How Do You Make A Gardening Journal? (Gardening Tips)

If you’re like me, you love to garden. But if you’re also like me, you might have trouble remembering what plants did well in your garden last year or which ones came up short. That’s where a gardening journal can help! 

A garden journal helps you keep track of the things that worked and didn’t work for your plants so that next year, when you start planting again, nothing gets left out. 

It doesn’t have to be anything fancy; just some paper and pencils are all it takes to keep track of your gardening progress without breaking too much of an ink pen budget. 

In this post I’ll show how easy it is to make your own personal gardening journal template with just a few supplies from around the house or office and then walk through how best to use it once it’s done!

How to Start a Garden Journal (15 Tips for Success)
Tips for creating an effective gardening journal
Importance of record-keeping to improve gardening skills
Choosing the right notebook or binder for your journal
Organizing your garden journal in a way that works for you
Including key information such as planting schedules and soil conditions
The benefits of reflecting on your journal entries for future improvements

Decide What You Want To Write About

Now that you have your journal, it’s time to get started. This can be as simple or as complicated as you want it to be. It may help if you think of the garden journal as a collection of pages where anything can go on it.

If you are looking for inspiration, here are some ideas:

Write about what is happening in the garden – what was planted last week and how did it grow this week? What is coming up on my tomato plants? Is there anything new that I need to do in the next few weeks or months?

Write about what you are learning – what did I learn from this gardening experience? How does this compare to other times I’ve grown things? What did I learn from reading an article online or seeing something at a store that could improve my gardening skills next year? 

What new books am I reading about gardening and how does this make me feel about my own abilities with plants and soil in general;

If you are new to gardening, it can be daunting to figure out what tools are necessary. Our article on tools of gardening can help you determine what equipment you need to get started and why each tool is essential.

Decide How Often You Want To Write

This can be the most important part of your journal, so it’s worth taking a little time to think about. 

How often do you want to write? Writing daily is great for people who have a lot of energy and are really into gardening, but if that’s not your thing, maybe weekly works better. 

Or monthly! Or bi-weekly! Whatever feels best for you—just remember that consistency is key when keeping a journal that will serve as an invaluable resource in the future.

Table: Frequency of Garden Journal Recording

Recording FrequencyDescription
DailyJot down quick notes about plant growth, weather conditions or any observations you’ve made. This will help you keep track of progress and potential problems.
WeeklyTake some time once a week to write more detailed entries about what you’ve observed and done in the garden. This will help you plan for the week ahead and keep track of things like watering schedules.
MonthlyAt the end of each month, take a more comprehensive look at your garden journal and reflect on the progress you’ve made. Use this opportunity to adjust your techniques, if necessary, to improve your plants’ growth.
SeasonallyAt the end of each season, summarize your garden journal entries – What worked? What didn’t? What would you do differently? These insights will help you refine your skills and create a more successful garden in the future.
YearlyTake a big-picture approach to your gardening journal at the end of each year by reflecting on your progress throughout the seasons. Brainstorm ideas for new techniques and plants you want to try in the coming year.

Choose Your Medium

You can use a simple notebook or even a blank journal, but there are also special garden journals that can help you keep track of your gardening. 

Choose something that is easy for you to use and carry around, as well as comfortable in your daily life. For example, if you have children who will be using the journal with you, consider choosing something that they would enjoy making their own drawings in.

Gardening is not just about the end result; it’s also about the enjoyment you get from the process. Take a look at our pro tips for enjoying gardening to make the most of your time spent among the plants.

Plan Your Layout

Next, it’s time to plan your layout. This is where you decide how many sections you want and what information will be included in each section. 

Your notebook should be divided into at least four sections: a table of contents, a calendar, a daily log, and a monthly log. 

You can also add other sections if you need them—for example, if you have garden beds that are divided into different sections (e.g., fruits and veggies), then this might warrant its own section with separate pages for each bed or row.

Use The Right Tools And Materials

There are a number of things you will need to have on hand before taking on your project. The first thing is an eraser, so that you can fix any mistakes along the way. 

You also want to have pencils or pens and highlighters with different colors, as well as paper clips and sticky notes. 

Depending on what kind of journaling you are doing, other tools may be helpful as well: hole punches, permanent markers (which come in handy when filling out forms like those found in libraries) or even notebooks themselves!

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Use A Garden Journal Template

There are many ways to get started with a garden journal, but one of the easiest ways is to use a template. 

This can be as simple as opening up Microsoft Word, or you could find some excellent templates online that are already made for you. 

If you really want to do it yourself and make your own template, there are plenty of websites that offer free garden journal templates or even how-to guides on how best to create your own custom made pages. 

You don’t need any design skills whatsoever in order to make a beautiful garden journal on your computer (or tablet), and the process can be done within minutes!

You may think that all this talk about “template” sounds confusing and complicated, but don’t worry! All we’re talking about here is making sure that all the lines and boxes are lined up exactly right before printing them out onto paper so everything looks nice when printed out later down at home.

Table: Types of Garden Journal Templates

Template TypeDescription
CustomCreate a journal template that meets your specific needs, such as sections for plant varieties, planting locations, soil conditions and pest control. This is a more personal approach and allows for maximum flexibility in recording plant growth and observations.
DigitalUsing digital templates or gardening apps can make it easier to keep track of entries and provide more robust features like built-in reminders, photo and weather integrations. It’s also great for those who prefer a paperless option.
PrintablePrintable templates can offer convenience and flexibility for those who want a more tangible record-keeping option. You can find plenty of templates available online, or you can create your own to fit your specific needs.
DIYIf you enjoy getting crafty, create a DIY journal from scratch. Use cardstock or scrapbook paper and create your own sections for notes and photos. This approach can be a fun and creative way to customize your journal to your liking.
Pre-MadeUsing pre-made templates is a convenient way to get started with garden journaling quickly. Many come with generic sections for things like plant varieties, planting dates, and watering schedules. However, they may not be tailored to your specific needs, and there may be limited space to record observations.

Keep It Simple

A great gardening journal doesn’t have to be complicated. In fact, the simpler, the better! You don’t want to spend hours on end filling out a giant notebook when you could instead be enjoying your time in the garden. 

The best way to keep a gardening journal is with a small notebook that fits easily into your pocket and can be taken anywhere. If you’re not sure where to start, here are some items we recommend:

  • A Moleskine notebook (we love this version)
  • A fountain pen (this one comes with water-based ink)
  • An old pencil

Growing a vertical herb garden can be both practical and visually impressive. If you want to learn how to get started, our article on planting a vertical herb garden breaks down the process step-by-step.

Draw Your Own Diagrams And Illustrations

One of the main purposes of a garden journal is to help you remember what you have done in the past, so it’s important that your sketching skills are up to snuff. 

If you’re not a natural artist, don’t worry—it doesn’t matter if your drawings look like they were done by a preschooler. Just draw whatever comes naturally and let yourself go. 

If anything feels too difficult, try making simple stick figures instead of trying to include details like eyes or noses (though if those come easily for you and make sense in context, definitely go ahead!). 

For more advanced sketches and diagrams, use an existing drawing program like Microsoft Paint or Adobe Illustrator; for more complex diagrams and illustrations involving multiple elements interacting with each other in space (like plants), SketchUp may be helpful as well; finally, if all else fails there’s always good old pen and paper!

Get Creative With Labels And Tags

For those of us who have a hard time letting go of things and don’t want to end up with a closet full of unorganized journals, another option is to keep your gardening journal in digital form. This eliminates the problem of having to find somewhere safe and dry to keep your physical journal.

However, I prefer to use both approaches because there are advantages for each method. Keeping a physical gardening journal helps me focus on the details I otherwise might neglect when writing about my plants online (like whether or not they’ve been watered). 

At the same time, keeping track of my plants’ growth digitally helps me monitor their progress more easily than by hand-writing notes in pencil every week or so—especially if things aren’t going as well as planned!

Here are some ways I’ve found helpful when using both methods:

It’s never too late to start improving your gardening skills, and our easy guide to getting the gardening skill can help you do just that. With straightforward advice on how to learn more about the craft, you’ll be on your way to a greener thumb in no time.

Ask Your Kids Or Grandkids To Help

You can apply the same technique to your gardening journal. Ask your kids, grandkids or even neighbors’ kids to help you with the garden. They will be excited about it and so will you!

You can use their photos and drawings in the journal, have them help with all kinds of gardening tasks such as weeding, planting seeds and watering plants etc…

The best part is that they won’t just be helping out because they feel obligated; but because working in the garden together can be fun for everyone involved!

Asking for help from family members might feel a bit strange at first but once everyone gets used to it then there will be no stopping this beautiful tradition from spreading throughout generations of your family tree!

Review And Update Often

As you plant, review and update your notes. When you learn something new about a plant, add it to your journal. If you change the way you care for one of your plants, make an entry with the date and what you did to that plant. 

You can also take pictures of things in your garden and add them to your journal (not just of the plants but also of insects or other wildlife).


If you’re excited about starting your own gardening journal, then we’ve got some good news for you! You can easily create one and get started right away. All it takes is some time and effort—and maybe a little help from friends or family members. 

And remember: this isn’t just an activity for kids; adults love journals too! So don’t let age or experience stop you from exploring this creative outlet that has been enjoyed by gardeners around the world since medieval times

Further Reading

Gardening Know How – Tips for Keeping a Garden Journal: This article provides expert tips on creating and maintaining a garden journal effectively.

Cottage at the Crossroads – How to Set Up a Garden Journal: This guide covers everything from choosing the right journal to organizing your notes and keeping track of important details.

Wikihow – Make a Gardening Journal: This comprehensive article is perfect for beginners who want to learn how to create a garden journal step-by-step.


What is a gardening journal?

A gardening journal is a personalized notebook where gardeners can record their observations, notes, and plans about their plants.

Why is a gardening journal important?

A gardening journal is important because it allows gardeners to keep accurate records of what works and what doesn’t in their garden. It can also be a handy reference for future planting seasons and help you avoid making the same mistakes twice.

How do I make a gardening journal?

To make a gardening journal, you can start by choosing a notebook or binder and creating sections for various aspects of your garden, such as planting schedules, soil conditions, and pest control. Check out the resources listed in our Further Reading section for more detailed instructions.

What should I include in my gardening journal?

Some things you might want to include in your gardening journal are planting dates, seed sources, soil test results, weather conditions, and plant growth progress.

How do I organize my gardening journal?

Organizing your gardening journal depends on your personal style and preferences, but you may want to consider dividing it into sections or using tabs to keep things separated. Some gardeners also like to include sketches or photos of their plants for reference.