Passionate gardeners know all too well how challenging it can be to keep track of everything throughout the growing season. “These plants all have similar enough watering needs, right?” and “Hmmm… Shouldn’t that seedling have come up by now?” not to mention, “I’ll definitely remember what variety of tomato I planted over there.” It’s all a lot to keep track of, and it can be hard to keep all that information organized in your head!
Keeping a gardening journal is the best way to keep you focused and organized, allowing you to spend more time reaping what you sow and less time problem-solving. We’ve outlined some key features to include in your garden log here, but the options are truly endless!
Garden Layout Sketch
Starting your garden journal with a hand-drawn layout of your garden is an excellent way to familiarize yourself with your space—and your new journal! Don’t worry: your map doesn’t have to be perfect. Start with rough, labeled shapes to indicate your main growing areas; this will help you later when you record what you planted and where.
If you practice rotational planting, make copies of your layout map and write down both what you planted and what you want to plant next. Your garden journal will be a valuable resource in planning ahead for future growing seasons!
Another key component of any garden journal, the daily log is where you note everything you’ve done on a given day of gardening. Over time, you’ll be able to look back through your journal’s daily log and see when you planted seeds, how long it took for a given plant to reach maturity, what you’ve planted and where, and all the work you’ve managed to get done in your garden over time.
Your daily log can also be an excellent place to track phenology, or the timing of periodic natural events. Use it to record when a given plant bloomed, the appearance or disappearance of certain bird species from your garden, or weather patterns. If you do this consistently, you’ll be able to look back and track how natural cycles have changed or stayed the same in your garden over the years.
Give yourself the gift of organization and forethought by including a planting calendar in your garden journal planner. Your calendar is where you’ll note the best time windows to sow a given seed or transplant and any other helpful hints about the plants you’re trying to grow in your garden. Creating a planting calendar will take a bit of time, but the benefit of not having to sort through your stacks of seed packets for information will make it so worth it!
Your wishlist is where you get to take notes on what plants worked, what didn’t, and—most excitingly—what you want to grow next year! When you’re tired of shoveling compost or bending over in the hot sun, sit down with an iced tea and your garden journal and daydream about next season with your wishlist. When it comes time to order new seeds, you can revisit your list and shop from there!
Ideas and Inspiration
While you’re daydreaming, add additional ideas and creative inspiration in the last portion of your garden journal. This section is your opportunity to have fun and be creative! Make sketches of your dream trellis. Press some of your favorite flowers in the pages. Bring a disposable camera with you into the garden and make a scrapbook of your garden memories with loved ones. The opportunities are truly endless! Organization is a critical but challenging part of gardening.
Gifting yourself or someone you love a beautiful garden journal is the perfect way to maximize the time spent doing the fun stuff and celebrate such a wonderful hobby! To find everything you need to ensure a successful first South Florida garden journal, visit Living Color Garden Center today!