Mavis Garden Blog – Planting Cabbage and Lettuce for My Winter Garden

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planting vegetables in a stock tank

Yesterday I was able to sneak outside for a bit and get a jump start on my winter garden. I planted 3 purple cabbage and 2 packets of lettuce seeds in the stock tank turned planter alongside the house. I ordered some Carnival Carrots and Detroit Dark Red Beet seeds from Botanical Interests over the weekend, and as soon as they get here, those will go in the planter as well.

cabbage plant

I also planted a few more cabbage plants and some cauliflower starts in the big pots along the back of the house as well. Normally I would have planted these in early September, but with the move and remodel going on, I’m a little late this year. But I’m optimistic. Unless we have a ridiculously cold winter, I should be harvesting cabbage towards the beginning of next year. It’s a long time to wait for a head of cabbage, but at will at least give me something to look forward to as I map out my garden for next year.

growing basil indoors

And today, I hope to find the grow lights {buried in the garage somewhere} so I can get some basil going indoors. Which I think will look pretty darn fantastic once my kitchen window area gets put back together.

Gardening, there’s always something you can grow!

~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.



Let’s get This Garden Started!

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pulling weeds

I feel like I’ve been a total slacker in the gardening department lately. Seriously. But those days are behind me now because yesterday the HH picked up a truckload of potting soil for me {here’s how to make your own potting soil} and for the first time in about a month, I took some serious time off from all the craziness that’s been going on {traveling, moving, the remodel} and went outside and played in the dirt.

weeded garden

It was pretty RAD. I got half of the lower hedge area weeded, {noticed I said weeded and not pruned?, yeah, that’s coming} and shoveled some serious dirt too. It felt great!

filling pots with potting soil

All the pots I brought with me from the old place are now full and ready to be planted {I’m not sure with what yet though} and things are finally started to look up in the gardening department around here.

using stock tanks as garden containers

I also had to came to a decision as to where/what I was going to do with the stock tanks I was previously using in my old greenhouse. I new I wanted to keep them, but I just wasn’t sure where to put them because honestly, they can be kind of an eye sore if you don’t have a fenced yard. Which we don’t have at this point.

landscaping with stock tanks

My neighbor lady across the street actually has one in the front of her house {and it looks great} but it’s pretty hidden and she has plants cascading over the side so it looks pretty spiffy. My stock tanks on the other hand are pretty bare, and stick out like a sore thumb when placed alongside my house. Can you spot Lucy the trouble puggle in the picture? {Hint she’s up high}.

stock tanks as garden containers

Ultimately I decided to just use one stock tank for now.  I plan on using it to plant some winter veggies until I can get the backyard garden dug up and ready for action. I was also thinking about painting the stock tank to match the house as well.

What do you think?

One isn’t too much of an eyesore, is it?

~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.

Fall and Winter Gardening: Growing Your Own Salad Greens

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packet-of-lettuce-seedsWhen I first began gardening, I never realized you could garden all year long. I loved growing lettuce for fresh-from-the-garden salads, but I thought all that had to end when the ground froze over. Not the case at all, and I’m talking all about how it’s possible to grow lettuce and salad greens all year long in my latest eHow post: Tips for Growing Salad Greens in Late Fall and Winter.

One of my favorite things to grow during the fall and winter months is lettuce. Sure anyone can grab a bag of salad mix from the store for a couple of bucks, but if you’re a die hard vegetable gardener like myself, you are going to need to get outside to get your daily dose of vitamin D or you’ll go nuts. Plus, we all know homegrown just tastes better!

Tips for Growing Lettuce in Late Fall and Winter

Be patient. Lettuce germinates best in cooler temperatures, but if it gets too cold germination may slow down considerably. The ideal time to plant is two weeks before the first fall frost. Most lettuce varieties only take about 45 – 60 days to reach maturity.

Check out 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 – Mad Men

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The HH and I stared watching Mad Men a few weeks ago, and it’s shocking to see how women were treated back in the 60′s, not to mention the affairs… holy stilettos people…. aren’t those people exhausted already?  Still. I.  Can’t. Stop. Watching. It.  What is it about shows like that?!  They grab a hold of you, I tell ya. We are on season 3 right now but plan to watch them all.

mad men

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? Don’t you just want to slap Don Draper?

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.

How to Store Winter Squash

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How to Store Winter SquashWinter squash are like potatoes.  If you store them right, they will seriously last you most of the winter–at least until you can get out and grow yourself some cool weather kale and spinach.

heirloom-butternut-squashTo ensure that you get the longest life out of your squash, start by picking it at the right time.  The squash shouldn’t be wet at all, so don’t pick after the sprinklers have come on or after a rain.  Cut the squash from the vine, instead of pulling it.  That way, you won’t accidentally break off the stem too close to the squash, causing a blemish that will speed up rot.  Also, make sure to pick it before the nighttime temperatures dip into the 40′s.  Don’t let the name fool you, winter squash does not like it to be too cold.

anna swartz hubbard squashThe first step in storing winter squash is curing.  Curing is basically a fancy word for leaving the squash out somewhere warmish with good air circulation and ignoring for a week and a half to two weeks.  Curing helps make sure any excess water leaves the squash and makes it taste better long term.

Some people like to give their squash a quick diluted bleach bath before storage.  It helps to kill any fungus or bacteria on the squash.  If you do decide to give your squash a bath, dilute it 1 part bleach to 10 parts water.  Rinse well after the bath and dry completely before storing.  This step is completely optional.

hubbard squashWinter squash are happiest when stored at about 55 degrees.  If you have a root cellar, well, then I’m jealous.  If you don’t, your best bet is going to be a basement or garage.  They need to be completely dry throughout storage, so either keep them up on a shelf or in a box, where water from melting snow off of the cars, etc. can’t get to them.

Depending on the type of squash you are storing {acorn has the shortest shelf life, while blue hubbard has one of the longer shelf lives}, it will last anywhere from 4 weeks to 7 months.

What’s the longest you’ve successfully stored a winter squash?

~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.

Mavis Garden Blog – Pictures, Plans and Planting Ideas for My New Garden

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abortive privacy hedgeOnce we decided to downsize our home, one of the most major things I was looking for was a home with a garden. Sometimes you get lucky, and find everything you want in not only a home, but a garden as well. We didn’t. Be we saw possibility. MAJOR possibility. And that was confirmed yesterday while I began the {long} process of weeding our new {to us}, upper garden.

backyard full of moss

Remember the new 85 year old neighbor of mine who brought me flowers? Well, I met her husband yesterday while I was working near the arborvitae privacy hedge. WHAT A HOOT! Not only did he tell me he’s running for congress {at 85?} he also invited me for pecan pie and tea next week.  :) :) :)

He said, “I heard you’re a gardener, and that’s good because this garden hasn’t been touched in years. It’s nice to know someone is going to bring it back to what it once was.”

grass full of moss

Well, I don’t know about that, but I’ll tell you one thing… the backyard is full of moss. Lot’s and lot’s of moss.privacy hedge

And I can’t wait to dig it up and plant a vegetable garden in it’s place. I have high hopes of turning this little plot of land into a mini Monticello vegetable patch. A long, rectangular patch full of homegrown goodness. evergreen hedge

In fact I’m hoping to turn the garden into one of those well manicured ones you’re always seeing in home and garden magazines. At a little over a 1/3 of an acre it’s just enough to keep me busy without feeling chained to endless weeding and landscaping projects 24/7.

future garden plans

I have high hopes that by next summer we’ll be able to sit at the patio table nibbling on summer salads and gazing out on our newly planted perennial flower and vegetable garden.

future patio garden

And the patio garden? BRING IT ON!! I intend to have oodles of pots lining the back of the house filled with both vegetables and flowers.

future potting bench area

I’m hoping to find a cool potting bench this winter to go alongside the house where those pots are right now. potted broccoli plant

But I better get crackin’ if I want to eat more than a couple of heads of fresh broccoli this winter. So this weeks goal is to weed, weed,weed. Once that’s done, I can get back to what I know best… getting my hands dirty. ;)

Have a great Sunday everyone,

~Mavis

P.S. What do you think of my new garden space? Any suggestions?

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.

Starting Over: New Home, New Garden, No Stress

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terra-cotta-potsThe thought of starting a garden from scratch can seem daunting to some. That’s what I’m facing at not one, but 2 different houses. When all of this is said and done, I’m going to be a pro! But in this week’s eHow article: Starting a New Garden From Scratch Doesn’t Have to Be Overwhelming, I’m covering some of the strategies I’m using to keep from feeling overwhelmed by the process.

This past week, our family moved from a house and garden we built ourselves more than eight years ago. Every tree, bush, strip of grass and vegetable seed planted was done with our own hands. The new property we bought is roughly one fourth of the size, but there is still a ton of work ahead of us to the landscaping. Starting over is hard, but with the right mindset, creating a new garden space from scratch can also be a boatload of fun.

Here are a few tips for starting a garden from scratch.

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 – Boyhood

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I’ve been hearing a lot about the movie Boyhood lately.  It’s claim to fame is that they filmed it over several years–usually the same childhood actor.  While it is a fictional story, using the same actor, it is supposed to be a really touching “coming of age” type movie.  It’s available for pre-order on Amazon right now {which is still cheaper than me and the HH going to the theater}, so I am thinking about checking it out.

boyhood

Anyone seen yet?  Is it worth watching?

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.

Monthly Garden Chores for October- 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.1I never noticed how acutely the temperature changed until this year. Probably because I’ve got so many tomato plants loaded with fruit that I’m anxious to keep. On the upside, we’ve gotten a whole summer’s worth of rain in the last couple of weeks {it seems} so the yards are all spectacularly green and the fall colors that New England is famous for are in full effect.

I’m feeling pretty good about this summer’s garden results and production this year as it was probably my first, truly, successful year. My soil is rock solid and I will once again add manure and leaves to my boxes as they’ve compressed over the summer’s use.  I’ve canned, dried and frozen my produce and herbs to my little heart’s content within the very millisecond of free time I had available after work, kids, sports, meals and life. And finally, the backyard is looking less like a baron square with boxes and more like a sculptured, oasis of flowers, fruits and veggies. Fine, I might be feeling a liiittttle nostalgic with the impending frost we’ll no doubt get this month, but can you blame me? Summer in New England is just beautiful.

Seeds I’m Starting Indoors this Month

Garlic! The garlic is in the ground and with the copious amount of rain we’re getting I’m sure it’s settled in nicely. When the leaves start falling I’ll pile them on and they’ll be cozy until spring. I bought red clover to use as a cover crop but 7 of my 9 boxes are still actively growing so I may wait until early spring.2What I Plan to Transplant Outside this Month

Does transplanting horse manure into my boxes count? I’ve got three people lined up to hand over massive amounts of bagged leaves in a week or two. I’ll put a good amount of leaves in my garden boxes and save several bags as entertainment for the chickens through the winter. My friend Perry has promised me a trailer-full of composted horse manure for my boxes also. It’s excitement over the trailer-full of manure that surprises me – it’s all in the little things. ;)

The enchineacea I planted last spring is doing pretty well so I moved it to the base of this tree stump hoping it will grow around it next year. It’ll soften the look of the stump and I’m hoping to harvest the flowers next year.3The cold box is … a work in progress. The thing is – everything I build is just “wingin’ it,” and I’m not sure that will work this time so I’m procrastinating until I can figure it out. Luckily I still have a month before I’ll really need to have the lid done. I’ll fill you in on all the juicy details, but for now I’ve got three successive planting in so I’m still in good shape.

4Plants and/or Bulbs I Plan to Purchase this Month

I ordered ginseng seeds last spring and they just came in! The timing is perfect though as they need stratification so planting them in the fall will allow nature to do it’s thing for next spring. Now I have to get to it and cut a border around our deck, enhance the soil a bit, stuff it with leaves, plant my seeds and mulch with leaves again and wait patiently for spring. Patiently… yeah, right.

What I plan to Harvest This Month

I might get a few more weeks left to harvest herbs and the remainder of my tomato lot. I plan to harvest chamomile, tomatoes, Swiss chard, eggplant, carrots, lemon balm, more tomatoes, thyme, rosemary, mint, and oregano. My dehydrator has been busy, busy, busy dehydrating herbs, apples, bananas {oof, super messy}, pineapple, and sunflower seeds.
5Houseplants and Indoor Bulbs

I’ve begun stalking the weather station for their best guesses on frost dates. Along with watching for the frost date, I’ve been watching the “lows.”  When it looks like it will be 30* or below consistently I’ll move my lil’ trooper lemon back inside as well as a few other houseplants that have been living the good life on the deck all summer.

Trees and Shrubs

This is the time of the year to mulch your fragile or newly planted perennials and/or shrubs/trees/bushes. It may seem like going overboard but a little care could pay off come February when we have 4 feet of snow and they are appreciating their canopy of mulch. I’ll mulch my lavender hedge and blueberry plants for sure.

diy chicken tractorWeed and Pest Control

The chickens are doing a bang-up job in this department. There is a newly cleared area behind the garden that I just didn’t get to develop this season, and the chicken’s looove it back there. So, I open the door to their chicken tractor  and they march right in, then I drag it over to the cleared area and they go to town doing what chickens do – scratching and turning up the weeds and their roots as they find prizes to eat.

Lawn Care

Mid-Oct. is your end date for putting your lawn to bed for spring. Aerate {core is better than pine} and seed. Then fertilize. Better yet – pay the teenager to do it for you! ;)

Every trip downstairs to my “loot room” where I store what I’ve canned/dried or frozen from my little garden, in my very little amount of extra time, and I’m feeling pretty proud of myself *insert pat on back*.

What have you accomplished this garden season that you are most proud of? Let us know, we’re always looking for more ideas of ways to get the most out of our gardens!

**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 Around an Air Conditioning Unit with Boxwoods

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herb garden plan

Yesterday I broke out the shovel and got started on my future herb garden.

screening an air conditioning unit

There are quite a few things I need to get done before I can actually plant herbs, but with a little hard work, I think I can get the beds ready by early spring.

On the “to do list” is installing a new pathway {removing the big rocks and replacing them with brick that matches our house}, adding more pea gravel to the walkway, moving the hosta plants to the other side of the path, filling the area in the center that is now full of pea gravel with top soil so the bed is more of a half circle, and adding some sort of gate/trellis/arbor to the side yard.

Planting Around an Air Conditioning Unit with Boxwoods

And of course, removing those wild and crazy out of control bushes was first on my list. digging around an air conditioning unit

I like digging. It’s therapeutic.

Planting Around an Air Conditioning Unit with Boxwoods

Once the boxwoods grow together {and are trimmed properly} I think they’ll compliment the space {and future herb garden} much better.

What do you think?

Do you like my game plan for this space? Any suggestions?

~ Mavis

P.S. Don’t worry, the I planted the boxwoods far enough away from the air conditioning unit.  It’s just hard to tell from the angle I took the photo from. ;)

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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