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GYG-090 Garden Journals, Planning Tools, and Why You Need Them


It’s been an interesting week so far. I am still planning out the Spring Garden preparing the plots by leveling and in many cases “de-rocking” them. I have a couple of raised bed frames a neighbor donated, and I am building up new ones.

Finding a good source of bulk soil is next on the list and so far, I really haven’t found anything I like.Gaage Base

The New Shop/Garage base was finally  inspected and passed so I can have the concrete base poured now. I will be glad to finally get this over with. I need better storage for my tractor, garden tools, and a place to fix things.


The main Focus this week is on tools for planning and how they can help you improve your organic garden journal activities.


Notebook Journal

The old standby. The main way to keep a garden journal is also the cheapest – a simple 3 Ring Binder. This is one you should set up no matter which of these tools you might choose since you can print them out an add them to the notebook, along with Erica’s useful Tracking sheets.


Planning CalendarSmartgardener.com

Is a free service that helps you plan your garden online. While it is free, they do try and market “add-ons” to make the job simpler. While I liked what they offered, I dis have some problems getting the templates rotated, and set up the way I wanted



This is my favorite online Planning site and it seems to improve more and more each year. With a huge database of plants, it helps not only size the number of plants you can fit in a given area, but with a color code, will show you what can and cannot be planted with each other.  Click on the GrowVeg link on the Right side if you want more information.



My newest find is the Garden Planner from Erica Strauss at NWEdible.com. While I am usually skeptical about online “e-books”, this one at $16 is worth far more than it’s price.Organic Gardener Erica Strauss

Erica has put a lot of time into this planner with charts, forms, templates, and all sorts of pages you can use or choose not to. Erica also has a page where she gives many useful forms away for free. Please take a look at it before deciding.


Favor To Ask

I am looking at bringing out either a series of Gardening E-Books, or DVD’s, or both. I ask you if they were on something you were interested in, which format would you prefer?

Deadly Compost

Finally there is a extremely important article on compost issues I speak about from Mother Earth News. Please read it and keep it in mind as you look for compost.

Read the Article Here

{ 7 comments… add one }

  • Brandon VA October 6, 2013, 7:02 am

    First off, your podcasts are great, discovered them a good while ago & I listen to these more than music! I also wanted to let you know that your hyperlink to nwedible.com is broken. It links to needible.com which doesn’t exist. Chalk another vote up for DVD!

    • Steve October 7, 2013, 5:45 pm

      Thanks Brandon! I do rely on listeners and visitors like you to help catch any of the many typos I seem to miss. I have it repaired now. Thanks

  • J February 24, 2013, 11:08 am


  • wylie pilgrim February 20, 2013, 4:03 pm

    Great episode Steve; i really should journal and plan more. I’m sure I waste a lot of space and effort because of my tendency to do things haphazardly at the last minute…old habits, eh?

    re: your favor to ask.. I like the idea of a DVD. Like you, I’m old school (and just plain old) and I don’t like e-readers and I don’t like to rely on wi-fi. I use a laptop with a DVD player and so long as the battery is charged, I can watch my DVD’s anytime, anywhere. So that’s my vote, and I love the idea.

    take it easy buddy.

    Wylie, in Canada.

    • Steve February 22, 2013, 6:25 pm

      It sounds like you and I are a lot alike, Wylie. Before the Garden Journal I had stuff willie nillie everywhere. It was sort of like the suburban amateur landscaper that never planned things, just bought what looked good at the Nursery.

      DVD format has been by far the preferred choice from the reposnses, and to be honest, it’s what I was hoping. Thanks again, Wylie.

      • Wylie Pilgrim February 27, 2013, 12:03 pm

        Man I’m so glad you’re back on the horse, Steve. Your podcasts and your humor mean a lot to me. Keep it up.

  • Missouri Damon February 15, 2013, 8:17 am

    Welcome back my friend.

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