“Patriotism is supporting your country all the time and your government when it deserves it.” – Mark Twain
“Freedom makes a huge requirement of every human being. With freedom comes responsibility.” – Eleanor Roosevelt
“This nation will remain the land of the free only so long as it is the home of the brave.” – Elmer Davis
“A hero is someone who understands the responsibility that comes with his freedom.” – Bob Dylan
“Ask not what your country can do for you — ask what you can do for your country.” – John F. Kennedy
“As we set today aside to honor and thank our veterans, let us be mindful that we should do this every day of the year and not just one.” – Beth Pennington
Memorial Day welcomes the beginning of the summer season with cookouts, picnics, beach trips and other celebrations. However, let us not forget that this holiday is really a day for mourning and honoring the military members who fought and died for our freedom.
Working in the lawn and landscape can be enjoyable and refreshing or it can be a chore and a liability. Remembering when to do some of the activities needing done can be simple while others, well not so simple.
The following resources can make landscape planning easier and be very useful as you document the important details each season of the year.
Digital gardening journals are very important in documenting items of importance in the landscape. Whether the information is about the placement of a bulb, the color of a flower, the much-wanted plant from across town, an enrichment item that you like, a particular creative design that catches your attention, the amount of rainfall last week, and so on, it is critical to realize such information to better improve how you design and maintain your landscape sites.
If not recorded, then the potential for loss of such information is greater and makes your landscaping efforts more difficult. Using digital devices in landscaping is being proactive.
Digital camera: One of the best tools to assist you in documenting landscape information is the digital camera on your smart phone.. This instrument is so useful and allows you to digitally document such information as taking pictures of bulbs, flower color so vivid this season on select plants or photographing a plant that you have seen elsewhere and want in your garden. Also, such photos serve as a reminder about an enrichment item or garden design that catches your attention.
Also, taking pictures of weeds, insects or diseases for identification purposes or photographing a chemical label for your records can be priceless. Using the digital camera for record keeping anything and everything from A to Z is such an asset to the home gardener.
Always transfer your pictures to an organized folder on your computer hard drive, as well as making a backup. Certain pictures may also be kept in your camera if you need to access them often for quick reference in other situations.
Flowering records: An accurate assessment of flowering will allow you to maintain color throughout each season of the year, not just a single season or part of a season. If weaknesses or deficiencies in color appear within a season, such notes will allow correction for the next season or year.
If too much color and confusion (smorgasbord effect) distorts the image wanted at one time, then necessary corrections are in order and can be implemented next season or year.
GPS devices: Hand-held GPS devices have usefulness in the landscape as they can assist you in determining the sizes of lawn areas and landscape beds for installation and maintenance purposes. This type of information assists in determining amounts of pine straw or mulch needed, or the proper amounts of fertilizers and pesticides in a single application.
Information content: Any type of recordkeeping is an asset to the landscape gardener. The best system is the one that is most user-friendly and easy to access.
Drawing sketches on graph paper and making written notes can also be digitally recorded and appropriately filed for future reference.
Bulb planting records: Supplement notes with plot diagrams and pictures indicating the variety and number of bulbs in each location. This exercise will assist you in estimating the success of each type and calculating the effects of the weather during a certain timeframe. Also, keep records for all herbaceous and woody planting activities.
Photograph records: Photographs make very effective records. Each photograph should include the date, time, location, special notations, etc. This type of information will become more valuable as you plan each successive season.
Pruning: You may digitally document a specific pruning style or technique on a particular plant or group of plants and share with your landscape contractor in order to achieve that shape and form in your landscape.
Pesticide records: Keep a record of all pesticides used in the landscape. Note the trade name, date, target pest, rate of application and weather conditions at the time of application. Always follow label directions and file a copy of the label for future reference. Calculate and record the total square feet of lawn and bed areas where applications are to be made.
Soil amendments and fertilizers: Record the date, rate of application, analysis, equipment used, liming information, soil tests, results and recommendations, etc. Also, record the weather conditions at the time of application. Calculate and record the total square feet of lawn and bed areas being amended or fertilized.
Weather: Record such weather information as the last frost in the spring and the first frost in the fall each year, unusually warm or cold weather, storm information and damage, precipitation rates and dates, and very unusual weather phenomena. Follow current weather patterns on your smart phone or tablet.
Remember Memorial Day weekend as we honor those men and women who died while serving in the U.S. military. Also, remember to pray for their families, our nation and one another as we enjoy the freedom they preserved. God bless each of you!
“God is not unjust; He will not forget your work and the love you have shown Him as you have helped His people and continue to help them.” – Hebrews 6:10
“May the God who gives endurance and encouragement give you a spirit of unity among yourselves as you follow Christ Jesus, so that with one heart and mouth you may glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.” – Romans 15:5-6
“The wisdom that comes from heaven is first of all pure; then peace-loving, considerate, submissive, full of mercy and good fruit, impartial and sincere. Peacemakers who sow in peace raise a harvest of righteousness.” – James 3:17-18
Dr. Eddie Seagle is a sustainability verifier, Golf Environment Organization (Scotland), agronomist and horticulturalist, CSI: Seagle (Consulting Services International), professor emeritus and honorary alumnus (Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College), distinguished professor for teaching and learning (University System of Georgia) and short-term missionary (Heritage Church, Moultrie). Direct inquiries to csi_seagle @yahoo.com.