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
What 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.
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.
If 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 – Purchasing Your Seeds
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