OHP Gardening Series: Printable Gardening Planner

After what feels like a few false starts, the sun and warmer weather seem to be here to stay. We’ve been working hard getting the garden planted over the past month or so- it was definitely a later start than usual- and we’re starting to enjoy the results as the first batch of plants are almost ready to pick. We’ve got spinach ready to eat with peas and lettuce coming up quick. Even with the late start it’s been a great kick off to the gardening season and since it’s something many enjoy or want to get into, I’ve put together a printable Gardening Planner full of info and tips, plus printable labels and something for the kids.

I tried to include as much as I could on the topic of edible gardening without it turning into a novel, and included ideas for small space gardening, kid- friendly ideas, and plants that grow well indoors/ in the shade for those with limited (or no) outdoor gardening space. I tried to make it as simple and user- friendly as possible. Simply print it off and use it throughout the growing season to help you plan and stay organized. I’ve included a Garden Planning Grid and Legend to help you map out your garden space and make the most of the area you have to work with (if you follow the blog on Instagram you’ll have seen me share about Seeding Square, a great tool to help maximize growing space). You’ll also find suggestions for vertical and container gardening, natural pest control, and companion planting suggestions.

Phew! I hope I’ve covered some good ground with this planner and hope it helps you with your gardening plans for the season ahead. See below for contents, photos of some of the pages, and links to some of the companies whose products we’re using as well as gardening books I’ve included in the Resources section of the Planner. Simply click to download and print. If you want this planner to last a while, pick up a binder or folder and slip the pages into clear plastic page protectors, or reprint pages as needed.

What’s inside:

  • Planting Calendar– Print a few of these pages for the months you seed/ grow/ harvest/ re- plant in
  • Crop Planning– Plant variety, indoor/ outdoor planting dates, estimated harvest dates, and notes
  • Planning Grid– Map out your gardening space and use as a reference for planting. Print as many of these as you need for multiple garden spaces and if you plan to re- plant with different crops in the same space throughout the season
  • Planning Legend– Use with the Planning Grid to help you plan your gardening space(s)
  • Natural Pest Control– Try these methods to help reduce pests without chemicals. Sometimes using chemicals is necessary, but utilising natural products can work just as well; Pestcontrolzone.com have plenty of methods for you to try, chemical and natural, on how to deal with the pesky pests invading your home. Natural pest control methods are always better, but if you ever suffer from a full blown pest infestation, your only option may be professional help. You may want to check out something like pest control services Carlisle if you are ever in need of a professional exterminator.
  • Companion Planting– Suggestions for which fruits, vegetables, herbs, and flowers grow well together and help reduce pests
  • Kid- Friendly Ideas– Suggestions for easy- to- grow edible plants that kids will enjoy helping with
  • Tips– Ideas for small space and container gardens, vertical gardening, plants that grow well in the shade, and suggestions for plants that you can grow indoors
  • Notes– Print as many of these pages as needed to make additional notes
  • Printables– Includes plant labels, seed labels, and a kids garden sign. Print as many as you like to use and get your kids involved by having them colour and cut out their own sign for the garden
  • Resources– Some books I recommend for further reading (I’ve included links at the end of this post if you want to check them out)

Download and print your copy of the OHP Garden Planner below!

OHP Garden Planner

Resources

I’ve included links to websites of companies whose products we’re using this year (keep an eye out for more gardening content featuring them throughout the Summer) and the books I have enjoyed reading and turn to for advice with our own garden. All of the books are available on Amazon and are great to have on hand as reference. If you were interested in talking to professionals about how they approach a garden, consult with georgia lawn care cities I hear do a great job.

OHP Gardening Series Partners

Roma Boots

Westcoast Seeds

Seeding Square

Raincoast Books

Books

From Seed to Table, A Practical Guide to Eating and Growing Green– By Janette Haase, Insomniac Press

Tiny Garden, Huge Harvest*- By Caleb Warnock, Familius

DIY Garden Projects, Easy Activities and Edible Gardening and Backyard Fun*- By Mat Pember & Dillon Seitchik- Reardon, Hardie Grant Books

Herbs + Flowers*- By Pip McCormac, Quadrille

*See more info on these books plus two gardening books for kids in this post.

Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links

DIY Chemical Free Dishwasher Detergent

For those of you who know me & follow the blog, you know that cleansing our home of chemicals has been an ongoing focus of mine for some time now. When it comes to the house & cleaning products I’ve been looking into and trying out different chemical- free options, including all- purpose cleaners, soaps/ detergents (see my homemade laundry detergent- which I lovehere), and have now found a formula for DIY dishwasher detergent that’s free from bleach & harsh detergents/ chemicals that works. It gets the dishes clean, the glasses crystal- clear & free from filmy residue, and the dishwasher smells fresh after each use. 
Before you think I’ve completely turned into a modern- day hippie, I want you to do this one thing: go fetch your dishwashing detergent/ tabs/ whatever you use & look at what’s in it. Those ingredients leave a residue on the plates you eat off of, the glasses you drink from, the cutlery you use, & all of your cooking/ baking/ storage containers. Yum. And I get it: you’re busy, you’ve used the same brand for forever, and you don’t want to switch now. So if you can’t quite bring yourself to try this little recipe/ experiment out, I hope you’ll at least try some of the natural brands available to compare the difference. 
But if you’re curious about a chemical- free home, this is a simple place to start. Plus any ingredients below that you don’t already have serve a multitude of purposes in various applications throughout your home. You might spend a couple bucks up front but the ingredients will go a long way. I got the recipe from The Makeshift Nest & she has great step- by- step photos if you’d like to see what everything looks like. The only difference I found was that my batch didn’t make as many as hers for some reason, but no biggie.  
So, let’s get to some making!
You will need:
1 cup borax* 
1 cup washing soda*
1 cup vinegar 
2 tablespoons lemon juice 
1 or 2 ice cube trays
Tip: I recommend looking at the detergent compartment in your dishwasher before you start, so you know how big it is & it’s a funky shape. This will affect how you pour & dry your detergent tabs.
*You can buy these ingredients in most grocery stores & find them online on sites like well.ca
To make:
1. Combine the dry ingredients in a large Pyrex jug & make sure to get out any lumps- a fork works well here to mash out the lumps
2. In a separate bowl combine the vinegar & lemon juice
3. Stirring constantly, pour the liquid mix into the dry mix, again trying to work out any lumps that may form
4. Pour your mixture into the ice cube trays & allow to sit for an hour
5. When dry/ solid to a light touch, pop out the tabs onto a piece of wax paper. Depending on the size your dishwasher’s detergent compartment, you may need to use a knife to gently slice them in half so they fit. Allow to dry for another half hour or so
6. Store in a glass container & use 1- 2 (full- sized tabs) per load, based on how dirty your dishes are
Makes around 12- 14 full- sized tabs using standard ice cube trays

In addition to maintaining the dishwasher, making sure that you have added it to a home warranty plan, which you can get from places like First American, for home warranty texas, florida, and many other places will ensure that if anything does go wrong with the dishwasher you are then covered to get it repaired or replaced in a quicker time than without a plan and for much cheaper. In the meantime, keep cleaning and maintaining your dishwasher to avoid malfunctions in the future.

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