Keeping an organized seeding schedule is one of the most important things you can do to keep on track for starting all your transplants on time. We have a great master seeding schedule that gets updated every year with the new season’s varieties and crop plan.
This is an example of our master schedule.
Each crop is color coded by family, so we can easily distinguish what crops are getting seeded each week. The varieties get updated with what we have chosen to grow each season.
We have put in formulas to calculate the total number of plants we need depending on how many 300’ beds we are growing, how many rows per bed, and the spacing in between plants. Once we have the total number of plants needed, we have a formula that calculate the minimum number of flats needed by dividing the total number of plants by the tray size we will seed into. That gives us our minimum number of trays we need, and then I usually seed two or three trays extra to account for anything that may go wrong down the line.
Once we get to seeding, I make another document where I can put in exactly how many trays I actually seeded and the date they were done. This is also where I keep track of when each crop gets transplanted, and for larger crops when they get bulk harvested all at once. I may also make notations on insects or other things that happen over the course of the season. This is an example of my “actual” document.
It is very important not to fall behind on your seeding, and the best way to avoid this is by setting yourself up with a very organized schedule! We give ourselves a week wiggle room to get all the seeding done. Five days is not usually enough time to make a big difference in terms of the transplant dates, so that gives us flexibility to fit seeding in with the weather and other work that needs to be done elsewhere on the farm.