Monday, December 31, 2012

Keeping a Garden Journal

I've been keeping a garden journal for a while now. It helps me to easily jot down notes and plans throughout the season. In the beginning of the season it helps to keep track of what is planted when and how seedlings are progressing. When the season is in full force organization slips to the wayside for me. I find it easier to keep the book on my nightstand and just before bed take notes on how the season is progressing.
My journal is a plain lined note book.

The inside is sort of a scribbled mess of sketches, cross outs and misspellings. But this time of year, when I'm planning next years garden the information is so valuable.

Some things I learned this year:
-Plant tomatoes early to mid March. Last year the plants grew really large in the warm basement.
-Planted 17 Roma's. Spaced 18" apart in a 4X18" bed, 2 plants wide.
Had an incredible harvest of around 350-400lbs. Next year plant 12-15 plants
-Planted 5 Heirloom (2 Principle Borhgese, 2 Black Krim, 1 Mr Stripey). Used a Florida Weave style trellis.
Yield was lower than expected for Black Krim and Stripey. This was partly due to the heat that caused the blossoms to fall off. Next year try more plants and use a cage. Had very high yields of Principle Borhgese. These were a favorite of the birds- add netting and only plant 1 plant next year.
-Don't bother growing cucumbers at the community garden- it is infested with cucumber beetles. Grow them at home instead.
-Plant a crop of Zucchini around the 4th of July to avoid a squash vine borer infestation
-Only plant 1 tomatillo plant due to high yield.
-Place a row cover over eggplants in the spring to keep away flea beetles.
Ground Cherries
-Grow ground cherries at home garden as they were the favorite snack for the field mice.
-Start seeds earlier. Grow at the community garden where there is more sun.
-Grow more... a lot more!

Saturday, December 29, 2012

Garden Resolutions and Goals 2013

The year is about to come to an end and as I type this it's just starting to snow outside. For the last week or so as the seed catalogs have started to arrive and I've already started to make plans for this years garden.

I just started my sweet potato slips. Some of the sweet potatoes in the basement started to sprout, so I put them in water on the windowsill. The slips take a long time to grow, so I figured giving them an early start wouldn't hurt.

Here is a list of a few garden goals for this new year:
1. Start onions earlier
2. Start tomatoes later
3. Order seeds all at once to save money on shipping
4. Build 2-3 raised beds at the garden plots
5. Build wood compost bins
6. Plant front garden with perennials
7. Plant more heirloom tomatoes

I hope everyone is enjoying the holiday season and I wish you a happy new year!