Keeping garden records

Hello everyone,
I always have good intentions of keeping good garden notes, and often start off with pretty good records. However, I don’t seem to be able to maintain it throughout the season. I know it’s important though. Does anyone have any suggestions? I’d like something that isn’t too cumbersome, captures what’s important and makes it easy to find important info down the road. Thanks for any ideas.


What a good question, Donna! I too have always had good intentions of keeping better garden records, but have fallen down on the job. What is it about doing this that makes us procrastinate? I speak for myself on that.

We have one of those big green perpetual calendar books, “A Gardeners Journal”, from Lee Valley Tools that is, in theory, well organized for garden records. I started off the first few years with good intentions with it, but for one reason or another never kept it up. The other thing I’ve been doing is taking seasonal photos of my garden beds in an attempt to keep track. Alas, I am not strict enough with myself to do a good job with that either, and so the record is patchy.


Yes, fantastic question and so important! And also something I struggle with. I used to use a computer and then found that I was never at the computer when I wanted to note something down. Now I’ve resorted to the simplest of things and it seems to have ‘stuck’…somewhat. It’s just a blank book. When I’m so inclined I make notes in it…that’s all. No pressure. Sometimes I take it out in the garden with me.


For my vegetable garden, which has separated beds, I have one page for the year, I draw out the beds. As I plan on planting and rotating crops, I can look back at past years to see what was planted where and while still in my comfy chair, I start to note (in pencil - in case you change your mind) what will go where this coming year. Then when it is time to plant I take the notebook outside with me and start. This is where pencil comes in handy as I may put something in a different spot. I make note of the type and even make notes on last years if something didn’t grow well - as it is only a season away one can remember the successes and failures.


I have an excel spreadsheet that lists every plant in order of location. I have columns for color, size, care instructions, date bought, companions and comments.

I can sort or filter by garden location, colour, etc. I can also click on any plant and call up a recent photo of the plant. I really love it and enjoy noting details of my garden and care instructions by plant.


I use spreadsheets too, and draw up a plan on computer. I’m a lot better at making gardening plans than actually doing the gardening :sweat_smile:. I keep all the files in iCloud so I can access them on my phone when I’m in the garden.

There were a few ideas in this previous thread too: Garden Journals


Thanks everyone for your suggestions. I’ll definitely use some of them as I attempt, once again :slightly_smiling_face:, to keep better track of what is happening in my garden!

Also, thanks Jono for pointing out the previous thread covering this topic.

@Jono and @family.nicholson you are both amazingly organized! I don’t know why I’ve never thought of using spreadsheets for gardening, but what a good idea. And I love the idea of linking plant photos in as well. Do I need to spend more time at the computer though… hmmm.