I know what you are thinking. Why is this girl thinking about next years garden? She is crazy! You’re right, my garden, like yours is a wild, dry jungle. Sometime my fails seem to outweigh my successes. Many veggies are ready to be pulled and composted. I can’t help but think that right now is the perfect time to make an honest assessment of what you want to do next year.
While everything is still fresh in your mind, or still clinging on for dear life in the garden, walk through and see what did well. Are there any of the veggies that you would plant more of next year? Are there varieties that performed poorly?
Where there vegetables that thrived even through dry conditions. Did you have any flowering plants that were particularly good bee magnets? Where certain tomatoes more susceptible to blight? Do you have any greens that beat the heat?
How effective was the compost that you used? Does the soil need any improvement? Any experiments you need to report on? These are just a few examples of how to gather data for future garden success.
Bring a notebook and a pen out to the garden with you. It’s a great idea to keep a garden journal from year to year. This way, it’s easy to look back and learn from the information that you accumulate. Try to record the varieties that you planted and how they did. This helps when ordering seeds during winter.
This is a great time of year to pick up plants that are on sale. Think ahead to next year when browsing perennials, shrubs and trees. Is there empty space in your garden or landscape? Will you be eliminating or adding a garden bed? Maybe you’ve always wanted a hydrangea or a rose. Do you have room for a fruit tree or two? How about starting a row of raspberries? The fall season is the perfect time to plant for next year. Even if you find some bargain plants and don’t have a place just yet, simply make a small temporary bed somewhere in the yard. They can always be relocated in the spring. I’ve actually used empty vegetable garden space for this purpose many times.
I started a new garden journal this fall. I’m trying to carefully record the greens that I plant. It’s easy to run out to plant, then promptly forget which varieties are which. When the garlic gets planted this fall, a garden map will show me what’s what. It may sound tedious but it only takes a few moments to make a rough drawing. Then you won’t have to rely on your perfect memory! Ha!
The Autumn season begins next week. There are small traces of fall in the air already. Apples are turning red and people are talking about going picking. Pumpkin flavored everything is everywhere you turn. Red leaves are starting to dot the green landscape. Did I mention that I love fall? Anyway, I hope my dreaming of next years garden gets you on your way to garden success for the 2018 gardening season! Thanks for your interest in Everlongardener this week.