Where do you keep your gardening books and files? I have a plastic milk crate in the closet that holds file folders with labels such as “flowers,” “shrubs,” “vegetables,” “garden plans” and “yard plantings.”
In the last one I save labels from things I’ve planted that include their instructions, plus the dates and locations where I planted them. It has come in very handy. I also file things I tear out of magazines and newspapers related to gardening and file them in my crate under “articles.”
Where do you keep your gardening tools? We have a utility shed in the yard, and I’ve put up pegboard on the inside walls and hang all my tools from a variety of hooks that are available at any hardware outlet. The pegboard is easy to cut, even with a handsaw, to fit any area in the barn or basement. This time of year I go through the tools and clean them up, tighten loose handles, oil cutting tools and mechanical parts and make a list of what I want to replace before spring.
Inside the shed I have an area for potting supplies: bagged soil and mixed potting soil, coffee filters to line my pots with, scissors for trimming, twine for tying, markers and popsicle sticks for labeling plants, fertilizer, and lots of pots, trays and planters waiting to be filled and carted off to my house or someone else’s. Now is a good time to go through those materials.
All through the growing season I tend to toss all the pots from things I’ve bought inside each other regardless of their quality or utility, half filled bags of amendments get shoved behind other half filled bags and neat as I try to be the whole area gets to be a jumble over the summer.
Then there are the general maintenance resources. I have an under-shelf area for bags of grass seed, various grades of fertilizer and bags of sand, peat moss and other amendments. We keep the smaller jars and bags of really toxic materials such as weed killers and insecticides on a shelf over the door, out of harms way of grandchildren and other visiting tots. These too could stand a sorting through to check expiration dates, toss out bags of fertilizer that have crystallized in the humidity and make yet another list of what I’ll need in the spring.
A walk around the yard brings back enough useful memories that I’ll go back to again and again. Try an hour each weekend to tackle these easy tasks. Then when spring is here you’ll be ready with all your resources in the best of shape for your most enjoyable gardening year ever.
Information about Extension Solutions for Homes and Gardens can be found on the University of Georgia Cooperative Extension website at www.caes.uga.edu/extension/cherokee or by contacting the Cherokee County Extension Office at 100 North St., Suite G21 in Canton at (770) 479-0418. The Georgia Extension Master Gardener Program is a volunteer training program offered through county offices of the University of Georgia Cooperative Extension.