Garden Journals: What’s Important To Keep Track Of?

So, we want to talk about garden journals. We’ve come to really appreciate the efforts that we put into journaling certain things every year. It’s helpful for new and experienced gardeners alike!

Now, before you start rolling your eyes, a good garden journal isn’t all, “Dear Diary, today I planted lettuce and my swiss chard popped up.” It’s not at all like that! It doesn’t even have to be a journal, like a book of blank pages. What a garden journal is to us is basically an itemization of important things we need to remember next season. They are little “notes to self” that help us continually improve our efforts.

There’s a few really important things that are good to keep track of each season. For example, like if you run out of a particular type of seed and need to replace it the next year. We keep a rolling list called a “2025 Buy List” of everything we use up or are getting close to using up. This gets you way ahead of the game when it comes to the next season’s seed order! We also note any major germination issues we hit, indicating our seed might be aging and need replacement.

Another example that goes into our journal is to note any new varieties we want to try. Hardly a season goes by where we don’t learn about something new. We have a lengthy list of varieties that we’d love to try at some point. You don’t have to try them all the next season, but having that list is a pile of gardening inspiration to look at every season.

Other important things we track are plant counts, like if we want more or less of a particular crop the next season. We beat this drum a lot, but if you don’t use a particular thing you grow…don’t feel like you have to grow it! Another thing we occasionally journal is if we have troubles with a particular variety and maybe we want to try something else. Something we also frequently document is if we want to change our sowing schedule for a particular thing. Many of you use our published sowing schedule, we’re constantly refining it based on seasonal experiences!

We don’t think it’s helpful to document a lot of things, but that’s likely specific to us as experienced growers. Some people may want to document more, and that’s perfectly OK too! How we’d encourage you to look at it is to only note things you need to know in the future. The past is the past, there’s no changing it. What you did doesn’t matter, only what you will do the next season.

The reality is, most of us don’t remember the details of what we did last week. Good luck with next March! The garden journal is our vital link from season to season and we’d encourage you all to practice it!

That’s All We Wrote!

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2 comments… add one
  • Clari Smith Apr 4, 2024 @ 21:48

    Thank you for coming to Anchorage on April 4th to share your knowledge with the Anchorage Garden Club. I appreciate your positive tips on cold weather gardens.

    • Jeff Apr 7, 2024 @ 0:48

      You are welcome! Thanks for coming out, was great to meet all of you. We had a lot of fun visiting!

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