Square Foot Gardening – The Planting Continues

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square foot gardening

Yesterday Lucy the Puggle Dog and I spent some time working in our square foot garden. As you can see she is very interested in growing food. If there is one thing she loves it’s fresh vegetables {and biting!}.

puggle dog in garden

I was only able to get a few lettuce seeds out of the packet before Lucy ran off with it. By the time I got the packet out of her mouth the remaining seeds were gone. It will be interesting to see where she “planted” them. I guess I’ll find out in a week or two when the seeds start popping up.

radish seeds

More of my favorite French Breakfast Radish seeds were planted.

sugar snap pea vines

Sugar snap peas.

toy bok choy

Toy Bok Choy.

walla walla onion starts

The Walla Walla onions are doing great! I hope I’m not over crowding them with 5 planted in one square foot.

square foot gardening grid

So far this whole square foot gardening thing is going pretty good. I have 18 squares planted and 14 left to go. I think I’ll plant tomatoes, beans and cucumbers and a few other seeds in the remaining square.

I must admit, it’s kind of fun planting a little of this and a little of that. I think it will be interesting to see how many pounds of food we can grow in just one 4×8 foot bed.

Have you tried square foot gardening before? Do you think I have too many different things planted? I’d love some advise.

Mavis

All New Square Foot Gardening

For more information, check out All New Square Foot Gardening.  It is an amazon bestseller and the author, Mel Bartholomew is basically the king of square foot gardening.

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 Plot Pictures – Week 17 of 52

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raised garden bedsBackyard Garden Plot Pictures – Week 17 of 52

It’s amazing how different a garden can look when you’ve been away for a week. In my opinion  this is when it starts to get fun {picture wise}. Now that the weather is starting to warm up we can see more growth and green stuff sprouting up in the garden beds. Pretty stinkin’ awesome if you ask me.

potting bench old watering cans

The garden fence is my favorite part of the garden right now. It’s popping with color and I LOVE it!

raised garden beds

The broccoli raab bolted while we were out of town. Boo! Now I have to pull it up and re-plant the raised garden bed. I’m not sure why it happened but I have more started in the greenhouse so I’m not too disappointed.

bean teepees

The bases around the DIY pea teepees is starting to fill up.

sugar snap peas garden trellis

I’d say we are about another 5 to 6 weeks away from a bumper sugar snap pea harvest.

magnum glass greenhouse

After visiting Eliot Coleman’s greenhouse at Four Season Farm, I seriously need to get my act together and fill this sucker to the top with garden starts. After seeing his greenhouses, mine is practically bare.

how to build potato towers

According to the gnomes there has been no new growth in the potato towers.

wooded backyard red mulch bark

Here is a view from the back deck. I still need to have the HH get a truck load of dirt and put it in that bare patch juts behind the daffodils that are sitting under the cedar tree. Also, our second batch of peas {green arrow I think} are starting to appear in the patch of soil near the chicken coop.

omlet chicken coop eglu cube orange

The fava beans in front of the chicken coop are looking really healthy.

fava bean chickens

I haven’t grown them in so long I’ll have to look up a few recipes before we harvest them later this summer.

backyard garden design

The future pumpkin patch looks totally bare and lonely. It didn’t occur to me until just now that I should go out there and plant a bunch of lettuce seeds or radishes.

backyard garden

I can’t believe the daffodils are still hanging in there.

western washington raspberry canes

A view of the raspberry patch from the kitchen window.

container herb garden

My container herb garden.

oregano in container herb garden

Check out the oregano. It’s looking pretty fierce.

What’s new at your place? Have you planted anything yet?

~Mavis

free shipping botanical interests

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 2013 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.

Four Seasons Farm – Eliot Coleman Barbara Damrosch

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four season farm eliot coleman maine

On Thursday we woke up in Portland, Maine {awesome city!} and drove 3+ hours to Four Seasons Farm. If you have never heard of it, I highly recommend you check out some of the owners’ books.  They {Barbara Damrosch and Eliot Coleman} have a farm in Harborside, Maine, and have basically mastered the art of four seasons of growing.

eliot coleman four season farm greenhouse

I had emailed Barbara ahead of time and asked if it would be okay to stop by and she said yes. She could not guarantee her or her husband would be there, but she said we were welcome to check out the farm and snap all the pictures we wanted to.

greenhouse tomatoes eliot coleman

Did you read the part where I said they are in Maine {read:  cold, bitter winters}? It was actually hailing a bit on the way to the farm. The farm and their practices are totally motivational and make me want to try to grow all year long too.

four seasons farm eliot coleman

Barbara and Eliot are basically total rock stars in the gardening world, with more than 70 years experience between the both of them.

eilot coleman root cellar

Check out this root cellar. It’s situated beneath one of the greenhouses. Presumably to store their winter vegetables.

eliot coleman four season farm chicken

Chickens!!! Barbara, Eliot and their small crew are able to farm year round by using a ton of different methods, and they’re nationally recognized for their small-scale sustainable agricultural methods.

poly tunnel greenhouse eliot coleman four season farm

They use several greenhouses in the winter that are equipped with propane heaters and fans. We also spotted several garden beds with rolling row covers protecting vegetables like kale {of course!} lettuce, artichokes and spinach.

spinach growing in a greenhouse

Did I mention it was pretty freakin’ awesome and now I want to move to Maine? I just need to find an old farm house and make a stop at LL Bean first to stock up on warm clothing and then I should be all set. Oh and some firewood. I’m thinking I would need quite a bit of that.

eiolt coleman four season farm maine

Oh and guess who The Girl and I ran into while were checking out one of the greenhouses? Eliot Coleman. Yep. I even got him to sign a few copies of his new The Four Season Farm Gardener’s Cookbook for an upcoming giveaway too.

Ahhhh Maine. I love you.

~Mavis

the four season farm cookbook

Barbara Damrosch and Eliot used to be regular correspondents on the PBS series The Victory Garden and Barbara also co-hosted the series Gardening Naturally on the Learning Channel. Her and Eliot Coleman has authored several books. You can find all their book on Amazon.com {of course!}.

Also be sure and check out this cool New York Times interview with Barbara Damrosch and Eliot Coleman for a little more information about their farm and their practices.

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 Secrets of Highclere Castle

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Tonight The Girl and I are going to watch The Secrets of Highclere Castle.  It is a PBS documentary on the true past and present of the castle and family Downton Abbey is based upon.  It’s supposed to be a pretty interesting look into the English aristocracy.  Plus, I LOVE my Downton Abbey, and think it would be kind of cool to know the basis.

The Secrets of Highclere Castle

It first aired on PBS in January, so some of you may have already seen it, I’m going to suck it up and pay the $1.99 to rent in on Amazon Instant Video, though.  I figure $1.99 for a night of entertainment for me and The Girl is more than worth it.

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?

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!

Peace out Girl Scouts & have yourself a great weekend,

~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 Fenugreek Sprouts {Start to Finish}

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fenugreek seeds botanical interests

Do you grow your own sprouts? My online boyfriend Ryan from Botanical Interests Seed Company asked me if I had tried fenugreek sprouts before {I hadn’t} so I decided to give them a try. The verdict? Delicious!

Have you tried them?

Brief description:  Fenugreek is a legume typically used as a spice.  When sprouted it provides high levels of vitamins, flavonoids, and antioxidants.

Where to Plant Fenugreek Sprouts:  In glass jars or sprouters indoors.  Keep out of direct sunlight, and make sure you keep them in a place with good air circulation.

victorio seed sprouter tray

Planting Seeds:  Fenugreek seeds must be disinfected and soaked prior to sprouting in order to minimize potential E. Coli.  To do this, simply soak in 1 tsp. bleach to 1 cup hot tap water for 15 minutes.  Then, rinse thoroughly.

I use a Victorio 4 Tray Kitchen Sprouter, but you could also use a canning jar to sprout.  Once you have disinfected seeds, soak them in plain old tap water for 6 hours.  This softens the exterior of the fenugreek seed.  Finally, spread your seeds out in the sprouter trays {or in the bottom of your jar}.  Fill the top tray with 2 cups of water and wait for it to trickle through.  Repeat the process every 12 hours using fresh water.  For a jar, rinse seeds and drain completely every 3-4 hours.

grow your own sprouts

Growing Tips:  Once sprouts are ready to eat, you can slow down their growth by placing them in the fridge, giving you a longer time to enjoy them.  Also, make sure during the rinsing process, you don’t let your seeds dry out completely–it will make them very angry.

How to Harvest:  When sprouts are ready, you simply rinse and eat the whole thing.  Fenugreek sprouts are best eaten before green leaves appear, though.

Cool Fact: Fenugreek is a widely used spice in India, especially in curries.  Fenugreek sprouts have an equally desirable flavor, with all of the nutritional benefits.

seed sprouter botanical interests

Because I’m all pumped up about sprouts these days, I just ordered the new Botanical Interest Seed Sprouter. I like the design of this one a little better than the one I have right now, plus it has 4 see through compartments which I think is pretty cool as well.

I’ll let you know what I think about it once I get it and try it out.

Peace Out Girl Scouts.

~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.

DIY Hummingbird Nectar Recipe

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 make your own hummingbird nectar
{
photo credit}

I am always so happy when I see a hummingbird in my yard.  Do you feel that way?  Like your garden is so hospitable that it attracts the most delicate little birds–like you’ve somehow arrived in the gardening world?  Okay, so maybe it has something to do with providing them with food, but whatever.  You can EASILY and CHEAPLY make your own hummingbird nectar.

You’ll need {brace yourself, this is an extensive list}:

  • 1 Cup Sugar
  • 4 Cups Boiling Water
  • A container to store it in the fridge

That it–just mix the sugar to the boiling water, stirring until it dissolves completely.  Then, put it in the fridge to cool.  When you are ready, pour it in the hummingbird feeder as needed.  Easy right?

***Did you know hummingbirds’ heart rates are about 1200 beats per minute?  They typically weigh less than a nickel, and they can’t use their feet to walk or hop–only to scoot sideways if they are perched.  Crazy.

Want to attract more birds to your garden?  Check out my how-to post.

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 – Planting Wisteria and Sprucing up the Window Box

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trimming wisteria garden arbor gate{My garden gate – Fall 20012}

As soon as the Handsome Husband built a fence and garden gate with an arbor, I planted wisteria asap. In fact I’ve planted wisteria at every house we’ve ever owned {except the first one}.

For those of you who don’t know, wisteria is just about the easiest vine you can grow. The purple and white flowers are intoxicating and usually bloom twice a year. Once in the spring and again in the fall.

front porch flower garden

When I was at Watson’s Nursery recently I walked by a new shipment of wisteria plants and decided to purchase two of them. I couldn’t resist. We moved into this place about 5 years ago, and I wish I would have thought to have planted then at the front of the house then.

My hope is the wisteria vines will climb up the stone walls and cling to them. We’ll see. If it works, I think it will look amazing.

potato vine

While I was planting wisteria the other day I also went ahead and replanted my front window box. These sweet potato vines will look awesome this summer hanging down from the window.

pink geranium flowers

Bright pink geraniums. A total must have for any window box.

purple pansies

And my beloved purple pansies. The HH doesn’t care for them, but I do.

window box flowers

It’s hard to believe summer is just 2 months away, especially on chilly days like today. But I’ll tell you what. I can’t wait for all the flowers and vegetables to start growing like crazy. I don’t know if it will happen or not, but I’m hoping for an Indian summer. Bring on the heat! I’m ready.

Peace out Girl Scouts, make today beautiful.

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.

Garden Tips – How to Thin Seedlings

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how to thin seedlings

Every time I see little green sprouts start to pop up in my seed trays, I get excited.  Which is why I am always sad when the day comes that I have to thin my seedlings.  I know I have to do it, but each time, it is hard–like I am being forced to choose a favorite child.  Do you feel this way?

If I don’t thin them though, they will compete for water, nutrients, etc.  So, I have to suck it up and face the cold hard facts of gardening.  Ha.  If it is time to thin some of your seedlings {check yourseed packet for when to thin}, there are two basic ways to do it:

radish seedlings

You can pull out the excess seedlings, much like you are pulling a weed,  {if you choose this method, be very careful not to disturb the root system of the plant you are trying to keep}.  Occasionally, with plants like peppers and tomatoes, you can replant the pulled seedlings in a new location, but in all honestly, with varying results.

tomato seedlings under grow lights

The easiest way to thin seedlings is to use scissors.  Just trim the excess seedlings off at the base of the plant, as close to the soil as you can get.  The roots will die back and leave your remaining seedling undisturbed.  If you are growing your seedlings in trays, make sure to remove the trimmings and toss them {if your seedlings are already in the garden bed, you can just leave the trimmings in the bed}.

So how do YOU thin your seedlings? Do you pull, or cut?

~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 Your Own Food – 4/17/2013 Garden Tally

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How to grow your own food{Summer 2012}

This year I’m on a mission to grow 4,000 pounds of fresh fruits and vegetables in my suburban backyard. In 2012 I was able to grow 2,028 pounds, and in 2013 I’m going double or nothing. I have absolutely no idea if I’ll be able to achieve my goal. But, as with any adventure, half the fun is getting there.   ~Mavis

*******

Well, it was another snooze fest {harvest wise} in the garden this week. Chives and eggs. That’s it baby. The weather is starting to warm up though so we will be direct sowing seeds soon as well as setting out more broccoli, cabbage and lettuce  starts. I love working in the garden this time of year, even when it’s sprinkling outside.

Will you be planting seeds this week? If so, what?

Mavis wants to know.

Here is what I have harvested so far this year:


beets

Beets - 14 ounces

carrots

Carrots – 3 ounces

chives growing in spring

Chives – 4 ounces


fresh eggs

Egg Count – 722

Last week we collected 82 eggs. We are giving them away to the neighbors like crazy these days. It’s kind of fun too.

microgreens
Lettuce
– 6 ounces
Microgreens 5 ounces

potatoes

Potatoes – 2 pounds 9 ounces

grow your own sprouts

Sprouts -11 ounces

Rainbow-Swiss-Chard-picture

Swiss Chard 11 ounces

cut-wheatgrass

Wheatgrass - 7 ounces

Total Food Harvested in 2013: 6 pounds 6 ounces

Total Eggs Collected in 2013: 722

Get out there and grow!

~Mavis

Urban Homesteading Heirloom Skills for Sustainable Living

Urban Homesteading: Heirloom Skills for Sustainable Living

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 Vegetables in a Greenhouse – Spinach, Lettuce, Swiss Chard, Strawberries and Tomatoes

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Magnum glass greenhouse

I snapped a few pictures of the greenhouse over the weekend and thought I would share.

daffodil flowers

The tulips and daffodils are still looking good. I’m been trying to decided what I’ll plant once the flowers die back. Ideally I’d like to have something tall in the flower pots. Something that will last all summer long.

What do you think would work well?

grow food in gutters gardening

Check out the gutters. Don’t they look cool with all those veggies growing in them?

spinach seedlings

Spinach seedlings.

swiss chard seedlings

Swiss chard {I’ll have to start thinning these soon}.

lettuce seedlings

Mesclun salad greens. They should be ready to harvest in about a month or so.

romaine lettuce

The heads of romaine lettuce are doing AWESOME. I was going to transplant these outside, but they are doing so well in the gutters I think I’ll leave them in there until it’s time to harvest.

grow strawberries in gutters

The strawberry crowns I transplanted into gutters are thriving as well. If you’ve never tried growing strawberries in gutters before it’s a piece of cake. Just remember to make sure they have plenty of room to spread out and you’ll be fine. If I remember correctly I planted the strawberries about a foot apart.

strawberry blossom

First strawberry blossom of the season.

Chinese cabbage seedlings

Even though the Chinese and purple cabbage is thriving in the greenhouse, I think I’ll plant the starts in the main garden this weekend. I need the room. My goal over the next week or two is to re-pot all the tomato plants we have growing inside under grow lights and move them out to the greenhouse.

Typically I plant tomato plants outside in the main garden around Mid-May. They need a week or two to harden off and placing them in the greenhouse for a few weeks should help with that.

How about YOU? When do you plant your tomatoes? Do you grow them for seed or are you happier buying tomato starts instead?

~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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