garden journal

Spring Gardening Journal

Ideas for Spring-time entries into your GARDENING JOURNAL

For those that follow our writings this is another set of ideas for your Gardening Journal. You might find that keeping a gardening journal will prove to be a rewarding experience. Once you’ve really started being good at keeping a gardening journal, you may wonder how you ever did without it! It can be one of the best property management tools ever. A journal can help tremendously with keeping track of and caring for your property, gardens, tools, budget, and all sorts of things that you never even considered. This article is intended to give you some ideas on things that you may want to consider when doing entries into your journal in the Spring-time months. Your journal should have a calendar and a drawn out scaled diagram of your property included in its pages. Make entries and notes on these items when it applies to what you are doing. Keep in mind that our gardening schedules here in New Hampshire depend more on the weather than on what date it is, so be flexible with timing when needed. Certain chores will be done on a regular or weekly basis, and some chores will be done only during a certain season. There are certain plants that need to be cared for during the proper stage of their growth. When your property is cared for properly and regularly, you will be rewarded with plants that have not been allowed to become ragged-looking, and your landscaping will contain all of the good ideas that you have implemented over the years. Enjoy your gardens to their fullest.

Enter these chores or notes into your Journal:

Take a careful look at the gardens and list all plants that have been winter damaged. Inspect trees for bark problems such as sun scald or rodent damage and shrubs for damage such as snow fall from roofs. If you need a professional landscaping company who does design / build projects, call them now to set up a consultation. Put these ideas into a ‘notes’ area or a ‘to-do’ list, and then enter them on the calendar when you actually did them. When your notes and entries end up consolidated, then, over time you will have a detailed log of what to do when. Perhaps you have decided that you would like a brick walk going from the rear garage door extending up to your patio. Now would be a good time to put this on your scaled diagram. This will allow you to figure out the costs accurately. Then, you can move any plants now that will be in the way of this new area. Plan out what plants you would like to have here, and don’t plant anything that will be in the way of your new walk. Take into consideration when designing your new walk things such as the roof drip line, orientation to the sun, and how to make it more interesting than just a straight line. This may be a good place to call in the professionals for proper walk installation and design help.

Chores that are best done in the spring:

Divide overgrown perennials and plant them in their new locations (note locations on your scaled diagram). Clean up all of your bed areas to be free of leaves and last years’ dead growth, and then top-dress mulch areas with some fresh mulch. Applications of fertilizers are typical spring chores as well as pre-emergent crabgrass treatments (be sure to follow label directions). Prune deciduous trees while they are still dormant. Most non-flowering shrubs can be pruned in early spring before growth appears. Begin weeding, and if you use pre-emergent herbicides apply them early before new weed seeds can germinate and sprout. Place out supports early for tall, heavy perennials to prevent them from flopping on the ground (such as peony). Keep an eye out for early signs of diseases and pests in order to treat any potential problems as soon as possible. Prune lilacs and other spring-flowering shrubs only as soon as they are done blossoming (such as lilac). Plant or set out any annual flowers and hanging baskets after the danger of frost is gone. Get your irrigation system up and running and make sure it has the proper settings.

If you didn’t do these last fall, do them now:

You would be surprised how much time you’ll waste if you don’t keep your tools and gardening supplies well organized. If you didn’t already take care of these kinds of chores last fall, do them now. Get the lawn mower ready with an overall checkup and then clean and sharpen the blades. Put all of your gardening supplies in a cabinet or tool shed. You may want to lock it if you have children that shouldn’t be allowed access to chemicals. If you create “a place for everything with everything in its place, you won’t waste time trying to find that watering wand when you need it. If you put even these type things into your journal, you can record costs, time spent, ideas on what tools you still need to buy, and perhaps an idea for a future garden shed may come into mind.

There are endless possibilities on what may end up in your journal in the spring: perhaps some inspiring magazine clippings for future reference, or when you sighted your first robin. Perhaps you will note that you need to remember to plant daffodil bulbs in the fall in that certain place that you have in mind. Your gardens are unique. Your ideas and plans are unique. Keeping a gardening journal may be one of the best property management tools ever. It doesn’t really cost anything, and may save you a bundle. But more than that, your journal can help you to enjoy your gardens to their fullest. Happy Gardening!

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