Wood Pallet Gardens – Lettuce, Celery, Strawberries, Bok Choy, Spinach and More

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DIY Recycled Wood Pallet Garden

I thought I would share a few photos and update you how our wood pallet garden is coming along. As you can see the romaine lettuce we started from seed under grow lights is doing great. Lettuce is a great cool weather crop and is perfect to plant in the spring.

DIY Wood Pallet Garden Lettuce

The mystery deep red lettuce and bok choy are also growing well. I did notice a few little bite marks in the boy choy though. I’m not sure if it was Lucy the Puggle Dog or a squirrel.

DIT Wood Pallet Gardening Celery

We grew celery in pallets last year and it did great. It looks like this year is off to a good start as well.

DIY Recycled Wood Pallet Garden spinach

If I had to guess this spinach should be ready to start picking in another 2 weeks.

DIY Wood Pallet Gardening lettuce

The Endive lettuce is looking great as well. This is my first time growing endive so I’ll have to find out how big the heads get and when I’m suppose to harvest it. Does anyone know?

DIY Wood Pallet garden Strawberries

Our wood pallet strawberries are also doing great. Last year I planted strawberries in a vertical wood pallet. This year I am growing them flat on the ground. I wonder if there will be a difference in the yield because of this. What do you think? I think I’ll get more with the pallet laying on the ground because they’ll be more evenly watered. We’ll see.

DIY Wood pallet garden

This is my second year using wood pallets and although it’s a little different than your traditional garden, it’s still a lot of fun.

Have you ever planted a wood pallet garden before? How did it go?

Mavis wants to know.

heat treated wood pallet

Want to learn more about wood pallet gardening and how I put mine together? Click on the pallets above and they will take you to my first pallet garden post of the year. You’ll also learn what to look for when choosing a pallet.

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.



Container Gardening with Andy the Plant Whisperer – The Steamy Greenhouse

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greenhouse gardening andy the plant whisperer

Yesterday my German neighbor Hudla stopped over for a little garden tutorial.  In the middle of my Gardening 101 Lecture, Andy popped out to introduce himself, and “provide good Juju for the plants,” whatever the heck that means.  He looked a little, crumpled.  I asked him if the basement was meeting all of his needs.  He assured me it was, but he just had a little jet-lag.  I’m not sure how that happened since he drove up in an old VW Van, but okay.

I turned my back for one minute and Andy started teaching Hudla how to gently massage the stem of the plants—hmmm, a bit unorthodox, but who can argue his methods, when his passion for the plants is clearly steaming up the greenhouse windows.  Plus, he came so highly recommended, I am going to let it go.

greenhouse gardening grow lettuce in gutters

After Hudla left, Andy told me to go about my business while he introduced himself to my greenhouse plants.  First, he introduced himself to the lettuce, “Hello my beeeautiful baby salad.   How do you feel today?”

kissing strawberry plants andy

Then, I caught him talking to the strawberry plants, “Sweet succulent little strawberries, I will kiss you with my mind.  Mwah, mwah.”  Well, I put an end to that right away—let’s keep it G-rated, alrighty Andy?

greenhouse gardening puggle andy

After awhile, Lucy found her way into the greenhouse.  Andy swept her up and Lucy began licking his face. Luckily he likes to communicate with each living thing by “speaking their language”.

Let’s just hope a bear doesn’t wonder into the yard.  Still, I must admit, Lucy really took to Andy.  Do you think he could he be related to the pet whisperer Cesar Millan?

~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 – 5/1/2013 Garden Tally

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DIY Raised Garden Beds

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

*******

What a great time to be a backyard gardener! This past week we collected 80 eggs, fresh spinach, fresh basil, fresh chives and also grew some fenugreek sprouts as well. Being able to walk out your back door and collect a few ingredients to add to your dinner is pretty rad if you ask me.

I have a feeling that from here on out the weigh in’s will start to increase and I could not be more excited.

Yee- Haw. Let’s get farming!

~Mavis

Here is what I have harvested so far this year:

fresh organic  basil

Basil – 2 ounces

First basil harvest of the season. Now I just have to figure out what to do with it.

beets

Beets - 14 ounces

carrots

Carrots – 3 ounces

grow your own chives

Chives – 5 ounces

fresh eggs blue and brown

Egg Count – 936

Not only are chickens super low maintenance, but they lay magical eggs too. This week our gals left us 80 fresh eggs. We could not eat them all so we gave a few dozen to our German neighbor Hulda as a thank you for helping us re-pot some seedlings in the greenhouse. Bartering with your neighbors is rad!

romaine lettuce
Lettuce
– 10 ounces

microgreens
Microgreens 5 ounces

oregano container herb garden

Oregano - 1 ounce

potatoes

Potatoes – 2 pounds 9 ounces

fresh organic spinach

Spinach – 3 ounces

grow your own sprouts

Sprouts -1 pound 2 ounces

We harvested a bunch more sprouts this week, I’ll be posting about those a little later, but if you don’t already grow your own sprouts, they are super simple to grow. Here are instructions for growing your own sprouts.

Rainbow-Swiss-Chard-picture

Swiss Chard 11 ounces

cut-wheatgrass

Wheatgrass - 7 ounces

Total Food Harvested in 2013: 7 pounds 8 ounces
Total Eggs Collected in 2013: 936

little house in the suburbs
Little House in the Suburbs: Backyard farming and home skills for self-sufficient 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.

Mavis Mail – Amazing Garden Photos from Central Florida

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amazing garden photos florida

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!

raised garden planters container gardening

Here is what Nanette had to say about her garden-

My husband Bob and I live in Central Florida – DeBary and started gardening about three years ago. Well, it’s become our favorite past time. A freezer was purchased last fall and is constantly replenished with our harvest. With three growing seasons a year, we’re always, cooking, freezing or preserving!

Bob has discovered that he’s a bit talented when it comes to woodworking, too.

raised garden beds bean trellis

Last summer’s project was our greenhouse/shed. This spring he added more raised beds and a pole bean pergola and now he’s adding my outdoor sink and potting table! Needless to say, I think he’s great! {So do I!} I love your blog and always look forward to your new ideas and recipes

DIY greenhouse build your own

Our greenhouse/shed built from heat treated 2 x 4 wood that was being tossed where I work….of course, like your chicken coop project, we had to buy add’l finishing wood, but the “garbage wood” and the “trash” windows from our neighbor were the backbones (literally) and the inspiration.

We have been considering chickens (hens only!) for next year and your swing set chicken coop has my husband planning!

garden vegetables beans and onions

All I can say is OH MY WORD… Bob you are a freakin’ wood working rock star! Nanette, I cannot believe you two have only been at this for 3 years. You both must have the greenest thumbs on the planet!

Awesome Possum.

~Mavis

raised-garden-bedMelinda’s Garden Photos from Portland, Oregon

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.

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.

How to Choose a Good Tomato Plant

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 How to Choose a Good Tomato Plant

I was at a local store the other day and noticed a lady selecting a few pretty crappy looking tomato plants. I wanted to tell her not to buy them, but the sales clerk was standing right there so I didn’t {shame on me!}.

In case you are buying your tomato plants this year, here are a couple of things to look for to make sure you get a healthy plant:

  1. Choosing your variety:  Determinate, Indeterminate, or Heirloom?  For the first two, check out my post on determinate vs. indeterminate tomatoes.  Heirloom tomatoes are from seeds that are passed down from generation to generation.  They usually have more flavor, color, etc. but they are more susceptible to disease.  
  2. Next, I know this seems counter-intuitive, but go smaller.  I’m not talking itty-bitty, but 4″-8″ is a great place to start.  They seem to do better when transplanted, because they are still small enough to develop a strong root system in your garden with relatively little transplant shock.
  3. Examine the leaves.  Look for leaves with uniform color {no yellow or brown spots}.  Choose plants with 4-6 leaves.
  4. Check out the stem.  It should be straight and sturdy, like Forest Gump after his leg braces.
  5. Check the soil of the container–make sure it isn’t dried out {indicating that the plant has probably endured some level of stress while at the nursery}.
  6. Choose a reputable garden center–sometimes the little extra money can make a lot of difference to the overall tomato yield. Plants that have been cared for by knowledgeable professionals can give you a nice big jump start.

Taking a little care up front in choosing your plants can totally add to the success of your garden {though, nothing is full proof, believe me, I have killed what started out as perfectly healthy plants}.

Do you buy your tomato plants?  What varieties will YOU be buying this year?  What do you look for when your are choosing your plants?

~Mavis

These are the tomatoes I will be growing in my garden 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.

Growing Vegetables in the Greenhouse

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how to grow vegetables in a greenhouse

Things are seriously picking up in the greenhouse. In just a matter of a few more weeks I have a feeling the whole place will be filled with pots and we’ll have tomatoes and peppers all over the place.

Chive flower seed heads

Check out the chives! These babies are getting ready to flower. I planted a bunch more seeds over the winter and they are about 2 inches tall right now. It will be cool to get a fall crop this year.

Greenhouse Gutters grow food in gutters

Got gutters? Holy cow, they vegetables are growing like crazy. Click HERE to see what the gutters looked like one month ago. It’s nuts!

grow spinach in gutters greenhouse

A spinach salad is on the menu tonight.

swiss chard seedlings

Swiss chard. We will be thinning this soon. We will keep a few in the greenhouse and move the rest to the garden beds.

grow lettuce in greenhouse gutters

The mesclun lettuce also needs to be harvested. I’ll have to call Francisco and see if he wants to do a barter with me.

romaine lettuce leaves

Cesar salad anyone? Yes please!

does lettuce grow back when you cut it

Last week I cut the lettuce, and now the lettuce is growing back. Pretty cool!

greenhouse tables gardening

My neighbor will be over today to help me pot up the rest of the tomato seedlings and hopefully some peppers too {if we have time}. I’m excited to get all the seedlings out of the trays and into pots.

tomato plants

The tomatoes will be planted outside in another 2 weeks or so. I think it’s still too chilly to set them out right now.

tomato plants organic gardening

I think there must be about 75 – 100 tomato plants in this flat.

basil leaves organic gardening

And last but not least. Basil. Basil. Basil. Who knew you could growfresh basil in April?

No matter how you do it, gardening is awesome!

Peace Out Girl Scouts, have a great day, I’m off to go play in the dirt.

~Mavis

See More Greenhouse Pictures and Stories

carrots love tomatoes

Looking for a great gardening book? Check out Carrots Love Tomatoes. I own it and use it all the time.

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.

Teacher Appreciation Gift Idea – Chalkboard Painted Herb Pots

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Teacher Appreciation Gift Idea Chalkboard Painted Herb Pots

If you’re trying to come up with a craft project for your kids to make for Teacher Appreciation Day next week, these chalkboard painted pots should do the trick.  Not only are chalkboard painted pots easy to make, but your kids will love making them for their favorite teacher as well. Plus, the teacher will be THRILLED it’s not an another apple. Ha!

Teacher Appreciation Gift Idea Chalkboard Painted Herb Pots picture

Supplies

  • 4 Terra Cotta Pots
  • Fresh Herbs {I chose Basil, Chives, Rosemary and Oregano}
  • 1 Quart Chalkboard Paint
  • 1 Paint Brush
  • Potting Soil
  • 1 Piece White Chalk or Chalk Pens

Chalkboard Painted Herb Pots

chalkboard paint flower pots
Instructions

  • Paint dry pots and let them dry for 2 -3 hours
  • Add moistened soil to the bottom of the pot, add herb, add additional soil
  • Label each pot with chalk and water

Teacher Appreciation week Gift Idea Chalkboard Painted Herb Pots

Personally I think these pots look great outside sitting on a potting bench.  If you would like to give them as indoor gifts, I would suggest purchasing little terra cotta saucers to place underneath the pots to allow for drainage.

I’ve tried several different brands of chalkboard paint over the years and Rust-Oleum Chalkboard Brush-On is my favorite.  You  might be able to find it in your local hardware store, but if not, Amazon has it too.

Another great thing to have on hand are Chalk Ink Markers. Amazon has these, but you can probably find them for less at the craft store with a coupon.

 

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.

Square Foot Gardening – Grow More in Less Space

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square foot garden grid

The weather here in the Pacific Northwest was great this weekend. I was able get some kale planted in the square foot garden. I also pulled a few {tiny} weeds as well. I must admit I do like the idea of a square foot garden and it will be interesting to see how much food this 4×8 area produces.

square foot gardening strawberries

Strawberry Gnome Guy is doing a fantastic job of keeping the slugs away. I’m sure once the slugs find out the strawberries have been planted they will make their annual appearance.

square foot gardening grid radish

The radishes have popped up but I noticed one of the seeds did not germinate. Oh the horror! I’m going to totally plant another today so the 12 -inch box looks perfect. Blame it on the OCD {I bet Martha, or one of her people, would totally do this too!}.

lettuce seedlings

The mesclun lettuce seeds have broken through the soil as well. In another 30 days we should have enough spring lettuce for a salad. Sometimes it’s hard to believe that seeds + soil = tasty food.

square foot gardening kale

So far we have 19 squares planted and 13 left to go. Tomatoes, beans and cucumbers will be filling up the remaining squares. Hopefully those will be planted in the next few weeks.

Gardening is cool, no matter how you grow it!

~Mavis

Are you thinking about putting together a Square foot garden? See the how I built a square foot garden grid HERE.

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 18 of 52

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raised garden beds how to garden

Backyard Garden Plot Pictures – Week 18 of 52

potting bench with flowers old watering cans

The backyard vegetable garden is starting to fill up with my favorite color… GREEN!

The potting bench and it’s flowers is beginning to look a little ragged these days so I’ll have to try and spruce it up this week. I transplanted mint and strawberries to the whiskey barrel a few months ago and once I remove all the spent flowers we should be able to see them.

how to build raised garden beds

Just a few more weeks and all the raised garden beds will be planted. I am still trying to decided what to companion plant with my tomatoes. What do YOU plant alongside your tomatoes?

DIY Wood Pallet Garden

All the spaces in the wood pallet garden have been planted. You can see what’s been planted HERE.
how to build a bean teepee

The sugar snap peas are climbing up the teepee poles. Only about 5 weeks to go until we start to harvest them.

Greenhouse Gardening, Grow food in a greenhouse

All of the tomato plants have been moved to the greenhouse. The cucumbers have been started and I think I’ll try and get some pumpkin seeds planted in pots and store them in the greenhouse until the weather warms up.

DIY Potato Towers Wood Pallet Compost Bin

Still no sign of life in the potato towers. We should start to see some green leaves poking through pretty soon {fingers crossed}.
wooded backyard

A view from the deck.

kale fava beans

The whistling gnome is keeping a good eye on the kale and fava beans. The Swiss chard I planted there a month or two ago is still struggling so I may replant it this week. We’ll see.

grass and dirt

The pumpkin patch will be planted the first week in June.

western washington raspberry canes plants

Raspberries gone wild. I’m hoping for a bumper crop this year!

raspberry canes spooner farms puyallup

Here is the view of the raspberry patch from my kitchen window. Isn’t it lovely?

container herb garden

And last but not least, the container her garden {and two rhubarb plants}.

Now that the weather is starting to warm up and it’s staying light out much longer, I’m spending all my extra time out in the garden. Yes growing your own food can be a lot of work, but you know what? It’s also pretty rewarding.

Working with your hands is cool.

Get out there and do something you love!

~Mavis

botanical-interests-seeds-seed-packets

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, 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.

Planting a New Raised Garden Bed – Cabbage and Cauliflower

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red cabbage seedlings

Pretty much all of yesterday was spent in the garden {big surprise I know}.

how to build a raised garden bed

I had the Handsome Husband pick up a truckload of garden soil so I could finally fill the giant empty space next to the greenhouse.

how to plant cabbage

Lucy loved playing in the dirt. She was having so much fun digging that I had to bring her in the house until I could get it all leveled out and planted.

red cabbage seedling planting a garden

At first I was going to plant green beans in the space, but then I figured I’s need to wait 2 more weeks before planting bean seeds {it’s still a bit too chilly at night} so I went ahead and planted some red cabbage and cauliflower starts I had in the greenhouse instead.

how to make build a raised garden bed

According to my companion chart, Swiss chard looks like a candidate to plant in the center rows. I’m sure the chickens will be thrilled when I tell them. Ha!

How has YOUR weekend going so far? Please tell me you don’t still have snow on the ground.

~Mavis

If I could only have one gardening book on my bookshelf this would be the one. The Gardener’s A-Z Guide to Growing Organic Food By Tanya L.K. Denckla. This book is loaded with growing methods of practically every vegetable the backyard gardener is going to grow in their garden.  I received this book several years ago and it’s still the one I use when I have questions.

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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