Making a Garden Inventory of Your Current Plant Selections

A successful gardener learns by trial and error. The best way to keep track of those trials—and their outcomes—is with a garden journal. A garden journal can help you keep an inventory of what you have, what’s working and what isn’t. But when you open your journal and see all those blank pages, you may be wondering where to start. Below are our tips for successful garden planning in Fargo, ND.

Start with a map
To begin your garden inventory, start by making a map of your garden. Try your best to draw the map to scale. If you have a plat map of your property, that’s a great place to start. You can scan it and resize for an 8.5” x 11” piece of paper.

Walk through your garden and note any hardscaping, including all buildings, patios, pavers, walls, stairs and other permanent fixtures. Remember to draw these items at scale if you can. Before you start filling it in, make a few copies so you can revise your map as needed.

Next, walk your property and note on the map every tree, shrub, bush and garden bed. Draw an outline of deciduous trees and shrubs at their greatest size. Your map is not the place to denote annuals and perennials—it will not need that much detail.

On one of the blank maps you copied, create a second map charting elevation. Draw a line for every foot that your land rises or falls. Space lines closer together for steep changes and farther apart for gradual slopes. Search for images of topographic maps to see how this is done.

Finally, divide your map into smaller sections you can break out into 8.5” x 11” graph paper. Use a scale such as 1 graph square = 1 square foot. Name or identify each section of your garden. Use letters or numbers to identify each border and/or bed within a section. This will help you when creating your plant inventory in Fargo, ND.

Build your inventory
Once your map is complete, you’re ready to create your garden inventory. Create a sheet for plants featuring a table that lists:

  • Plant location (section and number/letter according to your map legend)
  • Plant common name
  • Plant scientific name
  • Date planted
  • Plant disposition

Make copies of your template so that you can continue filling your plant inventory in Fargo, ND.

When taking an inventory of your trees and shrubs, you’ll also want to assign a number to each cultivar. Locate each tree or shrub on your map according to its cultivar number.
While you’re at it, you’ll also want to create an inventory for your soil tests. Create a table with columns for date, area, the test results and any supplements you’ve added to the soil. Make many copies of the table template.

Finally, create a list of your garden tools. Include lawn mowers, tillers and tractors and make notes for purchase date, maintenance dates and possible replacement date.
For more help with garden planning in Fargo, ND, consult with the landscaping experts at S & S Landscaping Co. Inc. today.