Sunday, October 16, 2016

Now is the time to plan for next year's garden!

Sunday, October 16, 2016

Early fall is a great time to look back over your gardening season to develop your plan for next year.  If I don't jot down notes now, I begin questioning myself come seed ordering and planting time about what did well, how many did I plant last year, how many do I need next year.  Now is the time to capture all the info you need for next year's garden!

Jot down in a notebook what you learned and want to remember for next year’s garden:
*Which veggies did best for you that you definitely want to include in your garden for next year.
*Which ones did not do well (I find myself in the next season remembering the name of a veggie, but not sure if it was one that did well or poorly).
*Lay out the timing of what you want to plant by month (did you get the spring greens in too late and they bolted or the zucchini too early and the vine borer got to it).
*The number of plants you want to grow for each variety (did you get swamped by too many peppers and not have enough cucumbers?).
*Compare notes with neighbors and friends on what varieties worked well for them and jot them down as some to try next year.
*Ask at the farmers market which varieties were their favorites this season.
*What fertilizer worked best and how often you want to fertilize your veggies next season?
*What were your most successful bad bug strategies this season?
*What flowers and herbs did a great job of attracting good bugs, bees, and butterflies to plant next year?

I keep notes in a planner so I can review what varieties did best each month.  For those that did really well in the garden, I have saved seeds and labelled them.  Seed saving-fun, easy and a cost saver  I keep them in ziplocks in our refrigerator crisper drawer.  You may think you will remember next year, but you may not so, to be safe, label the baggie with the variety, date, where it did well (in the ground, pot, shade, sun), and when it produced.

You can also make a list of what you want to learn more about over the winter to be better prepared for spring gardening.  Did your peppers leaves turn yellow, your tomatoes not produce as much as you expected, your lettuce bolted early, what is the best fertilizing routine for the veggies you grow?

You can research over the dreary winter days and dream of the warm, green, growing days to come.  As you are planning for next year, consider a four season garden for year round harvesting.  You can garden year round in small space 

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