Seed-starting calendar

Every year it seems like I’m adding a few new things that I’ve never grown, or haven’t tried for many years. This year is no exception, as I’ve almost doubled my garden space, and added more than a dozen new vegetables to the plan. The problem with this is, eventually, even my ultra-sharp mind just can’t keep up with everything anymore. When I was just starting a few things inside it wasn’t too hard to keep track of things, but this year everything seems to be on its own staggered schedule, and it was getting to be too much.

To help myself out, I created a handy calendar in Excel. It’s very simple, with color-coding denoting when to start what, inside, transplanting, and direct sow outside. It’s still pretty basic, and doesn’t include any succession planting (I still just keep track of that in my head) or anything overly fancy, but it’s helped out so far. I based it mostly on my experience with growing things previously (for plants I’ve raised before) and seed packet info/book sources/etc. (for the newer additions). Of course, this will likely change over time as I can fine tune what works best for my area, but it’s a good starting point. It may also change based on the weather – for example, since it’s been so warm, I started chard and lettuce outside already.

This is something easy to create and very helpful if you’re growing a wide variety of plants, each with their own unique schedule – I’d definitely recommend it to anyone.

The example below is based on Zone 5, Cleveland area. I can also send the full template file if you want to tweak it to your situation.


4 thoughts on “Seed-starting calendar

  1. Wow. We are so on the same wavelength. I wanted to make one of these this weekend, too. I’m a Midwestern girl, gardening on yard the size of a postage stamp in Milwaukee. Also a Zone 5-er so I know how the planting seasons change for us!

    I stopped myself from making a chart. I’m an accountant and sometimes I think I’m a little tooooo much of an accountant. But now that I’ve seen your spreadsheet, I LOVE IT and I’m going to make my own. With color coding, to boot! Great job and thanks for the motiviation.

    • Ha, I’m pretty analytical too, and it’s nice to get out of an analytical environment, but sometimes it’s just easier to use what tools are available, whether they remind me of work or not!

  2. Thanks for the info but I couldn’t get the calendar to print

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