How to use The Dirt Between My Toes Gardening and Planning Journal
Do you enjoy gardening? Do you enjoy the feel of dirt? Do you love watching plants grow and blossom? I’m not crazy about the work part of it, but I do enjoy the benefits. Gardening has so many therapeutic benefits of its own, and journaling is icing on the cake. I do so love to look back and see what I accomplished as I make plans for the future.
But, how do you decide what goes where? I must admit that most years my garden is a bit haphazard. I often plant things on a whim without thought of where or how I plant. My husband and I do go to the trouble to plan out our vegetable garden every year on scraps of graph paper that get thrown in a desk drawer until the following spring. I looked for all of those plans and I found two or three years of notes then nothing for five years, then a couple more years, and nothing again. I couldn’t even find last year’s note. So, I decided to make a journal to organize my notes in a place where I can find them every year. I modeled it after my daughter’s notebook. She has a degree in landscape architecture and planned my perennial flower bed for me.
Planner and Journal
This book is meant to be a planting planner and journal so you can plan and keep record of what worked and what didn’t. Sorry, it’s not a “how-to” book. Most of the how-to’s are over my head. This is just for enjoyment long after the blooms have faded.
There is a companion planting guide with a spot for you to jot down your favorite gardening websites.
The “To-Do” list just serves as a reminder for yearly maintenance type chores. Use the extra lines for your own to-do’s.
The planner is formatted by the year. For each year there are Yearly Calendar pages, Formula pages, Mapping pages, and Note pages. Having notes from previous years helps you plan for crop rotation, and avoid repeating the same mistakes. Plus, it’s just plain satisfying to review what you accomplished.
The Yearly Calendar pages are where you map out your to-do list. They are blank so you can use it for any time period even if you decide to take off a year.
The Formula pages are for keeping notes on your special soil mixtures, fertilizer and compost recipes, and natural insecticides, etc.
There are eight pages of garden mapping with room for a key and shopping list. If one page is not adequate for your spot feel free to use the two-page spread. I doubled up the lines in the shopping list when I mapped out my own garden.
In the Notes section, journal what you did when and save room for the results; things like when you pruned, fertilized, tilled your soil, what the weather was like when you planted, note the time of day shade crosses your garden, and the type
of pests you encounter.
This is also a good place to keep notes from gardening classes and books. Maybe tape in empty seed packets when you want to remember the brand and variety. Add pictures where you’d like. Be sure to date your entries.
Remember, these are only suggestions. The most important thing is to make it yours. Make your plan for this year, document your results, add photos, then use this year to plan next year. You’ll be rewarded over and over again.