I love gardening. I caught the gardening bug in 2014 and my passion for growing my own food has grown everyday since. I also love planning so it was only natural that I merge my two passions together into a Garden Calendar!
I used to think I had a black thumb but since my obsession started I have read many books and articles about gardening and realized anyone can garden if you focus on the basics.
2. Quality seeds
Really that’s it. The soil is the most important part in my view, if you amend it correctly your season will be miraculous. It is also paramount to record your experience as you go because as seasons pass, memories fade, and experiences tend to blend together. So any gardener worth their salt keeps a Garden Journal. I was using an Excel file to document my experiences but found that to be ineffective, as I would forget important notes and not record things consistently. So now I keep a written journal that I bring with me into the garden and record comments, etc. in real-time and I find that I am more consistent and accurate in my records. When I started my seeds this year I decided to take my Garden Journal to the next level by including a Garden Calendar with photographs and snippets regarding my seeds from their seed catalog. I’ve included pre-planned garden tasks and notes regarding the weather and experiences as the month progresses.
I have the new BIG Stay Golden Happy Planner™ which starts in July so I used the July-December month view calendars from my old 18 month Happy Planner™ and covered the dates with new stickers and covered the top of the pages with washi and a month sticker for March. I added a Happy Planner™ Page Protector to insert all of my seed snapshots from my Seed Catalog. They have important info and this allows me to save them without hording the whole seed catalog. I added little sticky notes to reference my seed start date. I also used little snap-in tabs to hold a larger photo of one of my leaves on my avocado tree. (I literally can’t express how excited I was to get an avocado tree. Be still my avocado loving heart.) A week after transplanting my tree I noticed some little brown spots forming on several of my leaves and was heartbroken. So, I took a photo for my record and researched. I think I was over-watering… We will see but I now have a photographic record in my calendar of the issue, when it occurred, and on the back of the photo I have written out my research and my game plan to solve the issue. You’ll also note that I now have a specific watering schedule, for my avocado, written into my month as a reference of my watering frequency so I can course correct if my game plan doesn’t work. In addition to adding a larger photo of my avocado leaf I also have small 1.5×1.5 pictures of the progression of some of my plants on my Sunday squares. It is fun to see how quickly the little baby plants morph into big gloriously green adult plants. The white flower on the fourth Sunday is my first pea flower from my little Tom Thumb pea plant and the white flower on my last Sunday of the month is my first strawberry flower of the season. I only did one order of seeds this season and I used Baker Creek Heirloom Seed Company. They include great info in their catalog with beautiful images so I was excited to find a practical way to include all of my seeds in my garden journal. The 12 square pocket page worked perfect for me.
I used the left column for several important garden notes/issues and have included note paper following my calendar for further observations, lessons, etc.
I am so pleased with the addition of a Garden Calendar component to my Garden Journal I have incorporated the calendar monthly. It was a perfect way to use my overlapping July-December months from my old Happy Planner™ by just updating the dates with stickers and refreshing the name of the month by covering with washi. I think it will also make referencing back through my garden journal more simplistic in the future. When to start seeds, what the weather was like, etc.
Do you garden? Or are you totally intimidated? I was intimidated and I am so very thankful that I got over it and jumped in! Just as a note for those that will say they don’t have the space, or they rent, or live in an apt… Keep in mind, we rent and at this time I am only able to garden in containers and I have had great success. Here’s a few pictures of my garden today.
If you are interested in starting a garden I would recommend starting small and using an incredibly fool-proof system like the EarthBox. That is what I started with and it is a little pricey but I have three EarthBoxes and have had them since I started gardening and they are extremely high quality and I think are totally worth it for a beginner or someone with limited space. If I had no budget I would grow everything in EarthBoxes. However, once my gardening addiction grew I had to find a more cost-effective container option. I found Smart Pots which are a significantly less expensive option compared to EarthBoxes. I do the majority of my gardening in Smart Pots. I even have my aforementioned avocado tree in a 65 gallon pot and I have a lime tree in another 65 gallon pot that I’ve had for over a year and it has done incredible. Besides providing our family with the healthiest and cleanest food we can eat, gardening has also been a huge stress-reliever for me, I am at peace when I am tending to my little plants. They have even provided an awesome learning opportunity for my 2 & 4-year-old boys. My kids get that vegetables grow outside in the dirt and don’t just magically appear at the grocery store. They love the garden as much as I do, my littlest guy would water the plants all-day-every-day if he could and my older guy loves to harvest the veggies. It brings me joy to see their intrigue with the food we grow in our backyard. One day I hope that we can have a little land to grow all of our fruits and veggies at home. If you haven’t tried gardening I would wholeheartedly recommend you give it a shot.