Well now that we have started a new year I am sure if you are like me you are looking back and reflecting on the past year and are looking forward to new plans and what lies ahead in the new year. As we look back on last years garden it does not matter what we were growing flowers or vegetables or even trees and shrubs there were some success
and I am sure some disappointments. No all disappointments are the gardeners fault but may be related to weather or other natural reasons that a gardener has no control over. Just as we would all like to take full credit for the successes, we also know that weather and other things may have come into play to help us out.
It is important to look back at these things though when thinking about this years garden. Remembering weather patterns that were unusual may be important because you may want to give a particular plant a second chance this year if you suspect it did poorly due to unusual weather. Maybe you got a late start or you planted too early these are all things that could have affected last years garden and which you should weigh when planning this years plantings.
A good thing to bring up here is that while planning this years garden you make it a a new rule that throughout the new season you spend a couple of minutes every week and note things like the weather for the week any signs of plants not doing well or insect attacks. This little journal should become a part of your gardening routine and then when you are planning a new years garden you can pull out your notes from last year and see if any changes may be warranted. Also it is a handy place to note things that you would like to try and those notes will be right there when planning the next year garden. Simple not high tech but very very effective.
As this is the time most of the new seed catalogs arrive it can quickly turn into a list of plantings that would not fit your and two neighbors yards when you start looking through those catalogs. Being restrained when it comes to garden catalogs is not usually an avid gardener’s strong suit. It is very important though to keep up with new and improved varieties especially if something you want to grow has not done well in the past an improved variety may be on the market that will address the issue you had. So don’t give up looking.
A Few helpful tips when planning this years garden. Remember that the size of the plant will matter when it matures do not try to plant something in too small a space. A plant that is too big for the area will not do well and will make the garden look out of proportion. Another thought for the vegetable gardener is only grow what your family will eat. If you try everything under the sun then you will first off have a lot of extra work and secondly be harvesting a lot of vegetables that will go to waste if you can not find some one to use them. When planning the garden be sure that you do not overdo it. If you do not have time to can and preserve tons of vegetables than be careful how much you plant. As you are going through the seed catalogs be sure you read the descriptions carefully so you know what you are buying and that you do not get any surprises when your seeds arrive.
Finally have a great gardening experience this year good preparation and planning will help you to make it one. Undoubtedly you will have difficulties and challenges to deal with but part of the enjoyment of gardening is finding new and innovative ways to meet this challenges and overcome them. As you go review the success and failures and remember to jot them down in the journal so you will have something to work with next year.