Mavis Garden Blog – Mapping Out My 2015 Garden

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measuring for upper garden plot

On Sunday  I got the garden itch {finally} and decided to pull out the tape measure to find out just how big of a vegetable garden was possible on the upper lawn. I was surprise to find out I’ll be able to install a 10′ x 45′ rectangular plot up there. 450 square feet. Not to shabby.

garden plot before pictures

My goal is to break ground in early January and {fingers crossed} create a mini Monticello type garden. Yes, there is a lot of shade, but since I plan on growing all my tomatoes, beans and peas in pots next year, along side the house where it’s nice and sunny, I think I’ll be okay.

pine tree litter future garden gate

The side yard however is another story. See where I’m standing? I plan to straighten the path out first, then add a gate and then install a perennial flower garden along the side of the house. pine needles in garden

But the pine and cedar trees are dropping needles left and right!!! Holy cow, they won’t let up. It’s insane. So much so that I am thinking about calling the tree guy to get a bid on removing the 6 trees that line the inner path between the garden and the house. I DO LOVE A WOODED SETTING, but c’mon, I can’t be raking up 2 wheelbarrows full of brush every single week. No way man.

future blueberry plot

I will admit though, living in the middle of a forest will be great for my blueberry plants. ;) They LOVE the acidic soil and I know they’ll just thrive on the other side of yard once I get them planted. But first, I’ve got a few weeds to pull.

Keep calm and garden on, right?

~Mavis

P.S. What do you think about removing some of the pine and cedar trees? The limbs have already trimmed about 12-16 off the ground by the previous owner. But I think I need more light. And a break from raking.

This post may contain affiliate links. These affiliate links help support this site. For more information, please see my disclosure policy. Thank you for supporting One Hundred Dollars a Month.



Ordering Fruit Bushes and Vegetable Seeds for My 2015 Garden

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garden supply seeds tin box

This morning I woke up with one thing on my mind… getting my vegetable seed and fruit bushes ordered for next year. Maybe you think it’s a little to early to be thinking about next years garden, but I don’t because the best deals are NOW. Botanical Interests is offering free shipping on orders of $50 or more through December 23rd, and Raintree Nursery is running their 20% free bonus item deals through the end of the year.

Since I know I’ll start planting seeds in early January {I’m super nerdy like that} I wanted to have everything ordered and ready to go before The Girl comes home for winter break. That way I can enjoy the holiday season without having to stress about my seeds and plants arriving in time, especially since I’ll be starting from total scratch in 2015 {I like to start most of my seeds indoors under grow lights}. The plants and bushes will ship when it’s the appropriate time to plant in my area {I LOVE that!}

future garden pictures

My current property has:

  • Fruit Trees – 0
  • Perennial Fruit {like blueberries, raspberries or strawberries} – 0
  • Perennial Vegetables or Herbs – 0

Monticello

Starting a garden from scratch might seem like a daunting task, but I’m looking forward to it. Because even though my garden will be much smaller than in recent years, I still plan on making it AWESOME. Ideally, I’d like to create a {much} smaller version of Thomas Jefferson’s garden at Monticello… meaning all the plants will be lined up in neat, OCD, little rows inside a giant rectangle. :) :) :) Which is something I’ve ALWAYS wanted to do. And now I can. Just on a much smaller scale.

using stock tanks as garden containers

I’m also really looking forward to turning our back patio into a massive container garden as well. Once this remodel is over, I’ll be able to focus more on my yard and future garden projects, but first, I had to get those seeds and bushes ordered!

Here’s what I’ll be growing this year:

heirloom tomatoes tomato jam

Tomatoes I will be growing in my garden next year:

green beans

Beans I’ll be growing in my garden next year:

sugar snap peas

Peas I plan to grow next year:

homegrown organic beets

Beets, Turnips and Parsnips I will be growing in my garden next year:

heirloom carrots

Carrots I will be growing in my garden next year:

black beauty zucchini

Cucumbers, and zucchini I will be growing in my garden next year:

oak leaf lettuce pictures

Lettuce varieties I will be growing in my garden next year:

cabbage-3-v_opt

Onions, Artichokes, Cabbage, Broccoli and Cauliflower seeds I plan to sow next year:

italian kale plant

Kale, Swiss Chard, Spinach and Bok Choy seeds I plan to sow next year:

fresh-basil

Herbs I will be growing in my garden next year:

mini pumpkin

Squash varieties I will be growing in my garden next year:

raintree nursery

Fruit Bushes and Plants I will be growing next year:

Rhubarb, Purple Onion Bulbs and Horseradish will be purchased from the feed store once they become available. And fruit trees will be picked up in the spring.

Did I miss anything?

~Mavis

This post may contain affiliate links. These affiliate links help support this site. For more information, please see my disclosure policy. Thank you for supporting One Hundred Dollars a Month.

Friday Night at the Movies – Remembrance

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Have you ever seen Remembrance?  I had totally forgotten what a fantastic movie it was until I stumbled across it on Netflix a while back.  It’s about a woman, who long after WWI ends, thinks about the boy she loved during her internment, and beyond, after he saved her life by helping her escape.  When she sees someone she believes is him on the television, she must has to decide whether or not to re-open her past and go looking for him.

If you are ever in a heavier mood, I seriously recommend checking it out.

Peace out Girl Scouts & have yourself a great weekend,

~Mavis

 remembrance

Looking for more movies?

Check out the full list of my Friday Night at the Movies Selections or click on over & look at all the movies on Amazon Instant Video. There are a ton of videos to choose from that will cost you absolutely nothing {nada, zilch, free-o} with Amazon Prime; like thousands of regular movies & TV shows & hundreds of documentaries {Wahoo!}. Get all the details HERE!

This post may contain affiliate links. These affiliate links help support this site. For more information, please see my disclosure policy. Thank you for supporting One Hundred Dollars a Month.

Monthly Garden Chores for November- East Coast Edition

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This is a guest post written by my buddy Heather from Massachusetts. I thought it would be fun this year to post Monthly Garden Chores from both the West Coast and East Coast.

november garden chores

For November Massachusetts is downright tropical! This last week we saw 60*! Of course 2.5 hrs north, my sister called from Belfast, ME to say she had a “snow day” due to 12” of snow (keep in mind she’s an adult but 12″ is a lot of snow). Until our snow days kick in we are are looov’in that warm weather!

Unfortunately, it has allowed my procrastinating self to blossom.

The cold frame has been getting by with a plastic sheet – even with the massive amount of rain we got all through October. The lettuces are doing GREAT and I should probably plan a salad or three for this week’s dinner menu.

Seeds I’m Starting Indoors this Month

Due to the weather, and lack of greenhouse, I’m pretty much a one-season gardener. However, I can still sprout sprouts and start planning my winter sowing. In fact, if you’d like to give winter sowing a go, now is the time to start collecting gallon sized, see-through milk jugs. I wanted to really add a lot of perennials to my yard last year and build the lavender hedge in my front yard so I ended up with about 40 jugs. Also, go grab some potting soil (not organic, just potting), vermiculite and peat moss for the soil {or make your own} because come January, February, March when we’re still buried in snow it’ll be almost impossible to find! The winter sowing greenhouses are beyond easy, a great “craft” to do with the kids, and I had great success with them. This lavender hedge is from winter sowing and only one season old – not bad!

lavender hedge

What I Plan to Transplant Outside this Month

Mulch! Mulch, mulch, mulch – for my tender or new perennials, that is. So my new precious lavender hedge is going to get mulched, heavily.  Also, my Blueberries  and potted raspberry bushes probably wouldn’t complain if I mulched them for good measure too.

giant carrot

What I plan to Harvest This Month

Carrots, whoop-whoop! This is my first successful year growing carrots. The thing with carrots is that the seeds are sooooo small, and so finicky about water in the spring, and so slow to grow, that I’d given up on them and literally planted that entire box with random veggies. Turns out, once again, that Mother Nature is a way better gardener than I. We were delighted to get three good handfuls of carrots. My daughter and I cleaned them, cut them and froze them in portions for a few family favorite recipes (pot roast and turkey soup). That way I can go grab the baggie and dump it in the crock-pot – BAM, done.

The swiss chard is still kickin’ and the chickens go crazy for it. I’m not a big fan. But it’s pretty.

holding gren tomatoes

The tomatoes finally threw in the towel. I was kind of sad to see them go as I’d planted them under my lights last January (which honestly was way to early but I was going a little stir crazy). Now, what the HECK do you do with green tomatoes, because I may have about 30 lbs., and one person can only eat so many fried green tomato sandwiches! Recipes are desperately needed!

Beets – almost forgot about the beets. I think I’ll try this recipe this pickled beets recipe.

Cold-frame. This thing just LOOKS at me every day. ‘Why won’t you finish me? Don’t you love me anymore? Don’t you want to protect your little lettuce leaves?’

Can you hear it? It’s looking at me right now. I’m actually thinking about taking a day off work just to finish it.

All’s well in the garden. The strawberries, blueberry and raspberry bushes are getting ready to go to sleep. Almost all the perennials have gone to sleep, the horse manure has been delivered, and I have a plans to pick up bags and bags and bags of leaves from my friend Courtney for the garden (and a little something for the chickens to play in come winter).

indoor herbs

Houseplants and Indoor Bulbs

Hey, check this out! So I planted these pots filled with “anti-mosquito” plants – basically anything with a strong smell or lemony smell and put them on my deck. I may be crazy, but I thought it worked. I had two pots and filled them with lavender (love lavender – can you tell?), basil (can anyone ever have enough basil?) and lemon balm (I dry it and use it for teas in the winter). The simple act of running your hand through any of these plants gives you the greatest smell. I’m always amazed.

I placed the pots on rolling stands for the deck so the deck wouldn’t get stained with mold and when it got cold I brought them inside and they’re doing great. The basil has faded (not enough sun), the lavender is hangin’ in there, and the lemon balm is livin’ the life. It’s already dark, dark, dark in New England so the lack of sunlight will probably put the whole pot to sleep in another month, but until then it’s my little slice of summer has been rolled inside.

Trees and Shrubs

Lemon is AAAALLLLLIIIVEEE! {Read about lemon’s attack of scales and Mavis-reader-solution in the comments – you guys are the best!}  Lemon has had a slow come-back but she’s sitting pretty now and we await those delicious-smelling flowers. Does anyone know if I should trim lemon so it can better support the weight of the lemons? Right now it looks as if the whole thing will splay out all over the place.

(Lemon, second in from the front)

Weed and Pest Control

Frost. Ol’ man Frost has come enough to scare the pants off anything creepy and/or crawly. Plus the chickens love a good bug-buffet.

bagged leaves

Lawn Care

Although decomposing leaves can make a good, natural boost for your lawn it can also harbor critters you don’t want near your house/garden. Like voles. I once had a friend who didn’t mow their yard that one-last-mow before winter and left a ton of leaves on the grass. The next spring they were infested with voles as the long grass and leaves created a perfectly warm and loose environment, with no fear of natural predators, to do what voles do – tunnel.

green tomatoes
Since Mavis readers are a literal bank of information – I’m hoping you can help me with a few questions:
1) Green tomato recipes!
2) Lemon – is there a need to trim lemon in order to support the weight of the lemons??
Thanks!!
Heather in MA

**These garden chores are based on my Zone 5b Southeast/Boston MA location. Find your garden zone HERE.

This post may contain affiliate links. These affiliate links help support this site. For more information, please see my disclosure policy. Thank you for supporting One Hundred Dollars a Month.

Planting Bulbs in November – Daffodils, Tulips, Anemones and More

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mavis garden blog

I’ve been working on getting all my spring bulbs planted over the past few days and even though I planted 80 tulips in front of the boxwood hedge, I still feel like it wasn’t enough. Back at our old place I probably planted over 5,000 bulbs during the 8 years we lived there, so having to start over with only a couple hundred bulbs is a little depressing.

planting hyacinth bulbs

But I keep reminding myself I planted bulbs EVERY FALL at the last place, not all at once, and it will be okay if my place doesn’t look like a flower bomb went off the first spring we are here.brick lamp post

We have this lamppost. But oddly enough there isn’t a lamp. Everyone else on the street has a lamppost with a light fixture on it, but not us. And to top it off, our lamppost area is totally ugly if you ask me.

The area is planted with an ultra ugly leaning pine tree that drops 10 million needles a day, a bunch of yellow day lilies {barf} and some other sort of crawling plant . All of which I would love to remove at some point.

anemone bulbs

But I just don’t have the time right now so I simply cleaned up the area and planted a lovely color coordinated assortment of purple iris, tulips and anemones.

planting daffodil bulbs

I also grossly underestimated how many daffodil bulbs I’ll need to plant the giant garden bed in front of our house. {And yes, all those random shrubs will be relocated soon}.

daffodil bulbs

Something tells me 260 bulbs won’t be enough to fill the entire area with daffodils. But I’m already over my garden budget for this month and can’t buy anymore, no matter how good the deal is. So now I’m wondering if I should do a mass planting of daffodils somewhere else, {maybe along a garden path} or just do a bunch of little groupings all over the place.

I don’t know what to do. My brain is turning to mush. I want this remodel to be over with so I can go back to a normal schedule and actually feel like I am getting something done each day.

~Mavis

 

This post may contain affiliate links. These affiliate links help support this site. For more information, please see my disclosure policy. Thank you for supporting One Hundred Dollars a Month.

When is the Right Time to Transplant Rosebushes?

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digging-up-rose-bushesRoses are beautiful, but when it comes to rose bushes, there definitely can be too much of a good thing. That’s what I discovered at our new house. And in my latest eHow article, Fall is the Time to Transplant Rosebushes, I’m talking all about the 15 rosebushes I had to deal with.

I’m not sure if the people who lived here before us got a sweet deal on miniature pink roses or what, but there are just a few too many of them in my new garden for my taste. So my goal for this week is to dig up, transplant, and give away some of the 15-plus rosebushes that are currently residing in my backyard garden.

But figuring out the right time to transplant rosebushes can be confusing if you’ve never transplanted them before. For starters, rosebushes need to be transplanted while they’re dormant, to reduce shock to the plant. Read the full article HERE.

This post may contain affiliate links. These affiliate links help support this site. For more information, please see my disclosure policy. Thank you for supporting One Hundred Dollars a Month.

Friday Night at the Movies – Adventures in Babysitting

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Holy 80′s awesomeness, people.  Do you remember Adventures in Babysitting?  If you haven’t seen it, let me tell you, it’s a hoot.  It’s about a girl, who had planned on a special night with her boyfriend, but instead ends up babysitting.  The night gets silly when her best friend calls needing her help–and the babysitter, the kid, and oddly enough, a-way-too-old-to-have-a-babysitter brother load up into the car and head into the big city to rescue the friend.  {It’s a great one to watch with a little bit older kids, due to some cussing and one or two “scary” scenes}.

adventures in babysitting

Let me know what you think if you decide to watch it–or if you have already seen it.  Did you love it? Hate it? Can’t wait to watch it over and over?

Peace out Girl Scouts & have yourself a great weekend,

~Mavis

PicMonkey Collage

Looking for more movies?

Check out the full list of my Friday Night at the Movies Selections or click on over & look at all the movies on Amazon Instant Video. There are a ton of videos to choose from that will cost you absolutely nothing {nada, zilch, free-o} with Amazon Prime; like thousands of regular movies & TV shows & hundreds of documentaries {Wahoo!}. Get all the details HERE!

This post may contain affiliate links. These affiliate links help support this site. For more information, please see my disclosure policy. Thank you for supporting One Hundred Dollars a Month.

Mavis Mail – Genevieve From South Florida Sends in Garden Pics

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A big THANK YOU to everyone who has sent in their photographs and stories. I hope by sharing other peoples pictures and stories here on One Hundred Dollars a Month we can all have a rock star garden this summer. Keep them coming!

~Mavis

This week we travel to South Florida with reader, Genevieve, who shows us that container gardens can yield some crazy good crops:

gen1Hi Mavis!

I have been reading your blog for a while now and I have been meaning to send in some pictures of my garden. For most of the country, the garden season is winding down, but here in South Florida the best growing weather is just starting!

We just bought our first house in January this year and I couldn’t wait to fill all the spaces with edibles!

[The picture above] is a little space in the back of my house. There used to be a basketball hoop there from the former owner {which the HOA wasn’t very fond of} but now I have it lined with City Picker planters, an Earthbox and a bunch of SmartPots. The two trees on the right are a tangerine {foreground} which has a few almost ready and a Hass avocado. On the left is a lychee tree and behind it is a dwarf peach {that I am desperately trying to keep alive in the wrong zone. Haha}.

gen2Alllll my tomatoes! I have several heirloom varieties including Old German and Yellow Jubilee, and a bunch of small bushy patio varieties since they grow so well in the City Pickers. I even had a couple volunteer tomatoes that just sprouted out of the planter from nowhere, back from the dead after a brutally hot summer.

gen3My lychee in the foreground and my sad little Bonanza Dwarf Peach trying to make it to winter :(

gen4My latest project. Hubby and I ripped out a ridiculous jungle of landscaping {it took a pickaxe and chain saw to get a palm tree out!} and made this nice space for me to plant more veggies. For me, its more cost effective to use planters and raised beds than plant the soil here, which is full of rocks and very sandy. Here I used SmartPots and a SmartPot Big Bag Bed which is 13 cu ft of growing space! Its full of peppers and a couple bush variety tomatoes and a broccoli plant {which I’ve never grown and am very excited about!}. I like to grow things you don’t see in the grocery store, so I have purple bell peppers, Cherokee Purple tomatoes, San Marzano tomatoes, Black Krim tomatoes and a volunteer cherry tomato transplanted from the back patio. :) The big climbing vine is a passion fruit vine. After a vicious battle with caterpillars on it, its finally thriving and I’m looking forward to its wild looking flowers and delicious fruit in the spring and early summer.

gen5The second part of my front yard garden. Since both hoses are on the back of the house, I put a rain barrel up front so I can water the garden. Those three pots used to have Southern Highbush Blueberries, but they didn’t make it through the summer so I put cauliflower and broccoli there, which are doing great!

The last thing I will put up front this winter is my beloved strawberry jars for some delicious Florida strawberries in January! I had a lot more planned for my garden, but its beginning to be too hard to bend over being 7 months pregnant! And I can’t make poor hubby do it all. :)

I hope you enjoy my garden pictures! I love reading your blog, good luck with your new garden and the beautiful renovations to your new house!

A Fellow Green Thumb,
Genevieve

Send Pictures of Your Garden For a Chance to Win a $20 Amazon Gift Card

If you would like to have your garden, chicken coop or something you’ve made featured on One Hundred Dollars a Month, here’s what I’m looking for:

  • Your Garden Pictures and Tips – I’d especially like to see your garden set ups, growing areas, and know if you are starting seeds indoors this year. If so,  show me some picture of how you are going about it.
  • Your Chicken and Chicken Related Stories – Coops, Chicks, Hen’s, Roosters, Eggs, you name it. If it clucks, send us some pictures to share with the world.
  • Cool Arts & Crafts - Made from your very own hands with detailed {and well photographed} pictures and instructions.
  • Your pictures and stories about your pets. The more pictures and details the better.
  • Garage Sale, Thrift Store and Dumpster Diving pictures and the stories behind the treasures you found including how much you paid for them.

If I feature your pictures and the stories behind them on One Hundred Dollars a Month, I will send you a $20.00 gift card to the greatest store in the world: Amazon.com.

Go  HERE for the official rules.

This post may contain affiliate links. These affiliate links help support this site. For more information, please see my disclosure policy. Thank you for supporting One Hundred Dollars a Month.

Winter Gardening – Growing Paperwhites Indoors

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Growing Paperwhites Indoors

I picked up some paperwhites at The Home Depot sale yesterday.  I plan on growing them in my kitchen window so that they will be ready for my holiday table.  They are super easy to grow indoors, and by the time the gray days of winter set in, it’s kind of nice to bring the outdoors in.

They also work as a fantastic last minute birthday or hostess gift if you are in a pinch, because you can simply take them off of your counter and hand them to someone {not that I’ve every done that before or anything}. ;)

planting paperwhites

You’ll Need:

  • A container {only about 3-4″ deep} with no drainage holes
  • Gravel or polished rocks
  • Paperwhites
  • Moss {optional}

planting paperwhites for December blooms

Directions:

Put about 2″ of gravel or polished rocks in the bottom of your container and spread it out evenly.  Set the bulbs on top of the gravel, pointed end up. I like to pack ‘em in there, because they end up looking better in a big bunch.  Add another layer of gravel on top, but leave the pointed tops uncovered. I always like to add a little bit of moss on top of the gravel/rocks because I think it looks kind of cool {and HELLO, I have oodles of it}.

planting paperwhites

Add water to the container–enough that the water reaches the bottom of the bulb.  Careful not to cover the bulb with water, though, or it will rot. Store the container in a cool dark place until they start to develop roots.  You may need to add water every so often.  When the roots form, move the container to a sunny window sill and let them bloom.  Once they have bloomed, move them away from direct light, and they will last longer–which is perfect, because that’s about when you’ll want to put them on the table.

chicken in grass

Happy planting,

~ Mavis

 

This post may contain affiliate links. These affiliate links help support this site. For more information, please see my disclosure policy. Thank you for supporting One Hundred Dollars a Month.

The Urban Cultivator

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I don’t know about you, but sometimes I get totally discouraged at the whole idea of technology taking over our daily lives–pulling us away from the whole cycle of life happening out of doors, so when I found out about the Urban Cultivator on Treehugger, I kind of felt like technology was redeeming itself a bit.  I mean, if we are going to have appliances, why not have ones that allow us to become a little more independent with our food sources?

The Urban Cultivator is basically an indoor growing system–designed to provide the right amount of light, water, etc. so that you can grown your own greens year round right in your kitchen.  I know, you can do this in little pots near the window, but this totally amps up the process.  I like the idea that it fits under the counter–like a little mini-fridge.  The whole idea is in support of a zero mile diet.  You grow it, you harvest it, you eat it.  The energy used to keep the appliance going is far less than the energy used to truck your herbs and greens to your grocery store.  The one drawback is that they cost a small fortune {about $2500–yikes!}.

Maybe they will be like flat screen t.v.’s used to seem–totally out of reach, and then one day, bam! you can pick it up on a Black Friday deal at Walmart for a steal, and the next thing you know, everyone has one?

What do you think, would you want one of these bad boys in your kitchen?

~Mavis

This post may contain affiliate links. These affiliate links help support this site. For more information, please see my disclosure policy. Thank you for supporting One Hundred Dollars a Month.

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