Saturday, November 8, 2014
Early fall is a great time to look back over your gardening season to develop your plan for next year. Do it now while it is fresh in your mind!
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 in your garden and you don’t want to retry next year.
*which ones that did not do as well as you would have liked and you have ideas on what to do differently next season.
*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?).
*ask neighbors what varieties worked well for them and jot them down as some to try next year.
*if you haven’t done so already, draw out this year’s garden so you can remember where everything was planted; you will want to rotate locations for next year to boost harvests and reduce bugs.
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 save the seeds and label them. By saving the seeds of the plants that did well in your garden, you are creating plants that thrive in your ecosystem.
I keep them in ziplocks in our refrigerator crisper drawer. I have seeds from 10 years ago and they are still germinating well. You may think you will remember next year all the details, 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?
I also recommend keeping a diary over the winter of the produce you are eating. This will give you a great idea on what you should plant and how many you should plant come next gardening season.
You can research over the dreary winter days and dream of the warm, green, growing days to come.