Regional Gardening Reports :: National Gardening Association

In the Garden:
Southern California Coastal & Inland Valleys
January, 2008
Regional Report

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Sow cole crops to transplant where you want them to mature.

Resolution Time in the Garden

My annual garden resolutions are easy for me to keep since they're borne of my previous year's garden experiences. I hope these will give you some ideas for your own resolutions.

1. Keep a checklist of monthly garden tasks that need doing. I've developed some for our area in my Garden Basics set of articles under "Garden Tips for Los Angeles County" on our Web site:

2. Keep a calendar to make notes of what gardening tasks you've completed. Each Sunday evening, I jot down what I've done that weekend or the previous week -- seeds I've sown, transplants I've added, quantities harvested, pruning and trimming tasks, when plants germinated or blossomed or set first fruit, etc. When I look back several months later, I can see some patterns that I can use to adjust future activities.

3. Keep track of weather patterns on the calendar. These will indicate environmental contributions to some successes and failures, or at least the timing of blossoming and fruiting.

4. Keep a pad and pencil on your garden workbench for updating your garden shopping list as soon as you come in from the garden.

5. Keep a notebook, file, or box with separate entries including seed packets, planting dates, weeding and watering needs, progress of growth, performance, and harvest information. When purchasing or ordering seed for next year's garden, this information will support an original choice or indicate the need for a change. This is especially important for crops that you may grow many varieties, like I do for tomatoes (10 must-grows and 10 new ones each year) and lettuce (5 must-grows and 5 new ones).

6. Make a diagram of your garden, including the changing seasonal patterns of direct sun and shade. What you plant where and when over several years' time will indicate where to concentrate or avoid certain crops, and give you ideas of what marginal areas for one crop might be perfect for another.

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