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Keeping Track

May 2nd, 2012

Jefferson’s garden diary, or Garden Book, is an enduring expression of Enlightenment. Begun at his boyhood home, Shadwell, on March 30, 1766, with the notation “Purple hyacinth bean begins to bloom,” the Garden Book concluded on Septebmer 15, 1824 with the completion of his vegetable garden Kalendar and the planting of the Winter spinach and Brown Dutch lettuce.

Peter J. Hatch from “A Rich Spot of Earth”: Thomas Jefferson’s Revolutionary Garden at Monticello

One of the areas I really need to work on as far as gardening is keeping track of what I’m growing and doing in the garden. I’m really good at taking photos, so generally when I need to know when I planted something, I look through my photos. That’s how this blog got started originally, it was going to be my garden journal. Garden journaling is something I really struggle with. I have a file on my laptop and I try to remember each evening to write down everything that I did, more often than not, I completely forget until it’s been too long to remember exactly what I did.

A garden journal can be a valuable tool, especially if you note the dates for seeding, germination, transplanting, harvest, fertilization, etc. I’ve tried a variety of methods, from a spreadsheet to a simple text document, so far I can’t seem to do any of them with regularity (besides writing this blog). I also have a binder where I keep old seed packets, interesting articles, and other garden related things.

At least I do have photos and I write planting/seeding dates on my plant labels so I can note days from seeding to harvest. Someday I hope to be diligent enough to keep a good journal to document the things going on in the gardens of Chiot’s Run.

How do you keep track of what’s going on in the garden?

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This is a daily journal of my efforts to cultivate a more simple life, through local eating, gardening and so many other things. We used to live in a small suburban neighborhood Ohio but moved to 153 acres in Liberty, Maine in 2012.