The Big Mistake

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The Big Mistake

By Joseph Parish 

As life may have it, my wife and I attended the Thursday afternoon, “Planning/Journaling in the Garden” presentation provided by the folks at our friendly Sussex County Master Gardeners.

Well I suppose this is a typical example where you should read very carefully before you register for a class. Unfortunately I thought the class would be more on the lines of maintaining a garden journal than on the literary portions. As we first entered the class we were handed several pages of garden related poetry. This actually should have been our first clue that I had made a drastic error.

Eventually we realized how I had failed to read the description properly and decided the class simply was not what we had expected. With that thought in mind we left the class as quietly as we could. I am certain that the instructor is more than capable of teaching a class on gardening and I in no way fault her for my mistake. It just goes to show you that even I make some big mistakes some time. LOL

To me a garden journal should be records of your garden procedures, your successes and of course your failures. It would be entirely up to you as to how much data you include in your journal, you can record as little or as much as you so desire. Several important pieces of data that should fill your journal besides the date should be any fertilizing which you do, the amount of water used in your garden and the recorded rainfall amounts. To me the well laid out journal represents a rich source of gardening information which could be relied upon in future years. Information such as a detailed garden layout, planting and harvesting times, and specific requirements relating to the crops are readily at your fingertips.

To this add any data pertaining to your planting dates for seeds and transplants, any sort of weather particulars, plant characteristics and information and other useful information. You could even include your favorite recipes for your chosen garden crops. Separate journal entries should be made of the daily temperatures as well as the number of hours of sunlight the garden receives.  Pictures can readily add to your journals usefulness by providing a visual progression of your gardening experience.

Although I would prefer the hardcopy, loose-leaf journal to keep my various correspondence in some people work better by maintaining a selection of notes on their activities. These notes can be kept them in a plastic bag or a shoe box for easy retrieval. The shoe box journals frequently work best for those people who want to save everything but simply have no organizational skills to fall back on.

Not to be forgotten are the benefits derived from keeping a well maintained journal with garden costs. These types of records can prove invaluable year after year when establishing your garden budget. They help you to keep track of where you purchased your supplies and how much you paid for them.

I hope this article compensates those who attended the class and found it to be lacking in what they thought was going to be covered.

Copyright @2010 Joseph Parish


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