It isn't wacko to keep records! I think it may be wacko to garden in the first place- I always feel that way in August when battling heat, humidity, slugs, deer & varmints, weeds, Japanese beetles, lily beetles, ticks, weeds, mosquitoes, drought, floods, weeds, earwigs, tomato rot, dahlia wilt, weeds, failed dahlia supports, weeds and more weeds...
That being said, I find comfort in statistics and labeling. I've noticed patterns, like how my Asiatic lilies always failed by the third year: year one; great. Year 2, a few lily beetles; year 3, total decimation of the lilies. I figured that by year 2, the beetles have laid eggs!
I find the best way to document success & failure (for me) is to regularly take digital pictures of the garden throughout the year, and keep them in a computer folder labeled with the year. It's amazing- during the winter, reviewing those files is really helpful as to what worked & what failed. With the digital files, you can zoom in on certain areas. I always keep the seed packs (or plant/tuber label), plus a map of what went where, then I can see the "holes" (failures).
I do the same; folders by year, then by day, with a brief descrip in case I am looking for a certain plant for some reason. I have tried and tried to keep a schematic on what is where, but at the rate stuff gets moved, pitched, sent to someone else... Not a raring success. My daughter keeps saying she will do it in CAD but that ain't happening. I even got graph paper and a plastic gizmo with shapes. By August when I know what is where, and what shouldn't be where, I have not time to make maps. Only time to dig and move and pitch. I am so very grateful that I am not plagued by all the things your garden seems prone to. I can see where a person might take up Parcheesi as a less masochistic past time. Course I have around six months of no gardening so I guess I can't complain. My Asiatics seem to keep on giving, in some cases even when I wish they would just give up and stop multiplying.
My Access database, with reports that calculate a lot of weird stuff keep me on track mostly. Lets me know that March is wayyyyy to early to start grousing about no flowers. ROTFL. I print a report that runs by first growth, then another by first bloom. Then I spend the summer updating it for dates as well as for new flowers with no history.
LOL about the CAD! I keep thinking I'm going to do that one year. I always ambitiously lay out a hand drawn schematic as soon as the March snow starts to melt... visions of colorful dahlias in my head (and in the color catalogs!!!). The end result is always a joke! By October, it's a jumbled mess. I am adamant about my dahlia labels: I always have one underground near the tuber (written on the tuber itself, too, if it's possible) plus one "display" label (this year I wrote on clam shells in Sharpie marker). DARN IT if my labels are now half missing, re-arranged, or otherwise destroyed. I have asked Jax, my garden helper cat, where those labels are. He ain't talking! But I noticed his paws are often covered in dirt!
Yes, we get ALL the pests in zone 6. They come up here when the South gets too hot! The winters are cold, but not cold enough to kill them. The deer, woodchucks, and chipmunks are plentiful and bold as brass- practically tame. The deer walk right into my patio. If I shoo them off, I get indignant snorts in return! I am anti-gun and don't own one, but I feel like blasting away sometime, but it is illegal to discharge firearms where I live (a good thing!). I'm guessing that AK doesn't have such rules and the wildlife stays wild!
Ha! Think again. People have been chewed on by bears and trampled by moose, while gardeners watch their lovely trees and plants alternately eaten or stomped to mush. I am talking within Anchorage city limits -- in subdivisions that have been here for decades. But "they were here first' (note underlying sarcasm) and we must not disturb (much less shoot them) them, except in season and out of the city limits. They are thinking of bringing back bow hunting within the city as the humans are becoming an endangered species.
Would you or anyone like to add any more? I have an over load of a particular color and forgive me but I do not know his name but here is a pic. It is large about 3 inches wide and about 4 ft in height. The blooms are lasting also...
Very sturdy bloomer. Deep fuscia , pretty color, not red, the pic is true to color of this big baby. I have so many 5 I think I do wish to send to any one who would like them.
I love dahlias but I have too many right now.
If anyone is interrested who also has tropical hibiscus, i would love a small plant of this to swap.
Live plant , not seeds.
ps if you respond please include topic as I have a few topics im invloved with.
I'd love a tuber or 2. It looks really familiar- Swan Island's catalog is helpful for IDs. I have seeds- zinnia & coneflower to trade. D-mail me.
You can never have too many dahlias, but some cultivars are absolute real estate hogs!!! I spent all of Sunday cutting back "Crazy Love". I have 3 plants and they have multiple stalks and are shading others. I whacked 'em back to the 2 largest canes. Babylon Purple, too- I think the plants will be healthier if not allowed to get weedy. For the first time this year, I'm using Velcro plant ties that come on a roll and is cheap. I wrapped a long strip around some unruly stems to encourage the stalks to not spread into neighboring dahlias "territory". At this very active growing time, it's busy for dahlia growers. Disbud, trim, re-stake, deadhead...