Mavis Garden Blog – Window Boxes and Raspberries

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window box flowers spring

I was milling around The Home Depot yesterday when I spotted the most gorgeous purple viola plants and knew I had to buy them for my front window box.

When I was a kid my mother always planted pink, white and purple flowers in our yard. And now as an adult, I tend to gravitate to those colors as well. Funny how things work out that way.

spring window box flowers

Even though the temps are still pretty chilly and there isn’t a whole lot to choose from at the garden center, my window box is still jam packed with flowers. Right now I have daffodils, violas, cyclamen and moss planted. I’m not sure if those other little sprouts are weeds so I don’t want to pull them just yet. ;)

washington raspberry canes

Well, I decided to finally do it this year. I’m finally going to re-stake the raspberry plants.

deas raspberry canes

But first I have to clean up, prune and weed seven rows of raspberry plants before I can begin. It’s a total pain, but if I don’t get it now, it won’t happen this year. So that’s my big project for this week, sprucing up the raspberry patch.

washington state raspberry leaves leafSpring, it’s finally here.

What are your garden plans for this week? Do you have any leaves on your raspberry plants yet?

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.



Mavis Butterfield | Backyard Garden Pictures 3/23/14

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raised garden beds

Well hello there. How has the weather been at your place this past week? It’s been unusually nice in my neck of the woods. So nice in fact I was actually able to get quite a bit done in the garden beds this past week.

For starters, I transplanted some a few carrots from one side of a garden bed {the one with the white hoops} to make room for some new carrots.

This past week I planted radish, beet and carrot seeds in my garden boxes as well as more lettuce seeds indoors {under grow lights} and in the greenhouse as well.

pallet garden

I also transplanted a few more lettuce starts to one of our pallet gardens. I think by the end of the week I’ll have all the wood pallet gardens planted with strawberries and lettuce. {Fingers Crossed}

raised garden beds

Check out the garlic and leeks! That’s what I’m talking about. ;) Now, if I could get all my garden beds to look that cool during the month of March I’d be one happy camper. lasagna garden

The lasagna garden.  I still haven’t figured out what I’m going to do with it. rhubarb and poppies

Poppies and rhubarb. Still no sign of the artichokes. magnum glass greenhouse

I can’t help but smile everytime I walk past the greenhouse because really, what’s not to love? We’ve got a gazillion lettuce leaves growing in there and by late afternoon it’s so nice and warm under those glass panels that I’m tempted to bring my new book out there and sit on the floor and get some reading done. herb garden

The mini herb gardens alongside the greenhouse aren’t looking too shabby either. In fact, everything but the oregano has come back from it’s winter hibernation.

raspberry bushes

Ahh the raspberries. I wonder if this will be the year I pull up those ugly green metal stakes and give them the support they really need. ;)
pear tree buds

And last but not least, take a look at this bud on one of our pear trees. Last year we lucked out and had a bumper crop. With so many giant buds on the trees again this year I’m hoping we’ll have another big harvest.

Well enough about my garden, how is YOUR garden doing these days?

Please tell me it’s not covered in snow because that would totally stink!

~Mavis

This years garden is being sponsored by the awesome folks at Botanical Interests Seed Company.  You can check out their website HERE, order their new 2014 Garden Seed Catalog HERE, or visit my online boyfriend Ryan’s Page 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 – Magic Beyond Words

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I noticed that they just added Magic Beyond Words to the Amazon Instant Video list, and since I am a sucker for success stories, I am adding it to the list.  It’s the story {told in more of a Lifetime Drama-type setting} about J.K. Rowling, the author of Harry Potter.  I knew she had a bit of a rough go at life and am kind of interested to see the details. What can I say?  I love a story where someone triumphs over struggle.

 magic beyond words

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.

DIY – How to Make Your Own Potting Soil

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DIY - How to Make Your Own Potting Soil

I whipped up a batch of homemade potting soil earlier today and decided to post my favorite recipe in case you didn’t see it the first time around I published it last year.

 Happy Gardening everyone!!

If you plan on growing anything in pots this year, potting soil is absolutely essential.  Garden soil is just too heavy when growing in pots.  The thing is, pre-made bagged potting soil is crazy expensive, and since this year, I plan on growing quite a few things in containers, I decided to make my own.

how to make potting soil recipe

Here are the ingredients you’ll Need:

  • Peat Moss
  • Vermiculite
  • Compost
  • Fertilizer {if you use it}
  • A Mask for your face {this is optional, but I don’t want to breath any of the mix in, especially since I will be using chicken poo as my fertilizer}
  • A wheelbarrow or large pot to mix your potting soil

watering can potting soil DIY

The basic recipe is easy peasy.  Mix one part each of the peat moss, vermiculite, and compost.  I’m not a big fan of store bought fertilizer, as far as I’m concerned, that’s the chickens’ job, so I’ll be collecting my compost from the floor of the chicken run.  This will eliminate the need to use fertilizer.

It’s easiest if you just grab a bucket and throw one bucket of each ingredient into your mixing container.  Add a little water and stir it around with gloved hands or a shovel.

Then, just grab your containers and filled them with potting soil.  If you are using a commercial fertilizer, fill your pots half way, add a scoop of fertilizer and mix it in.  Fill your container the rest of the way, repeat the fertilizer step, and voila, you’re done.

DIY Potting soil recipe

That’s it!  Now all I have to do is plant the veggies and wait for some homegrown goodness.

Let’s get this party started!

~Mavis

The New Self-Sufficient Gardener

Looking for a great gardening book? Check out The New Self-Sufficient Gardener By John Seymour. It’s loaded with all sorts of goodness.

 

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 – How Do You Grow Onions?

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mavis butterfield garden blog

The Girl and I were at the garden center the other day when I noticed a sack of onion bulbs for sale. Which reminded me of the Anderson Island Farm my online boyfriend Ryan and I visited last summer. One of the things I remembered about the gardens was that their onions were HUGE for it only being the end of May.

onion sets

Which got me to thinking, what is the best way to grow onions? I mean if you going for taste, that is one thing, but if you simply want to harvest onions as earliest as possible, which ones would you want to grow?onion bulbs and sets

Onion bulbs from the garden center, start onions from seed in January under grow lights, or buy them as onion starts in late winter from your local garden center or garden show? Do you know the answer? I sure don’t.

mavis butterfield

So this year I’m going to find out.  The onion starts I purchased at the Northwest Flower and Garden Show  were planted about a month ago. Yesterday I planted 60 onion bulbs and 20 or so onion seedlings in rows between my 3 Brussels sprout plants.

lucy the puggle dog in the garden

The garden bed was approved by Lucy the Puggle Dog of course. ;)

So what do YOU think? Which onions will I be harvesting first?

Bulbs, starts or seedlings?

~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.

Growing Lettuce in Gutters

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growing lettuce in a greenhouse

Yesterday I spent the afternoon transplanting lettuce starts in the greenhouse. For the past two springs I have grown lettuce in my greenhouse gutters with great success, so I figured hey, why not do it again. Why mess with a good thing, right? ;)

growing lettuce in gutters

You don’t have to have a greenhouse to try this. Nope, if you have a fence or some type of wall you can attach a gutter to, you can grow lettuce in gutters. It’s super easy, I promise. Simply line your gutters with a wee bit of pea gravel, add potting soil, then add your seeds {or lettuce starts} and water as you normally would. {See how I installed gutters in my greenhouse.}

winter lettuce container

Check out this stock tank filled with lettuce. Holy cow man, it’s really taken off this past week. My guess is the conditions for lettuce are pretty ideal right now. Rain one day {making the greenhouse nice and humid} and sunny the next.
organically grown lettuce containers

We are harvesting fresh lettuce about every other day right now.

lettuce seedlings

And the lettuce seeds I planted about 10 days ago and starting to pop though the soil. Yee-Haw! Looks like we will be enjoying lettuce until it warms up around here. {Ahem, that means July}. ;)

magnum glass greenhouse

Gardening is cool, no matter how you do it. Wouldn’t you agree?

Are YOU growing lettuce this year? Got a favorite variety?

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.

Mavis Garden Blog – The Birds Ate My Peas!!

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mavis garden blog planting peas

Lucy the puddle dog and I were out in the garden yesterday when we noticed not a single pea we planted a few weeks ago had broken through the soil yet. pea sprouts

Instead, all of the peas had all been pulled up by a vicious flock of birds and either gobbled up or left to die a miserable death on top of the garden bed. {I suspect the robins did it}.soak peas befor eyou plant

So we had to plant the peas again. planting peas lucy puggle

That Lucy, she’s the best garden companion on the planet. lucy puggle peas

As long as she gets a sample.

lucy the puggle dog peas

Have you planted your peas yet? How are they doing? Have you experienced any gang activity from the wildlife in your backyard this season?

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.

How to Grow Cabbage {Start to Finish}

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how to grow cabbage

A few days ago I transplanted some of my cabbage plants to the small garden plot along side our greenhouse. I must admit, I am not the biggest cabbage fan in the world buy my husband loves it, so that’s why I plant it. Well, and because it looks pretty darn cool in the garden too. ;)

If you are a newbie gardener, cabbage is one of the easiest vegetables to start from seed so pick a variety, and give it a try. If you have never grown cabbage before, here’s all you need to know.

cabbage seed packets

Brief description:  Cabbage is a cool season leafy vegetable.  It complements any stir-fry dishes, wraps and/or salads.

cabbage seedlings

Where to Plant Cabbage:   Raised beds, garden beds, and containers {makes a beautiful ornamental edible} in a place that gets at least 6 hours of sun per day.

cabbage seeds

Planting Seeds:  Plant seeds 1/4″ deep.  Thin to 1 every 13″-18″ {or one per pot} when seedlings are about 3″ tall.

raised garden beds cabbage

Growing Tips:   Cabbage is a cool weather crop–though it is not a huge fan of prolonged exposure to temperatures below 50 degrees.  It does best when it has a consistent uninterrupted growing cycle, so fertile soil and regular watering is best.

puggle dog in cabbage bed

How to Harvest:  Harvest by cutting off the heads at the base of the plant.  Toss out the outer leaves of the cabbage.

puggle puppies mavis butterfiled

Fact:  Cabbage has awesome health benefits.  One cup has 91% of your daily vitamin K requirements, 190% of your daily vitamin C, and 5 grams of fiber.  It is basically a superfood–so remember to take your daily cabbage. Ha!

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

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 3/16/14

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backyard garden beds

Now that it’s finally starting to look like spring around here {bulbs are blooming and buds on all the trees are beginning to pop like crazy} I thought I would start posting a few pictures of what my backyard garden looks like every week again like I did last year.

vintage watering cans

Over the winter I reduced my garden beds from {16} 8×4 raised garden beds to just 10. ;) We will be super busy this summer and the last thing I want to do is get too overwhelmed with my garden that I end up dreading it.
wood pallet garden

In addition to the 10 raised garden beds I also have a wood pallet garden. You can read more about my previous pallet gardening adventures HERE. Right now all the pallets are planted with strawberries and one of the wood pallets {front and center} has lettuce growing in it. wood pallet garden raised garden beds

Here is a view from the back of the garden. You’ll notice some of the beds are taller. Those are the new garden beds we installed this past fall. The shorter beds were installed in 2009.

lasagna garden

My lasagna garden. I’ve been building this lasagna garden bed up over the winter with leaf litter and garden soil from other areas of the garden that I’ve dug up and needed to repurpose.  Right now the lasagna bed is about 8 inches deep and although I’m not sure what I’ll be planting it it quite yet, I’m excited to see how this method works.

backyard garden

To the left of the greenhouse I have rhubarb, poppies and a few perennial flowers growing. I’m waiting to see if the artichokes I transplanted last fall are going to come back {I hope so}.

magnum glass greenhouse

In small beds along side the greenhouse I have herbs growing. Oregano, Rosemary and chives on the left, and Sage, Thyme and garlic chives on the right.

I also have a small raised bed planted with cabbage and kale off to the right as well.

winter lettuce in a greenhouse

As of this morning, I have four containers of lettuce thriving in the greenhouse garden. I recently planted 3 more garden pots with additional lettuce seeds and expect those to be ready for picking sometime in early June.

omlet chicken coop

Ye Olde Chicken Coop. Over the winter I removed the pea patch that was in front of the chicken coop {now all you can see is brown bark} and expanded the garden bed in front of the coop a wee bit. I’m not sure what I’ll be planting there yet, but whatever it is, it will need to be protected from the chickens. {Black Fatty and Peter keep flying out of the coop}.

ugly grass

About a month or two ago I finally got around to digging up last years pumpkin patch and smoothing out the dirt. But now what? raspberry canes washington

7 rows of raspberries. blueberry bushes

12 blueberry bushes.
pear trees

And 2 pear trees. Clearly, they need to be pruned. ;)

Well that’s what is happening in my backyard these days, do you have any cool projects on your honey do list this year? I need to get mine started {so I’m looking for suggestions} hint hint. ;)

~Mavis

mavis-and-her-boyfriend-ryan-botanical-interests-seeds1

This years garden is being sponsored by the awesome folks at Botanical Interests Seed Company. You can check out their website HERE, order their new 2014 Garden Seed Catalog HERE, or visit my boyfriend Ryan’s blog 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 Onions the Easy Way

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red-onion-seedling

If you are planning on growing onions this year but want to do it the easy way, check out my latest article on eHow about how to grow onions the easy way.

Normally, I like to grow all my onions from seed. This year, however, I took the easy way out and bought a bundle of onion starts during a visit to a local home and garden show. It cost $4, which is about the same as two packets of onion seeds. Yes, the onion starts cost a little bit more, but by planting onion starts rather than onion seeds, I’ll be able to shave about three months off my growing time and pull my onions up in July rather than late September.

Go HERE to read the full article …

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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