Review: The Fantastic Gardening Notebook

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I have a love/hate relationship with gardening.  Although blessed with a green thumb, to take advantage of that blessing I need good sun and warm weather.  Unfortunately, that is not the case where I live.  Although beautiful in so many ways, my home is situated on a tiny, shaded lot and the weather?  Let me just say that this is Western Washington and the growing season is short.

In spite of the shortcomings of where I live, each year I set up a seed starting station in my office on top of the file cabinets.  With a grow light and heat mat, I do my best to jump start the season.  Sometimes things work out, and other times they don’t.

The Gardening Notebook Review - Backdoor Survival

Now you would think that I would keep track of my progress; the dates I started my seeds, germination rates, in ground planting, types of purchased starts and so on and so forth.  Indeed I do, but these notes are on little scraps of paper that somehow disappear in the mess I call my desk.

With that bit of background, I would like to introduce you to Angi Schneider’s Gardening Notebook which I feel should be renamed the FANTASTIC Gardening Notebook.  More about that in a moment, but first I want to let you know that I have three copies up for grabs in this week’s giveaway.  Pretty cool, right?

The Gardening Notebook

Given that I have never had much luck organizing my gardening notes, when I first downloaded the Gardening Notebook I was skeptical as assumed that it would be marginally useful to someone like me.  I should not have worried.

The Gardening Notebook starts right out by saying that this is your notebook and then goes on to give tips for customizing the notebook to your own needs.  Indeed, the first few pages ask you to define the reason you garden then runs you through researching your agricultural zone, average first and last frost dates, and a reminder to look up and write down the website URL of your local county extension website.  How many gardening books include worksheets for doing just that?  None that I know of.

As I started to go through the Gardening Notebook, answering questions, and filling in the worksheets, I realized that I was creating my own unique gardening bible, specific to my needs and specific to my gardening interests.  I was excited.

As I moved on to the Vegetable section, I found a single page or two devoted to each veggie along with cultivation tips, potential pests and problems, plus harvesting and storage assistance.  No boilerplate here; these pages were written as though a dear friend was sharing tips across the kitchen table with a cup of coffee in hand and cookies on the table.

In the spirit of becoming my own personal gardening notebook, each page also had a place to record planting dates and the specific varieties planted.   I can see using this as both a planning tool and a tool for keeping track of historical records.  Foremost on my mind was that next year there would be no scrambling around trying to figure out what I planted and when this year!

There are similarly robust sections on fruits and herbs.  I found the cultivation tips for various herbs to be extremely helpful since that will be my focus in this year’s garden.

Printables and More Printables

The nice thing about an eBook in PDF format is that you can print it out, over and over again if you desire.  To that end, The Gardening Notebook  includes over 40 pages of printables, including a garden calendar, planting guide, month by month pages for notes and observations, and more.   One thing I plan on doing this Spring and Summer is noting weather patterns on the monthly notes and observations pages.  Was May rainy or sunny?  Next year I will know.

I could go on an on, but honestly, you just have to experience the Gardening Notebook to see for yourself.  It is modestly priced, but, if you are lucky, you can win a copy for free.

The Gardening Notebook Giveaway

Three copies of The Gardening Notebook  has been reserved for lucky readers.  To enter the giveaway, you need to utilize the Rafflecopter form below.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

The deadline is 6:00 PM Pacific next Tuesday with the winner notified by email and announced on the Rafflecopter in the article.  Please note that the winner must claim their book within 48 hours or an alternate will be selected.

The Final Word

I am so excited about The Gardening Notebook that I wish I could gift one to each of you.  That said, it is modestly priced at only $9.95 and is so worth it.  To quote Angi:

“The Gardening Notebook is a custom printable e-book to help you keep track of everything that is important to you in your gardening. The more you add to it, the more you it becomes.”

Good luck in the giveaway!

Enjoy your next adventure through common sense and thoughtful preparation!
Gaye

If you enjoyed this article, consider voting for me daily at Top Prepper Websites!  In addition, SUBSCRIBE to email updates  and receive a free, downloadable copy of my e-book The Emergency Food Buyer’s Guide.

Get the ultimate gardening too, The Gardening Notebook, for only $9.95. SchneiderPeeps.com

Bargain Bin:  Below you will find links to the gardening items that I can personally vouch for because I own and use them.

Seeds of the Month Club:  Having heirloom seeds will never be a coulda woulda shoulda since new packets arrive monthly, right on schedule.  As I mentioned in the article, I have yet to receive a duplicate seed packet.  Not only that, the seeds are regionalized to my geographical area here in Washington State.

Hydrofarm 2-Foot Jump Start T5 Grow Light System: I love my new grow light.  It is sturdy, well built and the light itself is adjustable.  There is also a 4 foot version.

Seed Starting 380

Hydrofarm MT10006 9-by-19-1/2-Inch Seedling Heat Mat:  I have always used a heat mat with my seeds but in recent years I have been purchasing starts.  My old mat is long gone and this is its replacement.

Grow Mat 380

Grow Your Own Groceries DVD:  When it first came out, I paid $69 for the Grow Your Own Groceries DVD and resource disk.  Right now, the set is available to BDS readers for $27.75 which is a 25% discount off the current price.  This is a great deal on a fabulous resource with tons of useful information – not only about gardening but about rabbits, chickens, water conservation and more.

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Comments

Review: The Fantastic Gardening Notebook — 80 Comments

  1. I haven’t started one yet. I’ve just started looking into it. I would like to grow a variety of things, but I’ll probably start with tomatoes and a few herbs.

  2. Tomatoes, tomatoes, and then there are tomatoes. Peppers (bell and cayenne), potatoes(white, sweet, and purple). strawberries, blueberries, corn, and of course the cold weather crops I am growing now. Lettuce, arugula, broccoli, onions and brussel sprouts. There has to be melons, water and musk,
    Since I believe this is about the last growing season we will have before the crap hits, I will probably add more to my normal list.

  3. The book looks great. I’ve experimented with container gardening, raised bed and planting in bales of hay. Tried all the basics, tomatoes, peppers, squash, and greens. Hope to expand more in the future as I get the chance. Keep Looking UP

  4. Tomatoes, peppers, herbs, greens, onions, carrots, eggplant, peas, beans, potatoes, popcorn, and this year I’m going to try quinoa.

  5. Every year I try to grow cucumbers, tomatoes, squash, and strawberries. Last year, nothing, year before a plentiful bounty. It all depends I suppose.

  6. Well it’s actually DaHubs garden. We will be trying out the heirloom tomatoes he received, Peppers, cucumbers, Squash,and we’re going to try potatoes and sweet potatoes. That is IF the weather co-operates This would be so good for him. He also does notes all over the place. I must confess I have been known pick up the little bits and pieces and toss them, not realizing those were his notes to self.

  7. I’m going to TRY to grow peppers, zucchini, melons, pumpkins, cucumbers, carrots, and potatoes. I also want to up my production of tomatoes, blueberries and strawberries. Operative word here is “try”, as I unfortunately have a black thumb, and don’t necessarily get everything I plant.

  8. Again I will try to grow healthy basic veggies in a dry climate with hugely amended poor soil. I have a long growing season so my goal is to have waves of ripe veggies for the table. I have issues with dogs who love to eat veggies, yuck bugs, birds and hot days.

  9. What I typically plant are vegetables that are usually higher priced in the grocery store. Also, we grow foods that are very versatile and yet high in nutrients that can be stored easily through canning, drying or freezing. We plant a lot of tomatoes, peppers (multiple varieties), squashes, multiple herbs. Peas and beans. And lots of different greens, that can be grown year round.

  10. I have a balcony so am limited. I bought a topsy-turvey tomato kit and will have a cuke plant and herbs and maybe some bright flowers. Would love sunflowers!

  11. I would love to win this, I am really starting to learn a lot from you and wanting to more survival / preper skills. I would use this fruits for outdoor trips and cooking also saving money on tight budget that I have….
    Thank you so much..

  12. I started mine 2 weeks ago, first time, woo hoo!! Everything is sprouting and I am a very proud momma! I planted heirloom tomatoes (3 kinds), bell peppers, eggplants, cucumber, okra (probably too early), basil, lavender, oregano, thyme, dill, Anaheim peppers, jalapeno peppers, onions (red and yellow) and have seed potatoes sprouting. I would love to win and learn more.

  13. Bell peppers, cucumbers, onions and tomatoes. I had great luck with the cucumbers last year. However I can’t seem to grow a tomato to save my life. But I’m not giving up. I will try again!

  14. I have limited space (aka two planters on a patio) so I will likely be growing herbs. I’d like to try a big cherry tomato plant in a pot, but my “patio” is right in front on the way to the mailboxes. I’m not sure about my neighbors so I will probably use it to plant a larger medicinal herb plant that has no visual food value.

  15. Some of the items we plan to plant include peanuts, cantalope, corn, peas, green beans, squash, and onions. Didn’t have much luck with cucumbers or peppers last year – end up with minis!

  16. Try planting by the moon signs. I get newsletter@farmersalmanac.com it’s very useful.
    Once your plants get their true leaves start Foliar feeding every 2 weeks w/seaweed (kelp) and fish blend. I recommend neptunesharvest.com. Don’t root feed and foliar at same time (week apart).
    Tomato’s and peppers like magnesium also,use Epson salt for this. I buy 2 1/2 jugs liquid mag myself for field crops.
    You can also make small cold frames 2’x4′ out of pvc pipe and cover w/clear poly, make clips out of thin black poly pipe by cutting length wise and then rounding corners w/scissors.
    Parks comm seed cat gives you temps and other info (light/dark) in starting seeds.
    Good plan-ting

  17. My number one favorite is tomatoes!! I also grow other veggies but I too have a shady yard and it’s difficult. Hopefully we will be moving soon. High on my priority list is a sunny garden spot!

  18. Carrots, potatoes, beans, pumpkins, corn, lettuce, herbs, cucumbers, tomatoes, peppers, squash, sunflowers, peas are the usual but this year I plan to try rice for the first time.

  19. I am rebuilding two raised beds and adding a third so I wish to attempt to grow some lettuce, tomatoes, strawberries, blue berries, raspberries, acorn squash, jalapeno peppers and bell peppers. Maybe some broccoli.

  20. I have not raised a garden in many years, but we are doing raised garden beds this year, and I am so excited. New experience for me, but so anxious to harvest my very own food again.

  21. I have had limited success raising vegetables in the past, but hope to try a small variety this year–tomatoes, for sure, peppers, lettuce, maybe zucchini and cucumbers! I would love to grow onions…

  22. This would be a great help to any gardener to keep all their information in one handy notebook.I am going to try gardening this year.

  23. Check out Paul Gautschi – Back to Eden video. Available at: ht tp://vimeo.com/28055108 (remove space between t’s).
    I tried this last year and was happy with the results. Reduced watering, no hoeing (previously, the number of small plants I chopped – sad), weeds can be pulled right out, root and all. Good strong healthy plants. One tomato plant (v. Ailsa Craig) produced 7 lbs 9.2 oz (plus the ones my buddy scrumped) and a cherry (believed to be Black Russian) we ate right off the vine. Sweeter than berry fruit. The rest got flattened in a gale.
    I start my seeds off in root trainers and then plant out. Whenever I furtled the chips away to plant, the soil was always wet, with loads of wriggly wormy things.
    I started in Spring (wrong, but had to get going) and plants needed a top dress of Fish, Blood and Bone watered in because of nitrogen shortage.
    Hoping for better this year.

  24. Most of my gardening is in pots and planters spread all over the patio and yard. Our soil is very poor and even though I’ve been amending it with the Eden plan for a few years not many things will grow well.
    I plant potatoes every year in two large black bins/tubs and they do well. I fill the planters with soil and pretty much leave them alone.
    I can’t seem to grow peas, and the cucumbers always give in to a virus. Tomatoes do pretty well and peppers are hit and miss.
    I am always excited to try again the next year, even when I have failures.

  25. Tomatoes, lettuce, onions, spinach, kale, squash, peas, herbs. I started the milk jug garden on the tenth and a few of the lettuce is up.

  26. Tomatoes, Peppers, cucumbers, zucchini, green &yellow beans, sweet corn, pumpkins (both jack-o-lantern & pie), potatoes, rhubarb, onions, garlic, carrots, radishes, lettuce, muskmelon, watermelon, strawberries, blueberries & raspberries.

  27. Since Victory Gardens during WWII, I have always had a garden, but . . . often ill organised and certainly without adequate records of what’s what. I need help organising and perhaps this book will enable me to accomplish that, and my children, and grandchildren, will be able to carry on with greater knowledge of what goes where when . . . thanks.

  28. We have been using 4ft x 4ft Lifetime Raised Garden Beds for the past 3 or 4 years, following the guidance of Mel Bartholomew’s book, “New Square Foot Gardening”, including mixing up the combination of soil ingredients (compost, peat, and vermiculite).
    For the first time since living in Western Washington, we have started having successful gardens. Perhaps having the raised beds in a sunny spot in the front yard has helped too. (They are screened from the street by shrubs and small trees.) In the back row, growing up a trellis will be 4 tomato plants – 2 cherry & 2 regular. Next row, 4 broccoli plants, with succession planting of cucumbers in tomato cages. In front of those will be 4 bell pepper plants, and front row is “salad veggies” – lettuce, radishes, & carrots,etc. Another raised bed has peas for an early crop, followed by green beans… etc, etc. Another raised bed just for strawberries, as they are so invasive if planted with other plants.
    Started Blueberry bushes above a small retaining wall, different varieties for longer production season. The days are getting longer !!! and gardening is just around the corner. Yippee! I think I will push the Community Association rules to the limit and add yet another raised bed this spring.
    Happy gardening everyone!

  29. Hope springs eternal; I’ll try tomatoes, again. Started two years ago to grow tomatoes, but had no success. But, THEY do say that the third time’s the charm. :0)

  30. I don’t have much room for a regular garden but I thought I’d try some container gardening. Tomatoes, spinach, green peppers and beans.

  31. This appears to but more complete than others I have used, including my own version. I’m going to attempt a completely different gardening method this year, since I’m no longer very mobile. This may be a big help.

  32. This year I unfortunately won’t get to plant but next year I will be planting whatever grows the best in the hot Arizona sun! lol 😀

  33. I took lessons learned with my garden last year to heart. My charts are all on printed pages I did myself, but no real method to the madness yet. This year will be shade loving veg in the raised beds and I’ll have tons of containers crowding the few sunny spots on the side of the house and in the backyard. (The hubs has forbidden my urge to transform the front yard into an edible landscape). I set up my starter pods Friday and planted the tomatoes, peppers, and two varieties of lettuce in the garage yesterday. As long as I can keep lil man from “helping” this year, I may get a few more of my own plants in the ground.

  34. Roma tomatos, onions, romaine & bib lettuce, carrots, green beans, cucumbers, strawberries and some peppers. Maybe this fall I’ll try growing some potatoes, broccoli, kale and garlic.

  35. Roma tomatos, onions, romaine & bib lettuce, carrots, green beans, cucumbers, strawberries and some peppers. Maybe this fall I’ll try growing some potatoes, broccoli, kale and garlic.

    Liked and left a comment on facebook (when I clicked on tab it wouldn’t open or register that I submitted it).

  36. The basics; tomatoes, peppers, onions, potatoes, carrots, cucumber….etc. Also, hopefully will be trying some new plants too, not sure what yet, still planning.

  37. I plan on having carrots, lettuce, beets, radishes, cucumbers, zucchini, tomatoes, several different hot peppers such as jalapeno, Fresno, purple Jalapenos. I get very excited about my garden every year. I start a diary and fade out as the season goes on. I also have an established asparagus bed that comes back every year

  38. My husband takes care of the vegetable gardens and the fruit trees/bushes while I take care of the herbs. Have only had a herb garden for a couple years so could really use a great way to keep track of it. Thanks for the giveaway!

  39. I hope to get some tomatoes, cucumbers, and bell peppers to grow. It’s tough in Phoenix, Arizona. It seems everything dies too soon so I’m going to try starting a little earlier this year.

  40. I have never had my own garden before. I was always helping my parents with their garden as I grew up. I have no room to grow a garden in the ground. I am going to grow my garden in containers. I am going to try to grow tomatoes, potatoes, beans, cucumbers, and some squashes. We’ll see how it goes. I am also going to grow some herbs and fruits.

    • I have been very successful with a container garden. I grow tomatoes, cucumbers, peppers, potatoes and many herbs. Good luck, and remember to enjoy every moment.

  41. I typically try two to three new things a year and keep what works and scrap what my family doesn’t care for. Each year we try to put up enough of the staples for a year and a half if things were to go south. SAURKRAUT is a must, all things tomato of course, all varieties of beans dry and green, corn dry and sweet, jellies, jams, beets, carrots. It takes a lot to feed a small army that is our immediate family(20) of us from 10 months old to 74. Our garden plots are very very fertile thanks to our livestock so fertility isn’t an issue but with this years trial plants I am lacking some information.
    I’m going to try Jerusalem artichoke, this year and if anyone has any tips or tricks for getting it going I’d greatly appreciate it.

  42. Last year we tried our hand gardening with tomatoes and basil. Did quite well actually. This year we plan on doing those, plus carrots, strawberries, onions, and maybe potatoes. We also are wanting to plant a couple of apple trees this year 🙂

  43. I just started planting lettuce and spinach. Garlic and onions are already in. Planted the bottoms of green onions and celery so they can sprout some more. A volunteer pea just came up so I will take mother nature’s clue and plant some more of my own.

  44. Although hubby and I haven’t yet started our garden, he we been talking about it heavily. We’ve ordered seed catalogs and read books and even bought some supplies. All that’s left is to actually plant! Lol

  45. My garden for 2015 will have many cucumbers plants, a variety of tomato plants, several types of green beans, peas, carrots, kidney beans, pinto beans, broccoli, cauliflower and carrots. I can’t wait to start! I already have several types of onion seeds under lights and they are looking great! I will be preserving everything I have by canning, dehydrating and juicing.

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