I started a garden diary just before the birth of my second child. As I couldn’t exactly go out and shovel manure at 8 months pregnant I started “scheduling in” the garden jobs with my partner.
I decided to use a calendar to start documenting these jobs. It meant that I could view the whole month and just add as I went. Then came baby brain and the sleep deprivation fog. The calendar helped me remember the jobs that needed to get done in the garden. I had the luxury of time prior to having the kids. But afterwards, I often felt a bit lost when gardening; as I spent most of my “free” time just wondering what to do!
Next I added the moon cycles for planting of seed types. Just the basics – no moon: exposed seeds, first quarter: enclosed seed, full moon: root crops. It was about breaking seed sowing into small parts rather than to focus on optimal timing for the plants . Rather than spending hours planting a heap of seeds, it became just 15 minutes to plant one type of crop.
So then adding when things germinated was really quite exciting – my garden baby book so to speak. And things just evolved from there. Adding when plants flower, when fertiliser needs to go on, first fruit forms, harvest, bugs etc
Probably the best thing was that I put this calendar in the loo – with its own pen attached. It meant that in those small quiet alone moments I had a visual reminder of the things that needed to be done, plus I could easily document any observations from the garden.
I’ve found that having this garden diary has actually made me have more time and I can really enjoy just being in the garden rather than constantly doing. Studying permaculture one of the first principles you learn about is observe and interact. Observation is important and so often underrated. We get busy, we make plans, but how often do we just observe – with all of our senses? I think doing this and finding a way to document these observations is so important for growing with our garden.