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Keeping a Journal for Garden Planning 

This is the time of year when the seed and plant catalogs come pouring in and 
we can browse through them and start dreaming up our gardens for the current 
year. A little planning will help you get what you want out of your garden and 
save you some time, money and frustration. A garden journal can be a very 
valuable tool when planning your garden. You can keep your garden journal in a 
spiral bound notebook, or anything that appeals to you. The bookstores have 
journals made especially for your garden if you want to get fancy. 

The first thing you want to do when planning your garden is to figure out 
what you want out of it. A great way to do this is to ask yourself some 
and take note in your journal. Some questions to ask yourself are: 

~ Do you want fresh vegetables on the dinner table through summer, or do you 
want more than that for canning or freezing? 

~ Would you like some fresh herbs to compliment those vegetables, make herbal 
teas or to give as gifts? 

~ Do you want your yard to be colorful with seasonal flowers and would you 
like extras for cutting and putting in vases to decorate your home? 

~ Do you want your flower beds to have flowers, vegetables, herbs and fruit, 
or only flowers? 
~ Is there some new plant you want to grow? 
~ Where will you plant all that you want to grow? 

~ What style of garden do you want--cottage, formal, informal, etc.? 

~ Do you want to save a little money by starting seeds, or do you want to 
save a little time by purchasing plants? 

~ How many plants will you need for a certain area? 

~ Do you have time to take care of all that you want out of the garden? 

A way to get ideas for your dream garden is to find pictures in magazines or 
catalogs that appeal to you. You can paste these pictures into your journal, 
or keep them in a folder nearby. When driving around town, look at others' 
yards and try to remember what you liked about them. Take notes on what appeals 

Once you know what you want by asking yourself the questions above and taking 
note on what appeals to you, you get to make the decisions of which plants to 
grow. This is where the catalogs can be a valuable tool. You can also use 
gardening books. The catalogs and gardening books will list plant names, 
or not it will grow in your zone, plant size, plant care and other information 
such as flower color. 

Once you have planned which plants you are going to grow where, you'll need 
to purchase the seeds or wait until the nurseries start selling plants. You can 
also put a plant order in through a catalog and they will ship them to you at 
your planting date. This can be very convenient. 

If you are going to start seeds, it's wise to figure out starting dates and 
write them onto your calendar or into your garden journal. To figure out when 
to start seeds, find out the number of weeks for germination time on the seed 
packet and count back that amount from your last frost date. 

Your journal can be a valuable tool next year when making plans. Don't limit 
yourself to only writing in your journal now. You can also keep notes through 
the year on how well certain varieties of plants did for you, new plants to 
try, and anything else that will help you in your gardening efforts. Writing 
reading your journal adds another fun dimension to gardening--try it, I think 
you'll like it! 

If you'd like more gardening tips, check out The Gardening E-book Package 
that includes the following e-books: The Outdoor Decor E-book, The Gardening 
E-book, Garden Pests and Solutions and Getting to Know Mint.  Click here for 

Get a FREE Slowcooker Recipe E-book when you subscribe to Monica's FREE 
e-zine for homemakers!  To subscribe and receive instructions for picking up 
FREE e-book, just send a blank e-mail to:  

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