Do you keep a garden journal?

There are a total of 427 votes:

Yes, I use the DG diary and/or journal to record my garden information.
(78 votes, 18%)
Red dot

Yes, I use another software for my journal
(29 votes, 6%)
Red dot

Yes, I use a paper journal or diary
(119 votes, 27%)
Red dot

No, I don't keep a garden journal
(201 votes, 47%)
Red dot

Previous Polls

Delray Beach, FL(Zone 10a)

Flippant as this may sound, I don't make time to keep a garden journal. I have enough to do in my day-to-day without that. Also, it wouldn't be my style to commit to paper what I have done in the garden. My digital camera is always at my side. I take loads of pictures in the garden on a regular basis and organize them by date. When I want to remember something, I'll go back to the dates in question and see if it shows up anywhere. That only happens once ayear so even if I waste a whole 5 minutes on the search, it's worth it.


Weedville, PA(Zone 6a)

I do keep a journal of sorts, but it's more trying to plan ahead than anything else. Writing down thoughts of what I'd like to do or a neat idea I've seen someone else do...before the thought leaves my brain for good! I still use good old pen and paper becuase it's portable to the garden. One day I'll have a laptop. =^)

South/Central, FL(Zone 9a)

I voted No, but I have been thinking about getting mine started. : )


Katy, TX(Zone 8b)

I keep a yearly journal of what needs to be done in and out of the house and most things are more important than my garden. Each year comes a new journal and I write when I'm supposed to do this or that. I sometimes go thru the back journals where I've kept my notes to check what I have done and how it turned out but this applies to everything in our lives. I can't obcess about little thing - don't have the time or inclination.


Menasha, WI(Zone 5a)

I do track some before and after pictures in my diary. Otherwise the most important information of plant inventories and future plans are done on graph paper to scale. No real day to day notes taken.

Thumbnail by bigcityal
Lewisville, MN(Zone 4a)

I made up my own programs to record garden activities. I can never find things that have my idea of how to do it.
Like someone else said, the camera is a good record too.

Coral Springs, FL

I said no, but it's one of the things I want to start this year. Since I bought a home with a pretty good start on a garden, I have a lot of identification to do. Like Sylvain, I take a lot of pictures, so I can start to catalog the yard with them.

(Sheryl) Gainesboro, TN(Zone 6b)

I sure mean to, just never keep up with it!

Blyth, ON(Zone 5b)

I voted for paper journal/diary. I've experimented with different programs/software packages for garden journalling, including self-written programs, but I always end up finding it inconvenient to have to start the computer for something that would involve a 5 second search in a paper journal. LOL Fine example of an IT professional I make :-) I always have subscribed to the theory that just because something can be done doesn't mean that it should - or would be better if it was done.

I also have to admit that there is something I find inherently satisfying about holding an actual book in my hands. Right now I have a brand new 10 year Gardener's Diary/Journal that I bought for myself for Christmas, a binder with seed lists and seed sowing plans that are all cross-referenced to the journal, and a very large landscape diagram/building plan drawn to scale that receives regular updates and has addendum drawings for greater detail of individual features.


Los Alamos, NM(Zone 5a)

I used to keep a book garden journal sporadically and a computer one even more sporadically. Now that DG has added the diary, I am doing quite a lot more diary keeping on-line and am really enjoying it. I really being able to look up what the dates are of various plant blooms and for that matter, I like to record when I planted certain plants.

And I always know where my computer is, but I can't always find my paper journal or the file where I last wrote gardening info on my own hard drive.

Big Sandy, TX

I am new to daves garden amd I love it. My new years resolution. Keep better records this year.

(Zone 5a)

My 'real journal' comes through the lens of my camera, and consequently finds a place into my DG Journal, or the Plant Files @DG. I feel this is an invaluable resource since I can compare results from year to year, AND, I can identify cultivars by checking out others' entries as they are posted. Also I keep the Fun Random Image near the top of my home page for daily review. So this is an important part of DG for me personally, and I find other DG'er pictures very rewarding & priceless.

Brimfield, MA(Zone 5a)

I have 3 notebooks that I use for notes and references. Everyone tells me to put them on line, but these are like GOLD to me and I like them at my fingertips. One is pocket sized and is a reminder-reference guide on how to open and close all the garden beds and plants in my yard. The other one is 8X11 and has diagrams of the beds and shows what plants are where which is helpful with bi-ennials and in the event I lost plant over the winter -- and in the rare few instances where some volunteers have popped up. I also have another 8X11 and I keep random notes and dates in there.

Nantucket, MA(Zone 7a)

I am now a devoted fan of both the DG journal and Diary but I still cling to my old paper trail for some things. I record all the plants and seeds that I have on order or have purchased in DG Journal. I then follow their journey in my garden via both location and by vendor. This means that I have to have two Journals, one by Plant type arranged by Vendor and a second by Bed location. I wish there was a way to do both together. I take general garden pictures constantly and file them via date in Picasa as well as portraits of particular plants which I then add as a thumbnail picture in my DG journal. By keeping a Journal via beds, I can see a picture of what is already planted in a particular bed and as I wish to add plants, I can see what is mostly likely going to be a good addition to that bed. I can also print out just information about a particular bed and take it outside for reference while working on a bed. This is hugely helpful. I also keep a old fashion notebook in which I file snail mail and paper copies of all email orders and correspondence from vendors as well as any interesting information that I find on the Internet or in magazines. Plus all my little notes and random lists which I copy out of my garden books. I clip and paste pictures of plants ordered from catalogs also in my notebook as well as photo's of garden's and plants that I admire. But mostly now I down load pictures of new plants directly from the vendors website into my DG journal. I delete the vendors pictures when I have pictures of my own to replace them (mine being more realistic and true). My Diary is being used to keep track of any information that I find in the various forums worth referencing later from members. A true gold mine! I also keep track of Coop orders and payment here, so I don't have to spend time searching for the information in those long threads. I also make list of my garden's needs both the 'to do's' and the 'to nots'. And ,of course, my 'dear diary' desires for my secret garden. Patti

This message was edited Jan 8, 2007 12:05 PM

Questa, NM(Zone 5b)

I have a paper journal and I use the DG journal. I checked off the DG one, though, because I've been using that one more often lately.

Edited to say: I also have my yard mapped out in scale, in photoshop, using 'layers' I try out different garden designs. I can also show different bloom colors for different seasons.


This message was edited Jan 8, 2007 7:34 PM

Davenport, IA(Zone 5a)

I voted for the DG Journal/Diary, but would have voted "Other", had that been an option. I generally use my garden notebook to jot things down as I do them, whether seeding, transplanting-whatever.
Somethings, I keep track of pictorially, too-and file them by dates in Spring, Summer, Fall, and Winter folders-with garden bed sub folders.
I keep this up through fall clean up, then put it in the computer in the winter, when I'm itching to do something garden related.
I'm absent from DG most of summer, except for referencing certain things(actually, LOTS of things! LOL). Just can't stand to tear myself away from outdoors, then.

The handy paper notebook is a great place to take running notes of how things are behaving, and things I want to change in the coming years. If I waited until winter to write them down, I would probably forget them(heck, if I waited till later that DAY, I would probably forget all about them. sigh)

OH Yes! As I was saying, when I update Diary on DG in the winter, I can add the appropriate pics with the text, as I go along. Since this was my first winter withDG, I'm just getting a good start on that, but will get more involved as I go along, but I have kept a running paper garden journal, for the last 25 years or so.


(Arlene) Southold, NY(Zone 7a)

I'm with the first one to post. Pictures, both before and after, are my guides.

L.A. (Canoga Park), CA(Zone 10a)

I agree with Sylvain. I don't keep a journal. I don't even try because I know I wouldn't keep it up and I can't see that the returns on it would be worth the time spent. I also have an incredible memory (most of the time). I have never kept a journal or diary of any sort and I don't see the point of it.

New Hampshire, NH(Zone 5b)

I voted that I use DG's garden journal, but I'm not very good at keeping it up.

Lumberton, TX(Zone 8b)

I find it SO much easier to use a paper journal! I'm listing things in my DG journal, but it's just not the same. Plus, the garden is at home and the computer is at work, so...

I also can't sketch and diagram on the computer!

Tallahassee, FL(Zone 8b)

I love my paper journal, but I need something a map! I hate digging into some daffodils I forgot were there, anyone know of a good online place where I can build and change a map of my garden?

The Woodlands, TX(Zone 9a)

I sorta kinda do. When I think about it. If I think about it. I do take lots of pictures, and that is my main point of reference. If something I consider really noteworthy happens, something I want to be sure and remember, I jot it down on the calendar. I save all of my calendars from the past. They are my diary/journal/birthday reminder/etc.... I wish I kept a journal, but I don't think it's going to happen.

Near Lake Erie, NW, PA(Zone 5a)

I love DG journal !!! Once you get it started it is so easy!! I tried other methods, expensive book just for garden notes, a cheap note book, nothing seemed to work.

I also like adding my pictures to the entries, that why I can really keep track of what I have growing.

Also I find by locating the plant first in the plant files it is so easy to send the entry to my journal. Then add my own notes.

I'm having so much fun, keep up the good work!


This message was edited Jan 8, 2007 4:14 PM

Stratford, CT(Zone 6b)

I guess choice three best suits me. I don't keep a paper journal, but I do keep a detailed schedule on a calendar set up near the potting table and also keep a detailed photo journal like many others here have stated.

This message was edited Jan 8, 2007 4:30 PM

Marshall, MO(Zone 5b)

Thats my nw New Years resolution. Now I've said it I can claim it was as all NY resolutions, not serious.

Acton, CA(Zone 8b)

I have been doing 'exotic plant' gardening for over 10 years now, and have thousands of plants... I quickly found that if I didn't keep a journal, I soon lost the ability to recall what all the plants names were... on top of that, I had no idea when/where I got some of them, so I couldn't provide anyone else with useful information about the plants, as 95% of the plants I grow are considered 'odd' or rare, and certainly not the type of plant you would normally find in someone's garden. Knowing exactly how long I've had each plant, and where I got it from became valuable information for others, as well as myself. Additionally, this journal allows me to keep photographic records of each plant, which is invaluable... I am constantly surprised by how much some plant has changed, even though my personal recollection is that plant looks exactly like it did the day I got it. This, too, is useful information to others as well as myself. And since a large portion of the plants I have have rarely or never been grown in the environment similar to mine, I can feel like I am contributing something to the cultivational data on these plants for the rest of the world (boy does that sound impressive!).... or least for someone who has a back yard like mine. I also, embarrassingly, keep a 'dead plants' section as I hope to learn from my mistakes... or at least remember them and maybe avoid that plant in the future.

Alexandria, IN(Zone 6a)

It's not my style to keep a journal.......keep things in my I planted lettuce and onions on April 1st in '54...the watermelon seeds planted on June 14th came up like gangbusters, but were a little too late to finish up that year.....

Spokane, WA(Zone 5b)

I use Excel and Word for my journals. I use Excel to mark my planting times, germination times, transplant times, etc.... and I use Word as a diary for what is going on day to day.

West Central, WI(Zone 4a)

I voted NO, but keeping a journal is on my To Do list. I will probably be most likely to to jot down notes in a planner that I already use for day to day life, but I've also just started looking at the DG journal, and I have a new software program that includes a garden planner. I may get there yet.

Burlingame, CA(Zone 9a)

Up until recently I didn't need a journal, but now that I'm growing a lot more from seed I have it on my To-Do list, so I I voted No. I've toyed with using my computer for it but I think I prefer pen and paper. I like to sit out in the garage at my work/potting bench and read seed catalogues & make notes on a whiteboard I have out there. If anyone can recommend a good Journal I'd be really appreciative.

Goldthwaite, TX(Zone 8a)

I keep my garden info on Dave's, but I did NOT say it was up-to-date. A few really bad-weather days will take care of that!

-South Central-, IL(Zone 6a)

No, I do not keep a journal... but I should.

Berkeley, CA(Zone 9a)

I tried DG diary and Journal. I'm so UN-technical, I can't figure out how to use them! Wish I knew.

Menasha, WI(Zone 5a)

diary is really easy

Summerville, SC(Zone 8a)

I use Dave's .. feel free to read mine!


Southeast, NE(Zone 5a)

I keep files in the computer in MS Word and Excel. I try to use Dave's but it makes me nervous other people can see it, and I feel stupid. LOL!

Edited to add that I did get gutsy and show fellow DGer hydrangea80 my goofy computer file system.

This message was edited Jan 8, 2007 11:16 PM

Franklin Grove, IL(Zone 5a)

I start a journal entry each Spring. It usually begins around the time I start my seeds and lists them all. Then I move on to the vegetable garden beds and I carefully diagram them and plan out what's going where for the year. After that, I spend so much time "doing" that I never get back to writing it down - except in my mind while I'm on my knees in the garden. That's about it until next year which I ALWAYS know will be different.

Algonac, MI

Since my gardening career started last April '06, I have been writing a story about my experiences in learning gardening. This gives me a record of my mistakes as well as my sucesses. Hey! I may even try to get it published. Who knows?
In fact, I am experimenting with growing tomatoes in our house here in Michigan, and I already have 9 beautiful tomato plants near ready to transplant into LARGE pots.
Being the "egotist" that I am, I will proudly toot-my-horn in Dave's Garden at my sucess or..... Dave's Garden may not hear a word of my failures.
Actually... Dave's Garden will also hear of those failures should they occur just in case someone else may have ideas to improve my efforts.
Thanks for reading.

Rutland , MA(Zone 5b)

i started a garden diary last year because i tried a few experiments and i wanted to put pictures and words together to show what was happening. i really enjoyed doing it and i will again do it this season.

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