Friday, March 31, 2017

Why you need a garden journal

I know what date I took a picture, because the camera dates them for me, but when did I plant those things? That's why I need to start a garden journal - if I'm going to make garden experiments, I need to document my projects better.
Nice lettuce on February 20, but when did I plant them?
Here's where I should wax rhapsodic over the joys of using a hand-bound journal with a vintage nib pen for my botanical musings, or launch a discussion of which garden journalling software works best for Mac, Windows and Linux or my smart phone. Or maybe discuss my search for an app that keeps my gardening data in the cloud, whatever and wherever that is.

But I'm not going there.

My main computer lives in my office and my gardening all happens outside or in the workshop. I have a not-so-SmartPhone and I don't want to risk my laptop in the garden.  I already have the property dimensions on graph paper, and the Weather Underground keeps track of weather history for me. I don't need to track every weed I pull, just a few significant dates like when I plant seeds and when I need to do certain tasks, such as check on the seeds I have chilling in the refrigerator.

The simplest solution is a calendar page with enough room to make notes, in a clipboard that hangs in the workshop. At the end of a month, the loose page will be archived into the big binder that has all my house notes.

Here's the journal page I picked, from a wonderful group I know nothing about except that they provide free calendar templates for Linux, Mac and Windows.  Download what you need and print them out.  If I need more room for notes in any month, I will staple a piece of lined paper to that month's calendar.
Monthly calendar with note area
2017 Calendar Template Download 
And here it is, in front of my extremely sophisticated grow light system. The upcycled lettuce and pastry containers have soil blocks and seedlings in them.  ("Upcycled" sounds so much better than scavenged.)
Garden journal at work, collecting notes.

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