Planning Your Vegetable Garden – Start a Garden Journal

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Today brings the fifth installment to the Planning Your Vegetable Garden Series here at Veggie Gardener.

This series has covered topics such as my definition of a garden plan, how to collect some information for garden planning, how to use a great garden planning tool, and how to purchase the seeds for your garden.

This installment to the series will discuss how to start a garden journal, and some of the items you should include in your garden journal.

What Is a Garden Journal?

A garden journal is basically a personal diary that you keep about the progression of your vegetable garden – from the time you prepare the garden for planting, to sowing the first seeds, to the final harvest.

You can think of a garden journal as your notebook to your day-to-day gardening activities, and the progression of your garden throughout the growing season.

Keeping a thorough garden journal is a very important part of growing a successful vegetable garden.

What to Include In the Garden Journal

Keeping a Garden Journal Can Be a Fun and Rewarding ExperienceWhat you would want to include in your garden journal is – everything about your vegetable garden.

Here is a list of things you could include in your garden journal:

  • The vegetables in your vegetable garden – including the species and cultivar of each plant.
  • The spacing and depth you used when planting, or sowing seeds.
  • How you fertilized and specifics on the type of fertilizer used.
  • Rainfall amounts and how often you watered each plant
  • Any pests that you may have found and possible solutions for control. Note what worked and what did not
  • Any disease issues that you may encounter and possible solutions for control. Note what worked and what did not
  • Your soil conditions. Does your soil have a high content of clay or sand?
  • Whether the vegetable was successful or not.
  • Describe your gardening successes and failures. List what you did right for your successes and what you may have done wrong for failures.

This is certainly not everything you could include in your garden journal, this is just the short list. You want to try to include all the major points of your vegetable plants.

Also, try to be as detailed as possible about how your vegetables produced, and what you did to get those results. This will be key when you go back to review your garden journal the next season.

What you put in your garden journal this year will help to refresh your memory next year.

What To Use as a Garden Journal

You can use whatever you are comfortable using as a garden journal. You can use a spiral notebook, a three-ring binder, or a computer program. You could use a combination of these as well.

I actually use a spiral notebook and a Microsoft Office application to keep my garden journal.

There are also some free note-taking computer programs that work great for collecting information on the web. Two such programs are Evernote and SpringPad.

With this programs you can easily save bookmarks, images, clips of web pages and much more while surfing the internet. This can be handy for creating a toolbox of vegetable gardening information that’s quickly accessible.

Start a Garden JournalIf you use a three-ring binder or a spiral notebook, I suggest you use graph paper. Graph paper makes it very easy to draw pictures, or sketch the garden spaces.

For more information on using a three-ring binder, check out Start Keeping A Garden Journal Today.

There are also online tools that you can use for documenting your vegetable garden. One very nice online tool to use is Folia.com.

Arbico Organics offers a really nice garden journal that you can download and print out for free. Check out their free garden journal download.

Folia.com is a free community site where you can track your plants, track your gardens, and produce an online journal of your garden. One feature that is great about folia is that you can follow other gardeners and track the progression of their gardens as well.

You can also share your garden journal with others, and talk about what’s happening in each other’s garden. Greg Holdsworth wrote a very interesting article about Folia.com on vegetablegardener.com.

Start Your Garden Journal Today!

It’s never too late to start your garden journal, even if it’s near the end of the season. The important part is to get in the habits of detailing what goes on in your vegetable garden so you will be more prepared for the next season.

You can also share your garden journal with family and friends. Keeping a garden journal is another avenue of enjoying your vegetable gardening in a whole new way.

Do you keep a garden journal? Please tell me about it!

If you missed the other installments of the Planning Your Vegetable Garden Series, here they are:

Planning Your Vegetable Garden – What Is A Garden Plan?

Planning Your Vegetable Garden – Gathering Some Information

Planning Your Vegetable Garden – Using A Garden Planning Tool

Planning Your Vegetable Garden – Purchasing Your Seeds
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Comments

  1. I keep a garden journal. Mine is just a few sheets of white ‘printer paper’ folded in half and stapled. (I don’t know why I folded the paper, it could be better used full size, I guess it’s easier to tote small… but anyway… ;) ) I have made about 4 or so like this. Whenever I run out of space I just make a new one. I write everything down in them; purchases (or gifts) of plants or seed, when and where I got soil amendments (like manure or hay), when I added it, what chores I did that day, when I water, when I started seed, when they came up, etc. It’s always a good thing because if something did really well you’ll know when you planted it so you can plant it again that same time and it may do good again. If something did especially bad, you’ll have record of that, too. (Maybe try a different time of year, etc) I also staple empty seed envelopes to the back page for reference or for the pretty photography. I could go on and on (I tend to ramble…) but yes a good journal is a good thing to have.

    • Hi Sayward – Thank you for sharing about your garden journal. I am a firm believer in keep a good garden journal chocked full of everything you do in the vegetable garden. It can come in very handy when you are planting or harvesting the following year. I’m glad you commented, because now I have found your blog :) Thanks for stopping by and I hope to see you here again soon!

      Tee

  2. i use evernote (on my mac and my iphone) for my gardening journal. I’m able to save all website information, photos i take of my garden, notes i take, etc… and its available to me on any computer that has internet access…
    http://www.evernote.com

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