Mavis Garden Blog – It’s Time to Clean Out the Greenhouse

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greenhouse tomatoes

I was out in the greenhouse picking tomatoes for some homemade sauce last night when I noticed a few of my tomato plants are on their way out.  :( The leaves are starting to curl and turn brown as if to say “I’m done, please let me die.” growing tomatoes in a greenhouse

The tomato plants in the stock tanks are still hanging in there, but the tomatoes I had growing in pots, well those needed to go.
greenhouse gutters

So I guess you know what that means… It’s time to get the cool weather crops planted! Which is pretty stinkin’ awesome if you ask me because I’ve been missing my dinner salads. My goal is to get my greenhouse gutters planted with some leafy greens, maybe some baby bok choy too.

dragging pot out of a greenhouse

Ahh, to everything there is a season. Right?

How’s it going at your place? Are your tomato plants still hanging in there, or are they done for the season?

~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.



Do You Know What Type of Plants These Are?

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evergreen crawling plant red berries

If you’ve been reading this blog for any length of time then you know I’m more of a vegetable gardener. Trees, shrubs and flowers are not my strong suit. Sure, I know how to plant them, but when it comes to identifying anything other than a boxwood hedge or anything other than my favorite perennial flowers, I’m pretty much at a loss.

So here’s the problem. The home we bought on the east coast is an older home. Even though it’s not jammed packed with oodles of bushes and trees, the ones that are there, I can’t identify. Or rather, I was hoping YOU could help me identify them so I don’t have to spend endless amounts of time researching. Call me lazy. ;)

So here we go.

Plant #1 {above} It’s some sort of crawling evergreen plant with red berries and there are clumps of it all over the backyard.

purple flowering tree

Plant #2 –> Crape Myrtle!! Wahooo! I LOVE this. 

We’ve got a  20 foot tree along side the house with the most amazing purple flowers. It was pretty much done blooming by the time I snapped this photo but I would sure love to plant another one of these somewhere on the property. The tree has peeling bark.
day lilies

Plant #3

I think these are day lilies but I’m not sure. I mainly want to identify them so I can dig them up and give them away. ;)

barberry plant

Plant #4

I think this one might be a barberry plant but I’m not sure. Whatever it is, I’m not a fan. There are 4 of these right smack dab in front of the house and I want to remove them and plant a nice boxwood hedge in their place.

orange lilies in the garden

Plant #5

The property is littered with mounds of these orange flowers. I think they are day lilies as well and I plan to remove these too. Orange is great for pumpkins and squash, but when it comes to flowers, I’m more of a pink, purple and white kind of girl.
maple leaves

Plant #6

Anyone know what kind of tree this is? I like it.

salvia purple flowers

Plant #7

I think this is a salvia plant. There are several of these sprinkled around the property and I plan up digging them up and grouping them together at some point.

green and white grassPlant #8

Any last but not least, what the heck are these green and white striped grass plants? Does anyone know? I’m curious how tall they’ll get and how long they last. If they don’t get too big then I think I’ll move them and plant them over by the hosta plants alongside the house.

If you know what any of these plants, trees or shrubs are I would love to know.

Thanks in advance for your help,

~ 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 for September

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September garden chores

The food is really rolling in this month.  Tomatoes will start coming on like crazy, and I’ll be pretty much glued to the canner.  And guess what?  I love it!

broccoli starts transplants

What I Plan to Transplant Outside this Month

  • Lettuce
  • Broccoli
  • Cauliflower
  • Cabbage
  • Spinach

mavis butterfiled

What I plan to Harvest This Month

  • Tomatoes, tomatoes, and more tomatoes
  • Beets
  • Chives
  • Cucumbers
  • Beans {coming out of our ears!}
  • Kale
  • Mint
  • Oregano
  • Potatoes
  • Rhubarb
  • Sage
  • Basil
  • Thyme
  • Strawberries {If I’m lucky}
  • Swiss Chard
  • Zucchini

spring bulbs in terra cotta pots

Houseplants and Indoor Bulbs

Continue misting houseplants with water.  Regular watering and feeding will continue through this month.  If you plan on forcing bulbs indoors for some early spring color, now is the time to order your bulbs for the best selection.

trimming tree and shrubs

Trees and Shrubs

Now is a great time to start assessing what will need to be pruned later this fall. Also, as the weather cools, you will be able to scale way back on watering your trees and shrubs as well.

purple cherokee tomato

Weed and Pest Control

Watch for worms on your tomato plants this month–all of that effort to grow them and pests can wipe them out in a blink of an eye.  Continue regular weeding.

lawn mower

Lawn Care

As the weather cools toward the end of the month, you can scale way back on watering.  It is also probably time to reset your lawn mowing blade lower.  For now, fallen leaves can just be mowed right along with the rest of the grass.  But as they get heavier, make sure to rake them up and get them off the lawn, they create a pretty hospitable environment for fungus when they get wet.

If you need to, aeration is a good idea now.  It will allow your grass to get all the nutrients it needs for winter.  Also, after aeration, lay fertilizer down for the last time until late spring.

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 – The Boy in the Striped Pajamas

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Tonight I am going to watch The Boy in the Striped Pajamas.  I have wanted to see it since it came out {in 2008, I am only a little late}, but never got around to it.  It is about the son of a German soldier who befriends a little boy on the other side of the fence of a concentration camp.  It is supposed to be excellent, though, with fair warning, it will probably be heart-wrenching.

boy in the striped pajamas

Let me know what you think if you decide to watch it–or if you have already seen 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.

Mavis Garden Blog – End of August Garden Photos

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growing green beans in garden boxes

The weather has been crazy good here up in the Pacific Northwest this summer and it’s hard to believe gardening season will be coming to a close  pretty soon. Well, not technically coming to a close… we’ve still got plenty of things to grow around here in the winter months, but for things like fresh beans and tomatoes, we’ve only got about a month left to enjoy picking them fresh out of our gardens.

baby green beans

What will I do without fresh beans?

growing zucchini in a garden box

And zucchini? Well actually, to tell you the truth, my love for zucchini is pretty much seasonal thing. ;)  purple Cherokee tomatoes

But heirloom tomatoes? Now that’s something I wish I could grow year round. pumpkin patch

Check out the pumpkin patch? I counted 7 pumpkins growing on the vines. {Plus a few winter squash!}green cabbage with slugs

I think cabbage is going to be on the menu this weekend. I just have to pick off a few slugs first.  :)
Italian kale

And kale. If you can’t kill it, you might as well grow it, right?

Ahh summer. I’m going to miss you.

How is YOUR vegetable garden doing these days? Winding down? Just getting started?

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.

Garden Tip – Use Vegetable Cooking Water to Fertilize Plants

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Use Vegetable Cooking Water to Fertilize Plants

I just did this this morning so I thought I would do a little PSA and repost this handy tip! ;)

The next time you boil or steam some vegetables on the stove top, don’t pour the water down the drain.  Once the water has cooled, pour the vegetable water in your garden or planting containers to “fertilize” your plants instead of wasting it.

I’ve been doing this for a couple of years now I think it really helps keep my garden green.

Do you do this too? Please tell me I’m not a total weirdo.

~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 – Thinking Ahead to Thanksgiving

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gardening with raised garden beds

What do you think was the very first thing I did after buying our vacation property on the East Coast?

hauling rocks

I started planting a new vegetable garden of course.

Forget about furniture, the bizarre flooring situation or the bathroom cabinets made for people who stand 5 feet tall, there are things called priorities. And growing food, is one of them.

pile of dirt

I don’t know how I did it, but last week I removed 10 million and 2 buckets of pea gravel from a former play area and hauled in 15 yards of garden soil {a custom blend of 1/3 topsoil, 1/3 compost and 1/3 potting soil}. One wheelbarrow at a time. In 4 days. ALL BY MYSELF.

No teenagers workers bees. Just me.

creating a new garden bed

Holy crap. Let’s just say I didn’t know I was so out of shape. It got so bad that I was popping about 8-10 ibuprofen a day. It’s a good thing I didn’t have an accident or get cut because I probably would have bled to death {ibuprofen and tea are natural blood thinners according to my dentist}.

new garden beds

That drama aside, I’m happy to report I was able to get the enormous and awkwardly shaped  garden box filled.making garden rows

And planted.

botanical interests garden seed packets

With enough vegetables for a proper Thanksgiving feast. Rutabagas, beets, carrots and Swiss chard. I probably should of planted some seed potatoes as well but I haven’t found the local garden center yet. Oh well. I suppose, if I have to, I can buy a sack of spuds like a normal person just this once. ;)

Life is good. {Even if I’m still hobbling}

~Mavis

Have you planted your Thanksgiving garden yet? What are you growing?

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 – Second Hand Lions

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We are pretty busy around here, so no movie for us this Friday, but if you are looking for a movie the whole family {older kids, at least, it’s rated PG} can watch, I recommend you check out Second Hand Lions.

It’s about a little boy that has a less than desirable life with his flighty irresponsible mother.  The mother decides on a whim to drop him off to spend the summer with two uncles he has never met.   It is such a great story about a boy {and ultimately the uncles} getting what he needs, when he needs it most.  It’s one of those surprisingly feel good movies, with quirky humor.  It really is great.

second hand lions

Let me know what you think if you decide to watch it–or if you have already seen 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.

How to Grow Broccoli Raab {Start to Finish}

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Broccoli raab seed packet

Have you thought about your fall garden yet? This year I will be growing broccoli raab again. Why? Because it’s freakin’ delicious that’s why. ;) I don’t even really like broccoli, but broccoli raab? Oh heck ya, bring it on.

Brief description:  Broccoli raab is also known as asparagus broccoli, broccoletto, rapini, or rabe, .  It is grown for it’s asparagus-like shoots.  It can be used in salads and vegetable dishes or it can stand alone.

Where to Plant Broccoli Raab:  In a sunny location {though it will tolerate partial shade, but with lower yields}.  Plant in raised beds, containers, or garden beds.

brocolli raab seeds

Planting Seeds:   Plant seeds 1/8″ deep.  Thin to 1 every 4-6″ {or one per pot} when seedlings are about 2″ tall.

Growing Tips:  Broccoli raab uses up quite a bit of nitrogen, so regular fertilizing is best.  Manure and/or compost soil conditioners also help yields considerably.  Requires moderate, but consistent watering.

How to Grow Broccoli Raab {Start to Finish}

How to Harvest:  When plant reaches about 1 foot high, harvest buds and leaves just under buds with scissors.

Prep Tip:  Broccoli raab has a stronger taste than regular broccoli.  If the taste is too strong, you can tame it down considerable by blanching it.  {Blanch for 2-3 minutes in heavily salted water.}

regional-planting-guides

Are you ready to start your garden but you’re not sure when you should plant your seeds or set out your transplants? Head on over HERE and you’ll be taken to a handy dandy chart that is broken down into what vegetables should be planted {or transplanted} each month in your area.

Anyone can do this. Dirt + Seeds+ Water = Food!

~Mavis

Here is my Favorite Broccoli Raab recipe:  

broccoli raab salad
Chickpeas with Broccoli Raab and Bacon

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 Best Plants for Repelling Mosquitoes

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The Best Plants for Repelling Mosquitoes

Linda from facebook recently asked:

Mavis, what kind of plants have you found to be effective for mosquito repellent?

My first thought was GAP black long-sleeved t-shirts have worked as an AWESOME mosquito repellent for me for years, but then I realized, not everyone can commit to cutting-edge fashion as I have.

So, here’s the truth:  there is no fool-proof plant to completely repel mosquitoes.  There are definitely plants that have been shown to deter them a bit, though, when planted in areas that you tend to hang out most.  It’s like this:  Imagine a stinky locker room.  It may ruin your appetite a bit, but if you’re reaaaally hungry after a workout {also pretend I know what I am talking about when I say “locker room” and “workout”}, you’re probably still going to go ahead and eat it.  That’s kind of how mosquitoes roll.  They will go for blood.  Everytime.

thyme in a container

After all that, I do want to mention that that doesn’t mean I don’t think it’s not worth trying.  It is.  Using plants to deter them is all part of the battle, and we are waging war.  So, here’s a couple of plants to try that have actually been shown to at the very least, ruin their dining experience:

  1. Lime Basil
  2. Catnip
  3. Thyme
  4. Garlic
  5. Citronella – This one is probably the most common and effective.  It actually masks the smell of food for mosquitoes, making it harder for them to find you.
  6. Beebalm/Horsemint
  7. Marigold – These flowers have tons of benefits to the garden.  Plant them irregardless.
  8. Ageratum
  9. Cedar
  10. Lavendar
  11. Lemon Geranium – Honestly, there are mixed reviews on whether or not these work.
  12. Eucalyptus
  13. Rosemary
  14. Tea Tree – This one is not a good idea if you have pets.
  15. Mint – Plant in pots on the patio, otherwise, mint will take over your beds, garden, grass, you name it.

lavender field

There are more, but they come with less desirable features, like they are considered weeds by most folks.  Plant several from the list, as they all work in different ways {omitting an offensive odor to the mosquito, masking the smell of actual food, etc.}.

I hope that helps,

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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