Grit Blogs > Acorn and Thistle

Looking Forward, Looking Back

They’re heeeere…

The first seed catalogs have shown up in my mailbox! Like the first robin, these little books (or not so little, thank you Baker Creek!) herald the beginning of a new season – garden planning! Not to be confused with planting season, planning season is the time where I look back at the previous year’s garden in order to make choices for the upcoming year. It’s just way too easy to get ahead of myself – lost in pretty photos and prosy descriptions - if I’m not careful.

You can make garden planning as complicated or as easy as you like, from a little notebook to computer programs with diagrams and everything in between. At our old house, I used a sketchbook and simply taped the plant markers inside. They were easy to remove if a plant failed, and there was plenty of space for notes if needed. Last year, I used an online garden planner and that was really cool. (If you’re interested, you can check out a demo at KGI Garden Planner

or at GRIT's Food Garden Planner.) Index cards are also a great way to go. Notes on empty seed packets also work, but they can get a little grubby and hard to keep organized.

Whichever method I happen to be using at the time, the data remains the same. (Bear with me, I know “data” makes it sound crazy official. It’s not, really.) In no particular order, I want to know:

That’s about it. Nothing too awful, really. You can add any other criteria that you find useful. Just keep it simple enough so that it’s convenient to use. If you’re even marginally organized (like me) you can keep track of your last garden, and make good decisions for the coming year.