contact Horticulture Extension Agent Kate Whitney-Hajda (I got married!) at the Williamson County AgriLife Extension Office at 512-943-3300.