Seed starting season is just around the corner! Do you have a plan? We can help!
We've all been there— the moment you realize, “Oh my gosh! It's already the end of March! I should have started the ____ already!” Let's avoid that moment of panic!
Make a list of everything you want to grow in 2021. Or if you already purchased your seed, get out those seed packets!
Divide the list (or your packets) into three categories— those that require seed starting, those that are direct seeded, and those that can be done either way.
Focus on the ones that NEED to be started. Organize them by starting date— according to how many weeks before your last frost date they need to be planted.
We’ve prepared a Seed Starting Planner to help you be more successful. You can use the printable PDF version, or our computer spreadsheets in Excel or Mac Numbers.
Enter your list in your seed starting planner starting with the ones that need the earliest start! LIst the crop/variety name (and if you got seed from more than one source— the seed company’s initials. This will help you track success.) Enter the desired planting date and write in the days to germination (should be on the back of the seed packet).
Take a look at your list of seeds that REQUIRE seed starting. Consider the packets you categorized as ‘those that can be done either way’— seed starting or direct seeding. Ask yourself if you want to start any of these in addition to the ones that are required? Which will you start and which will you direct seed? After you decide if there are any more that you will start ahead of time— add them to your seed starting planner.
If you are using the computer spreadsheet, you can always enter your planting dates and 'Data-Sort' (Excel) or 'Organize' (Mac Numbers) the table by sorting to column B, so your earliest start date is at the top of the list. [And when its time to focus on transplanting, sort or organize the table by transplant date- column F, with your earliest transplant date at the top of the list.]
Now take out your calendar and get these seed starts written into your schedule. If you are working with a digital planner, set reminders. The challenge is to be diligent about keeping those seed starting commitments.
The final step in this preparation exercise is to consider what supplies you will need to successfully get those seeds planted that day, ie) seed, trays, seed starter mix, grow lights, and heat mats, if you are using them. Make a plan for obtaining everything you need. Schedule a time to dig out those supplies you already have and to put them where they need to be on the day you plan to use them. Make a list of additional supplies you need. Schedule the time to shop for those additional supplies to ensure you will have what you need when you need it.
Making a plan and scheduling the plan will help you be more successful in all of your seeding starting efforts! This is you having your back! When timing is everything— a schedule is golden!
We’d love your feedback. Is the Seed Starting Planner helpful? How can we improve it to better serve your needs? What helps have you found to plan and keep you on schedule with your planting needs?
Our best to you,
Theresa & Dan
PS. Next week I will share the story behind our natural rubber seed trays-- for your seed starting needs-- and for those of you looking to make your gardening efforts 'plastic-free'! You can check them out here!