Each year presents a new gardening challenge. Some years are rough starts in the spring with extra cool weather that prevent you from planting cold-sensitive crops until late in the spring or even early summer. Other years you have a beautiful start to the season with just the right temperatures when you need them, but the yield is low because Colorado potato beetles overran your potatoes.

Crtically analyzing how the garden did last year will help you set yourself up for success this year. The start to this analysis starts with writing down what you did in the garden and when. If you don’t keep these records, you should start. Keep everything in a journal or at least jot down notes on a dedicated calendar.

Your notes should include things like:

•How much did you plant of each crop?

•What varieties did you plant?

•How often did you water?

•How much did you water?

•What method did you use to water?

•What was your yield?

•What bug problems did you have and when?

•What disease issues did you have and when?

•Soil fertility test results.

•Type and amount of fertilizer(s) used.

•What strategies were used to counteract bugs or disease issues.

Keeping a gardening journal helps you be more objective when you have time to review how the garden did the past year. Right now is an excellent time to be reviewing how your garden did the previous season since you aren’t yet tempted to make impulse buys that don’t fit the unique needs of your garden.