Staying organized is an important part of successful gardening. Utilizing the off-season to organize affords more time during the growing season to dedicate to the plants. It also helps me pass the long, dark months of winter!
Start by creating something to accumulate records in such as a 3-ring binder, calendar or file box. Training oneself during the growing season to take quick notes, photos and to keep the information together (I have a basket I throw it all in).
Information that should be recorded:
- Planting dates with the receipt – some nurseries offer a 1-year warranty
- After replacing store tags with longer lasting ones, write the install date on it
- Photos should be downloaded, printed and identified
- Vegetable plot layouts – as crop rotation is essential
- Names and locations of seeds collected
- Ornamental layouts to help with identification
- Annuals that have worked in the past and flat quantities
- Insect and disease problems, along with remedies used in the past
- Plants to thin and share with others
- Note of fertilization times – not just a date, but the surrounding conditions and weather as well
- Overwintered bulb names can be directly written on with water soluble pen
- Pest spray times [although not calendar specific] for reminders
Labeling plants within the garden helps develop identification skills & saves memory cells 😉 Labels can be ready-made ceramic, bamboo, metal, actual seed packets or cut up plastic recyclables into strips. Labels should always be placed similarly such as always at the north side of the plant to easily find them later. When attaching a tag to a plant using a wire or string, don’t strangle the branch, apply loosely to allow for growth.
Another great way to keep organized is to start a garden blog! Take photos of each area of your garden on a scheduled basis. If you’re really ambitious, take photos of each plant. Even if you don’t know the name of the plant, by publishing the photo, someone may comment the name. WordPress is a great (free) platform to use for this. (WP did not pay me to write that!)
Lastly, if you are in Northeastern Illinois or Southern Wisconsin, you can take advantage of a coaching session with me that can produce a list of your plants, along with gardening tasks and when to perform them.
© The Naturarian