Garden Journal

How’s your garden memory?

Are you grinning sheepishly like I am?  Memory has never been my strong point, and I’ve always been a list-maker to compensate. This year I extended that to the garden.

Last year I planted everything, most things grew well, and this spring I’d forgotten most of those little things that I’d told myself I’d do differently this year. Whoops.

So I created a garden journal where I could write it all down and consult it next February when I start thinking about gardens again. I’m really liking how it’s worked so far.

How I made it:

Here’s what it looked like in Excel when I created it.

I merged the cells at the top of the chart, made them taller, and colored them green.

I typed “Garden Journal” into those merged cells and centered it. I made the font red, but I forgot to change the “print all text in black” setting, so it didn’t come out that way. Boo hoo. :)

Then I used these columns underneath:

  • Type of Plant
  • Date Planted
  • Freeze after planting?
  • Description of Planting Method
  • Days to Germination
  • Predicted Germination (from package)
  • Fertilize?
  • Growth Notes
  • What to do differently next time

Below that, there are seven rows for plants (I made them as tall as I could to still keep seven on the page), and I printed out two pages to have enough room to fit all of my plants.

Ways I do not use my journal:

I do not write in it every time I come in from the garden. That just doesn’t work for my personality, and I don’t need to. But if I notice something I want to record, I can do it right then or later when I have a minute.

I do not fill in every box for every plant. I could, but it doesn’t bother me if they’re not all filled in, and I don’t let myself feel bad if I missed one. I just fill in what I think I want to remember.

I do not write down every little thing that happens. I record the bigger issues, like, “Put one tomato seedling to a peat pot” since that was a problem this year. Or, “Maybe not quite so deep” for the potatoes next year.

Love it!

So far, this is working really well. As I read over it, I see things that I think, “Oh, I’m glad I wrote that down! I would have forgotten!”

I punched holes for it and put it in a binder along with my map of where I planted things. It’s not perfect, and it’s not a graphic design masterpiece, but it works for me!

Do you have a garden journal of any sort? What method works best for you?

(Linked to Works for Me Wednesday and Frugal Gardening 101)

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