Keeping a Garden Notebook

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An ebook review

While  maintaining a healthy soil, getting the right crops in at the right time, and excellent cultural practices are key aspects of maintaining a healthy garden, keeping a garden journal is also one that (at least for me) is so often overlooked. 

By the time I get the seeds/transplants in the ground, struggle to get them growing, and then harvest them, I’m beat.

The last thing on my mind is writing down what it took to get from seed to harvest, but when I encounter problems in the next season,  I’m struggling to remember how it went the year before. 

What should be recorded in a notebook:

  1. Varieties used
  2. Where they were planted
  3. When they were planted
  4. When they sprouted
  5. How much was harvested and when.

Also recorded should be a series of notes for each crop: what worked well?  What didn’t and why?  What pests and diseases were encountered? When were they first noticed?

Why is this info important?

  •  It helps you keep track of your crop rotation, which in turn will help eliminate diseases and pests.
  •  It helps you remember which varieties worked well in your garden.
  • It helps you to remember which pests and diseases  you encountered and when, so  you can be proactive going into the following season.

I had made weak attempts at keeping a journal. I even window shopped for a fancy one that might keep me motivated to take better notes, but  I couldn’t find any to my liking until I was given a copy of The Gardening Notebook by Angi Schneider.

Angi’s notebook is presented in a very simple, straightforward manner that helps you gather everything you would need to know about your garden and contain all that vital information in one place.

Because Angi is a talented gardener herself, no aspect of the garden has been overlooked. An extensive 111 pages, the info is presented in such a way that you can use as much or as little as you’d like, customizing it to fit your needs.

The notebook is in ebook format and no, you don’t need an e~reader to access it.  Simply download it onto your computer and print off the pages that you need.  I will say here though that I read my copy on my Kindle and was very happy with the kindle format.

The notebook begins with a profile of basic garden crops: vegetables, melons, herbs, and even ornamentals.

A thumbnail sketch including planting tips, pests to watch out for, and how to harvest and store is presented bullet fashion with space for you as the gardener to include personal notes, planting dates, and varieties used.

I plan to use tabs for these sheets so I can locate them easily in the future, grouping them in a three ring binder according to season.   This is info that will be referred back to often.

My favorite part of the notebook however are the printables at the back.  Here the hard work of keeping a journal has been done for you through a series of worksheets and graphs.  All that remains for you to do is fill in the info: easy and quick, so you can spend your time where you want to be ~ in the garden!

The printables include a detailed planting guide by frost dates, a graph for mapping out your garden, a pest and disease worksheet, and even a cost work up sheet for projects such as raised beds.

I was particularly happy to see a plant profile sheet where I can record where the plant or seed was purchased, how long it took to germinate, to harvest, problems I encountered and solutions we used.  Since problem solving is where we’re at this year, this is info I will really need for the following spring.

If you have an extensive garden that you rely on to provide for your family I highly recommend this valuable resource.  Very reasonably priced at $9.99, it can be purchased as an ebook or for $14.95 as a cd.  Click here for purchasing and more information.

Disclaimer: I received a digital copy of this book for the review but the thoughts and opinions are all my own.

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Comments

Keeping a Garden Notebook — 3 Comments

  1. Excellent review. I’d just like to add that I also keep notes of weather, temperatures, when the hummingbirds arrive (and leave) in my gardening journal. It’s fun to look through the journal after a few years and see how much has changed-or stayed the same. Thank you for the reminder that keeping a record is so important.

    • Aw. The hummingbirds! I haven’t seen any here but we had several in our urban garden.