We bought Cinnamon Basil and Sweet Pepper seedlings yesterday. Of course, when it frosts later in the week, we’ll take the blame for jumping the gun on planting. Minnesota isn’t the easiest place to accurately predict the timing of the last frost.

So, anyway, my husband says to me, “I’m going to plant the basil and peppers where we put them last year.” This is a fine plan for the peppers, but the basil fried in that location last year. I gently reminded him of the basil fiasco, and we came up with a different spot for the seedlings.

I am so glad this conversation happened, though, because it reminded me of the importance of keeping a Gardening Journal. A Gardening Journal is a great way to plot out your garden, keep track of your crops, and to make note of your failures and successes. Even the best gardener can have a particular plant fail, usually due to weather conditions, or pests.

A Garden Journal can be pen and paper, or written as a word document or blog online. I’m partial to pen and paper because it’s easier for me to flip back through the pages to find specific information. You could use a plain notebook, a blank book or a 3-ring binder. Whatever format works for you, the goal is to keep track of what works (or doesn’t), year after year. For example, last year our tomatoes blocked the sun from reaching the Brussels sprouts, so we had healthy stalks, but no sprouts.

We’ll be starting our own journal this year, mostly because my photographic memory is getting a little unreliable as the years go by. We’ll put photos, weather observations, plant varieties and garden locations in it. What we liked and didn’t like will also be important information to add.

Here are some links to more information if you’d like to start your own Journal.