Arcadia Farms

  (Portage, Michigan)
Eat healthier. Save money. Create local jobs.

Keeping a Garden Journal

Stack of Notebooks

I’m not a scientist by trade or education, but I have to say that I nerdishly enjoy experiments. Or perhaps it would be more accurate to say that I enjoy continuous improvement and believe that trail-and-error lessons are one of the best ways to make things better.

Gardening is no exception to the “learn from your mistakes” rule. In fact, some of the best gardeners I’ve met tell me that their ‘secret’ is to simply observe nature and do their best to follow it. Observation is key to good gardening.

All the same, if you’re like me you’re likely to forget next year what you observed this year. Enter the garden journal!

Why Keep a Garden Journal

A garden journal is a tool you can use to keep track of important garden stats and observations such as temperatures, rainfall, planting dates, fertilizer applications, pest control measures and more. Being able to look back on this information will help you to plan for next year (“Did our pest-control methods work or not?”) and it will help you to identify patterns in your garden that you otherwise wouldn’t detect. In general, a garden journal allows you to record your successes and failures and details that may have impacted the outcome.

How to Keep a Garden Journal

There are many ways to keep a garden journal. Your journal can be as simple as a notebook you make daily observations in or a complex binder with sections for different topics. The main purpose is to provide you with relevant data that you can use to plan (and improve!) next year’s garden. Start simple. That way, you’ll be more likely to stick with it. And after you discover the value in garden journaling, you can always add more detail later.

Click here to read the rest of this article, including links to free garden journals.

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