Excel Garden Planner

Garden Design and Layout: Maximize Space with Square Foot Gardening

Efficient Square Foot Gardening System, Square foot gardening is a fantastic method for maximizing production in limited spaces. While some techniques are specific to certain climates or growing seasons, most plants don’t require intensive management. As an experienced gardener proficient in Excel, I’ve created a helpful garden planning worksheet to assist others with gardening.

Garden Plan Features Our garden plan includes:

  • Layout based on Square Foot Gardening (SFG) methodology
  • Automatic calculations for square footage (used and available)
  • Automatic calculations for space allotted per plant species
  • Automatic plant count
  • Automatic calculations for planting, transplanting, and estimated maturity dates


The Excel Garden Planner has been updated in February 2021. A new video will be someone some time.

Don’t have Microsoft Office to open an Excel File? 

Download the FREE excel viewer from Microsoft 

I highly recommend the following book to understand the
basics of Square foot Gardening.


Square Foot Gardening Section


An overview of the Excel Planner

Sandbox Area: Design Your Garden The sandbox area is where you can design your garden layout. Each square represents one square foot, and the worksheet automatically calculates information within the designated borders. The default size is 100 feet wide by 40 feet high, but resizing is possible.

Planting Guide Section: Manage Your Garden The planting guide section is where the real work happens. Enter the Last Frost and First Frost dates to calculate growing days and remaining days in the season. These dates are essential for various calculations in the planting guide.

Planting Guide Columns:

  1. # squares: Calculated when you add a box and assign it a 1 (for empty) or plant code.
  2. Per square: Standard or modified SFG plants per square foot.
  3. Code: A simple 2-3 letter code for each plant.
  4. Plant Name: Enter the plant name.
  5. Total plants: Calculated from the count of squares per plant and the per square allotment.
  6. Transplant: Personal preference for whether or not to transplant.
  7. Planting (weeks to frost): Weeks before the last frost to plant (transplant or direct in the garden). Use negatives to denote.
  8. Plant by: Estimated planting date.
  9. Germination days: The time it takes for seeds to germinate.
  10. Days after frost plant: Days after the last frost to plant outdoors (transplants).
  11. Transplant on/by: Calculated value for transplanting.
  12. Maturity: Plant maturity.
  13. Done by: Estimated harvest date.
  14. Last Plant Date: The estimated last date to plant based on maturity and first frost date.

How to Add and Modify Plants To add a plant species, you will need the following:

  • Number of plants per square
  • Planting weeks before the last frost (if available)
  • Germination days
  • Days after frost to plant outdoors (transplants)
  • Maturity

Creating Your Garden Design your garden layout in the sandbox area. The top portion of the spreadsheet represents a 40×100 feet area. Up is considered North. Update the planting guide section as you add items to your sandbox area.

Adding a Box and Plant Code Every grid square equals one square foot. Assign a “1” in each box to calculate available space, or use a plant code to count and add squares for each unique plant.

Special Box Features: Adding a Trellis Create a trellis for climbing plants like peas, cucumbers, and beans using Excel’s Autoshapes feature. Vertical, angled, and string trellises can be designed according to your specific needs.

Add Structures and Decorations Using Autoshapes; you can also add sheds, composters, fire pits, and other garden features for reference.

With this comprehensive garden planning guide, you can design and manage your garden more efficiently, maximizing space and productivity. Happy gardening!

Seeds and planting
Links and Resources

Recommended Products
(These are some of what I use)

These nursery bags
These Grow bags


mybackyard.ca Seeds Page
Get a Head Start on Spring: The Benefits of Starting Your Seeds Indoors
Saving Vegetable Seeds: A Comprehensive Guide to Gardening Success
myBackyard.ca Planting Guide
Pollock Tomatoes (North hardy Tomato variety)
Tomatoes (Useful information on starting tomatoes from seed)

DIY Garden Irrigation System: A Detailed Guide for Northwest Ontario

Blog Posts

When to start planting seeds
Germination testing your seeds
Looking for sources for seeds?
Heirloom seeds
Chitting your way to more potatoes
So it's before the first frost; what can I plant?


Individual seed and plant information is available in the  "Gardening Shortcut Links" above under "North Hardy Plants to grow". I have successfully grown all of these, and most I grow year to year.






How the planner is setup

Detailed steps and information on how the Excel Garden Planner was setup and works.

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