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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.
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.
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. 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!
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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.
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 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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