This would be a great time to get a garden journal started. Don’t wait until spring when you’re juggling 15 packets of seeds with muddy fingers to set this up.
Vegetable gardeners should keep track of the varieties they grow each year, where they got the plants or seeds from, when they planted the seeds or transplanted the plants, etc.
Perennial flower gardeners often make journals in a loose-leaf binder with a page for each species or variety of plant they grow. Cut out a picture from a catalog and be sure to find the Latin name so you can start learning them. Make notes about what the plant needs to grow well then jot down when you planted it, from where, when you divided it, when its first flowers appeared, when you cut it down, etc. Since it’s looseleaf you can easily insert new plants and alphabetize them by their Latin names.
I can’t stress it enough, the information you write down about your own experiences (and believe me, you’re not going to keep all these details in your head!) will be a huge help to you in the future. Set up some charts or pages now while you’ve got a little time to make it easier for you to record your experiences and observations next spring.
Best wishes to everyone for a fruitful and healthy New Year!
Amy Ivy is executive director of Cornell Cooperative Extension, Clinton County. Office phone numbers: Clinton County, 561-7450; Essex County, 962-4810; Franklin County, 483-7403. Website: www.cce.cornell.edu/ecgardening. Email questions to askMG@cornell.edu.