As any gardener will know, planning is a big part of the gardening year. Knowing when to sow, when to harvest and understanding successional sowing are all things that we consider. For children getting started in the garden, this will be on a smaller scale but it is great way to get them involved in understanding what makes the garden tick.

When to use a sowing planner

Personally, this is something that we do in January or at the start of February so that we can see the growing season as a whole. However, if you are going to be sowing directly into the ground after the first frost, then you can easily begin to plan later on in spring around April time.

You may think to yourself, “surely all seeds are sown at the same time?”. Sometimes, if you are growing much of the same or limited plants, this is probably the case. However, if you plan to grow a varied garden, you will probably be sowing most weeks on the lead up to spring. Ours usually starts in January with my garden favourite – sweet pees!

How to use a sowing planner

Completing a sowing planner is a great activity to do with the children. Not only does it give a great appreciation for the amount of time and patience that is required for gardening but also an understand of seed packets.

First of all, you are going to want to head down to your local garden centre or a great online seed distributor like Thompson & Morgan. Here you will be able to browse all of the seeds that they have on offer.

If you are after some inspiration on what to grow, head over to our suggestions on easy to grow vegetables.

Using the seed packets for your sowing plan

It is helpful to go into this with an idea of what you want to grow. You will also notice that there are a great variety of seeds and multiple varieties of the same thing, such as carrots. You should also be able to understand the following information from the back of a seed packet:

You will notice that there are bars on the seed packet that are similar to that of the swing planner. This is where you are going to get your information to complete directly onto the sowing planner. Underneath, you should find sowing instructions – such as how deep to sow the seeds, how long they take to germinate and their growing preference.

Now that you have your seed packets, it is a simple task of choosing some colours for your sowing planner and then taking the information from the back of the seed packet and transferring to the planner. This will give you a great overview of what and where you need to be doing to grow all of your wonderful plants!

Happy planning!