The definition of procrastination is Pam’s winter project. Every year it seems that there is a list of projects that must be completed during the long winter nights. One of them is creating a garden journal to organize valuable information about his garden.
I hope that by explaining all the useful benefits of such a garden journal and how to create one, you can get started on your own.
1. A journal is a great tool for organizing and tracking gardening projects as a reminder for next year’s gardening season.
2.It can be used to track pest and disease problems so you can take preventative measures for the next gardening season.
3. You save time and money by not repeating mistakes like buying plants that didn’t grow or survive.
4. They provide a permanent record of your garden so you can look back and compare years past.
There are many types of garden journals to choose from or create. I use a 3-ring binder to create. Some items that go into my binder are:
Zipper Pouch: Holds plant tags, receipts, or empty seed packs.
Photo Page: A clear sheet to hold a photo of your current flower or vegetable garden.
Tab Dividers (I just bought them last week! They look great): Use these to separate your binder into sections. Fantasize mine by gluing old calendar prints or drawing what’s in each section.
ž Seed Germination Table: This section should include a list of seeds that have germinated, when they germinated, and the results of germination.
ž Spring Garden Cleaning: A list of tasks to do each spring to prepare your garden for the growing season.
ž Gardening Calendar: List tasks that need your attention each month. Cut out the calendar and put it in the ring of the binder for each month. This is a good place to list the first and last days of frost in your growing zone and track your garden maintenance schedule.
ž Flower bed: Record each flower bed and the list of plants in each flower bed. Include a photo of each bed and a plant inventory chart to keep track of plant names. Include the name of each of the different plant varieties (hosta, licorice, etc.).
ž Vegetable garden: keep a record of plant lists, crop rotations, fertilizers, etc.
ž Fall garden cleaning: A list of tasks to prepare the garden for winter. A list of bulbs planted with spring growth locations.
ž Winter Tasks: Make a list of things to do to prepare for next year’s growing season. These may include cleaning and sharpening garden tools, going through seed catalogs and planning order lists, garden projects, and wish lists.
ž Design Worksheet: Use graph paper to create new flowerbeds or redesign existing ones.
These suggestions for sections to include in your garden journal should be a good starting point.
A final benefit of creating a garden journal is that it can be passed on to new homeowners if the property needs to be sold. They’ll really appreciate it when they find out what those green things are sticking out of the ground in the spring.
Baytos is a Master Gardener Volunteer at The Ohio State University Extension in Mahoning County.