Organize Your Gardening Like You Mean It – 2012 Garden Journal

Because I share a steady stream of tools, checklists and spreadsheets with NW Edible readers, I have been accused of being highly organized. In truth, organization, like a clean house, does not come naturally to me. I’m natually more of a project-oriented, creative type, and the discipline of structure and routine is something I have to work at. But because I have to work at it, I’ve become pretty good at setting up systems in my life to make staying organized that much easier.

It’s like that in the garden. I’d prefer to just go out when the mood strikes and toss some seed in the ground and a few weeks later (because that’s how I want the garden to work) harvest buttery heads of lettuce, perfect shatteringly crisp carrots and juicy dark-red tomatoes. And I’d prefer to not worry about irrigation or compost.

But that’s not reality. The reality is, if you want a vine-ripe tomato in August, you have to be thinking about it in February or March. If you want April cauliflower you commit to an overwintering plant the previous June. Winging it just doesn’t work when you garden like you mean it. You need to think about how and why and when you fertilize and prune and plant to get good, consistent results.

So instead of going with the flow and going without cauliflower, I plan. I write out lists, take notes, research, draw sketches, look back at two year old seed catalogs and record what’s going on in the garden. Somewhere along the line all this planning took on a life of its own and I realized I needed to organize my organizing. I needed an easy, flexible, scalable way to record and plan my garden and keep all that planning and recording in one place.

So I designed this Garden Journal. It is designed specifically for vegetable gardeners, because it was designed by a vegetable gardener.

Everything you need to plan and organize your best garden is in here.

I’m pretty freaking proud of it, actually. It is, in my opinion, the best, most complete and most flexible garden planner on the market. It looks good and it performs better. I know, because it’s the Garden Journal I use. I believe it has everything you need to plan and grow a great edible garden without a bunch of fluff you don’t. And I’ll stand behind that: if I forgot something, or left a critical record-keeping sheet out of this Journal, email me and I’ll work to include it in future releases.

I’ve never sold anything on Northwest Edible Life before, but I’m offering this Garden Journal as a 91 page PDF download for $16. I believe this is a very fair price for a tool that will help you grow the best garden you can, and I hope you agree. But, because I’m eager to get this organizer in the hands of as many gardeners as possible before the real push of spring planting is upon us, I’m offering a 20% discount on all downloads made through President’s Day Weekend. At checkout, just use the Discount Code “LongWeekend” to have your discount applied. This discount will expire on Monday, 2/20.

For more information, including contents and page previews, or to purchase and download your own Garden Journal, click here.

Your feedback, is – as always – welcome and greatly appreciated. I hope you’ll love this complete planning, journaling and recording tool as much as I do. Thanks for your support and happy gardening.



  1. says

    I am not highly organized. I should like to be, and will probably have to, when it comes to gardening. Will this journal work for a southern Missouri climate?

    • Just Nick says

      Beth, the organizer is largely region-neutral. Filled out, yours would look a lot different from ours, but the templates of it should port nicely to any region.

    • says

      Thanks Esp! You could certainly print it out year after year. It has 2012 on the pages, but there is no reason you couldn’t continue to use it indefinitely if that didn’t bother you. My plan if this Garden Journal is successful enough to justify the rather enormous amount of time involved would be to release annual versions with additional or modified features as users suggest or recommend them.

  2. says

    Looks great, and I’m a sucker for cool planners and stuff (and supporting fellow bloggers!). I have a journal that I got a few years ago, and I like it ok, but use it all hodgepodge, not as it was intended, and it’s a really odd size. I’m certainly intrigued by yours. ;)

  3. Louise penygraig says

    This looks really great. Only snag for me, being in the UK,would be the page sizes. I assume they’re American sizes. Can they be changed to A4, which is the standard here and what I would need to fir commercially available ring binders, plastic wallets etc. There isn’t a lot of difference between US letter size and A4, but just enough to make it awkward. You sound a bit like me – some people think I’m organised, but I’m not really! I can set up sytems but following them as the year goes through is where I fall down.
    Somthing like tihs would really help.

    • says

      Louise – great feedback. This might be possible to modify without a huge amount of work. Tell me about standard three-ring binder widths in the UK; will a 1″, 1.5″ and 2″ binder spine width translate over the pond, or should I convert to 2 cm, 3 cm, 4 cm?

      • Louise penygraig says

        Thanks for your reply Erica. Ring binders in the Uk only have two rings. I was quite suprised looking at folders in the US how different they are especially as A4 etc sizes are international. There’s quite a good descrition on Wikipedia. It looks as if American letter paper size is a bit wider and a bit shorter. A4 is 8.27 × 11.69″. Letter size is 8.5 × 11″ (from Wikipedia). Probably close enough not to matter. Britain never quite completed metrication so spine widths are (I think) sold as metric but really quite close to inch sizes, eg 2.5 cm! I’ve just measured a ring binder I’ve got and the spine size seems to be about 2 1/2″ but I’m pretty sure Staples sells 1″ ones The rings in the binders are about 3 1/4 ” apart. Does that help?
        I suspect your planner would fit the A4 size OK as it is.


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