flower backyard garden
ECO gardener

Journaling has long been hailed as a powerful tool for creativity and mindfulness, but we tend to think of it in terms of personal growth rather than as a way of recording our progress in hobbies such as gardening. Journaling fosters self-awareness and helps with goal setting, so it’s a great habit to get into when recording the journey of your garden.

Documenting how your garden grows isn’t just a therapeutic practice for you as a gardener – it also helps you connect more deeply with your garden and determine what is and isn’t working in your green space.

It’s an Opportunity to Learn from Mistakes and Successes

mother and daughter picking vegetables

One of the key advantages of documenting a garden is having more information readily available about how it works, easily recalling what’s worked in the past, what hasn’t done so well, and determined causes of both outcomes. There are so many different ways to keep a record, from a classic written journal to sketches, videos and online blogs, but what they all have in common is that they serve as a learning opportunity and a way to stay on top of the skills you’re acquiring year on year.

Similarly, you can use this record to educate others and help them on their gardening journey as well. Capture stunning photos for socials to inspire your followers and grow your gardening community, or set up a regular newsletter for updates on the successes and failures throughout the gardening year. You’ll be able to develop a more resilient and productive garden, improve your skills and knowledge and inspire others too.

Keep Notes on When Plants Bloom

Noting down when certain plants start to bloom and blossom helps you get a better idea of what to expect for each season in future years. This enables you to plan your sowing schedule and ensure you’re cultivating food and flowers throughout the year for your specific area.

A journal helps you identify weather patterns too, such as frost dates, so you’ll be able to better predict how your garden might react. For example, if it’s too cold, active pollinators might be limited, creating a negative impact on pollination dependent plants such as squash. A document of your garden will help you stay on top of plant progress; those that bloom at the same time and those that struggle and require gardening support.

Monitor Pests and Diseases in Your Garden

woman monitoring her plants inside the greenhouse

As any gardener will be painfully aware of, pests and diseases can quickly destroy your efforts in the garden and render your seedlings worthless. From aphids and beetles to mold and mildew, garden pests are a real headache and are something that all gardeners need to stay on top of.

Keeping a detailed record of your garden, visiting pests and other plant symptoms will help you track the diseases that your plants are prone to. By taking a proactive approach you will be able to identify patterns and effectively adjust your gardening approach. For example, if you know that your tomato plants are prone to whitefly or fruit worms, you can plant effective companion plants to deter them, or use appropriate sprays to eliminate larvae early, allowing your plants to thrive throughout the growing season.

Stay on Top of Changing Weather Conditions

Weather fluctuations can severely affect how well your plants grow, and whether you’re a seasoned gardener or new to the world of planting, understanding these seasonal changes is what will make or break your garden. Clearly documenting climatic effects on your garden will allow you to track the conditions under which your plants thrived, allowing you to plan and protect them in future years.

If your garden receives a lot of sunshine and your plants are prone to wilting in the summer, you can offer further protection for next year by planting shading plants nearby, keeping the heat off more sensitive plants. It also helps to keep track of the rainfall your garden receives, so you can adapt your watering schedule accordingly.

Enhanced Mental Health Benefits

woman doing yoga at the garden

Gardening is a calming activity that offers so many benefits of our health and wellbeing, both physical and mental. Documenting your journey enhances the relaxing effects of gardening by helping you reflect on the impact gardening had on your mood on that specific day, or how you overcame stress or anxiety by certain outdoor activities.

A journal, blog or sketchbook that illustrates and informs about your garden space can serve as a wonderful tracker of your mental and physical health as well as your garden itself. It will become an incredibly motivating tool on future occasions, when your mood or physical state may not be where you’d like.

Notice the Details

In today’s fast-paced, frenetic work, we often overlook the finer details of the projects we’re working on. That couldn’t be truer than when talking about the garden. Gardening is a long-term endeavor that takes weeks, seasons and even years sometimes to cultivate and see the results of your efforts flourish, So keeping a record of the changes can help you stay more attuned to the small indicators of growth as they appear.

Maybe that’s new shoots on a plant you haven’t tried growing before or the color changes to a flower that might have been missed otherwise. A journal encourages you to slow down, pay attention and enjoy the detail within your garden, while providing motivation on those days when it feels like nothing’s growing fast enough. On those days, you can flip back through the previous weeks and enjoy those moments of success all over again.

A gardening journal, whatever form it takes for you, is an indispensable tool for any gardening enthusiast because it serves as a record of your knowledge, skills, memories and reflections over the years. By staying consistent with your documentation of your garden, you can refine your gardening approaches and techniques, keep a personal record of the challenges you’ve overcome and also the joys that your garden has brought you over the years.

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  • This is one of the best and most helpful articles that I have read in a long time.
    Thanks so much!

    Calixto Marcano on

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