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Do you keep records?

In trying to make it easy on myself:

I keep accurate & detailed records on all my plants, though I have found a way to simplify the process and minimize the amount of time and effort it takes to keep these records up to date. I decided that for my purposes, there were only three areas that warranted the keeping account of what my plants were doing & when. The careful selection of these three areas was key in freeing up my time to pursue plant interests aside from record-keeping.

1) Each time a plant leaves the growing bench without authorization, I mark it down. I strictly enforce the "three strikes & you're out" rule - I simply don't have time to be chasing after plants all day. The "three strikes" strategy seems to be working as the incidence of AWOL plants is very low this year.

2) When a plant pitches a fit & stops transpiring until it turns brown, I make a mental note of it. Before placing a "black mark" on the record, the plant is first put on notice that if it doesn't mend it's ways, it will be discarded, along with its own special page in my book of records. Often, just one quick trip to anywhere in the near vicinity of the compost pile is all it takes to correct this aberrant behavior.

3) Plants that pretend they are suffering for trite reasons (like lack of water or fertilizer, insect infestations or pesky diseases) will be threatened with the same three strikes rule as outlined in example #1. I remind them with something like "There are millions of starving plants in China - so you don't have it so bad". I often tell them if they don't straighten up they will have to wait until spring to be fed. At this time, I still don't mark anything down, choosing instead to put the plants and their records from example #1 in plain view; the obvious implication here being "You could be in their shoes". This usually gets them (and me) through 'til spring without having to mark anything down - but I would if I had to!!!

Let me know, please, if you have need of additional aid in structuring your own record keeping format.

Al

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