One of the most amusing things that occur in the spring at many garden centers is when a guest tries to describe a plant they purchased a previous season that they now want to purchase again. The previous purchase may have been a year ago and often longer or maybe even a plant their mother or grandmother had in their garden. The dialogue goes something like this....” Do you have a plant that has green leaves and I think it had red flowers. It grew so well and it bloomed all summer, I really want to plant it again.” After this vague description the interrogation begins with a series of questions to try and determine what plant this could be. Was it growing in the sun or in the shade? How tall did it get? Did it spread rapidly or was it a slower grower? Did it bloom all summer? After all this discussion there are times when a plant cannot be identified.

Another situation where a simple record of what was planted in the garden would be helpful is when we want to know the names of plants that do exceptionally well and we want to plant that same variety again. With all the new varieties that are available today there are some that do well in containers but not so well when planted in the ground. A note about this would be helpful for the next season.

Here is an idea of a simple and easy method of tracking the purchases of plants that are made each year so that when next year rolls around we have some good information for determining what we want to purchase. See if you think you could use this idea. Take a manila folder and mark the tab with the year, 2016. Next, save one tag of each plant you purchased this year and staple it to the inside in straight rows across the inside of the folder. As the season progresses observe how your plants are performing and write a note under the tag, where the plant was planted and how it grew. Something like this.... Next to the bird bath, great plant, use again. OR by the trellis, pooped out, not again. Take a photo or two and put them in the folder or file on your computer so you can review when planning for next year. This folder is also an excellent place to keep your receipts. Some of the trees and shrubs may have a guarantee for replacement if they don’t survive. Another thing you might want to record is if you treated any of the plants with a spray or fertilizer for some problem and what the results were.

If something simple like this were done you would have information that would help you in your next gardening year. An accumulation of information over the years would be very valuable and take little time and not much storage space.

Meadow View Growers

Gardening Team