Keeping notes about your garden is worth your time and effort. Knowing when pests or diseases have traditionally first appeared in your garden can help you plan your integrated pest management program. Learning what diseases seem to occur with frequency in your area can help you choose resistant varieties or assist you in your crop rotation plan. This time of year it is important to record which vegetable varieties worked well for you this summer and which ones are not worth planting again.
It is also very interesting to look over several years of your garden’s weather data. Simply recording the first frost dates, temperature highs and lows, and rain amounts can be of use. This year I would add a note of which plants survived Irma. Those would definitely be worth replanting!
There are several ways to record this data easily. First, there are journals designed specifically for gardeners.
Several of them have prompts to inspire you and some of them are have beautiful artwork. You might be more willing to fill these out if you left them in your garden shed or in your tool box. Storing your journal in a waterproof ziplock baggie can help keep the pages clean.
If the idea of all that writing sounds like too much trouble, using a standard wall calendar might be for you. Just getting in the habitat of writing a word or two each time you work in the garden will still be useful. Hang it in the shed or on your mudroom wall. You can even use an on-line photo printing service to create a calendar with photos from your garden! This time of year these services usually have wonderful sales.
For those of you who would rather use your computer, there are several free online garden record keepers that are useful. Some of them even have garden plan templates. Use a search engine like google to find one that fits your needs.
Whatever you record this fall will be of interest this coming spring, I promise!