I was highly skeptical of keeping a garden journal during my first several years of gardening. As a work-from-home momma with little ones ever present, I had absolutely zero desire to add another task to my already overloaded to-do list.
But I’m here to tell you, keeping a record of the happenings within my garden was well worth the minimal effort of journaling.
The Benefits of Keeping a Garden Journal
Some of you are already proficient journalers and keeping a garden journal will be a natural outpouring of your personality. This will be a massive advantage to you in the garden! For those of us who take a little more convincing to try a habit that’s foreign to our natural tendencies, let’s talk about how keeping a journal can provide a massive payout for minimal investment throughout your growing season.
It Converts Your Lack of Experience into a Growth Spurt
Let me tell you, I wish I had started this sooner. Everyone knows that learning something new will often have more false starts than immediate breakthroughs, and the garden is no exception. An unavoidable truth about exploring a new skill is that you’ll get things wrong as often as you get them right.
This is precisely why a garden journal is the perfect tool for a brand-new gardener. By recording your trial and error method, you shave years off the floundering attempts to find success. You won’t find yourself accidentally making the same mistakes and falling into the same patterns because you have a written record to reference! You are making use of your own limited experience in the garden by converting it into tangible and easily accessible garden-know-how for the following season. With journal in hand, even an abysmal outcome can be recycled into success the next time around!
It reintroduces you to the rhythms of the natural world
Many of us have no real understanding of the ebb and flow of nature. We track the changing seasons by the home decor options at Hobby Lobby and the events on an academic calendar. Although we can appreciate a beautiful day in the outdoors, most of us can hardly name more than a handful of insects, trees, or plants we encounter on a stroll.
Keeping a record of your growing efforts forces you to focus on the minutiae of nature that otherwise escapes your attention. It brings you more in tune with the natural world, and you begin to notice the trends and rhythms around you. You may notice that a certain disease routinely hits your garden after a prolonged heatwave, or that a loathed pest tends to show up in your garden around the beginning of July. Once you start observing the natural patterns within your garden, you’ll be able to mitigate problems before they become unmanageable.
It removes the pressure of having to remember it all
Your brain will tell you that you’ll remember to start your seeds a week earlier next year than you did this year. Your brain is lying to you. Although we gardeners have the best of intentions to remember things for future improvements, the reality is our minds are too filled with a constant overload of news, work obligations, extracurriculars, children’s events, etc. We’re doing well just to remember our own names and get an edible meal on the table.
Keeping a garden journal is like leaving yourself a trail of breadcrumbs. It jogs your memory when you need it most and frees up the mental real estate that you were using to store the information for later. Taking some time here and there throughout a growing season to jot down your findings in the garden will save you loads of time in following seasons as you continue to improve your growing technique and find your own rhythm as a gardener.
Because I believe so strongly that you will benefit from keeping a gardening journal, I’d like to offer you a digital copy of mine for FREE. This is the exact journal I’ll be using to track this year’s growing season. Grab your digital download below and join me in the garden!
Let’s grow good things together!