Planting Dates

What to start when? After the fun of Seed Catalog Day, my usual next garden planning step is getting my calendar together so I have a schedule of what seeds to start inside when, transplanting dates, and direct seeding outside. I’m a planner, by nature, and this is how I keep it all organized. For years I used a mix of online references for this (because no one source had all the plants I start), and it worked well enough to mark down the dates on a paper calendar. Last year though, I came across this super handy planting schedule template from Better Hens and Gardens. I loved the layout and quickly got to work tweaking it for my own needs and filling in all my plants.

Planting Dates | goodkarma

That template worked well and to use it again this year, all I had to do was change the dates at the top and add in the new stuff I was planting this year. From there I still mark dates down on paper because, as much as I like spreadsheets, for something I’m going to be using almost daily during the summer I like the ease of being able to just open a binder (with sometimes dirty hands).

Instead of using a monthly calendar page for my paper record of dates, I’m trying something different this year. I was playing around with some watercolors and came up with the idea to just make some boxes to put dates and other garden notes in. I made copies and punched some holes in the side. I went week-by-week for what need to be started inside, transplanted, and direct seeded, doing each month of the summer. And then in a separate box, a running record of what dates those things actually DID happen on. I crossed off thing as they got done. Other smaller boxes worked well for keeping notes on trees I ordered, weather extremes, dates of things first shooting up, and other garden reminders.

Planting Dates | goodkarma

Planting Dates | goodkarma

Planting Dates | goodkarma

Planting Dates | goodkarma

I’m diggin’ it! March is done and I’m starting records on April. I think I’ll go ahead and scan and upload each month here as they finish. Maybe put a handy link to them in the sidebar or something.

I love to see how other people plan and keep garden records. Feel free to share your system!

Obligatory Seed Packet Photo Post

Obligatory Seed Packet Photo Post | goodkarma

So one of the things I mentioned last time is that I’d like to use this space partly as a garden journal. One thing I love even more than the actual gardening is marking things in seed catalogs. Seed Catalog Day is hands-down my favorite day of the whole year. I circle, I fold corners down, I add to my spreadsheet, I drink tea, I research different varieties, and have an all-around joyful time of it. In the researching aspect of it, I am always so grateful to find reviews on certain varieties and even more stoked when I find actual blog posts from people who have grown them. I don’t find these too often. Probably because the ones I tend to look up are more obscure or heirloom varieties rather than the popular mainstream ones you hear about. So this is another goal for this blog. To be able to post a bit about my experiences with strange varieties and maybe help other nerdy seed-researchin’ folks with their seed buyin’ decisions.

I, of course, have my favorites I grow every year (Rainbow Chard, Scotch Curled Kale, Sweet Banana Peppers, Stupice Tomatoes, Lemon Cucumbers, Black Hungarian Peppers, Pineapple Sage, etc.), but I always make room for new ones. A few new things I tried last year that exceeded my expectations and have become new favorites include Double Yield Cucumbers, Oriole Chard, Thousand-Headed Kale, Bekana Greens, and Jade II Beans.

This year, some new varieties I’m excited about are Grandma Mary’s Tomatoes, Etuida Peppers, Green Leaf Gailan, New Zealand Spinach, Camelina, and Mother of Pearl Poppies (which I’ve had my eye on for years now). Hopefully, I can do a good job of documenting some of these here this year.

Obligatory Seed Packet Photo Post | goodkarma



A Shining Year


Well. Let’s try this again.


I’ve never been one for resolutions, but it’s hard not to feel like the beginning of a new year is a fresh start. A chance to wipe the slate clean and resolve (but in a non-resolution-y kind of way) that this year is the year to finally get your shit together. And it will totally be different than last year when you declared the same thing and, alas, your shit did not get gotten together. This is the year.

But I didn’t want to continue swimming in the Doing The Same Stuff And Expecting Different Results pool. I needed some kind of guidance. Or accountability. Or something. I happened across Leonie Dawson and her Life & Biz workbooks and was intrigued immediately. She’s a vibrant spirit with a genuine drive to help other people (women, specifically) reach their goals and have an amazing life (and biz). And she delivers it all in a self-proclaimed hippy woo-woo kind of style that obviously isn’t for everybody. I dug it though. And the nerdy little 2nd-grader in me dug the workbook idea. When do you, as an adult, get your very own workbook to fill out??

So it’s about goals, not resolutions. And it’s not just about making goals, but writing them down. And it’s not just writing them down, it’s actually checking back in with them regularly. This is the difference. Last year (and years before) there were goals. Maybe jotted down (though probably not). And then, I don’t know, left for the universe to figure out. Quickly forgotten in the chaos of the everyday. This workbook is brilliant. She guides you through looking back at what worked and what didn’t in the previous year and letting that go. There are spaces to fill out for goals, visions, resources, plans, self-care, and ideas and by the time you’re through it you have a clearer picture of what you want and what you need to get there. With a major part of that being going back through and reviewing the workbook often.

At my first end-of-the-month review I was kind of surprised at how much I’ve accomplished. The bulk of it due to the tools and planning this workbook offered. I’m feeling more organized than I have in awhile. It’s winter and this is the slower, calmer time of year for me in general. But I really do feel like I’m setting myself up for a smoother year even when things start getting more hectic. This is the year it all comes together.