Sunday, March 14, 2010

Project Monday: Garden Journal

I am a beginner gardener with two raised beds in the backyard. I am learning a lot from all of the amazing mamas out there who are growing food with their families.

Last summer, my husband (who noted recently that I never put pictures of him on the blog), added two more beds for me. I wish you could hear the soundtrack he's dancing to in this picture!
I have basically used the "throw the seeds and see what happens" method the last two summers. We've had a lot of great tomatoes, lettuce, Swiss chard and a variety of herbs. This summer, it's time to plan a little more thoughtfully and take note throughout the growing season. So, I need a journal.

I am not the kind of person who will journal every day, I'm more of a collector, note taker. So, I am using a discarded binder I found in our home office filled with page protectors and photo pages. I am also adding pages I've downloaded from a variety of sites. One of the most useful sites I found is Homestead Garden. You can download a variety of pages for keeping track of plant information, garden chores, and a "future reference" page for noting what worked and didn't. Of course, you can make these pages easily yourself, but if these work, time saved! I've also tucked a map to local garden centers in the front pocket of the journal.

This project will help me clean up and organize this year's garden, but it has also helped me clean up my house. I went through stacks of magazines that I haven't wanted to let go of, tore out any vegetable or flower garden that inspired me and put the pictures in page protectors. I also gathered up all of my seed packets and put them in photo pages so I can still reference the growing information.

At the end of the season, I plan on going to our local printer to have them bind this year's journal for me. The, I can use the binder again next year. As beginners, Kandyce and I would love to hear and advice you have. please point us to your blog if you have a gardening post we should read.


  1. I enjoyed seeing your photos of your raised garden beds, (and of Matt, Hi Matt!) : ) hehe my husband has said the same before too.
    I too enjoy veggie gardening in raised beds. I like the way they look as well as function. A good help in the garden as far as keeping the weeds down and keeping the soil damp is to line your beds with newspaper and then straw. Companion planting can probably be looked up online which is helpful for veggie gardening as well as rotating where you plant certain things each year. I look forward to planting new and old favorites this year in our 'new gardens' Herbal gardening was my first love and might just be one of my favorite types of gardening. Herbal beds are lovely to walk by as you take in the scent, they are wonderful in a vase in your bedroom window to scent your dreams, a vase in the kitchen for easy access to recipes that call for herbs, a sprig of mint in your ice tea... I love herb gardens for children as well, it stimulates many senses. I appreciate that you wrote you are a "throw the seeds and see what happens" gardener, I think that is the magic and fun of gardening. And truly each year you learn a bit more about how you will garden the next time and more about yourself in the process as well. As far as posts that I have for gardening they are more whimsical aspects of gardening like "How to create a fairy crown of flowers" or "How to create a salad of edible flowers" "gathering wild violets to freeze in ice cubes"... Happy Gardening! xoxo

  2. I really have no advice since I have a brown thumb and can't keep our one house plant healthy...but maybe we should send you some of our 'all-natural' organic fertilizer' want the 1/2 wheelbarrow or the full??
    Have fun!

  3. Your posts always inspire me, Nicole! I can't wait ti plant more herbs this year and more flowers. Thanks so much for the newspaper/straw tip. I am lucky that I live in Kentucky, because you really can just throw seeds and something will grow!

  4. I would love it...if you drive it here with the whole fam:)

  5. I found that whether I "throw the seeds in and see what happens" or plan it all out pretty much all ends up the same. At this point I plan a little like rotating cabbage and braccissas, but other than that...I'm totally with gardenmama on newspaper and straw! Last year was the first year we gave that a go...and wow what a difference it makes. Very little maintenance, just make sure to wet the paper before putting straw over it so it doesnt blow away. Next year you just till it all under, whatever hasnt decomposed already that is. Also raised beds are the best because you can arch pvc piping over the tops of them easily to create a covered bed when it gets colder. Good luck. Can't wait to see what you grow!


  6. I love your comments, Lisa!