Monthly Garden Chores for July – East Coast Edition

  • Like on Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Print Friendly and PDF
  • Pin It

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. You can see my garden plans for my Seattle, Washington garden HERE.

Heather1

Geeez, June just FLEW by!  And it was a little bizarre here in New England. The weather seemed to be up, down, sideways and all around! Hurricane Arthur just a few days ago made it swing from 90 degrees down to 65 degrees in a 24 hour time period. Needless to say, the eggplants and hot peppers are having a bit of a hard time.  Others, like my tomatoes, raspberry bushes, and peas are having a grand ol’ time – the temperature swings don’t seem to bother them at all.

Seeds I’m Starting Indoors this Month

Instead of starting a winter garden this fall, I’ll continue on my quest for awesome soil. Last year I amended my garden soil with copious amounts of manure and leaves to each garden box, and this year I’ll do a cover crop.

heather2

Can you BELIEVE the stores are stocking up on back-to-school supplies?!!  It’s true; I just saw it today {my plan is to ignore this intrusion on my summer until September}. But it got me thinking, if the retail season is shifting, that means it’s time for me to clean up on gardening sales, especially potting soil, vermiculite, and peat moss for early spring/grow light seed starting {check out how to make your own potting soil HERE}. I learned last year that if you are looking for potting soil supplies in February it’ll be tough going to find any.

I also need a few more large tomato cages. Why is it that you can never have enough tomato cages? Coming up in the next couple of months the garden boxes I like will drop in price also, by like $10-$15! Plus, this week I’ll be heading to the feed store for a chicken water heater, hopefully catching it at a sale price still.heather3

What I Harvested Last Month

Oooh, yes – the best part of the season! So far we’ve harvested cilantro (and frozen it in water cubes). heather4

Mint, chocolate mint, oregano, and thyme. We’ve gotten quite a bit of strawberries from our two pallets but they seem to systematically disappear, and by systematically I mean every time my daughter goes out to the garden ;)   heather5

I’ve pulled all the garlic and it’s drying on a rack in the garage. I use it primarily for spaghetti sauce so I really think this will be enough for the whole year! And peas, I almost forgot about the peas – so many peas.  heather6
What I Plan to Harvest This Month

This month I’ll be harvesting more herbs. I’m hoping to provide enough for the whole year and Christmas presents. Plus, a handful of blueberries, raspberries, carrots, and a few tomatoes hopefully.
heather7Canning
In June I took my daughter to one of the local farms and we picked 8lbs of strawberries to can. I’d never made strawberry jam before, let alone canned it, so I wanted to start small. Let.me.tell.you.bob it was DELICIOUS. And surprisingly easy. My daughter and I picked the berries, and my son and I canned the jam. All in all an awesome day.
heather8

Houseplants and Indoor Bulbs

Good news! Poor lemon, I thought he’d succumbed to a massive scale infestation, but in a brilliant moment {before I threw him out} I scraped the stem – it was green underneath! Which means, lemon was still alive and kickin’. So I trimmed the top two feet off leaving the main stem about a foot out of the pot, fertilized him and it started sprouting new stems and leaves. Lemon is back in the game folks!heather9

Trees and Shrubs

The “container” raspberries are growing like gangbusters in the over-sized container, and they look really lush and green. The blueberry bushes are growing fine but they fell victim to the caterpillars that ravage our greenery every year. I was able to catch it early and sprayed them with an organic oil compound {I like this one}, which saved some of them. I’ll probably only get a handful of blueberries this year. That’s gonna be one sweet handful though {assuming I get to them before the kids that is ;) }.heather10Weed and Pest Control

Sadly I just spied some critters on my tomatoes {spider mites maybe?} and something eating my potatoes {little worm-like things}. So its that time of year to get defensive and keep a keen eye out for any problems before they get out of control.  I think I’ll be able to nip them in the bud with an organic treatment like this one before they destroy my plants.

On the upside, my plan for total chipmunk domination is coming along nicely. Project marigold is working! First I planted marigolds in each corner of each box. Next I planted a barrier of marigolds between the rock wall {where they lived} and the garden.

The local coyotes are not around this year which means there TONS of rabbits. And my unfenced garden has not had one nibble…all because I picked up strangers hair in a bag {barf} and sprinkled around the perimeter of the garden! True story.

heather11Lawn Care

Earlier in the year, when I was putting together my winter sowing buckets I had a grand plan to dig up the front hedge and build a lavender hedge. So far so good, although it will probably be next summer before it gets very big and full like I’d like it.

Alls well in New England’s gardens. Speaking of New England, a Mavis reader suggested I check out this book The New England Gardener’s Year and it is REALLY helpful! If you live in MA, RI, ME, VT, NH, CT or NY, this book is worth looking into.
Happy July Everyone!! Whooo-hooo it’s summah!

**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.



Friday Night at the Movies – Queen of Versailles

  • Like on Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Print Friendly and PDF
  • Pin It

My friend, MamaJJ recommended that I watch Queen of Versailles.  It’s about a billionaire’s family–and their experience when the economic bubble popped.  Fair warning:  apparently it kind of makes you want to strangle these people, but it is jaw-dropping enough that you can’t stop watching.

queen of versailles

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?

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.

Victoria, B.C. Flowers, Flowers and More Flowers…

  • Like on Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Print Friendly and PDF
  • Pin It

window box ideas

The flowers… they were EVERYWHERE. Seriously, if you are looking for ways to spruce up your window boxes, garden planters or just need some landscaping ideas, Victoria B. C. is the place to go. container garden ideas

It was not humanly possible to walk down a street there and not see flowers.
gorgeous planter boxes

Total flower porn.

black container garden

Did I just say that? ;) pink geraniums in flower garden

This planter with pink geraniums was one of my favorites.  Does anyone know what those tiny white flowers are? I am totally going to plant this combo next year.

black window box filled with petunias

Victoria should be named the flower capital of the world!!
lavender hydrangea bushes

I’ve been a lot of places and I have never seen so many flowers. To say it was lovely would be a total understatement. :) 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.

Has Anyone Tried Using Hair to Keep Squirrels and Deer out of Your Garden?

  • Like on Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Print Friendly and PDF
  • Pin It

How to Keep Deer Out of Your Garden

My friend Heather, who writes the East Coast Edition of gardening chores for me, recently posted about using hair to deter deer, bunnies, and squirrels from entering your garden.  While she combed {pun intended} the streets looking for salons that would slip her a little free human hair, I jumped onto professor google to see if this was a common pest control method and I’d just been living in a bubble.  Turns out, you can totally call me bubble girl.

Add hair to your garden to keep deer out of your yard.

Critters cannot stand the smell of human hair, so sprinkling a barrier of hair clippings around your garden, or lightly working it into the soil when you plant bulbs, apparently does have some merit.  The whole thing  kind of makes me laugh.  It never occurred to me that we are the ones that stink.

As I did a little more poking around, I found out that using hair in the garden can be pretty temporary, but no solid information on what temporary actually means.  (Hair apparently loses its smell after a bit–which is comforting to know that we get less smelly with time. :)

So, it made me wonder, do any of you use hair as pest control?  Does it work?  How often do you have to, um, well, reapply?  Will Monkey Boy and the HH have to commit to a buzz cut every summer?

~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.

Monthly Garden Chores – July

  • Like on Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Print Friendly and PDF
  • Pin It

Monthly Garden Chores - July

Holy cannoli’s people… can you believe it’s July already? This year is flying by and the weather here in Western Washington has been perfect for gardening lately. Hot and muggy pretty much sums it up if you ask me. ;)

We are almost done harvesting strawberries for the season and are looking forward to the next best thing… RASPBERRIES. Wahooo! Gardening is rad, isn’t it?

cabbage seeds

Seeds I’m Starting Indoors this Month

  • Broccoli Raab {time to get ready for the fall garden!}
  • Spinach
  • Cabbage
  • Broccoli
  • Kale
  • Kohlrabi
  • Cauliflower

See the full list of seeds I’ll be planting this year

What I Plan to Transplant Outside this Month

Everything is already outside this month.  I plan on just watering and watching it all grow. :)

bucket of raspberries

What I plan to Harvest This Month

  • Strawberries
  • Lettuce
  • Peas
  • Cucumbers
  • Basil
  • Oregano
  • Beans
  • Thyme
  • Rosemary
  • Sage
  • Broccoli
  • Cabbage
  • Kale
  • Mint
  • Onions
  • Baby Red Potatoes
  • Raspberries
  • Sun Gold Tomatoes
  • Zucchini

sun gold tomatoes

Trees and Shrubs

Trees and shrubs should be pretty low maintenance this month, other than needing a bit more water.  All trees and shrubs benefit from deeper, less frequent waterings, rather than a daily light sprinkle.  Watch for pests, fungus, and diseases this month and stop them before they take hold.  Mulching is important this month.  It will help your plants deal with the stress of the heat.

slugs eating cabbage

Weed and Pest Control

Weeding is especially important this month, because weeds will compete in your garden beds for valuable nutrients.  Continue to keep an eye on pests, especially on the tomatoes.

lawn mowing tips

Lawn Care

Try raising the blade on your mower this month.  The longer cut grass will protect the roots of the grass from the heat.

These garden chores are based on my Zone 8a Seattle/Tacoma WA 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.

Friday Night at the Movies – John Adams

  • Like on Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Print Friendly and PDF
  • Pin It

In light of the holiday, I thought it might be kind of fun to start John Adams, an HBO original dramatization about none other than…John Adams and his life in early America.  A little history combined with some HBO drama.  Yes, please.  Best part is that you can stream it on Amazon without even needing pricey HBO.  Wahoo!

john adams

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.

Greenhouse Gardening in the Pacific Northwest – Tomatoes, Herbs and Lettuce

  • Like on Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Print Friendly and PDF
  • Pin It

magnum glass greenhouse

Even though it was super warm out yesterday {80′s!} I still managed to get outside and garden for a few hours without keeling over. The HH LOVES the heat but my favorite temperature for working outside is somewhere around 65 degrees with a slight chill in the air {which just happens to be the perfect weather for jeans and a long sleeved t-shirt I might add}. ;)

purple sage and thymeAnywho, while I was out there I snapped a few photos of our greenhouse garden.

Take a look at that sage!!!! It’s it gorgeous? I’m going to go pick a bunch of it today and toss it in the food dehydrator for a nice ole’ turkey rub.
chive seed heads drying

Have you checked you chive plants lately? Most of mine have all flowered and are starting to dry up. Yay! This means I’ll be collecting and saving chive seeds for next years garden pretty soon.
organic oregano growing along side a greenhouse

And the oregano and rosemary plants are doing pretty well too. I should get out there and harvest a bunch before it goes to seed because I’m going to need it for my heirloom tomato sauce this summer once the tomatoes start rolling in.

inside glass greenhouse

And speaking of tomatoes… the tomato plants we planted in the stock tanks this spring are almost to the ceiling!! How crazy is that? tiny heirloom tomatoes

I know I planted Green Zebra and Sun Gold tomato starts in the greenhouse but I’m not sure what variety this one is. I can tell it’s going to be a big one though because of how large the flower heads are. Oh well, I guess we’ll find out soon enough. tiny grape tomatoes growing in a greenhouse

Grape tomatoes. My favorite.

growing lettuce in a greenhouse

And last but not least, a giant pot full of gourmet lettuce greens. Once this is harvested I probably won’t plant anymore lettuce in the greenhouse until September because the inside of the greenhouse will just be to hot to grow greens.

Ahh summer. I love you.

~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 Butterfield | Backyard Garden Pictures 6/29/14

  • Like on Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Print Friendly and PDF
  • Pin It

raised garden beds

In some ways my garden feels like a bit of a failure this year. I knew coming into this years gardening season I wouldn’t have much time to spend on it between April and June because of all our summer commitments and end of the school year duties I had taken on.

pole beans growing in a garden

Instead of an entire garden box full of beans, I’m growing just two teepees worth of beans this year {one was planted in June and I’ll plant another in July}. Instead of planting 100 pounds of potatoes like I did last year, I settled for a dozen or so plants {and a few volunteers}.

bills blood beet ready to be harvested

One thing I didn’t scrimp on this year though was beets. I planted a whole garden box full of those! ;)
magnum glass greenhouse

One of the hardest things I’ve had to learn this past year is that it’s okay to say NO. To take it easy, to enjoy this little things and not to take on too many projects. It’s been hard to prioritize but I am finally feeling pretty relaxed about my decision to cut back this year not only my planting, but some of my other projects as well. cabbage and kale plants

Some years are like that I guess. blueberry clusters

Let’s just say I am thankful for the perennials in our garden that require little to no maintenance. Raspberries, blueberries, and an awesome assortment of herbs are just a few that come to mind.

wisteria growing over an arbor

Life is good. Especially when you learn to slow down a bit.

Keep calm and garden on. Right?

~Mavis

This years garden is being sponsored by the folks at Botanical Interests Seed Company. You can check out their website HERE, order their new 2014 Garden Seed Catalog 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.

Ample Harvest – What to Do With Your Excess Garden Harvests

  • Like on Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Print Friendly and PDF
  • Pin It

mavis-garden-blog3

Do you have excess produce every year from your garden?   I know we sure do.  There are only so many calories in a day, and sometimes, we just can’t eat or put up everything we grow.  So, a big thanks to One Hundred Dollars a Month reader, Holly, for sharing a link to Ample Harvest.  Ample Harvest is an organization that helps connect local gardeners with participating food pantries.

It allows gardeners to share some of their excess produce and provides fresh, local fruits and vegetables to an under served part of the population.  I love this idea.  It helps to eliminate food waste AND it provides healthy options for people who might otherwise be faced with over-processed malnutrition.

planting green beans

For the past couple of years, I have planted a row for the hungry.  I have ample space, so planting a whole row dedicated to donation is no biggie for me.  I had to call around to find out which pantries would take my donation.  Ample Harvest makes it super simple, just click on the “For Gardeners” tab and find a local participating food pantry.

When you have excess harvest, you can box it up and drop it off.  The whole thing will take maybe an hour out of your day, but have a pretty cool impact on your community {shall we all hold hands and sing?}.

giant zucchini squash garden mavis

Even if I didn’t plant an entire row dedicated to donation, there comes a time in every gardener’s life when they can’t see, eat, shred, freeze another zucchini.  They comb the streets looking to dump them off on friends and neighbors, and for awhile, the friends are grateful.  Then, one day, they stop answering their door, because they too can’t see, eat, shred, or freeze another zucchini.  That’s when it’s time to box them up, and send them off  where they will get the appreciation they deserve.

heirloom tomatoes

If my relationship with Mr. Produce Guy taught me anything, it’s that there is PLENTY of food to go around, if you know how to get it where it needs to go.  So, go check out Ample Harvest, and make sure to leave a comment of what you donated {if you decide to do 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.

Rare Sighting : Husband in Garden. Please Alert the Authorities. Something is Amiss

  • Like on Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Print Friendly and PDF
  • Pin It

harvesting strawberries

I spy with my little eye, the HH picking berries. Wait. What?? How can this be?strawberries

Apparently the man is willing to pick for his dinner dessert.  Remember that strawberry shortcake I made? Well a the HH has been pining for one for months and last night he finally hit the jackpot because we’ve got strawberries coming out of our ears these days. picking peas

And look at this. He even helped me pick peas! Holy cats. What’s got into the guy? The only time he ever steps foot into the garden is when he walks past it on the way to mow the grass.

WHAT DO YOU THINK THIS MEANS?broccoli side shoots

Maybe he’s a gentleman farmer at heart but just doesn’t know it yet. ;) green heirloom tomato growing

Have you checked on your tomatoes lately? How are they doing? All of ours are still green, but they are getting bigger each day and pretty soon here we are going to be in tomato heaven with our 20 or so tomato plants.

I don’t know about you, but I am counting down the days until I can scarf down bowls of fresh homemade salsa morning, noon and night. shasta daisy flower bouquet

And the flowers. They are in bloom everywhere.
mavis butterfield flowers

Yesterday The Girl and I picked Shasta daisies, pink foxglove and blue hydrangea flowers.

mavis butterfieldI LOVE this time of year!

What are YOU harvesting from your garden this week?

Mavis wants to know.

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.

Recipes Garden Frugal Canning Chickens Travel