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Gardening used to be a huge chore for me; I liked the look of flowers, but really didn’t care which were which and definitely didn’t want to do any upkeep. It’s why I still only like to plant 95% of my yard with perennials (perennials are the plants that keep coming back) – there’s no need to spend more money and start all over, again! Now, I eagerly await my catalogues and order my seeds in early February, excited for my shipments to arrive, even though I can’t plant anything for at least two more months. I spend hours on Pinterest and drawing out what my yard will one day look like, excited for the day when I can step outside and into my sanctuary. So, why a gardening journal? Well….
It keeps your seed selection in order
I like to order tons of seeds (like, my order for this year for seeds alone is over $200) because I have a large garden, love eating fresh veggies from my garden, and hope to feed myself for 75% of the year from my home-grown fruits and vegetables. This means that I order different kinds of seeds to try out different varieties and see how they grow and taste. By keeping a gardening journal, I can keep track of what is the best, the cheapest and ween out the not-so-goods.
You get to work on your gardening skills
Some things work for some people, and some things are impossible for others. I cannot, for the life of me, grow lavender. I’ve tried from seed, I’ve tried potted plants all ready to bloom, I can’t get any lavender to grow in my garden. By taking notes each year I can adjust my ways and – hopefully – get some wonderfully scented lavender in my garden.
You get to learn about your garden
Last year was a terrible year for gardening in my area, unless you had a plentiful amount of water. Which, when you run off of rain water and pond water (and your pond is nearly just a crater by mid-summer), doesn’t always work out. This reasoning could be why I never got a single pumpkin (as opposed to 75 the year last), or surprisingly more likely, it’s because I planted them in a completely different spot. Which is more of the issue than the rain situation.
You’ll stop over-planting
Over-planting is easier than you think. For two years in a row I ended up with a crazy amount of radishes and so many peas I couldn’t eat them all. This year, I’ve noticed what is being eaten and how quickly, and I can adjust my garden accordingly. Instead of rows of radishes, I’m cutting it down to 1. Instead of 3 packets of sugar snap peas, I’m not planting a single one. You’ll learn what works for you and your family and adjust accordingly. Don’t worry if you end up with so many pumpkins you don’t know what to do with them (been there). Get crafty with your veggies, give them away, sell them, and then plant a little less next year.
You’ll learn to stagger your plantings
Staggering your growth is the most genius way to have vegetables all season long. If you get a few seeds started early, then plant right away, then again every two weeks until planting season is over, you’ll have lettuce all summer. That definitely beats trying to eat 20 heads of lettuce in one week!