DIY Garden Journal

Save your garden records in style when you personalize a notebook that’s organized to include the facts, hacks, and figures from your own planting experience.

  • Committing to keeping a garden journal might change the way you plan, plant, and harvest.
    Photo by Stocksy/Helen Rushbrook
  • Winter months are perfect for indoor projects; why not use the opportunity for garden planning?
    Photo by Adobe/samiramay
  • Each year that you save information about your garden will simplify the work you do for the next year.
    Photo by Adobe/Kittiphan

Winter months are made for indoor projects, so why not spend some of this time making yourself a garden journal? Many gardeners keep some kind of planting diary, and you can find any number of them to purchase online. Personally, I couldn’t find anything that fit my needs. They were too generic, too specific, too small, irrelevant, or some combination of these.

So I decided to make my own. It’s more than a journal; it’s a notebook. I know my notebook won’t suit everyone’s needs. It’s too big to lug around, for example, and some folks like having their journal handy when they’re in the garden so they can log information on-site. I, however, want my journal clean, dry, and large enough that I can fit anything I want inside. 

When preparing my notebook, I started with a discarded 3-inch, three-ring binder — it was the perfect size, but the worn white cover was boring, boring, boring. I had scads of out-of-date seed catalogs, so I recycled some of their pages to make a collage for my notebook cover, which I slathered with a decoupage sealer. I was thrilled with the result.

I filled the notebook with hole-punched notebook paper, graph paper, and tabbed dividers. I also inserted a few empty pocket pages and page protectors so I could slip in notecards, news clippings, and other documents for easy retrieval. Now it’s chock full of valuable and personalized gardening information, all at my fingertips.

The Purpose of Page Protectors

One of the reasons I keep page protectors in my notebook is to store my garden plan. This is a multi-page project that I tape together, so a page protector is a great way to store it. I create one every year on graph paper to ensure a relatively accurate scale. When planting time comes, I can tell at a glance what to plant where. I save my plans from year to year, too. Having a designated, easy-to-find storage space helps me find past plans when it’s time to outline crop rotations for next year’s garden.

I also reserve a calendar to record seed starting, outdoor planting, and harvesting dates. When the gardening season is over, that year’s calendar goes into one of the notebook sleeves; old calendars are excellent reference tools. I also keep invoices from seed companies in page protectors, to remind me what and how much I previously bought.



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