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.