As you bring in your harvest this year, asking yourself a few questions and jotting down some quick notes can help you plan ahead for a better garden next year. With help from this great article from Mother Earth News, we’ve put together some ideas to keep in mind as you’re bringing in this year’s bounty.
What’s producing well?
Different plants will thrive in different gardens. Sun, soil nutrients, temperature, rainfall…all of these impact which plants are happy and which are please as pie. Notice which plants love your garden and which plants struggle to help you plan for a better yield next season.
Where is everything growing?
Do you grow your plants in the same place each year? You shouldn’t. Rotating crops, especially tomatoes and potatoes, is important for healthy crops year after year. Make a map of your garden while you can still see where everything is so you are ready to rotate come spring.
What are you throwing away?
If you’ve got so many zucchinis on your counter that they’re rotting, maybe you can plant a few less zucchini seeds next year. If you’re hoarding your hot peppers like a miser, maybe you need an extra bush. Write it down how many plants you grew and how you used the yield.
What do you have to replant?
You can save yourself time and money by including perennials in your garden–can any of your varieties be replaced by a plant that will spring up anew next year? Did you plant cut-and-come-again lettuce, or the trickier head varieties?
Can you save money on seeds?
Melons, squash, beans, peas, and in warmer climates, tomatoes and peppers, are all easy targets for a little seed money frugality. Garlic, celery, onions, and potatoes can all be grown easily right from your own harvest, and now’s the time to decide what to prepare for next year.