Start with a Seed Series (part 2): Garden Planning Printable

The plan is to grow my own plants from seed this season and you are welcome to join in or just follow along and see if I’ve got something to show come planting season. This is post #2 in the Start with a Seed Plant Growing Series and today I have a 2 page printable to share that I am using for the garden planning step of the journey.

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To start at the beginning and get more info on what is involved in growing plants from seed, you can read post #1 here.  Moving forward, I will be calling this a “series” rather than a “challenge”.  Although this is a personal challenge for me, calling it a full on challenge just seemed off.

We all have different ways of making plans. Some of us get very detailed when planning while others make last minute choices and still come out smelling like a rose. No pun intended.

As far as garden planning goes for me. I need a bit of a plan. I’m a particular kind of non-expert gardener and I want certain types of plants in my yard.  And that’s just me. Below is a 2 page FREE printable that I am using and you’re welcome to download and use it, as well. Download links are below the printable images. 

Growing plants from seed garden planning printable

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seed-starting-garden-planning-printable-page2 |

seed-growing-planner-printable-page-1 – Free Download of Page 1

seed-growing-planner-printable-page-2 – Free Download of Page 2

The basic ideas covered in the printable are

Where to plant.

What to plant.

What are the best plants to choose for the planting area and growing zone.


Choosing plants NATIVE to my region

I live in Illinois, the prairie state. Some years we have lots of rain. Some years we have total drought. So I am choosing to grow plants from seeds that are native to my region. By way of nature, most native plants will survive just about any weather combination mother nature sends our way from year to year.

Perennials or annuals?

I’m also choosing perennials because #1) they will come back up each year and #2) they are more expensive to purchase at the store. (Annuals only last for the season and are less expensive to buy as starter plants at the store.)

Here is how I answered the questions from the printable:

Growing zone: 5

I want to add: Perennial flowers to my yard

Plant area name:  Front Yard Flower Bed

Sun exposure: Full Sun

Soil climate: Medium

Objective for planting: Attract butterflies and bees. Grow native plants.

Where to begin choosing the right plants to grow?

From there I did a google search of native Illinois plants and started listing plants that fell into my criteria.

I made a long list and will narrow it down from there. But I made sure to jot down the plant details on my list, so I only have to do the search part once, and then I can refer back for later reference.

Tip#1: If you’re on Pinterest, make a new board and save your findings. Facebook has a new Chrome extension clip feature, too, that allows you to save info privately within your account.

Tip#2: Write down the Latin name if you can. The common name can vary on some plants, making it confusing.

start-with-seed-growing-series-flower-bedGarden planning

Here is a photo of one of the areas I will be adding plants to. My niece game me cuttings from her garden to start with last summer. This year I will fill in the empty areas with the plants I grow from seed. I also plant to share some of my extra seedlings with my niece.


Make a sketch

Here is a photo of the sketch I drew before putting the plants from my niece into the ground. As you can see the sketch is neither accurate or fancy. But it helped me plan the best placement for the plants I had with the taller plants to the back, the shorter ones to the front.

Plant details

Jotting down plant info, such as plant height, bloom time and bloom color is helpful so that I don’t end up with a bunch of plants the same height, all blooming at the same time, in the same color, and then blah for the rest of the summer.


There is much more that could be determined about soil for the serious gardener.  I kept it simple and determined my planting area to have medium moisture, since it will dry completely but pool with rain during a big storm for about a day. Having grown enough native plants in unconditioned soil, I know that I will have mostly success.  Once again, I am no expert. This is just an approach that has worked for me.

Taking down additional notes

I left an area on the printable for additional notes like: Attracts birds and butterflies, other common names, prefers rock gardens, and things of that sort that will help me narrow down the best choices for my planting area.

 start-with-seed-growing-series-spiderwortSpiderwort from our townhouse garden

We all love random sometimes, but I have found that when it comes to gardening in smaller yards, having even a little plan can help.

Next on the list. Buying seeds.

Find more inspiration on my Pinterest board: Growing Seeds DIY

Get 2 page printable here: 

seed-growing-planner-printable-page-1 – Download of Page 1

seed-growing-planner-printable-page2 – Download of Page 2

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