Keeping a Garden Journal

Sue Sarters shares her insight about keeping a garden journal.

“Everyone who gardens should really try to keep a garden journal.  I’ll be the first to admit that I do not always keep an official journal, but I do take a lot of pictures, which can serve as a journal of sorts.  And I do try to record important information like, when our first and last frost occurred for the season, how certain plants did their first year in my garden, or what disease or pest problems I may have encountered.”

“One of the easiest journals I have kept was purchasing a simple 3-ring binder and some sheet protectors from the local office supply store.  You can purchase lined paper that already has three holes punched on the side or print out of the sheets below and punch your own holes.  You can use dividers if you want to separate years and/or seasons.  I use the sheet protectors to store my plant tags and/or photos that I took of the garden that year.  I use the winter months to make sure the journal is updated and even decorate the front of the binder as well as the divider pages.”

What to Include in a Garden Journal 

  • Planting dates for seeds and plants.
  • Source and cost information for seeds and plants.
  • Weather information such as frost dates and rainfall.
  • Plant information such as date emerging in spring, appearance of blooms, and harvest.
  • Date and type of fertilizer used, if applicable.
  • Wildlife observations.
  • Seed packets.
  • Photographs.
  • Garden plan, including any diagrams and future plans.
  • Cost and supplier information.

“My daughter bought me a scrap book/journal that I have used for a couple years and I also have one in calendar format that I journal when I apply my fertilizers, pesticides, and other things like pruning or staking.  It’s amazing how many times I refer back to this book the next year.”

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