A lot goes into planning your garden and landscape! From choosing your plants to planning your layout, establishing a schedule, and gathering inspiration, it helps to have one place to keep everything organized. Garden journaling is a perfect way to compile all your notes and keep records of everything you’ve done and everything you plan to do in the future.
Organize and Optimize Your Garden Through Journaling
The process of garden journaling is actually pretty fun! Pick up a thick journal—possibly one with a calendar section—and grab a set of colorful fine-tip markers. Customize your journal however you see fit! They’re meant to be a mix of function and inspiration with sections for data and important dates, plus additional pages for things like design drawings, pressed flowers or old seed packs, and “vision board” sections with images of your dream garden.
How Do I Organize My Garden Journal?
Having different sections in your journal for different purposes will help you stay organized. Use some sticky note divider tabs to make it easy to jump to a specific section. Colorful fine-tip markers will also be useful for color-coding different sections and making more detailed garden maps and design layouts.
Here are some sections you can include when garden journaling:
Diagram of Your Garden Layout
Draw out the layout of your garden with a pencil to start, and then go over with colored markers once you’ve finalized your design. Take note of your chosen plants, how much space they need, and if there are any incompatible plants that you shouldn’t plant together. When you’ve got a simple layout in your garden journal planner, it will be way easier to keep track of what’s what without needing to use plant markers in the garden.
A planting calendar can be very helpful, especially if you’re starting your plants from seeds. Some seeds need to start indoors as early as 12 weeks before the last frost date, while some can be started indoors 4–6 weeks in advance. Some plants, like nasturtiums, should only be directly sowed after the threat of frost has passed. Make a note of when to start your seeds, start the hardening off process, and transplant them into the soil.
Plant Care Schedule
Maintaining a consistent care schedule is important for growing a healthy garden, but it can be challenging to keep track if you’re growing many different plants. At the beginning of the gardening season, take note of all your different plants and when they need to be fertilized or pruned. As you go through each day, write down any additional tasks you’ve completed, such as identifying or controlling pests, applying fungicide, or harvesting.
Insights and Inspiration
If you’ve learned any lessons through discoveries or challenges in your garden, write them down! These will help you become a better gardener, constantly building your experience and knowledge. Mistakes are learning experiences, so you might as well make them worth your while!
Ideas and inspiration for future gardening projects are always fun to put together—you can make notes and draw pictures or find clippings from garden magazines to help you visualize your ideal landscape design.
Extras and Add-Ons
An appendix in the back for miscellaneous items and random tidbits can be helpful. If you have a few leftover seeds in a packet that you don’t want to lose, or a pressed flower from a plant you’re proud of, go ahead and add it in!
If this is your first year of garden journaling in Pennsylvania, visit Lehigh Valley Garden Center to stock up on all the supplies you need. If you have any questions about designing garden layouts, determining plant compatibility, or organizing plant care schedules, feel free to chat with any of our experts in-store or over the phone. We’ll be happy to help!