A well-organized gardening journal can be your secret weapon in cultivating a flourishing garden. But how do you create one that truly works for you? In this post, we’ll walk you through the steps of setting up a gardening journal that will help you track your successes and learn from your mistakes.
As you document your garden’s growth, you may find yourself in need of some essential tools. Our guide on the basic tools for gardening has got you covered.
|Keeping a gardening journal can help you plan and track your garden’s progress, identify areas for improvement, and learn from your successes and failures.|
|Your gardening journal can include a wide range of information, including planting schedules, seed and plant sources, garden layouts, soil amendments, pest and disease management, and harvest records.|
|To get started with a gardening journal, decide on a format that works for you, whether it’s a physical notebook, digital spreadsheet, or app.|
|By keeping track of your gardening activities, you can identify patterns and trends in your garden’s performance, and make informed decisions about what to plant, when to plant it, and how to care for your garden.|
|You can also learn from your successes and failures, and adjust your gardening practices accordingly.|
And while you’re at it, why not discover the joy of culling in gardening as a technique to ensure healthy plant growth? So, let’s dive in and start building your gardening journal today!
1. Make A Plan At The Beginning Of Each Year
To begin, you should make a plan of what you want to achieve in the coming year. Think about what you would like to accomplish and focus on these goals. Make sure that they are realistic and achievable, as this will help keep you motivated throughout the year.
Next, prioritize these goals so that they are ranked in order of importance (1-10). Some of your goals may be long term and require more time or effort than others; therefore it’s important to prioritize them accordingly.
Prioritizing helps ensure that nothing gets left out or overlooked when it comes time for completing your tasks!
Once everything is ranked appropriately according to its importance level, next comes making a list of things that need doing at home or around the yard so we can get started right away!
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2. Track Your Progress
If you’re a journal keeper, or even if you’re not, there are a number of ways to keep track of your progress throughout the year and better plan for next year. Some options include:
- a garden journal (this is what we recommend)
- a spreadsheet in Excel or Google Sheets
- a calendar marked with dates and events (weather patterns and more)
- an online garden planner such as Garden Planner Plus or Garden Design Online
3. Get a Calendar
A calendar will help you plan your gardening activities and track your expenses. You can also use it to keep track of what you planted when, whether it’s flowers or vegetables, fruits or herbs.
4. Calculate Costs
If you did any of the following things, you’ll want to include them in your journal:
Calculate how much money you spent on gardening. This is simple enough if you keep track of cash going out the door, but things get more complicated if you use credit cards or take advantage of store discounts and coupons. If that’s the case, try this nifty calculator from Good Cheap Eats.
Calculate how much money your garden earned for its owner (if applicable). If it’s a garden for profit rather than pleasure, then good for you!
Keep track of expenses and income so that in future years when finances are tight again (and they always are), this information will help guide decisions about what crops to grow and where/how much space those crops require.
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5. Keep Track Of Everything In One Place
Keeping track of all the things you need to keep track of in your garden is important. This includes:
- The weather conditions
- Soil conditions and pH levels
- Plants, their growth patterns and any issues they might be having (like pests or diseases)
- Harvest dates and yields/receipts for each crop planted. You can also include any expenses related to harvest, such as fertilizer or seeds purchased. If you’re making money from your gardening business, this will help you keep track of profits!
6. Get Detailed On Your Journal
Once you have your journal, it’s time to record the details. Here are some things you should keep in mind:
- What was planted, where it was planted and how it turned out (including photos)
If you’ve got a smartphone or tablet, use a calendar app to help keep track of all this information. Otherwise, consider using an old-fashioned paper calendar so that you can see what happened over the course of several days or even months without having to flip through pages or search through files on your computer.
7. Jot Down Your Ideas
You can keep a list of your ideas in a notebook or on your computer, but it’s important to be able to access them from anywhere.
Some people like to write out long-term plans and then use the journal for day-to-day thoughts and notes. Others prefer to keep track of every last detail by hand, using their journals as sort of an extension of their brain.
The most important thing here is that you find what works for you if there’s anything I’ve learned over the years, it’s that there is no right way or wrong way when it comes to gardening!
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8. Take Pictures All Year Long
You could be the type of person who loves to take pictures. That’s great! If this is you, then your gardening journal will be filled with photos of everything from your plants and flowers to the wildlife around them.
So keep snapping away all year long in spring, summer and fall and make sure to get some shots of your garden tools as well.
If you don’t love photography but still want to document what grows in your garden throughout the year, then there are lots of other ways to do so: write about what you see; draw sketches; include photos from calendars or magazines that have images related to gardening (like flower seeds).
9. Give It To Your Friends And Family As A Gift
You can give the journal to yourself, or you can give it as a gift. You can also make this journal for someone else.
Like any good garden-related activity, making a gardening journal is an environment-friendly way to enjoy yourself and your friends and family. It’s also a great way to get creative with your time and focus on the positive side of life in general!
10. Design & Decorate The Cover Of Your Journal
The cover of your journal is a great place to make it your own, and you can use images or photos that are important to you.
Choose something that will stand out, either with color or design, but always remember that the cover is important in protecting the pages inside your journal.
If using photos or artwork, make sure that they won’t fade over time as this could ruin all of your hard work!
For best results when decorating your covers:
Use good quality paper and pens / pencils if possible so that it lasts longer than other types of materials might (i.e., plastic laminated pages).
Make sure the image sizes are appropriate for each page size – so if using smaller sized journals then use smaller sized images too (or vice versa).
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When you’re done with all of that, you can use the journal as a way to give yourself motivation. Think about how much fun it will be to look back on all of your hard work when you’ve reached your goal!
It’ll also be helpful for anyone who wants to follow along with what you’re doing, which is important if they want to start their own gardening journey.
We hope this article has inspired some new ideas on how they can get started making their own beautiful journals with lots of pictures inside!
If you want to learn more about creating a gardening journal, check out these helpful resources:
English Gardens: How to Create a Gardening Journal: A comprehensive guide on the benefits of keeping a gardening journal, with tips on what to include and how to get started.
WikiHow: How to Make a Gardening Journal: A step-by-step guide on creating a gardening journal, with helpful illustrations and tips for getting the most out of your journal.
Cottage at the Crossroads: How to Set Up a Garden Journal: A guide on how to create a garden journal, with tips on what to record, how to organize your journal, and more.
What is a gardening journal?
A gardening journal is a record of your gardening activities, including planting schedules, garden layouts, pest and disease management, and other important information. It can help you plan and track your garden’s progress, identify areas for improvement, and learn from your successes and failures.
Why should I keep a gardening journal?
Keeping a gardening journal can help you stay organized, track your progress, and learn from your experiences. It can also help you plan future gardening activities and make more informed decisions about what to plant, when to plant it, and how to care for your garden.
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What should I include in my gardening journal?
Your gardening journal can include a wide range of information, including planting schedules, seed and plant sources, garden layouts, soil amendments, pest and disease management, and harvest records. You can also include photos, sketches, and notes on your observations and experiences.
How do I get started with a gardening journal?
To get started with a gardening journal, decide on a format that works for you, whether it’s a physical notebook, digital spreadsheet, or app. Then, start recording information about your gardening activities, including planting schedules, soil amendments, pest and disease management, and harvest records.
How can a gardening journal help me improve my garden?
By keeping track of your gardening activities, you can identify patterns and trends in your garden’s performance, and make informed decisions about what to plant, when to plant it, and how to care for your garden. You can also learn from your successes and failures, and adjust your gardening practices accordingly.
For 15 years, Hellen James has worked in the gardening industry as an expert and landscape designer. During her career, she has worked for a variety of businesses that specialize in landscaping and gardening from small firms to large corporations.