Thursday, July 31, 2014

Remembering Crop Locations - It's Important for Crop Rotation

Rotating crops is important in order to grow the healthiest plants with the largest harvest. When a plant is in the ground it takes what it needs from the soil. Each type of plant has different requirements. If you plant the same crop in the same location year after year, the soil will become depleted of those things which are required by that specific plant, and crops will suffer.

It is recommended that you rotate your crops, or plant your crops in different locations each season. In order to do that, I have made a map of my small and crowded garden each season.

Some people are blessed with good memory for small details. I am not one of those people. I knew that I would never remember what was planted where in seasons past, unless I wrote it down.

My system works for me, so I will share it with you.

I have a spiral notebook that I use in the garden and garage. I contains lists and ideas. It has plans for garden trellises, maps of our sprinkler systems, ideas for fences, etc.

 I find that having one notebook keeps me organized (as long as I can find the notebook). It is beat up, dirty and priceless. It has been the keeper of my ideas and plans for several years. Looking through it I realize how busy I have been. Many projects are represented there. Including my garden crop maps.

My garden map is roughly to scale and I write down what is planted, and the date it was planted. If I planted seeds I write an "s" next to the date. If the plant was transplanted I just write the date.

This year I have also started a garden map of harvest dates and yields. I am being inconsistent about keeping this map updated to be honest. My vegetable garden is in its second summer season, and last year I kept no records of problems or yields, and I wish I had.

In the notebook I have also been writing down some notes about my crops including pest problems, remedies I've tried, quality of the crop, etc. Gardening is a learning process and this information will be valuable for next season. I guess all that note taking experience I got it school is paying off, my notes are essential in the garden, my new classroom.

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