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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 next year’s garden 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 a few years ago.

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 Gardening Journal can be a powerful tool and even your most valuable garden tool loaded with valuable information!

Why Keep a Garden Journal:

  • To organize and keep track of your gardening endeavors as a reminder for the next gardening season and years to come.
  • To keep track of pest problems or disease issues, so preventative measures can be taken to remedy the problem the next growing season.
  • A Garden Journal provides you with a permanent garden record to look back on from year-to-year. Think of it as a garden diary.
  • The perfect place to keep track of all things gardening.
  • Saves you time and money by not repeating mistakes (like buying a new plant that didn’t survive in your garden the year before, 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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How to Organize a 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

  • three-ring binder (I bought this 2″ one so it will last me for several years. Oh, and it has a clear vinyl pouch front so you can slip in a title page. Any 3-ring binder will work though.)
  • Monthly Dividers (these work well with the free printable calendar)
  • Tab Dividers (Perfect for customizing your garden journal and a great way to add a divider page between sections to keep organized.)
  • Photo Pages (awesome for holding empty seed packets, plant tags and photos of your gardens)
  • 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 garden journal printables (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:

  • 2023 Gardening Calendar – includes monthly garden tasks (next year’s garden calendar comes out in the fall)
  • Garden Design Worksheet
  • Spring Garden Cleanup Checklist
  • Plant Inventory Chart – I use these pages to keep track of all the plant names of my daylily and hosta collections.
  • Seed Inventory List
  • Garden Journal Pages – perfect for journal entries
  • Garden Plans – Simple graph paper to sketch out your garden layout. Get those dreams out of your head and on to paper.
  • Winter Sowing Charts
  • Seed Starting Checklist
  • Fall Garden Cleanup Checklist
  • Plus, lots more… check out the complete list.

What to Put 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 dates, 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 garden journal. 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 love referring back to it year after year.

If you are a new gardener, or an old gardener, this may be overwhelming, but really it doesn’t need to be. If you don’t want to print everything, simply start with a spiral notebook and just make quick notes. At least that’s something and a way to start keeping a written record of your gardening successes and failures.

You don’t have to be a master gardener to have a successful garden! Whether your a vegetable gardener, flower gardener or both, there’s no better time than today to start your first garden journal. The important thing is to get started this year and next year’s garden will be better, and will keep improving every year.

How to Keep a Garden Journal

Feel free to hang out in the Gardens for awhile. Do you need some help with gardening? Check out:

Garden Planning (How to Plan Next Year’s Garden)
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! Follow Gingham Gardens on Pinterest for lots of great gardening ideas and tons of gardener’s eye candy.

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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