Monthly Garden Chores – July

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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.

Jane From Thy Hand Hath Provided Sends in her Garden Pics

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Jane3A 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

Today my dear friend Jane from Thy Hand Hath Provided {you know, the one with the AWESOME cookbook}, shares her amazing garden pictures:Jane2Nine years ago we moved out of a development and onto 1.6 acres just outside of town.  We were both excited and overwhelmed when we thought of all the possibilities that lay before us.jane6

We started out with a small garden and tried to maintain the many flower beds while we tackled renovations on the 100-year-old farmhouse.

jane9Once the inside of our home met our humble standards, we turned to the outside.

jane7We love trying new projects like Shiitake mushrooms, honeybees, fruit trees, and selling sunflowers, but it’s taken a little while to learn that it is only possible to do many different things IF we lower our standards and live with some weeds and things not looking perfect all the time.

jane8We’re raising three children and care an awful lot about them and our relationship with God, friends and family.  Those things take priority.

jane5While it’s hard sometimes to see the work that still needs doing, I’m making peace with it and enjoying the fruits of our labor despite the imperfections. There is beauty in the weeds, too.

~Jane

jane4Jane’s perspective is awesome and spot on. Just one of the many things I love about her!

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.

My Friend Jennifer’s House…

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laundry clothesline

Last week The Girl and I had the privilege of staying at my friend JJ’s House for a few nights. large garden plot

For those of you who don’t know, JJ is this amazing, talented {slightly crazy, but in a good way} incredibly hospitable person who just happens to live in one of my favorite states – Virginia.  She lives with her handy man, handsome husband and four kids in an old farmhouse that was built in the late 1800′s and let me tell you Bob, they know a thing or two about living in the country. growing tomatoes in cages

For starters, they’ve got a huge garden. It’s nothing like mine and I think that’s why I love it so much. It’s just one giant rectangle of garden goodness. There are no garden boxes to maintaining and they hardly ever have to water their crops because of the heavy mulch {hay} they apply every spring. I’m not weatherman but I’m pretty sure the humidity with almost tropical like thunderstorms that always seem to be in the forecast have something to do with it too.row of corn

Corn. Oh how I wish I could grow it here in Western Washington. bale of hay

The hay bales are even cooler over in Virginia too. All we have around where I live are rectangular bales of hale they sell at the feed store for 5 bucks. In Virginia you can get a monster sized round one for $15-20. I know it’s weird to covet a bale of hay but c’mon, doesn’t it look cool?

kids clubhouse

And then there is the clubhouse, the trampoline, the swing set and practically everything else a kid who didn’t grow up glued to the tv could ever want for a fun and happy childhood. chickens and lambs

Chickens and lambs!!!black lab laying on porch

A county dog on the porch.black and white kitten on porch

Kittens.

black cat with white stripes

It kind of makes me wish I could do the whole “raising my kids all over again” thing. Because if I could go back, I would have bought a house in the country rather than one in the suburbs.

I would have never got cable, or an iPad or a membership to Costco.

Life. It’s so sweet when you take the time to look around and see what’s really important.

~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 to Harvest Garlic {And Garlic Scapes}

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When to Harvest Garlic {And Garlic Scapes}

If you planted garlic last fall, you’ll probably be harvesting it sometime next month–depending on your location.  If you are growing a hardneck variety, the garlic will send up a scape this month that would, if allowed, eventually flower.  {The scape usually appears about a month before harvest time–so make a mental note to help you know approximately when your garlic will be ready}.

You don’t want to allow the scape to flower, because it takes valuable nutrients from the bulb and makes the actual garlic bulbs much smaller.

harvesting garlic scapes

Don’t just cut the scape off and toss it, though!  You can do sooooo much with those babies.  If you never have, I seriously recommend making garlic scape pesto.  Scapes have a milder flavor than the bulbs, so the pesto is super tasty without being over-powering.  You can also chop them like scallions and saute them in stir fry, soups, etc.

At the very least, chop them up and use them as an organic bug killer {add water, chopped garlic scapes and dish soap to a spray bottle, it takes daily effort, but it works pretty well on pests like aphids}.

If you didn’t grow garlic this year, be on the lookout for garlic scapes at your farmers’ market.  This is the one time of year they are available for purchase, which makes them somewhat of a delicacy in my opinion.

harvesting garlic bulbs

Now, onto the bulb.  Knowing when to harvest the garlic bulbs is pretty simple once you get the hang of watching for the signs.  First, as I mentioned, it is about a month after the scapes appear {for hardneck varieties}.

Second, it’s best to harvest garlic when the bottom 5 leaves have turned brown.  If you wait any longer, the leaves will continue to brown, and the garlic does not store as well.  The tops of the garlic should still be green as can be, those green leaves will protect the bulb during the curing process {drying out the garlic for storage}.

harvesting garlic lucy the puggle dog

To harvest garlic, carefully dig around the bulb.  Don’t pierce the bulb in any way, or it won’t be suitable for longterm storage.  Life the entire bulb and stalk out of the ground and allow it to dry for several days in a dark, cooler spot {like a garage}.

Don’t worry about the dirt left on the roots, you can deal with that later.  Cure them with the roots and stalk intact.  Once the garlic is cured, you can cut off the roots and stalks {it usually takes about 2 weeks to cure} or leave the stalks and braid them for storage–it’s completely up to you.

fresh garlic bulbs

What is your favorite thing to do with garlic scapes?  When do you typically harvest garlic in your neck of the woods?

~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 Mail – Sarah From Prineville, Oregon Sends in Pictures From the Farm

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Picture2A 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!

Check out the amazing pictures of reader Sarah’s farm in Oregon. So. Much. Fun.

Picture1Dear Mavis,

I am attaching some recent pictures from my gardening/chicken coop/honeybee adventures. My name is Sarah and my little family and I live in Prineville, Oregon.

My husband Eric and I were married on his family farm in 2006. It was our intention to eventually move out to the farm and raise children someday. We lived and remodeled a historic home in Redmond the first several years of our marriage and I dabbled in gardening and raising chickens on our small 5000 square foot lot. Eric’s dad passed away in 2011 and the move seemed right. That is where the farm adventure began.

Picture3My first farm garden [was in] 2013. As we worked on the remodeling of the house … I tried my best to create the garden space I had always dreamed of.

Picture4We’ve been adding to our garden as we can. 20+ blueberry bushes, 75+ raspberries, red wiggler worms and most recently 75+ pumpkin starts down our long gravel driveway.Picture5We have a few animals around here too… our sweet elderly Ida Mae and our rambunctious Alice. They are two well loved yellow labs. We also have cattle, three pregnant heifers, a steer, barn cats, 18 hens and our most recent addition is the honey bee hive.

Picture6I have long known the benefits of having honeybees in the garden. This winter I enrolled in the OSU Master Beekeeper program to learn how to help these invaluable creatures. I’ve since become a member of a local beekeeping group and added this hive to our farm. Our children are fascinated with the bees and our little three year old boy is quick to point out whether or not he sees a drone flying through the yard or a worker bee.

Picture1Our children play a big part in the gardening experience around here. From digging, making seed tape, rototilling, to planting their own “seed babies,” they are involved each day.

Picture8I’m the crazy lady that takes pictures of each harvest, journals garden adventures and can’t let a single seedling die. My garden beds are planned out to the last detail with companion planting and crop rotation in mind. My rows are methodically lined up and the harvest dates for each plant are calculated with as much precision as possible.

I am proud to be a farmers wife, a mother of two amazing children and a lover of all things garden related.

~Sarah

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

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.

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