Every great garden starts with a plan. Get the most out of your garden with this free garden planner that you can print out and use as needed.
The first few times we planted a garden, I didn’t plan at all. And while we did harvest some food, we also struggled to remember what we planted, how much, and what did well in the garden and what we struggled with.
After those first couple of years, I realized, like every smart gardener out there, we needed to have a plan. I would write down lists of things in notepads that would get lost, which was just about as effective as not planning at all.
Then, over the years, I’ve tried a few online planning apps, but I didn’t like having to be tied down to my phone or computer to plan. I looked into purchasing a planner, but none of them had exactly what I was looking for, so I made my own that is printable and adaptable to real life.
This free garden planner has various tools to help you plan your dream garden all the way from planning the space, to purchasing seeds, starting seeds, harvesting, and saving seeds.
This kitchen garden planner is simple, but helpful. It gives you 14 pages to help you plan and track your own garden. It has helped us not only improve our planting schedule, but also improve our garden year after year.
It’s just simple enough to use without being overwhelming. And I can print out what I need, put it in my garden binder and be on my way to planning. It makes it really nice when I’m cruising the seed catalogues on those dark, cold December days. I know what I have, what I need, and what I want to plant to grow my own food.
How to Use This Garden Planner
It’s pretty simple to use this planner. You’ll simply sign up, get your free download and print it. I like to hole punch mine and put it in a 3-ring binder and keep the most recent seed catalogues nearby.
Planting Date Calculator
Label the plant with the actual seed name (in case you plant more than one variety). Find the amount of time you should have the plant indoors (unless of course, it is directly sown, you’d write that in), when it should be transplanted outdoors (or directly sown), and then you can calculate the best time for you to start your seedlings.
The most difficult part of planting if you’re trying to produce your own food (or a big portion of it) can be deciding how many you need to plant to meet your goals and feed your family for the year.
This calculator can help you figure it all out. And can help with succession planting as you can write down the planting date. That way, you’re not trying to harvest everything at one time (which is incredibly overwhelming).
Simply write in the variety (not just green beans unless, of course, you’re only planting one variety). The number of plants you need for each person to feed them for the year (or however long you want to feed them for). The date you’ll plant them (makes it nice if you’re planting for more than one harvest, or to stagger your harvest). Whether you’re starting them indoors or out, and then you can write down the total number of plants based on the number of members in your family.
This is actually one of my favorite logs. It helps me keep track of how well a particular variety did which helps me plan accordingly for next year when figuring out how many to plant.
For this, you’ll label the variety, what date you harvested it from your garden and how much you harvested in the first few blanks. You can just write 100 tomatoes, do it by weight, or whatever works best for you. As long as you know what you’re talking about, that’s all that matters.
Then, you can label whether or not you preserved it and/or how it was preserved. Such as, freezer, or canning… for instance. There is a small spot to write down a few quick notes as well.
Seed Saving Log
Anyone else have seeds they completely forgot about? This is really simple to do, especially if you save your own seeds. This log will help you keep track of what you have instead of wondering what’s hidden in the packets you threw in the planting shed last season.
Write the variety of seed (so you know what it is, of course), the date you packaged them up (not the date you harvested them from the plant), the weight (or quantity for larger seeds), and how they’re stored (or where they’re stored).
You saved them, you bought them. Let’s keep track of them! This log is simply a way to keep tabs on what you have and how much of it. Simply fill in the plant and variety, where it came from, when it was purchased (or check the date on the package if you’re like me and forget), and how many you have left. The quantity is easier to fill in by weight for tiny seeds like celery and carrot, of course. But you can count the larger seeds like pumpkin and cucumber.
Seed Test Log
You saved the seeds, or found some really old seeds in your planting shed and wonder if they’re worth the trouble or if you need to order more. You should test your seeds for germination!
This log will help you keep track of the germination rates of your saved seeds (and forgotten about seeds) to help you know if you need to plant more. No plant is going to offer 100% germination rates and your packets of ordered seeds should tell you what the rate is. But, if they’re old or you saved them yourself you can test them to see what you’re dealing with and plan accordingly.
You’ll simply write down the variety, how many you started, the date you started, how many days it took to get to germination, and then the % of successfully germinated plants.
Food Preservation Log
I like to keep logs of what I have sitting in the cupboards and freezers anyway, and this just helps. That way I know if we’re short on something, or if I have something hidden somewhere in the back of the cupboard or bottom of the freezer. I also use this to keep track of the meat in our freezers.
For this write down the item (could be the actual item like green beans or the recipe itself if you can the same item multiple ways). Then, you can write how many are canned or frozen or dehydrated. I also like to keep a note below how many of where it’s stored just so I don’t forget.
Seeds to Purchase
You tested what you had, you kept track of what you saved and had an inventory of. You know what you’re planting and how many you need. Now, you can make a list of all those pretty seeds you’re drooling over in the catalogues to keep track of what you actually need.
We all have a tendency to see those catalogues and want everything in them, am I right?? This way you can keep it more manageable. Because, let’s face it, we can’t plant all of the things no matter how badly we want to.
You can write down the plant, the variety, what company it’s coming from, the price and the quantity so you can keep track of everything and keep track of the amount you’re going to be spending in this handy shopping list.
Journal and Monthly Planner
I also included a blank garden journal page and a blank calendar that you can print out and use accordingly.
No more guessing what you planted, what varieties worked best, how much to plant, how it was preserved. No sitting there racking your brain trying to remember anymore, either.
Planning will help you have the best most successful garden, ever. No more guessing, no more pieces of paper sitting around everywhere. You can be organized, which is an amazing feeling… being organized. No more late planting or forgetting when to start your seeds inside!
How to Get Your Free Vegetable Garden Planner
Just enter your information below to get this free tool, an added bonus is you get some awesome tips from the rustic elk on all things gardening and homestead right in your inbox!
Have trouble deciding which wonderful company to get your seeds from? There are a ton of amazing companies to choose from. I’ve listed my favorite sources for organic and heirloom seeds here.
Now, it’s time for planning and dreams of warmer, more beautiful, bountiful days.