The #1 Thing You MUST Do If You Garden + Free Download

This is part 1 in my gardening series of blog posts.

This one thing is so important, I consider it foundational in gardening:

Garden journaling.  

If you think that sounds too much like a "diary" you can call it "garden records" or a "garden log". What it means is simply jotting down some very important dates and notes throughout the season so that in future years you can look back on it and learn.

I'm going to be so bold as to say
If you aren't keeping a record- you aren't improving.

Here's why:
Unless your super power is unlimited memory, you're probably like me:
You learn something >>> but you don't write it down >>> so you forget.  Therefore, you aren't improving because next year you won't remember those ah-ha moments you had this year!

Let me give you a few examples of lessons I would have forgotten if I hadn't written them down:

"Cucumber plants must be kept picked or the plant will stop producing new cucumbers and just focus on growing monster cukes."

"Cukes seem to turn bitter AFTER rain!?"

"Kohlrabi turned yellow and wilty.  Watered with epsom salt and saw excellent improvement."

"Fall crop of lettuce got eaten by grasshoppers.  Planted again and covered with insect fabric."

These are valuable notes that will help me improve in the years to come- and help me not make the same mistake twice!).

Here's how to actually organize your garden journal.  

  • Use a notebook or 3 ring binder (any size you want).
  • On the top of each page write the name of a vegetable and put them in alphabetical order.  Example: page 1- Asparagus,  page 2- Beans, and so on.
Each year on the appropriate page, record the following information:


3 Vital Statisics

  1. What variety of seeds you planted. This will help you remember the varieties that you liked or didn't like.
  2. What date you planted them. If you planted your tomatoes on April 24, 2016, and they got killed by frost, you could look back the next year and decide to wait and plant your tomatoes in mid May.
  3. What date you got your first harvest. Trying to figure out when the beans are going to be ready for canning?  Your records will help!

You can either use plain pieces of notebook paper,
OR you can download the garden page templates that I am giving you for free:

If you are just getting started garden journaling, I'd recommend using this page template.

If you are ready to geek out and record lots of details, use this page template.

Hint:  You know those beautiful seed catalog covers?  They are perfect to slide in the front of your garden binder.

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