Family Gardening #7: The Garden Begins to Take Shape!


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


Here is a portion of my daughter’s latest P.L.A.Y. project: a creatively curvy butterfly garden that spans 30ft x 80ft. While the seedlings are doing their work growing and preparing to be planted she continues her work by using a pick axe daily to carve out this A-mazing creation.


WHO?

This is all about you and your family.

Time to P.L.A.Y. and dig in the dirt as your garden takes shape!


These are raised beds that have been created and tended to by my husband for 5 years. Typically greens for our green smoothies and tasty cherry tomatoes that you can pop in your mouth right off the vine live in these spaces. Yummalicious!


WHAT?

Whether you use a windowbox or wide rows in your backyard there are plenty of options for getting your garden space carved out and prepared for your seeds, seedlings, or purchased starter plants.


These pots are just waiting for plants outside our daughter’s goat barn. As her second year approaches with these in this location she has decided to swap out morning glories that didn’t grow well and surprise us with new flowering plants this year.


WHERE? WHEN? HOW?

Time to re-emphasize the way to get a family to participate in gardening (or any) project is to focus on each individual’s strengths, interests, and temperament.

Folks temperament for working and P.L.A.Y.ing in regards to gardening would include: hot vs. cool days, sunshine vs. rain showers, seasonal bugs that are attracted to some humans more than others, etc. We all experience the outdoors in different ways and gravitate to certain conditions.

Lately at our household we seem to cover many of the bases between the four of us in regards to all things garden related and the willingness to participate goes up exponentially when we each step forward with our own strengths.

For me, and my brown thumb, this would be in the form of offering to help my daughter by clearing out a new 20ft x 40ft patch of brush to make way for her expansion of her new butterfly garden. Or hauling bucket after bucket, yard after yard, of free woodchips from a local pile that workers left behind to be used as mulch or on garden pathways.

My son also assists by helping clear spaces, haul logs for hugelkultur, and consistently tending to the compost throughout the year by bringing bucket after bucket from our kitchen to our compost bin. Three out of four of our household members identify as vegan and over 85% of our household meals are plant based so we generate quite a bit of organic veggie scraps to feed the compost that eventually turns into “gold” to spread on our gardens. His attention to tending to the compost, and paying attention to what goes into the compost from our daily meals, matters in the whole cycle of growing.

Both my husband and daughter continue to share their strengths in tending daily to seedlings, carving out the actual gardens, and preparing to plant after the last frost. They seek out information on how best to grow the plants that interest them most whether they are for food (veggie plants) or to attract butterflies (flowering plants).

We all benefit from the contributions of each family members strengths and willingness to step in where they feel they can best be of service.

And yes, there are those times when challenges arise in the gardening department and it feels as if no one in the family wants to tend to the situation at hand. It isn’t always a “bed of roses” to be sure.

However, this provides the opportunity for us humans to grow, make connections, work on our communication, and learn from these experiences together, and then get back to the work at hand which is ultimately to P.L.A.Y. throughout our days.


Linear garden being expanded to include some hugelkultur beds in the backyard with compost bins in the distance for easy access. Truly P.L.A.Y. in action!


WHY?

Quite simply family gardening is a great P.L.A.Y. in Place Plan at this time AND for all time.

 P.L.A.Y. Connection Opportunity:

Have your family members look into various garden designs or options for DIY garden planters. Have fun with it and know that you can always adjust things next year (and the next year, and next!)

We just recently bumped into a concept we’d heard about a few years back from fellow community members and just hadn’t gotten around to trying: Hugelkultur. We’ve gathered our logs, selected locations in the new linear garden beds, and plan to put this into action in the weeks ahead. Look it up and stay tuned!


Seedlings patiently waiting for their new garden beds to be prepared and for the last frost to pass.


Notes:

  • 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!

Family Gardening #6: Strengthen Your Seedlings


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


Seedlings just about ready to see their new outdoor home!


WHO?

This is all about you and your family.

Time to P.L.A.Y. and dig in the dirt and get things growing!

WHAT?

Plan A: Your seedlings are just about ready to head outdoors.

Plan B: If your seeds never really took, no worries, head out to your local garden center with a short list of plants you’d like to try and be sure to thank these folks for all their expertise in getting those seeds to grow and providing you with the option of starter plants!



WHERE? WHEN? HOW?

Backyard Bliss!

Plan ahead by checking your local weather conditions as both the plants and your family members will appreciate being outdoors and digging in the new garden when it is “warmer and not wetter”!

In this month of May my family members continue to take their seedling trays of veggie + flower plants in and out of the house as a daily practice.

By placing the seedlings out in mid-morning on the south side of the house they are receiving warmth, sunshine, and getting more sturdy with the gentle breezes.

They bring them back in at night as the temperatures still fall into the 30’s up here in New England.



WHY?

Family Gardening continues to be a perfect P.L.A.Y. in Place Plan as it has been since before Victory Gardens in the early 1900’s with bonus benefits of being in nature throughout the seasons, growing foods and beneficial flowers, and being able to be right in your own backyard!

 P.L.A.Y. Connection Opportunities:

Have your family members look up Victory Gardens and discover their origins and purpose. If you have a multi-generational family living situation you may have the benefit of asking an elder family member what they remember of those times or if their parents had told them stories of that era.

Also, as a side note, be sure to put planting bulbs on your autumn “to do” list so that when spring rolls around next year there will be instant beauty and gardening inspiration popping-up right outside your door! Family members could begin looking up which type of bulbs they would like best and the locations that suit them.

Early blooms from bulbs appear at our home as a Curious Capkin takes in the gorgeous sight and spring scent!


Notes:

  • 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!

Family Gardening #4: Keep Sowing Seeds to Make Seedlings!!


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



WHO?

This is all about you and your family. Time to P.L.A.Y. and Grow!

WHAT?

This week continue to sow seeds and magically make seedlings!

~ More Inspiration Below Next Photo! ~

Reminder: 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.

WHY?

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.

WHERE? WHEN? HOW?

The specific gardening needs you have, including how to specifically sow and tend to seedlings, 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).

Nothing fancy required simply some containers, soil, water, seeds and sunlight!



Sowing Seeds to Magically Make SEEDLINGS!

  1. Refer to posts #1, #2, and #3 in this Family Gardening series to get up to speed on making seedlings.
  2. Start to plan where the seedlings will be planted outdoors including how much space and most ideal conditions for the types of plants you chose. With foods consider having some fencing to keep critters out and how much space you need between plants. With flowers consider if they will go in the ground or in pots and how the colors will compliment each other.
  3. While you patiently wait for the seedlings to grow and for the ground outside to be ready to receive them also consider trying more of the following ideas to engage with your family and the plant process.


Creative P.L.A.Y.-filled Connection Opportunities:

  • Suggest family members take photos or keep a garden journal to record the growing process including what seems to be working, what needs to be worked on, how things look – height, size, color, and the overall seedling process.
  • Write stories or poems or silly sentences about the seedlings and how they grew. I’ve always found it funny to call some of the seedlings “leggy” when they get too thin and tall.
  • If you have a family member that loves making calculations they can start charting how much food might be produced from a single seedling or the cost of the seeds and materials vs. the cost to purchase the food at the store. Loads of data sifting could begin now and in the future for those that are drawn to plotting and graphing things out (one of my own family members comes to mind!)
  • Start discussing recipes you might like to look up and try that make use of your garden foods as then it will be easier to jump right into the kitchen when the food ripens.


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


This P.L.A.Y. series is an offering to ALL:

  • 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!

Family Gardening #3: Food + Flower Seedlings!


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



WHO?

This is all about you and your family. Time to P.L.A.Y. and Grow!

WHAT?

This week is all about making seedlings.

~ More Inspiration Below Next Photo! ~

Reminder: 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.

WHY?

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.

WHERE? WHEN? HOW?

The specific gardening needs you have, including how to specifically grow and tend to seedlings, 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).

Nothing fancy required – simply some containers, soil, water, and sunlight.



PLANT the SEEDS and like magic you create SEEDLINGS!

  1. Remember those seed packets you were going to purchase last week? Great – time to take them out and make some magic!
  2. Be sure to read on the packets the exact timing for creating seedlings as you want to time it so they will be ready to plant in the ground when the conditions are right, not too soon and not too late!
  3. Now gather together some small containers or specifically little six packs like seen in these photos to add soil and plant the seeds according to the packet instructions.
  4. Create an environment where you can keep them, warm, watered, and in sunlight.
  5. Check on them daily to see their progress and tend to their needs.

Creative Connection Suggestions:

Suggest family members take photos and make notes or sketch in a garden journal to record the growing process including how things look – height, size, color, what seems to be working, what needs to be worked on, weather conditions when things move outdoors, and the overall seed to plant process.



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


This P.L.A.Y. series is an offering to ALL:

  • 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!