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

Feature Friday: Earthwise Farm

We are so blessed living in Metro Vancouver. What we sacrifice in sunshine we make up for in lush natural beauty. There are so many amazing local organizations working hard to educate us on the virtues that surround us and promoting sustainability. 

Living here, lot sizes are shrinking and green space is slowly becoming harder to find. And if you have a passion for anything green this can be heartbreaking. Those with a green thumb and/ or a concern for the environment can find this discouraging- and even something that should be challenged. For those dedicated to encouraging green & sustainable initiatives, Earthwise Society helps bring communities together around these goals.
Located on a 3- acre property in Tsawwassen, BC, the organization offers a venue to learn & practice sustainable gardening & farming. Whether you’re simply curious or an avid advocate about these practices, the organization offers a variety of programs & opportunities to help you on your way.
In addition to the regular programs & volunteer opportunities (click here for more info), Earthwise has several upcoming events to help introduce individuals to sustainable practices. (You can also subscribe to have their organic produce delivered right to your door! Click here for more info).

Upcoming Events & Programs at Earthwise Farm


Bee Friendly Plant Sale & Fair- April 26 10am- 2pm
Family- oriented event for all ages. Information about pollinator- friendly flowers, crafts, science activities, tours of beehives, & tasting from the farm’s cob oven

Grow With Me Program
Family- friendly event where parents & kids spend a day on the farm. Family members volunteer together & learn about farm operations & how to grow their own veggies. Call 604 946 9828 or email the farm at info@earthwisesociety.bc.ca for more info & dates.
School Eco- Tours
All grades can book a garden or farm tour & workshop to learn what happens on the farm & how they can start their own garden and compost system. Teachers can contact the farm by phone or email to book a tour.

Summer Camps
Available for ages 7 through 12. Children can register for each theme week on Tuesdays & Wednesdays each week in July & August. Each week the kids will have the opportunity to create something to take home that helps plants & wildlife, such as birdhouses & feeders, and plant boxes. Register by phone or email. See below for dates & more info.


Theme
Dates
Junior Master
Gardener: Uncover seedy secrets and grow
sunflowers, beans and other yummy plants.
July 8-9
It’s for the Birds: Make
a real bird house and find out how you can help our feathered friends in your
garden.
July
15-16
Wild
Water: Examine
pond creatures, discover how chemicals affect water and make a mini water
garden.
July
22-23
Secret
Soil Creatures:
Discover the world of creepy crawlies that
live in the dirt and make a bug hotel.
July
29-30
Pollination
Power: Learn about bee and butterflies,
tour a real bee hive and make a mason bee house.
Aug.
5-6
Wiggly
Worms and Slimy Slugs:
Learn to love worms, make a worm compost and
have a slug race!
Aug.
12-13
Farming
Fun: Be
a farmer on our organic farm, harvest some veggies and construct a scarecrow.
Aug.
19-20
Plant
Science: Peer
into the world of plants through real scientific experiments.
Aug.
26-27
Nocturnal
Camp: Discover
which animals lurk at night at Earthwise on a bat walk using a real bat
detector.
Aug.
30

Time: 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. each day. Nocturnal
camp runs 6 p.m. to 9 p.m.
Ages:        7-12 years
Location: 6400 3rd Ave, Boundary Bay
Cost: $70/week (2 days) or $60/week for
registrations of 6 or more weeks.
         Nocturnal
camp is $30.

If you would like more info about Earthwise Society or would like to register for an event/ program you can contact them at 604 946 9828 or email the farm at info@earthwisesociety.bc.ca. Make sure you also check out their informative website & find them on Facebook!

April posts sponsored by Gary Gallant Travel
Images courtesy of Earthwise Society

Box Garden Bounty

Earlier this Summer we decided to try our hand at growing some of our own produce. Since we only moved in earlier this year, we wanted to find a temporary option (we plan to build a permanent box garden next year) and not too labour intensive. We also thought about putting in a shed similar to these 10×12 Sheds to house our infant garden until we were able to move them. Our goal was to grow food organically, without the use of any pesticides or funky chemicals- au natural! This was a trial to break in our green thumbs, so I jumped on trusty old Pinterest and found this idea:
Image Source:
http://boyslife.org/hobbies-projects/funstuff/7222/plant-a-compact-vegetable-garden/
It uses a concept known as square foot gardening, which is pretty self explanatory. It would be nice to have a huge sprawling garden with outdoor structures and all sorts, but when you’re short on space you have to make the most of what you’ve got. With square foot gardening, you simply divide your planting space into square foot sections and place your plants based on growth specs (ie highest in centre or at back, depending on box garden location); some items may require 2 or more sections based on growing needs, just plan accordingly. My Uncle had told me about square foot gardening about a year ago and has had a lot of success with it- according to him, you can reap a larger crop with this method than with the traditional style of planting in rows.
We were lucky that my father in law had the materials already, so we only had to pay for the soil & seeds. If we’d needed the materials, we’d have considered getting them from Oakdale Fencing after a friend used them for their garden, but we had the lumber to hand for our box. Ours ended up being 4’* 5′, and we skipped building the vertical frame, opting to use poles where needed. We picked veggies based on what we liked and what would grow in the weather we have, since we didn’t want to cover it or give it any special treatment; low maintenance was the goal! πŸ™‚ We bought organic seeds, which did cost a little more, but overall didn’t make this project much more expensive.
What we planted:
peas, beans, cucumbers, tomatoes, zucchini, green peppers, jalapenos, beets, carrots, & onion (we also transplanted a basil plant a weeks after the initial seeding with success).
We planted the peas, beans, cucumbers, and tomatoes along the back since they would need room to grow up and out, and the rest of the veggies along the front. (We didn’t use perfect square foot areas because we wanted to try a variety of things to see how they’d do- trial & error). Since we planted late in the season, we knew we’d have varying success. Everything did well except for the green peppers and jalapenos- those definitely need the protection & humidity of being covered. We also discovered the beans we bought were not the traditional climbers, but bush beans (lol oops!), but they grew well despite this mistake. The only additional materials we needed were poles & netting for the peas and beans (before we realized our mistake) πŸ˜‰ and a cage for the tomatoes.
In terms of maintenance, we watered it almost every day and pulled any little weeds that were trying to make themselves at home. We did find that something was snacking on the zucchini and peas in the beginning, but decided to leave them alone after we put some little traps out (I don’t like doing that, but it was that or lose our veggies! Luckily we never found anything in the traps).
What’s great about mini box gardens is you don’t need a lot of room for one, and you can easily build them yourself out of timber railway sleepers. If you live in a townhouse or condo with very little outdoor space, you can tuck a little one of these along the border or on your deck. As long as it gets some sun, you should be able to grow a few items. If you’re really limited for space, a herb garden would be a great itty- bitty alternative.
We’re starting to get some yummy goodies for all our hard work πŸ™‚ Now that we’re heading into the Fall, we’re picking veggies almost everyday, and you definitely can’t beat home grown!
The box garden at the end of August…
… and some of the yummy goodies!

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