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Winter’s for Updating Garden Records

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Now’s the time for us get our garden recordkeeping in order from the prior season, and maybe get our system set up for the next.  That’s because we’re bored and going nuts with cabin fever; plus, we could be way too busy to take care of this task while the ground is diggable.  Priorities, ya know.

The System
Now you may all have better and far fancier systems than mine but mine has a chance of working for the always-in-a-hurry among us (yours truly being the test case for that theory).

The centerpiece of my “garden records,” such as they are, is a cheap 3-ring binder with sections for Perennials, Annuals, Bulbs, and Trees/Shrubs.  The binder is where plant tags end up – but not til winter when I finally get around to taping them where they belong.  During the season I just stuff them in an envelope – like the one marked Plants 2013 and 2014 (can’t wait!)  I also write down where I bought the plant, when I bought the plant, and what I paid for it.  It’s all pretty crude but easy-peasy.

With even this crude system, I’ve discovered all sorts of benefits to keeping track of my plants in this way.  Picture me, if you will, showing people around my garden.  They ask about a plant and I can tell them exactly what it is; visitors love it when gardeners can do that!  When someone asks how fast a plant grows I can tell them oh, I bought it in 2012, so there you see two years of growth.  Same goes for where I bought it and whether the grower thinks it’s drought-tolerant or not.  Or if I want one more of something, I can buy one more of the same plant because I actually know what it is.   It’s all there in THE BOOK.  Nifty information to have at your fingertips.

I know plenty of gardeners with more elaborate (and far better looking) systems than mine and kudos to them!  Or maybe your system is even less fancy than mine – somehow.  The principle here is whatever works.

Posted by Susan Harris.

Stephanie Fleming

Stephanie Fleming was raised at Behnke’s Nurseries in Beltsville. Her Mom, Sonja, was one of Albert & Rose Behnke’s four children. She was weeding from the moment she could walk and hiding as soon as she was old enough to run, so many weeds, so little time. Although she quickly learned how to pull out a perennial and get taken off of weed pulling duty.

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