Your garden is a place of wonder. Your yearly garden diary captures those wonderful things so you can remember them year after year.
A garden diary is a place to record all the things that you want to grow and those that you did grow. It gives you at-a-glance info from one year to the next, so you can make decisions about what to plant based on the previous year. It will rescue you from having to recreate your gardening schedule year after year. Instead, all you’ve done to build your soil, garden, and knowledge, are neatly contained in one handy place.
Here are some ideas for things you may want to keep track of in a garden diary:
- Growing notes on new plants you are trying this year
- The date you actually planted out your garden
- The date the soil was dry enough to do a first tilling
- The rainfall totals for the year so you can compare it to previous years
- Detailed planting notes for crop rotation in your garden beds
- Garden to-do lists
Record the first and last frost date
If you are looking for a premade garden diary, see if it has a page for first and last frost dates in your own yard. Even though you can find the average first and last frost dates for your area, your particular yard has its own microclimate.
Are there areas that are shaded or sunny? These parts of your yard will have their own microclimate. Keeping track of these mini climates will come to the rescue in subsequent gardening years and you’ll never have to guess when the best time to plant will be.
When you keep a garden diary for many years, you’ll be able to keep track of and identify trends that are happening on your property.
Keep Seed Starting Records
You’ll want detailed notes about the specific vegetable and flower seeds that you’ve planted. When did you start those heirloom tomatoes indoors? What kind of lighting did they require for optimum growth? When were they ready to go out in the garden? Did you start them too early or too late?
It is also helpful to keep track of where you purchased those seeds, how much they cost, and if you have any left to use next year.
A Fertilizing Schedule that Works
It is helpful to keep a fertilizing schedule for individual plant groupings and specific vegetable beds. This helps you track the results on the plants and also gives you a place to make notes and schedule the next fertilizing date.
Learn from Your Garden, Year After Year
One of the most important benefits of a garden diary is that you can learn from it for years to come. This journal gives you a place to keep track of your successes and failures.
- Did you try a new technique that was a disaster?
- Maybe you placed a plant in the wrong place, added too much fertilizer, or weren’t diligent about watering?
- When did you prune the apple trees last year?
- What kind of harvest did you get from those 5 green pepper plants? Was that too much or not enough?
Whatever the failure or success was, be sure to list it. A garden journal is the best place to keep the lessons you’ve learned so you can find them again year after year.
Living by the Seasons
I think you’ll agree that we can learn by looking back at past accomplishments and failures, but that we need to constantly keep planning forward. Keeping a garden diary throughout the year allows you to truly live by the seasons and keep an eye on planning your garden for the seasons to come.
The 8.5×11 inch Gardening Diary at Lazy Pecan comes in three different versions:
- Purchase as a digital download and print it yourself
- Purchase a spiral-bound planner that lays flat for easy writing
- Purchase a paperback planner to make notes, mark the spine with the gardening year, and keep on your bookshelf for reference