We’ve been talking to you about crop rotation and companion planting. Now let’s dig a little deeper and discuss how to keep records of not only what plants you’ve grown from year to year, but also what successes and failures you’ve had. Think about it, you could say “well there was this one time when I planted such and such and it was delicious.” BUT……
What about it was delicious?
What seed did you use?
Did you save them?
How did you grow it?
Where did you grow it?
What was it companion planted with?
What pests bothered it?
I can continue, but I’m sure you get it right? When you have a garden journal you can record all of these. It will also tie together everything else we’ve been blogging to you about over the past few weeks. Write down what you planted where to ensure you’re rotating your crops effectively. Write down what was planted with those plants. Did that combination help or hinder each other?
Journaling also helps you to keep track of planting dates. This has been vital to me specifically, because well I forget…..ALL the time! So now I map out each garden area. I’m no artist but I literally sketch it out in my journal. I record when the seedlings emerged and what the seed packet says about days to germination and days to harvest. It’s been our experience, that this does not always match up with what’s exactly on the package. Sometimes things can take a really long time based on your specific growing conditions or can grow at the speed of light. This is all so important to record.
Gardening is really a practice of tries. You keep trying until you find what works, then you stick to it! There is Science, Mathematics, and English all rolled up into it. What? You thought you were done with school? Not quite. To be truly successful at growing your own food, it takes work and for us, prayer! After all who better to ask for help with your garden then the one who created all of it in the first place?!?
Of course once you get everything down perfectly and your system is working there is always the inevitable. Some new pest or a weather disaster. The important thing to remember is that some things are just out of our control! Things happen and you learn, write it down, and move forward. We had to specifically learn this lesson with the weather. If a cold freeze comes and kills the tomatoes you just set out, maybe tomatoes isn’t the thing for you this year. Or maybe the lesson will be that you will pay attention to the weather and get out there and cover them up!
Ultimately you’re in control of how you garden. We just want to give you the tips that have helped us along the way. One final tip is this, please don’t rely on the plant markers to tell you what’s there. They fade. They get washed off. The dog runs off with them. Happened to us! So please learn from our mistakes, keep a journal, and most of all, Happy planting!