I marked all the plants individually with each, their own popsicle stick, dated, named. Tucked nicely near each plant. We marked each roll end with different sized sticks..painted some with permanent markered stakes. Each pepper, each tomato roll.. marked..good to go..not!!
Little did we anticipate rain...wind...sun...would slowly cause well meaning marked sticks to fade.. hmm, "was that the Black Crimson or the Black Krim? is this where we put the Purple Russian? Oh is that the Abe Lincoln or the Stupice?"
"I don't know"..were three over-used words that summer.
I take paper, pencil or pen, ruler out with me each time I transplant my plants in the garden, or spread seeds. This paper gets pretty dirty by the time I get done each time. I have one good plotted garden chart indoors, so each time I plant even if just one thing, it gets charted to the good paper that day. When I go out again, I take another scrap of paper and repeat as before.
As the garden grows, I make notes, what did well, what didn't. What I may leave off next growing season, etc.
Our biggest mystery in the garden last season began with Ed running lines for me at the far end of the garden. I couldn't plant my squash or pickling cucumbers early on, as we were having lots of rain, at in-opertune times. He thought we should try something different and not make our usual hills, he had seen where you could squeeze more in without hilling, perhaps we would get a bigger yield. I wasn't so sure I wanted to do it that way, I liked making the mounds especially for pickles. So it was no hills this time.
Ed had my lines nice and taunt, with seeds in hand, I was out to finish up plantings for that area. I kept a watchful eye anxious to see the seeds sprout. We had had quite a monsoon pour down not long after I pushed seed into the ground. Days passed...weeks....He'd ask, "are you sure you planted those seeds or just thought you planted them" .... well with all this rain...I thought maybe they got misplaced with all the water that ran through the garden..
As we lingered one evening where plants should be, I said, "I just don't understand it..I planted them here, to the right of the string, like I always do".. I think Ed's face turned a few shades at that moment.... he had tilled the rolls not long after I planted, because there were no hills to be seen, he rototilled my seeded areas...the rains washed away all evidence of his footprints... we both agreed..hills from then on!!