This will be my second season garden journaling. I document how well or poorly everything is doing, what date did I start certain seeds, when and what I used to amend my soil and so on. While I have been slowly growing a garden for a few years, I began journaling the process last summer to keep track of all the things I am growing, what was successful so I can grow it again as well as save seeds but also, what didn’t do to hot. I have never been a person to journal, I tried art journaling like a decade ago and went about 3 days before that failed and I never looked back. I tried writing all of my stresses, worries and general everyday life in a journal and I would go for a couple of days and then forget about it for a year until I found my journal under my bed.
I sectioned out 1/4 of my journal just for my cut flower garden that I started at the end of summer last year. I really loved being able to create small bouquets to give to people or to bring to work with me but my flower variety was lacking so this year I purchased a variety of cut flowers to add to the garden. I probably went a little overboard because the flower garden is about the same size and the food garden now, meh, it's fine, I am going to love it when everything starts blooming. For the bulbs and crowns I purchased, I just kept the little tags from them and taped them into my journal. This helps me visually see what each variety looks like, what kind of care they need and then I document where exactly I place them in the garden and when.
Each season I will write out what seeds I plan on starting and what plants I end up purchasing from a nursery. I will document the germination time of each seed variety and when I need to pot them up from a seedling tray to a larger pot before they go outside. This helps me see if a certain varieties of crop germinate well or poorly, EX if I sow 10 seeds and 6-7 germinate then that is successful fo me. All of that information gets documented. I will also plant seeds in succession to help my growing season go a bit longer so I will document when I start each seed EX round one 1/20/2021 and round two 2/15/2021
This year I added different varieties to our seed collection, I will take all of the catalogs I get in the mail, go through each one and decide which seeds I am going to purchase from which company. Last year I mostly ordered from Johnny Seeds and this year I ordered from Burpee seeds. I will purchase a few other seeds from local nurseries but typically I try to get crops that I know myself and my family will eat. This year in particular I had more flowers on the list which is why my total cost was more than normal for us. This year's total cost for seeds was around $120 but that give us food all year long as well as anyone else we give plants and produce to.
Once my seeds begin to germinate I plan out what I am going to give away, what I am going to grow specifically for the Elk Grove Seed Bank and and what I am going to keep for myself, I will begin to plan out where I am going to plant everything out and what companion plants I will be placing next to them. This typically starts with a rough sketch to see where everything needs to go and what crop rotation will look like for me each season.
Being able to have this little journal to organize all of my notes, see where everything is, document problems and successes has really helped me learn and grow better crops each season. I have also gained a lot of knowledge through a few college courses that I have recently completed including soil science to really help me understand soil and all of it's entirety.
I am sure there is a better, prettier way to do this but this is kind of a scramble of how my brain looks on paper and I have been loving it so far. Do you journal at all or have a garden journal? What tools do you use to help keep you organized?