Creating a Garden Journal
Planning ahead with a garden journal can save you time and money. Are you planning for the upcoming gardening season? Starting a garden journal now, will serve as a reference later, on what worked well and what didn’t in your garden. You can record information, such as where and when you planted seeds, pruning and fertilizing schedules, wildlife sightings, garden supply resources, pictures, and personal notes and ideas.
You can make your own simple journal, purchase one, or use software to log all of your information. It’s a great tool to use to reflect on how your garden has changed too.
Choosing a Journal
There are many journal options. You should decide what best suits your gardening style and needs. Some people will want a journal that is practical and functional, while others will want a fancier keepsake. Some gardeners enjoy using software and spreadsheets and some use calendars.
The following are some examples for you to decide on:
Homemade Spiral Bound- You can decorate a plain composition book. You can add manila folders or staple a document envelope for any loose papers you want to organize.
Shoebox or container- A great way to organize your seeds, as well as serving as a central place for all your garden information you’d like to save.
Homemade Binder with Printable Pages- Inexpensive and practical. Can customize it to contain what you want.
Software- Paperless so doesn’t take up any additional space. Added features like data analysis and easy search.
Spreadsheets- Great for straightforward organization of information. Easy to update and print.
Online Garden Planners- You can blog or use an online planner that allows you to save information and journal too.
What to Journal
You can create a journal that is as basic or as elaborate as you want.
The following are ideas that you can log:
Weather (frosts, droughts, rainfall)
Locations of plantings
Seed packet information
Seed starting dates and germination
Garden catalog pages
Bird and wildlife sightings
List what’s blooming and when
Perennial division dates
Receipts for plants
Hints and tips
Contact list and notes on suppliers.
A homemade binder is practical and functional to use as a journal. It’s incredibly frugal to make it yourself too.
Here are some tips to help you create one:
Use a three ring binder with plastic insert covers. You can then add your own personalized touch to the cover.
Add pocket pages, as well as tabbed dividers. This works well for clippings and receipts. You can divide your binder into months.
Add graph paper to plan and draw your designs.
Photo album sleeves to protect your photos
Lined paper to write notes or musings.
Your journal can serve as a conversation piece when you have garden guests. It becomes not only a great tool, but a record of history. It can be a cherished memento or thoughtful heirloom to give to a loved one.
Starting a garden journal during the winter months can help you pass the time until spring.
“Every gardener knows that under the cloak of winter lies a miracle …
a seed waiting to sprout, a bulb opening to the light, a bud straining to unfurl.
And the anticipation nurtures our dream” -Barbara Winkler
*Editor’s note You might also be interested in Gardenscape on a Shoestring.