As we head into a new year, this is a great time to get your garden organized. If you don’t use a garden journal, it is something to consider. A gardening journal provides a written record of your garden. Since most of us have many things going on, it is best to write it down regularly in a journal rather than depending on your memory. You will be amazed at how much you forget what was going on in your garden 3 months ago.
In a garden journal, you can keep such things as:
- A layout of your garden
- Photos of your garden each season
- Plant profiles – document ones that worked well and ones that did not
- When flowers bloomed
- Seasonal to-do lists
- Seasonal observations
- Plant fertilization schedule
- Pests and problems you are having with them
- Tracking vegetable planting, harvest, and crop rotation schedule
- New plants you want to try and when and where to plant them
You can create your own journal by just using a notebook, notecards, buy a garden journal, or do it electronically. Buying a journal is helpful because it is designed precisely to help you track and keep notes about your garden. There are no real rules to follow with a garden journal. Just keep it simple, so that you keep it up during each season. Remember to have fun with it!
- Other things you might want to consider putting in your journal:
- Recording the first and last frost dates. This will be helpful to you in the future as it will help in determining planting dates.
- Jotting down any new techniques you might read or hear about. This could include tips on household supplies you can use in your gardening, lasagna gardening or natural pest control ideas. It is a reminder that you can look back on when you are ready to try them out.
- Keep track of your containers. Record the plants you put in specific containers and what you liked about them and what you did not enjoy. What were the water requirements? If you mixed plants, did they work well together?
- If you grow flowers or vegetables from seed, track when you started. When did you transplant them outdoors? Should you have started earlier? Who did you buy the seeds from and how much did they cost?
- Document any new plants you purchased. How well did they grow? Did you encounter any problems? Are they a good source for plants?
Everything you learn about your garden throughout the year is helpful, whether it was good or bad.