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DIY Garden Journal and Planner

Keeping a Garden Journal is the best gardening resource to save you time and money year after year and you’ll see why as you continue reading. Whether it’s in the dead of winter, spring, summer or fall, now is a great time to plan your spring and summer gardens and the best way to accomplish that is with a Garden Journal and Planner. 

I’ve been gardening for a very long time and I’ve always wanted a Garden Planner. It’s something I’ve always wanted to do, but just never got around to putting one together until last year.

There are lots of garden journal type apps available, but I just haven’t found one I like better than my paper Garden Planner. Call me old school, but I’m afraid I would get all my information stored on a gardening app and then it would stop being updated or become defunct.

Here’s a Pin to save to one of your Gardening Boards on Pinterest for future reference.
There are additional Pins at the bottom of the post. Thanks for pinning!

In order to create the Ultimate Garden Planner, I’ve been doing a bit of research along with trial and error. As a result, I have come up with a Garden Planner that is working well for me. I’m not as diligent at making notations in my garden journal, but I’m getting much better at it. This past year I’ve done a bit more tweaking and will likely do more, but for now I’m loving what I’ve put together so far.

I realize many gardeners don’t keep garden journals or use garden planners, but hear me out and perhaps you’ll decide to give this one a try. Your Garden Journal can be your most valuable garden tool!

Why Keep a Garden Journal:

  • To organize and keep track of your gardening endeavors as a reminder for the next gardening season.
  • To keep track of problems, so preventative measures can be taken to remedy the problem next season.
  • A Garden Journal provides you with a permanent garden record to look back on from year-to-year.
  • The perfect place to keep track of all things gardening.
  • Saves you time and money by not repeating mistakes (like buying plants that don’t survive in your garden, etc.)
  • Plus, it’s just fun (spoken like a true gardening geek).

Good reasons, right? Let’s keep going with some tips for putting together your very own Garden Journal.

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Garden Journal and Planner Supplies:

This is so fun, it’s just like back-to-school shopping for adults. Here’s the stack of supplies that I started my Garden Journal with:

Garden Journal Supplies

  • 3-ring binder (I bought this  2″ one so it will last me for several years. Any 3-ring binder will work though.)
  • Tab Dividers (great for customizing your garden journal and adding sections to keep organized)
  • Photo Pages (awesome for holding seed packets and plant tags)
  • Zipper Pouches (perfect for holding larger plant tags, bulb package labels and gardening receipts)
  • Calendar (available in the Gardening Resources Library, keep reading for more information)
  • Photos of Your Garden
  • Plant tags
  • Erasable Colored Pencils (again, totally optional, but so fun and they are great for adding detail to your garden sketches and plans)


DIY Garden Journal

The Ultimate Printable Garden Planner:

I’ve made the very same charts, lists, calendar pages, etc. that I use in my Garden Journal available to you in the Gardening Resources Library. Pop over and take a look at what’s available to assist you in putting together your DIY Garden Journal and Garden Planner. To get immediate access, fill out the subscription form below. Psst, did I forget to say the printables are FREE!

Here are a few of the Free Printables available to you in the Gardening Resources Library:

  • 2022 Gardening Calendar – includes monthly garden tasks 
  • Garden Design Planner
  • Spring Garden Cleanup Checklist
  • Plant Inventory Chart
  • Seed Inventory List
  • Garden Journal Pages
  • Winter Sowing Charts
  • Seed Starting Checklist
  • Fall Garden Cleanup Checklist
  • Plus, lots more… check out the complete list.

What to Track In A Garden Journal & Planner

Here is a sampling of what I keep in my Garden Planner and the different sections I have in my Garden Journal:

  • Calendar – I use divider tabs for each month. On the calendar, I keep notes like, first and last frost, reminders, weather patterns, etc. The Gardening Calendar I use is available in the Gardening Resource Library. A calendar is also great for keeping track of your garden maintenance schedule.
  • Winter Sowing – I keep track of the seeds I’ve winter sown and the results. If you want to know more about Winter Sowing, check out the post when you have a few minutes. I also keep some articles (available in the post) that I’ve printed off in this section.
  • Seed Starting – In this section, I keep a tracking chart of the seeds I’ve started indoors and in my greenhouse, and make notes on the results. Pop over and pin this post so you have it when the time comes.
  • Each one of my flower beds has it’s own section. In these sections, I include lists of the perennials that are planted in the bed. Some day I hope to complete an overhead type sketch of each bed, using the colored erasable pencils (I told you I was a garden geek). Each of the garden bed sections has a few photo pages for yearly pictures for comparison from year to year. These sections also include a place for keeping garden journal notes about changes I want to make in each of these flower beds, so I can refer back to them in the fall or spring.

DIY Garden Journal

  • I have a section for my Daylily Collection. I put together a chart that lists each variety of daylily, where I purchased it and which flower bed it resides in. So far, I have over 65 different varieties of daylilies.
  • Hostas get their own section too. I use the same collections chart that I use for my daylilies.
  • There is a section for my vegetable gardens. In it I have a chart with each vegetable plant I planted for this summer and how it turned out. I have limited space to plant vegetables, but if you have a large vegetable garden, it’s important to rotate your crops every few years. To keep track of where you plant everything, I recommend using the graph available in the Gardening Resources Library.


DIY Garden Journal

Other Items to Keep in a Garden Journal:

  • Receipts for Plants, especially trees, shrubs and perennials that are guaranteed.
  • Pictures, always take lots and lots of pictures of your gardens, include before and after pictures of your garden projects and areas you want to redo.
  • Graph paper for sketching existing garden beds, or to plan out new ones.
  • Printed gardening articles or an idea section
  • Shopping lists
  • To Do Lists – like plants that need to be relocated or divided
  • Seed Inventory
  • Gardening Budget
  • Current Seed or Gardening Catalogs
  • Project Lists 
  • Wish List of perennials or plants you want to try or add to your gardens.

I love the finished product! Well, it will never truly be finished, because it’s definitely an ongoing project, but I love flipping through the pages, writing, reading and adding to my Garden Planner and Journal. And, I will love referring back to it year after year.

How to Keep a Garden Journal

Right now is the perfect time to start your Garden Planner and Garden Journal!

Feel free to hang out in the Gardens for awhile. Here are some posts you’ll enjoy!

Shade Border and Junk Gardens
Garden Makeover (From a Weed Pit to a Beautiful Garden)
Flower Garden Maintenance
Classic Perennials That Every Flower Garden Needs

Do you need some help with gardening? Check out:

Flower Gardening 101
Vegetable Gardening 101
Flower Garden Design
Dealing With Gardening Pests
How to Deal With Weeds In Your Garden

Thanks a bunch for stopping by Gingham Gardens today. Do you use a Garden Journal and/or a Garden Planner? If not, I hope I’ve inspired you to give it a try and provided you with some tools to get your started.

I love hearing from you! Is there something you need help with in your gardens? Is there another chart or form you’d like to see in the Garden Resources Library? Simply leave a comment at the end of the post and I’ll get back to you just as soon as I can.  

Happy gardening,

p.s. Help me out and pin these pictures. Simply hover in the upper left-hand corner and click the “pin” icon. There are more pins to share at the bottom of this post. Thanks a bunch!

p.p.s. Follow Gingham Gardens on Pinterest for lots of great gardening ideas and tons of gardener’s eye candy.

Pins to Share:

Image of a Gardener with a Planner with text overlay - Create Your Own Garden Journal and Planner

Image of Gardener with pen and paper in a garden with text overlay - Create Your Own Garden Planner & Journal with free gardening printables



    1. Hi Cindy – simply scroll back up through the article and look for the subscription box. Once you complete it you will receive a link and password to all the printables in the Gardening Resources Library. I’m sorry if you were confused by the PDF ads. I hate them, but the ads allow me to continue writing all this good gardening information and offering it for free. I hope you enjoy the printables. Happy gardening, Joanna

  1. One corner of my garden space holds water after rain. Is soggy for a few days. Any ideas or suggestions of what or how I could still use this area? I’ve a very small budget BTW.

    1. Hi Jan – I don’t have any experience with creating a rain garden. We did have an area at our former home where the sump pump drained under pine trees. We planted hostas and they loved it. Also, do a search for creating a rain garden. Good luck, Joanna

  2. I didn’t fully understand the directions above. I hope this is the site to subscribe to the free DIY Garden Journal and Garden Planner and I will get a password. Thank you for all your gardening wisdom!

    1. Hi Maureen – I’m so sorry for the delay in getting back to you. It looks like you are already a subscriber of Gingham Gardens and you should have a password. Your password is included in every email you receive from me. If you continue to have problems, please email me – Joanna@GinghamGardens.com Thank you so much and enjoy, Joanna

  3. I’ve always wanted to get better organized in my gardening. Usually I am traveling a lot in the summer, but this year Covid has gifted 🥴 us with a whole summer at home. It’s the perfect opportunity to dive into the yard. Your site is really wonderful! I’m excited to have discovered it! Thanks for the great information, inspiration, and printables.

  4. I love your printables as they are so helpful and useful.

    I actually live in the UK (England), but find the articles and ideas very helpful. I am currently trying to clear a patch to start growing herbs and veggies but the torrential rain that we have been having recently has meant that a lot of the area is boggy and therefore I have not been able to do much with it and the weeds are starting to come back, I am therefore going to try (when the weather is better), your trick of putting cardboard/newspaper down and grass cuttings on top as mulch.

    1. Hi Heather – thanks for stopping by Gingham Gardens and taking the time to leave a comment. Good luck with your gardens. Last spring we had what seemed like an endless supply of rain and everything was soggy. If possible, you might consider some raised bed gardening too. One of the benefits of raised bed gardening is that they drain really well. I definitely recommend the cardboard trick to kill off weeds. Hang in there and have fun when you can finally get out. Joanna

  5. Thank you for the free garden printables! I’m getting my journal started I’m excited about getting things organized! I’ve needed to do this in a bad way! I have great intentions on a healthy edible landscape but I always get overwhelmed & lost! Thank you for the inspiration & tools to get it together!

    1. Hi Andrea – I so happy you found Gingham Gardens. I love gardening and Gingham Gardens is my outlet for inspiring and teaching others about gardening with the hope that they will fall in love with gardening just like I have. Until you get a handle on things, keep it on the smaller side. Gardening is supposed to be enjoyable and gratifying, so out with the overwhelm.
      Happy garden planning & dreaming, Joanna

  6. I’m so excited about this garden journal concept. Can’t wait to get started! We’ve been working on our garden for 11 years and just cleared a new space for more. It is most definitely a work in progress. Thank you for sharing.

  7. You have such wonderful ideas Joanna. The journal is definitely a nice way of keeping track of everything in the garden. Great post!

  8. This was an awesome post. I have started and stopped keeping a garden journal a million times. Even when I flip through an old pile of garden notes, I am surprised at how my garden has changed. I really need to do better.
    You have inspired me to try again.

  9. Just found your site and love all the printable information that you offer! I have this accumulation of gardening information I have kept wanting to catalog everything but never took the time to make the forms or organize it – looks like you can help me with all of that!! It’s like you can read the part of my mind that needs to stop and organize things!

      1. I’ve tried to sign up 3 times to get your wonderful garden printables but it’s not going through. Please help. Thank you so very much!!!

        1. Hi Kristina, You should receive a confirmation email where you need to click to confirm your subscription. Please email me if you don’t receive it. JoannaVonBergen@gmail.com
          I’m sorry you’re having problems but we’ll get this figured out.

  10. I’m a “certified”, dig in the dirt gardener. My four grown children are great gardeners also. They all know what end of the garden fork (or HOE) to use. Having grown up on a livestock farm, they all know the fresh taste of fruits, vegetables fresh from the garden–eat-off-the-tree snacking, and preserving that produce by canning, freezing and EATING!!

    1. Hi Betty. I’m a “certified” dig in the dirt gardener too. I love that! My kids did not inherit my love for gardening, but I’m still holding out hope for them. I hope you enjoy the gardening printables.

  11. Great idea and info! Thanks for sharing at the To Grandma’s House We Go DIY, Crafts, Recipes and More Link Party! I pinned this post! Hope to have you join us again next week.

  12. Joanna, great info and tips for my garden journal. I love your organization. Thanks for sharing at Gardens Galore!

  13. Thank you, Joanna, for the journal pages and ideas for a garden journal. I have set mine up and ready to fill in and take some photos of this year’s yard. I love the title page for the journal with the cute bouquet, but can’t seem to find it. Is it available to print? It would be just the thing to finish off my book. Thanks ever so much—(this RA brain is quite something to manage. Sorry if I;m missing the obvious…:)

    1. Oh no, I don’t have a cover page in the gardening Resources Library. I will add one soon. Thanks for the reminder.

  14. Good afternoon Joanna, Thank you for the journal download. You seem to have a lot going on & I can see how this journal helps you stay focused & organized. Summer here in central Md. has been WET on top of WET with over 16 inches of rain in July & quite a bit in Aug. Once again thank you for the journal & good luck, Joe

    1. Hi Joe – it’s good to hear from you. I wish you could send us some of your rain. Enjoy the journal! Happy gardening.

    1. Hi Shelley, we also moved 2 years ago and that’s when I really started thinking hard about starting a gardening journal. It really is nice to be able to have records to look back on. Happy gardening!

  15. Joanna,
    I love this post! It’s so helpful. I did down load all of your printable and got a three ring binder last week. I’ve already started planning for next year! I hope my love for daylilies rival your collection! I’m so lucky I have a big backyard and it’s a blank slate. Do you have any hydrangeas? That is my other love. I can’t wait till spring to get started! Thanks for all your wisdom!

    1. Thanks so much, Shelly! I do love hydrangeas just not as much as daylilies. Have fun putting your journal together.

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