Everyone wants to be a better a gardener. If you go online, you will see all sorts of videos and articles giving you ways to help 10x your harvest, and “the secret to bountiful harvest”. Well, today, I am going to give you the best kept secret that many people overlook. And no, its not a fertilizer or a growing method. It is something much simpler than that. The way to get the best garden of your life is by simply keeping a garden journal.
While this is not a new concept it is often overlooked. Many people don’t see the value in it or claim they don’t have the time. Others just don’t know how to do it properly. A garden journal does not have to be elaborate or expensive. Any available notebook will do. You can even use the notes section on any smartphone.
What Is A Garden Journal
A garden journal is a place to record what happens in your garden. It is a fun way to keep records, observe, track, and even plan anything related to your garden. Being observant and recording what happens in your garden is essential for your success. Gardening is sciene and no scientist would ever experiment (grow a garden), and not keep records that they could revisit and learn from later.
Why Keep A Journal
Keeping a garden journal is vital to gardening success. Everyone thinks they can remember everything or don’t see the point in keeping records.
- Do you remember all of the varieties you planted?
- Do you remember which plants did better than others?
- Why was it their location in the garden?
- Do you remember the last time you applied fertilizer or neem oil?
- Do you remember when you waters?
- Do you remember the pests you dealt with?
Instead of guessing, keeping a garden journal will give you a place to record all of this information so that you can go back and revisit it later.
How To Keep A Garden Journal
The best part about this garden secret is that there is no right or wrong way to do it, all that mattes is that you stay consistent. You can use a notebook, pad of paper, your smartphone or even purchase a premade garden journal. Don’t be afraid to be creative. Use bright colored pens or pencils to to decorate it and maybe even add some pictures of gardens you think are beautiful, dried flowers or pictures of greenhouses.
You choose what to record. I am a big fan of journaling whether for the garden or for my life, it is a great way to get your thoughts out of your head and turn them into actionable steps that can be taken. I like to have the following sections in my journal.
- Calendar. Keep track of your seed starting and harvest dates. This way you can know when to expect harvests
- Lists. Make a list of all the plants and varieties you add to your garden. I even like to record the seed company information.
- Pests. In this section keep a record of the pests you encounter, what time of the season and which crops they are attacking. I also like to record pesticide application dates. This way I can keep track of when I applied things like neem oil and BT. I can keep track to see if the homemade pest repellent sprays I use work.
- Fertilizer. Record the application dates and rates of the fertilizer you apply to your garden. Record how long it took before you noticed a difference in the plants. This will help prevent overfertilization.
- Garden planning. Since your garden can grow and expand every season this is where you can plan your garden for future seasons. You can plan proper spacing and ideal layouts.
The best time to start a garden journal is now. Even if you have already planted your garden and youre in mid-season, you will record useful information for next season.