January 14, 2013 in Garden Planning
Over the years I’ve been putting together a garden journal that a real gardener would actually use. As you can imagine it has taken a while. I’ve had to trial the journal, refine it, trial it again, refine… it’s a never ending cycle. I’m almost done. Once it’s finished I’m hoping that it might be picked up by a publisher.
I love an automated system* that will organize everything for me, but at the same time I’m such a visual person that I MUST have a tactile space to record my garden information. This is where creating my own journal has come in. I’ve purchased garden journals over the years and I’ve found them to be created by people who have never stuck their hands in the soil. I want a journal I’m not afraid to get dirty. I want a journal that is useful. I want a journal that is…
This year the shop is taking on the theme of “garden simple.” Ok, Gabe and I agreed it is a great idea and Travis has been on vacation, but it’s a 2 out of 3 majority and we have excellent powers of persuasion. ”garden simple” it is.
The first part of my journal I use is my seed inventory. I purchase new packets of seeds every year and I’ve been known to purchase seeds that I’ve already purchased. You can only plant so many Bush Delicata Squash plants. Each January I sit down and inventory the seeds in my stash.
The first step is to pull out all of the boxes I store my seeds in. I keep my seeds in airtight jars and then I separate them into separate Rubbermaid bins. (Tomatoes & Peppers, Lettuce, Greens, Curcubits, Brassicas, Greens, Peas & Beans & Corn, Herbs, Flowers). Those boxes get placed in a cabinet I have mounted above my potting bench in the garden.
Where I don’t have jars I put the original packets in the appropriate box.
I go through each box and fill in the seed inventory. I make it very simple. There is a column for “have it” and a column for “need it”.
I write down which seed company I order it from and what year I have seed from. Anything in the “need it” column gets transferred to the “Wish List” page and ordered. If I have a little bit of a seed, but need more it goes into both columns (as shown with the Azoychka Tomato above).
At one point I used to do a seed germination test on everything. Now I only do that if it is something that will go into a seed exchange packet. I don’t mind throwing a bunk seed into my own garden, but I don’t want to give them away to anyone.
While I am inventorying my seed I also throw out anything that I know did not perform the year before. I have a box of empty jars and I put seeds from packets into the empty jars and basically tidy everything up.
This is just the first step in readying my garden for the new year. There is so much more to it, but again… we’re starting simple.
* I fully intend to continue using Smart Gardener and I’ll show you how I combine my old fashioned garden planning with a new automated system.