Friday, June 22, 2012

Garden Notebook

This time of year, a small notebook gains a place of prominence in my kitchen.

The year I married, I chose a ruled journal for our garden and preserving record keeping. Each year since then, I've drawn an outline of our garden and noted what we planted where. I also listed each kind of vegetable and fruit and how much we preserved.

It has been an invaluable record to look back and see what we've planted so that we can rotate plants in our garden. My memory just can't remember where I planted the tomatoes two years ago.

For preserving, I count up how much I have left at the end of the year (if any) and figure out my target number for this year.

In those first years, I did well at recording the varieties planted, the dates of harvest, and the weather conditions that year.

In the past years, I have not done as well at recording the details, but even limited information is helpful.

I usually keep a paper tacked to my fridge through out the summer. I can make quick notes on the paper without getting out the notebook.

For example, I picked strawberries for several weeks. We didn't have a plentiful crop this year but whenever I had an extra quart or two, I would put them in the freezer and mark the amount on the paper on the fridge. At the end of the season, I was surprised at the amount I had amassed, a little at a time. I then recorded this number in the notebook.

This garden notebook has been simple enough to work for me. I'd love to hear what works for you.


  1. One year I used graft paper to record the amount of preserves I did and then colored in the squares when they were used. My storage area allowed me to 'lose' jars in the back. This way I could look and see what was left and what needed to be used. I also used this system for when we butchered a cow, or hog. I squared out the cuts of meat and then colored them in when they were used. It was kinda fun to see what was used.

  2. This is such a good idea. I wish I had done this the past twelve years, but I will be doing it now :) thanks for the tip!

  3. Hi! I really like your garden notebook. I try to keep some notes but slip up at times and have not settled on a way I really like yet. I have started putting each veggie I plant or want to plant in a note book on a separate piece of paper in alphabetical order and write on any info I find out about the plant plus startin to write when I plant, etc. Maybe this will work out for me. Yours is much prettier! Nancy

  4. Oh, wow! I have a lot to learn! I have never even thought of doing this. Thank you for the idea! Have a blessed week!

  5. What a good way to be organised. When I move and start planting seriously I will take this idea. Lily. xxx

  6. It's been so long since I've read a blog or posted. I think it is fitting that my day back I read this post. My book looks almost the same as yours. I do the same... map out the garden, record what I planted, and what I have harvested. I tried a more complicated version last year, but it just didn't work out and now I've got to transfer all that into my tried and true garden journal. It is exciting to see how much you actually harvest throughout the summer. This year our garden was cut by 2/3 since Mr. D will hopefully be filling in with some dirt to make it a more level a spot. Before it would take 2 of us to rototill... one to drive the other to keep the thing from tipping over. The chickens are roaming most of the space this summer till the construction begins. They are enjoying plenty of weeds :)

  7. What a beautiful and helpful notebook you have! I keep a garden notebook, one for veggis. and one for flowers, and it helps me stay on track with what I need to be doing and when.

  8. I love keeping a garden journal! Mine is not as neat and organized as yours is though. Every now and again you'll come across a page with something glued in there or an idea that I'd like to try next year too. Hehe... At least I have it all in one place! I need to get better organized at it though. It is so helpful with where to put plants in the garden for sure.

    Take care,

  9. I had a garden journal going for a few years. Unfortunately, I just don't take the time to keep much of a record anymore. At this point, I have a plan for the vegetable garden for each year to help me rotate crops and do succession planting and that's it.

    I love how you make yours accessible.

  10. This is a great idea! My notes are scattered everywhere!

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