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    Posted on February 5th, 2011 Pam No comments

    I know it is February, but this is something you can do now to plan for a sucessful garden.
    Keeping a journal for your garden is so important. Here’s why.

    1. It will help you plan this and next years garden.
    2. It is a great place to write ideas.
    3. It is a place to store empty seed packets, so you know the variety you used.
    4. It helps you keep organized.
    5. It is a place to keep a drawing of your garden plan.

    Try a calendar or planner, make sure there is lots of room to write something every day.
    Or use a binder, that way just add extra pages.
    IMPORTANT!!! Make sure to write the dates with any information.

    My journal may include things like this:
    1. Empty seed packets stapled to heavy sheets of paper, (they hold up better).
    2. Dates when I planted, (sometimes I write these next to the seed packets).
    3. Dates when I should plant.
    4. Goals and dreams.
    5. Failures and successes.
    6. What I planted, where I planted it, how much I planted and when I planted it.
    7. Firsts, like first frost, first tulip, first tomato, first summer squash…
    8. My garden plan.
    9. Lots of pictures
    10. Ideas for next year.

    If you use a calendar, you can begin now to fill in target planting dates. Fill in the target date with pencil, then adjust if things change. Planting isn’t done in one day, it is a continous process.

    Here is MY rough example for eastern Idaho . This didn’t work last year though, I planted about 15 days later than the dates on this list.
    1. Plant HARDY plants like onions, potatoes and peas around April 1. They like a soil temperature of 50 degrees.
    2. Plant NORMAL plants like peas, lettuce and radishes around May 1. They like a soil temperature of 60 degrees.
    3. Plant TENDER plants like cucumbers, tomatoes, peppers and squash around June 1. They like a soil temperature of 70 degrees.
    4. Plant FALL CROPS like lettuce, peas, radishes, spinach, cress and swiss chard around August 15. I love to plant a ‘Fall crop’. The vegetables are more tender and don’t bolt as easily. Plus, a light frost doesn’t effect these vegetables.

    A note about seed packets. It is not necessary to keep all seed packets, just the ones you need future information from. If you keep the seed packet you will also have all of the seed information plus a picture. Something you won’t have if you just write the name down. The seed packet not only has planting information, which you will use during planting, but it also has days to maturity, disease resistance information, brand name, proper name, plus a host of other things you may need later in the season.

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