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Planning For Spring

February 8, 2019
By Jane Whitmore , Emmetsburg News

After experiencing days of brutally cold weather, we had a couple of nice days that made of think of Spring. Old Man Winter made his return and we're back in the deep freeze.

It doesn't hurt to think of Spring -- and gardening. My mother always planned her garden well in advance. This included what and where she was going to plant.

ISU Extension sent out a news release about writing a Garden Journal, so of course I thought about Mother.

Katelyn Brinkerhoff, Horticulture Educator, says, "Starting a garden journal may sound overwhelming, but it is the best way to get organized for the upcoming growing season. It not only organizes your preparation for the growing season, but it is a great way to keep track of how the plants are growing, how much rain you've received, and so much more! The next growing season will be even easier since you'll have notes to look back on."

Katelyn added, "You'll want to keep a log somewhere in your journal as a section to document when you fertilized, added compost, how much rain you received, when you planted seeds in the beds, weeds you've removed, insects found, and so on! I like to document the temperature, moisture, humidity, and cloud coverage in my journal. It is interesting to compare various growing seasons to each other. "

My personal version of a flower garden journal is a collection of the plastic tags that come in each pot, with the year jotted on the back. The collection of tags sometimes outlast the actual plant. It's kind of like thinning a row of carrots. If there is winter kill, thin out the "journal" of flower tags. Rainfall gets recorded on my calendar.

Gardening, and birding, is in our family genes. We all have our areas of expertise.

My sister has a kitchen garden that she manages from early spring into late fall in central Michigan. She grows everything she needs for a healthy salad, right out the door and off the edge of the deck. My brother and his wife attract hummingbirds with their flowering plants. The hummingbirds nest nearby and it's fun to watch the babies at the feeder. My son and his wife are cultivating native plants in Texas that can withstand the dryness and the heat. Most times, they don't have to worry about the cold. My gardens are the most eclectic - a little bit of this and a little bit of that, sometimes tomatoes and maybe a row of vegetables. Perhaps a little more planning - or journaling - is in my future.

 
 
 

 

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