It’s not too late to start this year’s journal!
Today, as I was preparing this post, I pulled out my garden journal from 2005. I was homeschooling our youngest daughter and we created our own nature journals to keep track all the things we were learning. Why not keep your own garden journal this season.
Instead of trying to remember the recipe for that new garden pest technique you tried or that great heirloom tomato you decided to grow, write it down in your garden journal. Make a quick note in a place where you know you can find it later.
My personal preference is a physical book; you can buy one or create your own. There are several good online garden journals to try too.
Keeping a garden journal really is an important part of the gardening process. You will be surprised how much you forget about the details at the beginning of the season.
Here are 10 reasons to keep a garden journal
- Keep notes on new plants you’ve never grown before – make a page for each new plant and list it’s species and any specific information from the plant tag. Go online and research any additional things you need to know to be successful growing it.
- Have a page just for first and last frost dates in YOUR yard. Even though you can find the average first and last frost dates for your area, your particular yard has it’s own micro climate. Even parts of your yard will have their own micro climate.
- It’s all about dates – A garden journal is a great place to keep important garden milestones. When was the garden soil dry enough to do a first tilling, when were you able to actually plant the garden. Patterns will emerge.
- Make notes of weather patterns – has this been an exceptionally wet or dry season in your area?
- Keep detailed planting notes and crop rotation schedules for all your vegetable beds.
- Are there any new techniques you want to try? Keep a page for all the new ideas you run across while you are doing garden research. These might include greenhouse gardening, lasagna gardening or natural pest control methods. It could also be a reminder about a specific pin that you want to go back and look at.
- Keep notes about the specific seeds that you’ve planted. When did you start those heirloom tomatoes? What kind of lighting did they require for optimum growing? When were they ready to go out in the garden? Did you start them too early or too late…
- Keep notes about your container gardening exploits. List the type of plant and the container you chose for it. How did it do? Were there specific watering requirements.
- Keep a fertilizing schedule for individual plant groupings and vegetable beds, then keep track of the results and when you need to schedule the next fertilizing date.
- Write about your failures. Did you try a new technique that was a disaster? maybe you planted in the wrong place or added too much fertilizer. A garden journal is the best place to put the lessons you’ve learned each year.
All gardening experiences, good and bad, are for our benefit!
It’s fun to look back at this snapshot of my life from nine gardening seasons ago and remember where we were living and the gardening successes and failures I had back then. I am still learning and experimenting, even today.
A garden journal is an important part of the process. Do you keep a garden journal?