How to Start a Gardening Journal

New and experienced gardeners alike will benefit from keeping a gardening journal to track the yearly and day-to-day insights on their crops. If you’re new to garden journaling, continue reading to learn how to get started!

Why Start a Gardening Journal

A gardening journal is an essential tool for gardeners who want to improve their crops year after year. Journaling will allow you to record what you’ve done in the past so that you can reference it in the future – learning from both your mistakes and your successes! It also allows you to understand soil conditions and weather patterns for your area as well as become more familiar with the different types of crops you are growing. If you keep up with it, your garden journal is sure to save you lots of time and money over the years.

What to Include in Your Gardening Journal

No detail is too small for your gardening journal! Here are some suggestions on what to include:

  • Calendar
  • Dates
    • Bloom dates
    • First frost 
    • Last frost
    • Pest treatments
    • Planting 
    • Seedling 
    • Seed harvest
  • Diagram of your garden – remember to label!
  • Expenses
  • Fertilizer – type and dates of application
  • Harvest records
  • Notes on crop rotation and companion planting
  • Pests
    • Type of pest
    • Type of treatments
  • Produce preservation records
  • Seeds you planted that did not sprout/result in good crops and why you think they turned out poorly.
  • Seeds you saved
  • Soil amendments
  • Sources of your seeds and/or plants
  • Weather conditions
  • Weeding efforts
  • Your plant growth observations
    • Choose a schedule and try to stick to it.
  • Changes you’d like to make and plants you want to grow next year

Garden Journaling Formats

You can use just about any journaling format or system for your garden journal –a spiral notebook, composition notebook, notecards, a binder, a guided journal, or even a computer program. Choose whatever works best for you and what you’re most likely to keep up with – which may require some trial and error!

Pro Tip: If you have kids, get them involved in garden planning with this fun board game and this garden building set!

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