Keeping a garden journal is an ages-old pasttime, likely because it is so useful.
The ultimate source for everything you need to know about soil, plants, and pests is your own garden and experience with it. Chronicling what you planted where (so you can remember to rotate your crops next year), noting the dates of plantings, saving seed packets, and taking pictures or writing memories of what did well and what didn't.
Write about others' recommendations for disease control or fabulous tomatoes, and you're more likely to be successful in your garden endeavors next year and even years beyond that.
Here are ideas for things to record in your journal:
- Weather - all gardeners know that weather plays a huge role in gardening success - did cucumbers perform especially well in a very hot summer or were they better when we had a lot of rain?
- Sketch of your garden layout from season to season
- Pictures of your garden
- A list of successful plants (and seeds) and those to avoid in the future
- Bloom times
- A list of plants you’d like to try, along with their growing requirements
- When you started seeds and transplanted plants
- Plant sources
- Expenses and receipts (although I personally believe you can't spend too much on plants...)
- Daily, weekly and monthly observations
- Dates when you divide your perennials
- Bees and butterflies activity (i.e. this is an especially notable year for yellowjackets at the dinner table and hummingbird feeder)
Garden journal recommendations:
My Garden Planner
The Garden Journal and Log Book
Gardeners Log Book - A Five-Year Planner from New York Botanical Garden
My Garden Journal