Free Printable: 2009 Spring Garden Guide

by Daisy

Ever wonder WHEN you’re supposed to start tomatoes indoors, sow carrots outdoors, or transplant your peppers? (Or is the fact that timing matters Brand New Information?) Well, here is a free printable that already has it organized for you.

This is the time of year when those of us who have garden fever can finally begin to do something tangible, can begin to take that garden from theory to reality, from the page to the stage. In so doing it is nice, especially for those of us who are still learning, to get help from any quarter.
So when Ivory started talking about a 2009 Spring Garden Planner (if you get an ‘exceeded bandwidth’ message, use this link instead.) I was eager to see what she had up her sleeve. She set to work gathering data and figuring out how to set up a pdf booklet, reportedly becoming cross-eyed in the process. (I hope she meant this figuratively).

Once I printed it up and figured out how to put it together I immediately began scribbling in it, circling the vegetables I plan to start from seed, taking note of the varieties I selected, and pretty much just drooling over it. I had the script for A Midsummer Night’s Tomato, and I was happy.

What is it exactly? Once you establish the frost-free date for your area, this planner will tell you each week what seeds can be started, what can be planted out, and what can be direct sowed from now through the end of the spring planting season. (Italics are used to indicate it’s your last chance to get that particular vegetable going.) Then, in the blanks below, you can record what you decided to plant, varieties, notes, what-have-you.

It’s designed to be folded into fourths and stapled or bound together like a book. (I took a pointy thing and made 2 pairs of holes, threaded a little dishcloth cotton yarn on a tapestry needle and “sewed” it together).

But, in case this all seems vague, here’s detailed instructions on how to get it, put it together, and start using it!

1. Download the pdf here and print it out on fresh or recycled paper. (We designed it so that you could use your ‘already printed on one side’ paper.)

2. Fold all pages in half horizontally.
3. Find the page with the cover. Turn it over so you’re looking at NOTES on the right and “12wks before frost” on the left. Fold in half so those pages kiss each other and lay it open on the table.
4. Find the page with “8 wks before last frost” on the left and “8 wks after last frost” on the right. Fold in half so those pages kiss each other and lay open on top of the “12 wks” open pages.
5. Find the page with “4 wks before last frost” on the left and “4 wks after last frost” on the right” Fold in half so those pages kiss each other and lay open on top of the “8 wks” pages.

6. Find the page with “2 wks before last frost” on the left and “2 wks after last frost” on the right. Fold in half so those pages kiss each other and lay open on top of the “4 wks” pages.

7. Find the page with “Week of last spring frost” on the left and “NOTES” on the right. Fold in half so those pages kiss each other and lay open on top of the “2 wks” pages.

8. Poke some holes in the center crease through all pages and tie a couple of strings through.

9. Now…go to this site and get the traditional “last spring frost” for your area; or call a nursery and get it. Open your journal to the center where it says, “Week________ — Week of Last Spring Frost”, and put your date in the blank.

10. Subtract seven days. Turn one page back to “1 wk before last frost” and write the -7 date there. Continue to subtract until you reach the beginning of the book.

11. Go back to the center of your book and turn one page to the right. Add seven days to your frost date and write it in the blank next to “1 wk after last frost.” Continue adding seven days until you reach the end of the book.

If all that adding and subtracting makes you crazy, click this:

12. Play with your book, looking at what you could be starting indoors this week or when you need to go buy your tomato plants, all that. (And a reminder, the italics denote the ‘last chance’ plantings, as in “if you haven’t planted your cucumbers, it’s now or never!”) Use the blanks for notes on what you planted, how many, what variety, what-have-you!


Tags: gardening planner seed-starting

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{ 10 comments… read them below or add one }

Kathy Walker July 2, 2009 at 11:20 am

I found the spring garden download/planner. Do you have one for the other seasons(s). I see a link to the Free Printable-O-Rama: Herbs, Fall and Recipes|Little House in the Suburbs but the link is broken (error 404).

gina December 31, 2009 at 9:50 pm

Thanks for the great printable. This is exactly what I have been looking for to help me with my garden this spring!

Debbie January 15, 2010 at 5:44 pm

Just found your site and the great planners. I use this site for calculating the date to write in . Just plug in the date of your last frost and subtract the number of weeks, or plug in the date of first frost, and add weeks. It also gives the number of days so you could use it for transplanting to find out when to harvest.

Greg February 22, 2010 at 2:30 pm

I know this is a pretty old post, but thanks for this handy little booklet. I printed it off today and figured out that I’m on the tail end of getting my broccoli sowed indoors.

I don’t know if you want any suggestions or not, but making the “do it now” items bold instead of italicized would make it a little easier to see which need done now.

Katherine March 9, 2010 at 8:35 am

This is JUST what I have been looking for! I appreciate the efficiency of being able to use scrap paper, too. I have mine all printed and ready for action. DB is preparing to build our second garden box for our little garden in the city. Thank you!

Christy H Surls March 9, 2010 at 3:30 pm

LOVE, LOVE, LOVE this idea! I’m new to your site, so didn’t have this ever before and am so excited…. if you were here I’d have to give you a big hug! 🙂 Thanks so much for putting this together.

Susan March 10, 2010 at 11:00 am

Hey, this is fantastic! Thanks so much for doing the work for this!

Even though I’ve been gardening for years, I still never *quite* have known what to plant when, other than the seed packet directions, which aren’t all in one place and I always miss something. This is timely and concise.

I’m going to put up a post on my blog directing people to this, I think it’s so great.

Catherine January 24, 2011 at 8:52 am

I came from Tessa’s blog (Blunders with shoots, blossoms n’ roots) after reading her post that mentioned this planner. What a great idea. I’m always getting out the calender and counting backwards trying to figure out dates.

KathyG February 6, 2011 at 1:47 pm

Hey, what a great idea. I have gardener for almost 40 years and still am on a quest to make the perfect seed-planning/planting chart. Thank you so much for creating this little planner.

I had to laugh, though, at the ‘calculate your frost-free dates’ on the Victor Seed site. I live in the high desert of central Oregon, and technically, we can experience frost any day of the year. Although in practice we don’t.

Using the information on the site, I find that the last ‘spring’ frost here is July 28, and the first ‘fall’ frost is Aug 5, yielding a magnificent frost-free growing season of …………. ta da ….. 7 days. Yeehaw.

In reality the Extension Service gives us 90 and in my localized banana belt, I count on 120. And I keep row cover and old sheets handy for those pesky mid-June frosts.

Thanks again!

BTW I am enjoying looking over your blog. Looking forward to reading about your chickens.

Liz February 28, 2014 at 12:13 pm

I was so excited when I saw this, but then I noticed that it doesn’t include Zone 8a. Is this available? I am just beginning and need all the help I can get and thought this would be a useful tool. Perhaps there is an updated guide for 2014?

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