Learn how to keep a garden journal, why you should have one, and garden journal tips like what to write in your garden journal, how to structure it, and how to get the most out of it!
Spring is next month and its probably got you thinking about your garden this year. Whether you grow a full vegetable garden, have a few perennials and annuals around your home, or just some pots on the porch, you’re probably getting excited about planting season.
If you’re wanting to make the most of your gardening experience this year and for years to come, then you should seriously consider stating your own gardening journal.
What is a gardening journal or garden journal? Its just what it sounds like! A garden journal is a journal that you keep with records of all things pertaining to your garden. It can include anything from maps to plans to notes and everything in between.
No matter what you grow or how much you grow: perennials, annuals, vegetables, fruits, shrubs, herbs, trees, etc.; you can benefit from keeping notes throughout the growing season.
Benefits of a Garden Journal
- learn from years past and be able to make the necessary changes in the future.
- grow a more healthy, productive, and efficient garden by using the information you keep track of.
- see how much you’ve learned over the years and how much your garden has grown.
- you won’t forget nearly as much; you can just refer back to what you wrote down, such as growing seasons, pest problems, ideas, and any other thoughts.
- have a place to dream! A garden journal is a perfect spot to write down, draw, or scribble all of your dreams, plans, and aspirations for your garden and/or landscaping.
A garden journal is whatever you make it and whatever you want it to be! Everyone’s growing experiences are completely unique. And what you’d like to journal and keep record of is up to you.
Tips for Keeping a Garden Journal
- Be consistent. It’s not going to do much for you if you never use it and never write in it. Once you get your journal, commit to writing in it a consistent amount of times throughout your gardening season. It could be a few minutes every day or once every other week; do whatever works for you but do it consistently.
- Make it your own. Write WHATEVER you want! Write as little or as much as you like. You can keep drawings of your garden and landscaping dreams, pull out photos from magazines and tape them in, keep dried flowers from each season, etc.
- Get creative. On that same note from above, don’t be afraid to get creative with your journal! Tape things into it, use colors, draw and sketch and map things out. If you can get more creative with it you’ll likely enjoy using it more.
- Use it even in the off season. Don’t be afraid to continue to use your journal in the off season. This is the best time to reflect back on what you’ve recorded over the spring and summer, and to dream and plan for what’s ahead.
What to Write in Your Garden Journal
Of course you can write whatever you want in your journal, but here are a few ideas for what you CAN write in your garden journal. All of these prompts will provide you with valuable information when looking back on your notes in future seasons and years.
- draw garden layouts each season and a record and map of where things were planted each year.
- write down any pest problems you may have had and what worked to combat them.
- keep note of how much your plants produced.
- take notes and keep track of how much your family consumed and what plants and fruits/vegetables you may need more or less of in the coming years.
- record the dates of the first frost and last frost in your exact area.
- draw out plans for your garden or landscaping in the future.
- jot down plants that you see or are inspired by that you’d like to plant in the next season.
- keep record of weather events that happened.
- write down your soil conditions every year and any amendments you made.
- record dates you were able to begin your garden preparations such as tilling.
- include drawings and descriptions of birds that come and go (this is more for entertainment purposes, but can also provide valuable information)
- journal any and all lessons you learn!
Now you know why you should keep a garden journal, what to write in it, and tips for making the most of it! What’s the next step? Get started! Grab yourself a garden journal that you think you’ll like and start writing.
Here are a few options for garden journals that you can purchase online. Each one has a layout or structure so you have prompts and don’t have to guess what to write.
Of course, you can always purchase a blank journal at the store and come up with your own structure for writing. Do what you think will work for you and what you think you’ll stick to best.
If you’re more new age, you could look into a garden journal app that would allow you to keep all of your records on the convenience of your phone.
Are you convinced you should start your own garden journal this year? I hope so! Look into buying one of the ones above or go get one from the store…. and get to writing! You and your garden will benefit from you keeping a garden journal now and for years to come.
Check out some of our other GARDENING posts!
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