Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Starting a Garden Diary

I’m trying something new this year; a vegetable garden diary. I’ve started a few of diaries in the past but never really followed through on them. My goal for this year is to create a completed and organized garden diary with updated entries each week.

Thumbing through the beginnings of my old diaries, I noticed a pattern. While I started making entries and kept with them while I was planting my garden, the entries quickly waned and became non existent by the time my garden was in full production.

I vow this year to be different. I want to be able to look back years from now and see exactly what I planted and where, how my vegetables grew, and which garden pests I encountered along the way etc.

Tips for Starting a Vegetable Garden Diary

Choose a Diary: You don’t have to go out and buy a fancy diary unless you want to. I’ve used loose leaf paper and leftover notebooks from my college days in the past. This year I’m going to keep an online diary right here on this blog. You can start your own blog or keep your diary private – it’s up to you.

Frequency of Entries: How often do you want to make entries in your vegetable garden diary? How much time can you devote to writing each day or week? I figure as I begin planting my garden I’ll have frequent entries, perhaps every day until my garden is planted. Throughout the growing season my entries will probably slow to one or two a week and pick up again around harvest time. (I may even start when I begin to prepare my garden beds in the next few weeks.)

What to Write in Your Vegetable Garden Diary

Preparation of New Beds: When, how, & why you created them. What worked well and what didn’t? Anything you’d keep the same or do different next time?

Preparation of Existing Beds: Again, when and how did you prepare them for the upcoming growing season?

Starting Seeds Indoors: Which seeds did you start indoors? Include dates, methods used, days to germination, hardening off periods, notes, etc.

Planting the Garden: When did you plant what? List plant names, varieties, & dates.

Garden Sketches: Include a rough sketch of where you planted your vegetables this year. This is a great reminder for future growing seasons when it comes to crop rotation.

Temperatures/Weather: Did you have any unexpected highs or lows? Perhaps a late or early frost? How was the weather when you planted your garden?

Pests: Which garden pests did you encounter along the way? When did they arrive and disappear? How did you control them? (Every year I notice Japanese beetles arriving in my garden in late summer)

Notes/Feelings: Write down anything you want to remember for next year. Did you learn any valuable lessons? When were you happiest in the garden, most annoyed?

Photos: Photos are a great way to remember what your garden looked like before and after and preserve memories.

A garden diary is not only a great keepsake, it’s a great way to help improve your garden for next year. What better way to remember the hits and misses you discovered this season in an organized way?

These are the types of things I expect to be keeping in my garden diary this year. I also expect to make more personal entries such as “It was a beautiful evening to unwind in the garden . . .”

What information will you be keeping track of in your garden diary? 
Garden Diaries Available on Amazon

Read Someone Else’s Garden Diary

No comments:

Post a Comment