Do you struggle with knowing when to start your tomato seeds?
Do you find yourself wishing you’d been better organized with your seed starting?
I do. Every year! I always plan out a gorgeous garden full of every type of fruit or vegetable I can imagine wanting to eat. And it just feels like no matter what, I always forget one (or ten) of them.
I really want to grow enough variety of food to keep us out of the produce section for at least the summer!
So this year, I decided to make myself a set of reminders, and I made a spreadsheet to help me set my dates for starting seeds and direct seeding my garden.
It has been awesome!
I have all my dates figured out, and I put them in my calendar. Now I’m getting reminders that say, ‘Hey, it’s time to plant tomatoes!” and “Hey, you need to start your pepper seeds!”
Did I already say it has been awesome?! Oh yeah. Well, it is!
As I was using the spreadsheet I thought there must be other gardeners who might like to use this.
But I want it to be really, super helpful!
So I created a list of veggies and fruits that are commonly grown in home gardens, and I put them in the spreadsheet.
Then I noted how they needed to be started: start seeds indoors, direct seed in garden, or buy plants. And I went through and added formulas to my spreadsheet to make it figure out the exact dates to start seeds indoors, direct seed in the garden, or plant each type of crop listed.
The spreadsheet automatically calculates dates that are based on the last frost dates for spring gardening and first frost dates for fall gardening.
Get my seed starting book with the spreadsheets:
Here’s what Lesa of Better Hens and Gardens had to say about the book and spreadsheets:
It automatically calculates spring and fall planting dates!
When you’re planning your garden, each type of plant has a specific recommendation. For example, you should start your tomatoes 8 weeks before your planting date which is two weeks after your last frost date.
But cabbage should be started 6 weeks before your planting date which is 2 weeks before your last frost date.
Ahhh! That get’s confusing!
So I set up the spreadsheet to figure out all the dates based on the frost dates entered. It’s So. Much. Easier!
Then I added a whole bunch of other stuff!
I’ve listed germination temps for seed starts, and I grouped them into two temperature categories. Those that like the cooler temp (70) and those that like the warmer temp (80).
These temps are just averages of the range that is recommended for each type of plant, but I chose one that fits them all so it’s much easier to remember! In fact, it’s super easy because they’re color-coded so you can see which plants to plant in the same trays.
I also included maximum days to germination. I figured this was the more important number so you can easily reference how long it should take for them to pop. And you’ll know when you need to start investigating causes for poor germination or just give them a little more time.
And to make it the ultimate garden planning spreadsheet, I also put in a calculator to help you determine how many plants you need and how much space that number of plants will need to grow.
So it sounds pretty awesome, right?
But there’s even more! Bonus garden journal calculates germination rates.
I wanted to add some space for tracking garden success and failures throughout the years so I made a journal section where you can make notes about which varieties had the best germination rates and whether the plant was distinctly productive, difficult to grow, or delightfully tasty.
How to use the spreadsheets
To use the spreadsheet, you’ll need a program that will run .xlsx files.
Gmail users can use Google to work in the spreadsheet for free!
Just upload the file to Google Drive, then open the file, and in the top middle of your screen, click the menu that says ‘open with’ and select Sheets.
Once you’re in the spreadsheet, enter your first frost date and last frost date in the yellow highlighted cells. And the spreadsheet does the rest for you! Find your frost dates here.
I hope it helps you grow A LOT of food! And I want you to be as successful as possible!
So I wrote a book about seed starting for beginners, too.
I’m selling the spreadsheets and the seed starting book bundled together with a 14% discount!
I know you can grow food, and I know this will help you!
Not ready to buy? That’s okay! Let’s stay in touch anyway!
Sign up for my (semi) weekly newsletter, and I’ll send you my free book ‘Three Secrets To Growing The Best Garden Ever!”
Inside the free book, you’ll get a sneak peak of the veggies that I’ve included in the spreadsheets and how to plan what to grow in your garden this year. It’s totally free, but only for subscribers. 🙂