Family Gardening #8: Tractor or Trowel Time to Dig In!

P.L.A.Y. in Place with a Plan – Time to Get Growing!

Everything comes “alive” in the spring – the tractor gets back to work tilling the lower gardens, seedlings are placed in the raised beds, and the compost bins overflow in the far corner continuing to make “garden gold”.


Whether it is a trowel or a tractor it is time for family members to dig in especially with the last of the late frosts behind us.

Last frost melting (far left) on the newly made butterfly garden beds.


My daughter has made use of butterfly attractor plants that were already growing in our yard and transplanted them into some of her new garden beds. And through her research she has determined what plants to forage for beyond our yard. Also, with assistance from fellow community members, she has added beneficial plants to her beds even before she puts in the seedlings she has been nurturing indoors.

Perhaps it is time for you and your family to take a little “field trip” in your own yard to see what might work well to transplant and create new groupings. See if any neighbors have things growing that they’d like to share and could help fill in your new spaces.

Also put the word out in the various social circles your family has (school, church, town, etc.) that you are looking for specific plants or just plants in general to liven up your yard with garden beds. You’ll be surprised how eager folks are to share many of the plants they have in abundance and were actually looking to thin out.

Often local CSA’s or other avid gardeners have extra seedlings of food plants that they end up not planting and are willing to pass along to folks too.

There is an abundance of ways to get your garden started or to keep it expanding!

New butterfly gardens as seen from below with transplanted violets from the “lawn”.


Remember, now is the most optimal time to communicate your needs to friends and family in regards to plant sharing as they are beginning to look at their own yards and gardens with fresh spring eyes and perhaps seeking some changes that you could benefit from as they pull things out and rearrange.

A trowel is a tried and true tool for flower gardens.


In the years to come as you and your family continue to dig in and P.L.A.Y. in your garden and yard spaces you’ll see ways to make changes as well as pass forward some of what you’ve learned or grown to the benefit of others.

 P.L.A.Y. Connection Opportunities:

  • Take a few moments to look up the origins of a trowel vs. spade. What are they used for? Are there other basic tools of the trade that will make your gardening easier without getting into expensive purchases?
  • As seen in the photo above my husband has opted to use a tractor for tilling his garden bed at this time. There have been many conversations in our farming community about the merits of both tilling vs. no-tilling. If you or your family are so inclined I encourage you to look up the difference and see what works best for you.
  • At the end of the day if garden beds seem too challenging for some of your family members encourage them to try growing something, anything, and P.L.A.Y. indoors. Below I cut off the bottoms of celery stalks and placed them in a dish of water and put them in the center of our kitchen table. Over the past few weeks we’ve had fun watching what “grows” up through the center!

Celery stalks “starters”!


  • This series will continue to follow the seasons and growing patterns according to living here in a Zone 5 northern New England climate and you’ll need to adjust accordingly.
  • The specific gardening needs you have can simply be answered using your favorite search engine online seeking DIY instructions as well as library eBooks and audiobooks (especially as we are all asked to continue to P.L.A.Y. in Place at the time of this posting).
  • P.L.A.Y. is here to encourage you and your family on your gardening journey simply by posting some of our experiences as inspiration and basic prompts to growing food and flowers.

More P.L.A.Y. in Place with a Plan Family Gardening HERE

This P.L.A.Y. series is for everyone! Pass it on!

  • If you are new to gardening this series is designed to encourage you and your family to take small steps towards growing foods and flowers of any kind and any amount.
  • If you’ve tinkered with gardening in the past and things didn’t always work out this series is here to encourage you to try again AND do it as a family focusing on each individuals strengths to help it all come together.
  • This series will offer up suggestions for basic leaping off points where you and your family can begin and choose to deep dive or keep it simple in the world of gardening.
  • Most of all this series will be a source of encouragement and hopefully an inspiration to simply get in the dirt (aka garden) and P.L.A.Y. and the rest will “bee what it will bee”.

Simply BEE!