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How To Keep a Garden Journal

Tracking your gardening activities helps you manage your outdoor space better. By creating a gardening journal, you can organize your gardening tasks more quickly and learn from the challenges that gardening presents. In this guide, let’s talk about the importance of journaling, how it helps maintain better garden health, and other ways it improves your green oasis.

What is a Garden Journal?

Journal

A garden journal is a written record of your garden, such as the design, what plants are grown in every area of the garden, the problems you encountered while gardening, and how you’ve solved them. It also features observations, plans, and anything related to the garden you’re maintaining.

A garden journal is a valuable resource for beginner gardeners or the next property owner should you decide to sell your house. You can also revisit your garden journal to discover how you’ve overcome some gardening challenges. Because a garden journal documents your successes and challenges, you can use it as a reference guide.

Keeping a gardening journal enables you to remember what plants you’ve grown in a specific area of the garden for better crop rotation tracking. Remember, planting the same crops in the same location can deplete the soil of nutrients and encourage pests and diseases.

A garden journal is also essential for planning the layout of the garden. You can create sketches for future layouts or design inspirations.

Benefits of Keeping a Garden Journal

Choose better plants to grow.

Keeping a written account of your experiences as a gardener helps you make better choices regarding the kinds of plants to grow in your specific region, microclimate, and soil type. Every home garden is unique, and it’s vital to figure out what plants grow best in your home for better chances of success!

Manage gardening chores better.

Writing your observations make you a better gardener! You’ll have a reference for tasks in case memory fails, like the date when you last amended the soil, what month the last frost the previous year, or what other gardening tasks should be done before the growing season.

Track what you’ve grown.

It’s essential to track what plants you’ve grown in the past to increase the chances of success for future harvests. For example, if you’ve had previous successes with tomatoes, summer squash, herbs, etc., you can write all of these down in a garden journal and try planting them again later next year. You can also write down your observations to determine what kinds of plants do not grow well in your garden to avoid the same problem from happening again.

Share your gardening expertise with others.

If you have a neighbor, friend, or a loved one who wants to try gardening but does not know where to start, you can let them borrow your gardening journal for tips, design ideas, and layout inspiration. Gardening is even more fun if you can share your knowledge with others.

What to Put in Your Garden Journal

Micro weather, temperature, and hardiness zones

Some of the most important things to write about in your garden journal are the micro weather, hardiness zone, and humidity level in your local area. These factors affect the growth of every plant grown in your garden. Some places get an early or late freeze; some regions are windier than others, so write all these infos down to determine a pattern.

Planting dates

From seed starting to planting dates, write down the date range of every growing season throughout the years. Take note of the dates when you transplanted seedlings after growing from seed, what struggles you’ve faced while the seedlings were hardening, and what factors in the soil helped with the seedlings’ growth. The same goes for plants you’ve grown in-ground; take note of the critical dates to promote better growth in the future.

Pests and pest control methods

List down the times your garden encountered pests, what kinds of bugs you’ve dealt with and how. These crucial infos are essential to prevent future infestation.

Plant diseases and preventive measures

Similar to dealing with pests, you need to outline all the plant diseases you’ve dealt with and how you’ve combated the contamination to boost your garden’s defenses in the future.

Plant and harvest inventory

List down all the varieties of plants you’ve grown in the garden and the size of the harvest. What kinds of crops are new for you, what you’d like to grow again, and how plentiful is the harvest of a specific plant for future reference. List down which plants had issues growing or bearing fruits, how you’ve dealt with the problem, and what measures you’ve taken to prevent the same problem from happening again.

Harvest dates

Make a note of the harvest date for every year to figure out the best time to harvest your garden this year. Sometimes the harvest date is early or late in a particular year, and that’s something that you need to take note of in your journal.

Crop rotation plan

It’s best to plant different crops yearly to maintain better soil health. Planting tomatoes in the same place all the time will deplete nutrients from the soil. A crop rotation plant helps keep your garden soil healthy and prevents pests and diseases from taking over the garden.

Maintenance schedules

Note the important dates for the end of the season and start of the growing season maintenance like preparing the soil, cleaning up the gardening, pruning the plants, amending the soil, and other crucial tasks to prepare the garden before and after the growing season. Don’t forget to list or draw the gardening tools needed to prepare the garden during these times.

Fertilizing schedule

Always take note of the yearly fertilizing schedule to ensure you’re not over-fertilizing or under-fertilizing the soil. Take note of the results of every fertilizing schedule, what fertilizer you used and what methods to apply the amendments for future reference.

Gardening to-dos

All your gardening tasks should be listed in your garden journal, including planting schedules, soil amendments, mulching or composting infos, everyday maintenance, cleanup schedules, pruning schedules, and so on.

Musings, sketches, inspos, and observations

You can create illustrations or post photos of different gardens, fruits, vegetables, trees, etc., and write down your feelings, observations, and inspirations in your garden journal. You can also stick dried flowers or dried herbs, stickers, or other craft materials to make every page unique and attractive. Be as creative as you like to make your gardening journal informative and beautiful.

Keeping a gardening journal is vital to maintain a beautiful garden. It’s a valuable resource for beginner gardeners too! We hope that with these tips, we’ve inspired you to start your journaling journey!