Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Garden Journaling

Do you journal about your garden? We started a journal a few years back. It's a simple notebook covered in some cool gardening looking paper. Nothing fancy, except for the treasure of information it contains. It's like our own history book.
 Initially, I cut the front from the seed packets and clued them into the pages just for a reference of what type of vegetable and by which seed company etc. were planted. From time to time, I still tape in the seed companies information.
I always include the date we plant, the date we apply any type of pesticide or fertilized. Yes, I am not an organic gardener. I do try to use great discretion on what type and how much artificial chemicals are applied.
Another thing that's nice to include in your journal is the date you harvested your lovely groceries. By keeping track of how long approximately it took your produce arrive, you can plan better the following year if need be. Give or take a week or two of course due to variables like sunshine and rain.
  How much you harvested, and the quality of the produce is a good thing to note. If you are a scrapbook person this is the place in your journal where the photos are your glory shots. A nice wheel barrel harvest of potatoes always makes for a great photo to add. My garden journal is more of a sloppy, and on some pages dirt smudged record of sorts. It is certainly not scrapbook quality.
This year the journal  reflects our tidy, 4x4 foot wide, raised, wooden beds. The beginnings of our Garden 2014 has started to take shape. As you all know I love the historical looking gardens at places like Ferry Farm and Monticello. Mister and I have grand ambitions of creating a lovely little space which captures the feel of these places in our humble downtown yard.
For starters, we have 3 small raised beds. It's a little late to get our peas planted but, they are in the ground and we plan to build a cool natural structure for them to climb.The second bed contains onions. Red, yellow and white onions are a must. I normally plant twice as many onions but, we are going low-key this year. The third bed will be devoted to carrots. There's really nothing better than harvesting your own fresh carrots. Store bought carrots just do not compare. Plus, believe it or not the number one blog post here on Columbia Creations is my Carrot Top Tea post. Who knows how many more raised beds that Mister will crank out or if we will just tuck various vegetables in here and there among the flower beds.
 Potatoes are in their own little hills separate from the raised beds. Next to harvesting carrots, nothing beats digging your own taters. Today, we planted red, yukon and white potatoes. This is our first planting, and every 4 weeks we will plant another batch. Yukons are my favorite for mashed potatoes. Red potatoes just cry out for butter and parsley.

Speaking of parsley, cilantro, chives, oregano, and sage will for sure make an appearance once again.
Brusel Sprouts will be planted again this year. Last year, my sprout plants had to be removed before coming to their full harvest due to building at 20x40 pole barn on top of the garden. So, yes the garden has been relocated.
It's not our traditional looking garden of days gone by. It will however yield enough nutritious produce to make it worth our while.
I'm still looking for a unique vegetable to grow. We will be growing the following food too but, they're not unique or overly interesting. Useful and tasty though.

Every year, I swear I'm gonna start an asparagus patch. I'm a patient person, but can I wait 3 years for an asparagus crop to be ready for harvesting??
I'm still clinging to the notion of a bountiful blueberry harvest that has yet to come true!

P.S. I will purchase tomato and pepper plants. It's all just to bothersome to watch the tender little seeds sprout and show hopes of growing into a real plant and then wither away. I have never had great success starting either one from seeds.

What are you growing this year?


  1. When Danny was about five he started a garden journal. We do the taped packets, and dates of harvest, notes, etc. It has been useful to go back and see which variety of peas we liked best (laxton's progress) and which lettuces had the best yield.

    I have several containers, and we just purchased a small raised bed. The front of the house gets sun, but the back is blocked by the large maple tree. Still, we can find some shade-loving plants to fill the back patio as well. Peas, spinach, and some lettuces are in, as well as spring onions. The garlic is waking up, and the basil plants are on the sunny windowsill waiting for the opportunity to get outside. Most of the herbs overwintered in pots inside, which was really lucky. We had snow the other night, but by Wed. we're expecting 80 degrees. Madness.

    I buy tomato and pepper plants as well. The library has a seed bank where you can check out seeds, then return some when you harvest. Neat idea.

    We had to downsize the garden when we moved to the city from the farm, but I must say we have lest pests to contend with, and overall I fight less with weeds and birds. For us, the smaller city garden has been fantastic.

  2. I miss our huge garden. Sure, it was hours of back breaking work but, I loved it. There is something so calming about walking through the cool soil on a warm sunny day. Container gardens lack that aspect.

    Our container gardens will have to suffice for this year.

    Our town has a community garden area that allows residents to "rent" a section to grow their own vegetables. I think that's a cool idea too. Apartment dwellers would really benefit from this type of gardening.

    The seed bank thing is rather interesting. Do you know if the seeds are organic? I read so much about the genetically modified seeds and quite frankly most of it is over my head. We have a friend who owns a huge commercial farm and he is rather skeptical about the organic label slapped on produce these days. Who's to say for sure, I suppose.

    We have had some serious rainfall today and my hopes are to walk outside tomorrow and not find my pea seeds swimming in raised bed muck.

    Trial and error I suppose.

    I'm glad to know our family isn't the only family who takes interest in garden journals. This year, I hope to jot down a few of my favorite recipes prepared with our harvests among the pages.

  3. I think they are all organic at the seed bank. The seed is only as good as your soil, and around here you'd have a hard time finding land that wasn't doused in something.

    I don't know if you read the Guardian (guardian.co.uk) but they have a fantastic gardening section (it is in the life and style section).