How to Recycle Wine Corks into Plant Markers

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wine cork garden markers

I love it when I stumble onto a genius idea that I can implement in seconds, and that’s totally handy. This wine cork recycling project is one of those genius ideas. It takes one man’s junk and turns it into a treasure for gardeners!

Now I don’t drink wine, but I know enough people that do to provide me with a whole bunch of wine corks. Then all I needed were some wooden plant stakes or bamboo skewers and a black marker. Simple as that I have cute garden markers made out of something that would have otherwise wound up in the trash. It’s a win-win!

wine corks

Supplies:
Recycled wine corks {I suppose you could buy them new if you can’t get your hands on any used ones}
Wooden plant stakes or bamboo skewers
Black Sharpie-type marker

Wine Cork Garden Markers

Directions:

Using the Sharpie, write the plant name on the side of the wine cork. Insert sharp end of your stakes or skewers right into the center of the cork. Push the wine cork plant markers into the dirt of their respective plants. Now you have cute plant markers you can sit back and enjoy while sipping wine {therefore, adding to your wine cork collection!}.

~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 – Broccoli, Peas, Radishes and More

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broccoli plant

While Lucy and I were working in the garden yesterday I went ahead and snapped a few photos of the fruits and vegetables currently growing in our backyard. I don’t know about you but I just LOVE seeing what other people have growing in their yards the same time I do.

sugar snap pea plants

Peas! We should be picking our first round of Sugar Snap Peas in about 2 weeks! brussels sprouts buds

I spy with my little eye… a baby Brussels sprout beginning to form. kale plant

Kale. Whoop T Do. red onions growing in a planter box

Red onions. I’m growing these so I can make a big ole’ batch of homemade salsa this summer.

tomato flower blossom

Tomato blossoms. A sign of good things to come.

french breakfast radish

French breakfast radishes. Perfect for snacking! beets growing in a raised garden box

Beets. This year we are growing a couple of different varieties. I think these are the Chiggoa variety if I’m remembering correctly. Hopefully I can get the beets thinned out this weekend.growing potatoes in a raised garden box

Are you growing spuds this year? We have them planted in two spots. The garden boxes and also in the lasagna garden. {The ones in the lasagna garden are volunteers from last year}.

bee pollinating flower

Mr. Bumble Bee. Where would we be without you?

~Mavis

P.S. How is your garden doing? Have you picked any peas yet this year?

 

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 5/25/14

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raised garden beds

I don’t know about you, but I love this time of year. The grass is green, the garden boxes are overflowing with produce and the weather for the most part is pretty stinkin’ awesome. Not too hot and not too cold. pallet garden

Although I haven’t been able to spend as much time in the garden this year as I would have liked too, it’s amazing too me how good everything still looks. Brussels Sprouts and onions

Especially the Brussels sprouts and onions!
beets and kale

The tree of chard is still producing and the beets and kale plants and doing great as well. raised garden beds

Here’s a view of the garden boxes from the back. lasagna garden

Remember my lasagna garden? Well it’s been overtaken by potato plants. :)  greenhouse gardening in Seattle

The greenhouse is my favorite part of my garden right now. The heirloom tomato plants are growing like mad and the basil is just starting to appear. garden full of weeds

The garden of shame. Weeds. Weeds. Weeds.  should pull those.

cascadia raspberry plants

And last but not least, the overgrown raspberry forest. One of these days I’ll get my act together and stake them properly.

How is YOUR garden doing these day?

~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.

Friday Night at the Movies – The Wonder Years

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Um hello. Guess who just discovered The Wonder Years are on Netflix?  Yep.  Kevin, Winnie, Paul. You better believe that it went straight to our watch list for this weekend.  I can’t wait to start watching all of these old episodes–I bet that I will have a totally different perspective watching them as an adult.

 the wonder years

Did you grow up watching the Wonder Years? Have your kids seen it?

Have 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 Garden Markers Made From Sticks

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Garden Markers Made From Sticks

I always think that I will remember which plant is which, but I can only hold so much information in my brain these days {and that amount is very small, I admit}, so I inevitably forget {usually within hours}.  So, for me, marking my plants is absolutely essential.

I really liked the organic look of these stick markers and I lov that all I had to do was wander into the back yard to collect a few sticks to make them. ;)

sticks

You’ll Need:

Pruners
Veggie Peeler or Sharp Knife
Sticks {about 1/2 thick}
Sharpie

DIY Garden Markers Made From Sticks

Directions:

Start by wandering outside and cutting some branches off of a tree–or better yet, find a fallen limb.  Choose a branch that is about a 1/2″ thick.  Cut the stick into segments, roughly the same size.  Trim the sticks, so that they don’t have any shoots.  Now, using the veggie peeler or sharp knife, remove the bark from one side of the stick.   {I totally felt like I was whittling wood–very old-timey of me.}

You only need to remove the bark about half way down the stick, because the rest will be pushed into the dirt.  {If you use a veggie peeler, be aware, it may really dull the blade!}  Once you have a bark-free portion of the stick, write the name of your plants on with a sharpie.

DIY Garden Markers Made From Sticks

That’s it.  Now, mark your plants and free up some space in your memory bank.

~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.

Straw Bale Gardening

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garden growing food in straw bales

Have any of you ever tried straw bale gardening?  It is the perfect solution for someone who doesn’t have the space and/or time and money to garden traditionally.  Instead of building potentially expensive raised beds or tilling up garden space, you just throw a couple of bales of straw {NOT hay, hay will sprout} out into the yard and use it as your growing medium.  {It’s also a pretty perfect solution if you have soil that heavily clayed, or just seems to kill everything you try to grow.}

Straw bale gardening not only solves a space issue, but the straw will begin to break down {essentially compost}, feeding your plants and requiring almost nothing from  you but water.  Bales of straw are cheap at about $5 a bale around here.  Plus, as an added bonus, straw bale gardens are virtually weed-free and naturally hold moisture, cutting way down on watering.straw bale garden

All you really need to do is condition the straw bale to expedite the break down process.  Depending on how you garden {organic vs. non-organic}, you add manure/blood meal or fertilizer a couple of weeks before planting, let the straw bale heat up and begin decomposing and voila, the composted matter becomes your growth medium.  Stick a couple of seeds down into the growth medium, add water, and wait for them to sprout.

I know straw bale gardening has been around for a long time {a few of my readers have sent in uh-mazing pictures of their gardens HERE and HERE}, but I didn’t really get the process until I read a book review from the NY Times on Straw Bale Gardens by Joel Karsten.  Apparently the book basically walks you through the how-to’s {which means I am going to have to read up and try it out}.

Have any of YOU tried straw bale gardening?  Was it a success?

~Mavis

straw bale gardening

Straw Bale Gardens by Joel Karsten

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 Corn {Start to Finish}

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how to grow corn

 

Will you be planting corn this year? If so, now’s the time to plant. This year I’m trying a couple of varieties some for eating fresh and some ornamental for my fall table as well.

Brief description: Corn is one of the most widely grown crops in the world.  It is a staple food that can be cooked in about a million ways.  Corn is actually a grain, not a vegetable.

Where to Plant Corn:  Plant corn in a sunny location in raised beds or garden beds.

corn stalks

Planting Seeds:  Directly sow seeds when soil temperature is at least 60 degrees.  Plant seeds about 1″-2″ deep.  When seeds are about 4″ thin to every 4-6″ apart, and keep row spacing at about 24″.  {Over spacing corn only encourages weeds.}

Growing Tips:   There are a ton of different varieties all with different maturation rates {anywhere from 60-100 days}, , so be sure to pick one that best suits your area and your planting time frame.    Corn can be susceptible to disease, so keep a close eye on it so that you can manage it quickly.

fresh corn

How to Harvest:  Corn is ready to harvest a couple of weeks after the silks appear.  The silks will start to turn brown when it is time to harvest.  To harvest, gently pull the corn from the stock, breaking it off.

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 are a few of my Favorite corn recipes:

How to Can Fresh Corn
How to Can Fresh Corn

fresh-corn-pancakes-recipeFresh Corn Pancakes

roasted corn saladRoasted Corn Salad with Tomatoes and Feta

Fun Fact:  According the the Farmer’s Almanac, if you corn is harder to schuck than usual, prepare for a hard winter.

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 Maintain a Healthy Vegetable Garden

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How to Maintain a Healthy Vegetable Garden

Did you have trouble growing veggies last year?  Every once in a while, I’ll have a bad gardening year.  Sometimes it’s beyond my control {i.e. squirrels or other critters getting into my plants} and sometimes, I’ll look back and be like, “Whoops, I can totally see how I screwed this year up.”  Gardening is definitely a learning process.

Maintaining a healthy garden isn’t really that tricky when you get right down to it, but it does involve the slightest bit of tenacity–which, on days when you would rather drink tea on the patio and only think about getting dressed eventually, can be too much to ask.  Ha!

Why Crop Rotation is Important for Healthy Soil

Here’s what I think are the basics on maintaining a healthy vegetable garden:

  1. Soil.  It seems like you should be able to stick your plant into the dirt, water it, and watch it grow, but that’s just not the case.  The soil should be prepped and cared for all through the gardening season.  Adding compost to the beds each year and basic crop rotation will go a long way in ensuring your soil can provide for your plants.  {I ignored the crop rotation principals last year and paid for it in much lower yields.  Lesson learned.  Mother Nature-1, Mavis-0. }  Now, I am a little behind the curve, so I am also going to prep my soil this winter by experimenting with cover crops.  Hopefully, they will give my soil a little added boost.
  2. Rethink your watering plan.  All plants require a different level of water, but letting vegetable crops dry out a bit before you water them is pretty universal.  Over-watered plants become susceptible to disease and fungus.  So, water thoroughly less often–allowing the soil to dry out in between waterings.onion transplants
  3. Start with healthy plants.  If you buy your plants, don’t be afraid to pull them out of the container and examine their roots.  A healthy root system and plant gives you a huge head start in maintaining your garden.  The same goes for plants you grow from seed.  If you have a weak one, get rid of it.  It’s survival of the fittest here–don’t be sentimental.  :)
  4. Be vigilant and proactive.  Bugs can devastate a plant pretty quickly.  Worse, if you don’t catch it in time, you have to decide whether you are going to treat the problem or lose the plant.  I try to maintain a completely organic garden.  I pick squash bugs off pretty much daily.  Last year, though, the snails won, and I opted for an organic solution called Sluggo to help me combat the slimy little beggars.

organic vegetablesWith those four basics covered, you really can maintain a pretty healthy vegetable garden with good yields.  How about you, do you have any swear-by tips for keeping your garden healthy?

~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.

How to Grow Cucumbers {Start to Finish}

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How to grow cucumbers seeds

This morning  I planted my cucumber seeds! I started 2 flats using some of my DIY Potting Soil blend. This year, I am growing Marketmore, Lemon, and Burpless. It’s been a while since I’ve grown lemon cucumbers so I’m looking forward to them.

Brief description: Cucumbers are part of the gourd family.  They grow from a creeping vine plant.  They are broken into three varieties:  pickling, slicing, and burpless.

Where to Plant Cucumbers:  Plant cucumbers in a sunny spot.  They prefer warm weather {soil temperature should be at least 70}, so make sure to plant after the last frost.    Cucumbers can be planted in raised beds, garden beds, or containers using a trellis.

cucumber seedlings

Planting Seeds:  Plant seeds 1/2″ deep, 6 seeds per pot or mound.  When plant has 3 leaves, thin to 3 per mound.

Growing Tips:  Cucumbers like rich soil, so mix a little compost in with your planting.  You can train cucumbers to grow up a trellis if space is an issue.

burpless-cucumbers

How to Harvest:  Read your seed packet to find out length of a full-grown cucumber for the variety you chose.  It’s better to pick them at the specified length–any larger and they will start to taste bitter.  Most cucumbers are ready 55-70 days after planting.  To harvest, pull or cut the cucumber off of the vine.

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 are a few of my Favorite Cucumber recipes:

Easy Summer Salad Recipes – Cucumber Tomato SaladCucumber Tomato Salad

recipe quinoa saladQuinoa Salad with Cucumber and Mint

Fun Fact:  If grubs start to eat your cucumber crop, slice a cucumber and put it in an aluminum pie tin.  The cucumber will react with the metal and put off an odor {undetectable to us} that will drive the slugs away.

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.

Help! There are Slugs in My Pallet Garden

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wood pallet strawberry garden

Selena from Tacoma sent in a few pictures of her strawberry pallet garden recently–along with a plea for help.  She wrote,

I built a strawberry box in my garden this year using a reclaimed pallet thinking that elevating the strawberries would help keep the slugs away.  However, I have found that baby slugs have no problem making their way up the box to get to the berries!  Do you have a suggestion on how to keep the slugs away without using chemicals? I would prefer an organic or homemade remedy.

slugs eating my strawberries

Yep, that is going to be a problem.   Obviously, your slugs have a taste for the good stuff. ;)

The key to treating them organically {in my opinion} is catching them early.  There are a couple of different methods you can try.  First up:  beer.  Not for you as a coping mechanism, but for the slugs.  They love the fermented yeast in the beer and will make their way into the beer where they will eventually drown.  {If you aren’t into purchasing alcohol, no worries, you can use non-alcoholic beer.}  Just take the can, a shallow yogurt cup or something like it {a kid’s to-go applesauce would work great} and stick it into the pallets, level with the strawberries.  Fill the container with beer and check it in the morning.  You should have dead-as-a-door-nail slugs floating in it.

strawberry pallet garden

Beer is just a first line of defense, though.  You should also combine it with hand-picking any slugs you see.  They like to come out and wreak all sorts of havoc at night, so catching them to squish them {a very therapeutic past-time, if I do say so myself} can be tricky.

For a little more aggressive treatment, you’ll have to go with organic options that you can buy at your Home and Garden store.  I know quite a few gardeners and chicken owners who swear by diatomaceous earth, which is still an organic option.  It’s  a white powder made from crushed fossils of diatoms { a rock}.  It basically cuts the slugs as they crawl across it.  {People also use it as an insecticide, to give their chicken dust baths in order to prevent poultry lice and mites, etc.}  I haven’t personally used it, so I can’t swear by it, but again, I have heard really good things about it.

strawberries in wooden box

My personal favorite organic method is Sluggo.  It still qualifies as an acceptable treatment in organic gardening.  It is basically iron phosphate {which doesn’t harm pets or other wildlife}.  It causes slugs to stop feeding, and as a result, die.  I have found it to be incredibly effective, when other methods have failed.  You have to be pretty religious about applying it weekly {during watering season}, as both a treatment and maintenance.

I am sure there are other methods you can try, but those are the ones that I am most familiar with.  If any of you have tried other successful slug abatement, make sure to leave it in the comments below!

~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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