What is a field notebook

What is a field notebook

Have you ever taken a school trip to the countryside? Some teachers ask their students to bring a field notebook that day so you can write down everything they see and develop little cards about the animals and/or plants they see. They can even collect sheets to include in this document and thus better illustrate it.

But in reality, the field notebook is so much more and today we want to explain everything you can do with one. Dark?


What is a field notebook

field diary

A field notebook, also called a field notebook, is nothing more than a notepad in which all the information obtained in the field is noted, understand this word as the work that is done.

For example, for an archaeologist, the field notebook can contain information on the excavations in progress, the instructions followed and the finds found (with photos, drawings, etc.). In the case of a naturalist, it could be a compilation of what they see when exploring, with examples of leaves, drawings of plants, etc.

And in gardening? well normally the field notebook refers to the different care given to the plants and the result obtained. An example of this could be plant protection product annotations, holdings, or a compilation of plant care and reactions.

More details:

  • In the case of phytosanitary products, the field notebook is used to note what is given to each plant and the reaction it has. If he is well, if he has withered, if he has had an illness… In fact, the Royal Decree 1311/2012, better known as the law on the sustainable use of medical devices, obliges all farmers to have a field notebook of a farm if it is subject to phytosanitary controls.
  • If it is a farm, it refers to the rotations of the different growing areas so that one knows what has been planted in each and what has rested to start the cycle again (and that the earth recovers).
  • Finally, if it is a plant care, which may be usual for your garden, you can make a compilation of all the plants you have and comment on the care that is provided and their evolution. Keep in mind that sometimes plants have to adapt to their new surroundings and sometimes this is not easy and requires more attention.

What is a field diary used for?

We cannot say that there is only one objective in a field notebook, but several. If we focus on defining this, being a register of all the phytosanitary treatments applied to the plants, the objective is none other than to check that the regulations in force are respectedas well as to assess and ensure that the plants are well cared for (this is very important when asking for help).

But if we are not farmers, the objective that you can have with these annotations is none other than to see the evolution of your plants, as well as to record the moment when they are fertilized, pruned, transplanted, products are applied to fight pests, etc.

What information does it contain

daily information from the field

This time, we will divide this topic into two. The field notebook itself and the gardening one.

Information from a field notebook

As we have told you, this would be the registration of plant protection products and This document is divided into two parts. On the one hand, the registration of the plot or the fields of exploitation. That is, here is included field extension informationwhere is he, what is the earth like…

On the other hand, phytosanitary treatment data. It must include the invoices of the phytosanitary agents, the certificates of inspection of the equipment, the proofs of delivery of the empty containers, the analysis of the residues and the employment contracts of the persons who applied the products.

All this must be put together in the same document (don’t worry because the Ministry of Agriculture has left a template on the web that you can download).

Information from a field diary for gardening or research

In case you only want to have a field journal (either because you’ve been walking around the countryside or because you want to keep one for the plants in your garden), you can do that too.

In the case where it is a walk, you must contain the plants you encountera description of them and even a souvenir (a fruit, a leaf, a piece of its bark, etc.).

Yes it’s one for your garden, Should contain:

  • A relationship of plants. If possible, also its location. This way, by looking at the book, you will know which plant it is (sometimes when you have several they can be confused).
  • Basic care of each plant. This in general.
  • care provided. Sometimes they differ from the previous ones because the plant, due to its location, can change its needs. Here you can note the dates of registration, transplant, irrigation, diseases and treatments, results…

How to make a field notebook

How to make a field notebook

Did it catch your eye and do you want to make one yourself? You already know that if you are a farmer, this document is mandatory, and it is preferable to use the model of the Ministry of Agriculture So you don’t have much room to be creative.

Also you must keep it for at least three years, whether on paper or digitally.

In case of being a education book, or gardening, the thing changes.

The purpose in one is to write down everything that happens during a field trip (to nature) where everything you see is written. On the other hand, gardening focuses on your plants, what are they, what do you give them, how do they react, if they flower, etc.

For this you need a notebook, which can be a simple ring binder or whatever suits you best. It is also necessary to have pens and colored pencils (in case you want to paint the plant you see). In addition, small bags with closures or tape are other tools that can be useful.

We recommend that divide it into two parts, a first in which you write down where you go on a nature trip or the details of your garden; and a second where you focus on what you see or the plants you have.

Have you ever made a field diary? Did you like the experience?

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