Heart of the Home: Garden Journal Helps When Planning a Garden

A reader shares gardening tips, including the benefits of keeping a garden journal and creating a garden map.

| Spring 2017

Erin and her family added some new garden plots to their yard last spring by creating raised beds.

Photo by Fotolia/Elenathewise

We have four garden plots – one in our backyard, one in our front yard, and two community garden plots. In all, about 1,500 square feet of garden space, all for vegetables.

We get started planning in February. Our process begins with evaluating how we did the previous year, namely what crops we grew too much of and which ones we didn’t grow enough of.

Our goal is to buy as little produce as possible. We have two chest freezers and a cellar for storing our harvest.

We grow onions, garlic, tomatoes, Brussels sprouts, zucchini, winter squash, pumpkin, Swiss chard, spinach, lettuce, peppers, beets, carrots, eggplant, broccoli, bok choi, cabbage, watermelon, peas, and cucumbers, as well as herbs.

We keep tabs on what we run out of each year, and we allot more space for that food in the coming year. On the other hand, when we have too much of one crop or another, we shrink down our planting accordingly.

Once we’ve decided what vegetables and herbs to grow, we inventory our seeds and establish a list of what we need to buy or try to find at the community garden seed giveaway. At the same time, we draw out maps of our plots, and we plan out what’s going to be planted where.

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