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.
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!