The Free Press, Mankato, MN

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February 5, 2014

Garden journals: Reviews, tips and recommendations

(Continued)

More tips

■ You may find it helpful to divide your garden journal into sections. As with all the other choices you'll make regarding your journal, your choice of sections depends on how much information you plan to keep. Think about the gardening information you currently keep, and why you might consider a change. Then consider how to achieve this. You can record as much or as little as you want, in your garden journal. Just make sure it's a fun activity, rather than a chore. A pdf garden journal may be found at Garden Journal-Homestead Harvestsite (wayzata-homestead-harvest.com/GardenJournal.pdf‎).

■ Some suggestions for the kinds of information you may want to include are:

Garden calendar; budget and spending ecords; to-do lists; garden maps; plant profile; soil preparation and maintenance; seed started indoors; planting dates both direct seeding and transplanting; plant propagation, cuttings and division; fertilizing and side dressing schedules, weed control, pest control, disease control, wildlife sightings such as animals, birds and insects; daily/weekly/monthly observations; harvest reports (amount harvested, disbursement of harvest and seeds saved); reflections and reminders for next year; wish lists for seeds, plants and tools; references, clippings and online articles.

■ Also, to create a garden map, begin with a rough, hand-drawn garden plan of your yard. If you have a large yard, it is easier to break it down into sections. Transfer individual beds on your main plan to separate drawings on graph paper; the beds can be measured if you desire accuracy. Map the plants either individually or by groups. If you plan to keep records on each plant or type of plant, create a separate page for each plant. An alternate method is to use a spreadsheet to assemble the data with columns for botanical name, common name, date planted, source (purchased or propagated), mature size, garden location, leaf and bloom color and any other information you may want. Take pictures of your garden and of the individual plants. Record your activities.

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