A Spicy Perspective

Exercise Your Green Thumb

All bundled up, but thinking about your garden? Thought so. Today I’ve got a special treat for you!

Free Printable Gardening Journal #gardening #printable

My friend Amy is here today to share some gardening insights.

Thanks for joining us Amy!

Meet Amy Jacko

Over the past 2 months, seed catalogs have begun arriving in my mail box. A few arriving sporadically to start, and then daily.

I look forward each year to the first seed catalog arriving in my mail box. This thrills me to no end, but makes my husband, Eric, very, very, nervous as he watches me begin circling seeds that I must have, or my garden just will not be all that it can be.

I begin a spreadsheet (yep, I one of those people) of what I must have and by the time it is all said and done, I have enough must-have seeds listed to plant 10 acres!

As a backyard urban gardener, I do not have room for all my must-haves. Sigh. So I begin deleting seed must-haves from my spreadsheet.

Can I just tell you how painful this is?

Free Printable Gardening Journal #gardening #printable

Of course, it does not help that my husband is smiling as I delete seeds from my spreadsheet. If he does not watch out, he will end up on the couch!

When I realized that I selected 12 different types of mint on my spreadsheet, I think just maybe I could be a seedahololic. But just think of all the different Mint Julep’s I could whip up!

Then I notice that I had listed jicama, and I greatly dislike jicama. That is an easy delete! Only 9 more acres worth of seeds to remove from my spreadsheet.

Free Printable Gardening Journal #gardening #printable

Do not plant seeds for vegetables, fruits or herbs that make you break out in hives just thinking about eating them.

Now if you’re not sure how you feel about a vegetable… (Maybe you have bad memories from your childhood, but are feeling adventurous.) Plant just one and give it a try. For my husband it was lima beans, until he tried lima bean hummus (Those in-store tastings work!) and now he can not pass it in the store without grabbing one or two tubs. Guess what I will be planting this year for the first time?

Lima Beans!

Free Printable Gardening Journal #gardening #printable

Here are a few questions to ask yourself and/or your family (co-conspirators) before you begin circling seed catalogs.

  1. How much time do you have to dedicate to your gardening?
  2. How long is your growing season?
  3. How much space do you have for planting?
  4. Is the space in the sun or in the shade, or both?
  5. Is there a water source? Who wants to lug water 2 miles up hill!

These questions are a jump-start to your planning process, and will help you look at your future garden space without visions of happy little bunnies hoping around your garden and cute little cartoon slugs guarding pretty flowers. Bunnies will eat your seedlings (plants that are just popping their cute little heads out of the ground.) Slugs will take out your vegetables and fruits.

Netting or plant covers will help keep the bunnies out and give your seedings a flighting chance. Beer in a plastic container placed in the garden will give the slugs one final drink before lights out.

Free Garden Journal Printables

Do you remember when you kept a journal and told it all your secrets and dreams?

One of the best ways to garden is to keep a garden journal. This will help you keep track of planning, growing, where and when you planted a seed or plant, plant yield, plants that just did not do well, and plans for future gardens.

Here is Part 1 of the free printable PDF garden journal. Over the next few weeks, we will talk about your future garden and things to consider, I will include the next part of the journal to go along with the topic in my next post.

Click Links to Print:

Garden Journal Cover

Garden Plan Worksheet

4×4 Square Planning

Feel free to doodle on the cover like you did back in the day.


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8 comments on “Exercise Your Green Thumb”

  1. I LOVE this idea. I’ve been wanting to start a garden for a while.

  2. Hopefully this will stay up because NOW I need a new printer…it’s always something..ouch!

  3. This sounds just like me!! My husband too actually. I contained myself to only 8 varieties of tomatoes! I could easily go for all those varieties of mint too, and basil. My seedlings are all on the kitchen table now. I am hoping for a much better year, last year we only had lettuces, spinach, asparagus and melons. Very little of much else…horrible weather and bugs.

  4. Love these garden planning and organizing tips, Sommer! Thanks so much for sharing! Counting the days ’til we can chomp into our first juicy-sweet cherry tomatoes from the garden. This will be the year, I know it!

  5. great job, Amy!!

  6. This is a great post, Amy! Thank you for sharing! We moved in fall and I have been wanting to try and plan out a garden for the back yard garden bed. I had no idea how to do it, so this is JUST what I needed :)

  7. Oh Sommer, guess what? I LOVE jicama, it is like having water chestnuts, not the flavor but crispy like that . I usually just julienne them and eat them like carrots. They are good in salads but I just fell in love with it. You might want to mix it with a crispy pear or apple. It is great in fruit salads it stays crisp and I really like that, never soggy or limp.

    • Sorry I forgot that this is AMY…welcome sorry for the mix up…..maybe you will like jicama in the future!