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Last Updated on May 18, 2020 by Diane Hoffmaster
Keep track of your garden successes and failures with a beautiful but functional garden journal. Whether you want to design your own garden journal pages in a pretty notebook or use garden journal software, keeping a journal of your gardening is important. Here are a few garden journal ideas and tips for year round record keeping of your backyard gardening.
Keeping Track of Garden Ideas
Usually, garden inspiration comes to me at the craziest of times. Sometimes it's late at night, or while I am in the shower and other times it is the dead of winter. If you are looking for garden journal ideas, the first thing to keep in mind is that gardening is a year round hobby.
I have been gardening for years and have definitely had my share of ups and downs when it comes to results. Some years I have a plethora of cucumbers and others I get absolutely none.
Sometimes I am hunting for the right type of carrot seeds in March and other years I'm planting garlic bulbs in November.
I have decided that I need a place to record my successes and failures, my seed sources and varieties, and photos of the frightening looking critters that haunt my garden in July. I am putting together a few garden journal ideas and thought I would share them with my fellow gardeners.
Garden Journal Ideas
Whether you want to free hand draw a sketch of your garden layout or include garden photos, a garden journal should be flexible enough to allow creativity to flow. List plants you have grow successfully and take photos of bugs that eat your crops.
Record your seed starting dates and plant growing requirements. And have FUN with it! Check out my post on bullet journaling and make one for your garden!
What type of garden journal to use:
Garden journals can come in many different shapes, sizes, and colors. Some may not be actual journals at all but scrapbooks, shoeboxes, or photo albums. Here are a few types of garden journals that you may want to consider:
Spiral Bound Garden Journal Pages:
A spiral bound garden journal requires that all of your notes be in chronological order since you cannot insert pages between entries very easily.
While it keeps papers securely fastened together, it makes inserting things like seed packet covers and photos a bit more difficult.
You can tape them in, however, you will find that eventually, the garden journal gets a bit bulky. They are generally rather inexpensive and some have very attractive covers. Check out the collection of spiral bound garden journals on Amazon.
Bound Diary Style Garden Journal:
A bound diary style garden journal with blank pages gives you the opportunity to draw diagrams, charts, etc without the annoying lines of most spiral bound notebooks. Entries still have to be chronological in order and photos will have to be taped in.
Loose-leaf Style Garden Journal:
A loose-leaf style garden journal has the benefit of allowing you to insert pages within entries which is great if you want to separate your garden journal by, say, plant type rather than by date.
If you want an entire section on cucumbers, a looseleaf garden journal is a great choice. Just pick up an inexpensive loose leaf binder and put in some paper. You can include seed packets and photos if you tuck them into plastic sheet protectors.
Garden Journal Software:
The biggest advantage of a computer-based garden journal is the ease of finding what you are looking for. You may have a million garden journal ideas and have hundreds and hundreds of pages of information. How are you going to find the page you wrote about tomato hornworm caterpillars on?
A computer program garden journal has a very convenient 'control F' function that makes searching incredibly easy. Investigate the different types of garden software available that might work for you.
What do you put in garden journals?
So, now that you have picked out the best garden journal, what do you put in it? Here are a few things you should make sure to include:
Sketch out your back yard and note the location of your garden beds, pots, trellises, etc.
Takes photos of all sorts of things! Plants, bugs, flowers, seed packets, seed spacing, etc. Photos make a great visual when words just won't help. Add in photos of your child's bottle cap flower garden art for Earth Day. Get creative!
This is the most important thing to include in your garden journal. Write down the plant or seed varieties you used and how they performed. If they were successful, make notes to try them again. Did you have horrible results? Don't buy that variety again. If you try 12 varieties of carrots and none of them work, you may want to consider that carrots just don't like your soil or need more sun than your region will provide.
How long did it take to go from seed to flower? How long did your seedling take to produce vegetables? Write down these growing times to you know when to plant them next year.
There are a ton of online seed sources. Keep track of which one you use and how much they charge.
Gardening isn't cheap and if you are trying to garden on a budget, keep track of how much you spend. Put in receipts for everything you buy. If you aren't worried about prices, omit this section. If you are anything like me, you spend WAY too much money on your gardening habit and probably don't want to know how much you spend!
Keeping Track Of Your Garden is Key!
Garden journals can be incredibly helpful when it comes to keeping track of your gardening experience. They also make great gifts for gardeners at Christmas or for birthdays. If you are looking for garden journal ideas, the key is to provide plenty of flexible space and allow for growth.
Check out some of the garden journals on Amazon listed at the end of this post! Or check out GrowVeg.com for some garden apps to help you get started on garden design.
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Garden Journal Ideas
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Diane is a professional blogger and nationally certified pharmacy technician at Good Pill Pharmacy. She has two college aged kids, one husband and more pets than she will admit to. She earned her BS in Microbiology at the University of New Hampshire but left her career in science to become a stay at home mom. Years of playing with LEGO and coloring with crayons had her craving a more grown up purpose to her life and she began blogging and freelance writing full time. You can learn more about her HERE.