Backyard Gardening – Thinning Out Raspberry Canes

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how to harvest raspberry canes

This morning Lucy the puggle dog and I went out to the raspberry patch to do a little weeding.

how to plant raspberry canes

Every year around this time, new raspberry growth starts popping up between the rows and I have to get out there and do some serious weeding before the new canes begin to take over the paths.

In 2011 we had a bumper crop of raspberries, but last year was just so-so. I think it may have had something to do with me tossing a boatload of Tagro at the base of the canes but who knows, maybe it was just an off year. Fingers crossed this year will be better.

puggle puppy dog tan brown

That is, as long as I can keep Lucy from turning the raspberry canes in to little nubs of nothingness.

I’m beginning to think pets and gardening are not such a good idea after all. Or maybe it’s just puppies and gardening that don’t mix.

rows of raspberry canes plants

Neat and tidy rows. Just the way I like it.

Are YOU growing raspberries this year? If so, do you know what variety?

We are growing Cascade Delight raspberries and they are da’ bomb! If you are local and you’d like to buy some, you can find them at Spooner Farms in Puyallup, Washington.

~Mavis

Thinking about planting raspberry canes this year? Check out my How to Plant Raspberrie Canes Guide

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 – Cool Garden Containers You Won’t See in Your Neighbors Yard

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container gardening steel drums

Why have boring old pots and planters for your container garden when you can garden in steel drums? That’s right, I painted these beauties Pepto Bismal pink, Grape Taffy and Tighty Whitey White.

I picked these steel drums up at Wilco a while back and they had previously held concentrated apple juice. Yee- Haw! One Apple factories trash, is another man’s treasure.

I’d say they are a one of a kind. What do you think?

container gardening tips

To help with air flow and to save a little money on soil, I placed a giant landscaping pot {find free growing containers} at the bottom of each drum and filled them with a batch of my DIY potting soil mix.

container garden steel drums planters

It kind of makes me want to hop a flight to Key West, Florida to pink up some pineapple drinks and flamingos for the back 40.

spray painted deck garden chairs

I’m pretty sure the Handsome Husband is going to keel over the next time he looks outside and seems them. Lucky for me, the newly spray painted patio chairs have been hidden under the deck and he hasn’t noticed them yet.

Pretty awesome, don’t you think?

~Mavis

tips for container gardening

If you are short on space and are thinking about growing a container garden this year, check out my Tips for Container Gardening post. It’s filled with awesome tips and tricks to help you have the best container garden ever.

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.

Easy Gardening Tips – Use Coffee Filters in Flower Pots

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Easy Gardening Tips – Use Coffee Filters in Flower Pots

Calling all neat freaks.

If you are worried about soil falling out of your flower pots when you water your plants, there is an easy solution. Simply line your flower pot with a coffee filter before you fill it with soil to stop it from falling through the drainage hole.

Yee-Haw! Gardening is fun.

~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 – 4/10/2013 Garden Tally

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pea plant in terra cotta pot

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

*******

Francisco stopped by last night with his son to deliver some gnomes. What a sweetie!  I sent his little man home with some sugar snap pea plants for their new garden.

But I think I may have a problem on my hands. Francisco has become OBSESSED with our chickens. He loves holding Baby Fat {our small black australorp chicken} and I’m pretty sure by the end of summer he will have a flock of his own.

Can vegans have chickens as pets? Hmmm.

Anyway, I didn’t harvest much this week, just some chives, sprouts {I tried a new variety and I’ll share a little later} and another boatload of eggs. And in case you didn’t know, eggs are like gold on the bartering market. Yep, they sure are. Chino the Handyman and I have been trading back and forth recently and it is awesome.

Meat for eggs? Heck yeah!

Are you harvesting anything form your garden yet, or are you still planting seeds?

~Mavis

Here is what I have harvested so far this year:


beets

Beets - 14 ounces

carrots

Carrots – 3 ounces

chives

Chives – 3 ounces


francisco man with chicken{Francisco and Baby Fat}

Egg Count – 614

Last week we collected 81 eggs. That is almost 1 dozen eggs a day!

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 5 ounces

Total Eggs Collected in 2013: 614

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.

How to Grow Alyssum {Start to Finish}

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alyssum
{photo credit}

I don’t know when I first fell in love with alyssum, but I absolutely love using purple and white alyssum in my window box and hanging flower baskets every year. It’s delicate, yet very hearty.

Brief description:  Alyssum is a delicate mounding or trailing flower {depending on variety} that blooms throughout the summer.

Where to Plant Alyssum:  Alyssum can be planted nearly anywhere, but make great border flowers, thrive in rock beds, and in containers where they can trail over the sides.  They do best in sun to light shade.

alyssum

Planting Seeds:  To plant seeds, just press them into the surface of the soil.  Put a pinch of seeds in every pot, approximately 6″ apart.  There is not need to thin these clumping flowers.

Growing Tips:  Alyssum can stand quite a bit of abuse.  They are drought tolerant and deer resistant.  For best results, though, water 2 times per week during hotter months.

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

Fun Fact:  While Alyssum is typically an annual, they will overwinter in some climates, popping up sporadically year after 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 a Greenhouse – Spinach, Lettuce, Basil and More

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Growing Vegetables in a Greenhouse , gardening, mavis, magnum glass greenhouse,  Spinach, Lettuce, Basil

I thought I would give you a peek and show you what’s growing in the greenhouse right now. Typically I crack the doors open a bit in the late morning to get a little air flow going. In the summer months I pop the vents and leave those open 24/7 but it’s still a bit too chilly for that right now.

daffodils and gnomes

I think this may be the last week for daffodils and grape hyacinth flowers in front of the greenhouse. I do believe I planted some tulips in those planters so they should be popping up soon.

garden grow in gutters

Growing vegetables in gutters is awesome. We have spinach on the top followed by Swiss chard, lettuce and romaine lettuce in the bottom gutter.

spinach seedlings garden in gutters

The first set of true leaves on the spinach are starting to form.

grow garden in gutters lettuce

The lettuce is bite size. Note to self: keep Lucy out of the greenhouse or she will have enough for a small buffet.

greenhouse gardening

The make folding tables are filled with seedlings. I still have not gotten around to transplanting the basil or zinnias, hopefully I can get my act together soon. I think it still might be too cold to set out the geraniums, so I’ll I think I’ll wait another week on those. Everything seems to be thriving.

cabbage seedlings

Round 3 of cabbage.
slugs eating cabbage

The slugs are back in town. I spotted this little guy munching on a cabbage leaf this morning and promptly tossed him in my salt bucket. Now I have to go on a slug hunt and see if I can find anymore in the greenhouse. How do they get in there anyway?

greenhouse gardening

For the most part, I think everything is coming along pretty nicely for this time of year. I do think I will invest in a greenhouse fan this year, so if you have any ideas on what brand or type I should buy please let me know in the comments below.

I don’t know about you, but I am looking forward to warmer weather.

Stay Green,

Mavis

Flower House Pop-Up Plant House 3 footLooking for a mini greenhouse? Amazon has the 3 foot Flower House Pop-Up Plant House on sale right now. I used the 4 foot version before I invested in my glass greenhouse and it worked great.

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 15 of 52

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mavis garden blog peas along the fence

Week 15 of 52 – Mavis’ Backyard Garden Plot

raised garden beds

Rain, rain, go away, come again another day. Like in the middle of a heat wave in August. Yeah, that would be nice. You know what the soggy, wet bark reminds me of right now?

raised garden beds red bark

A 1970′s maroon shag carpet.

recycled wood pallet garden

Or Ron Burgundy’s sports coat.

wooded backyard garden

Yep, I’d take neon orange bark over this crap any day of the week.

wooded backyard garden

I decided all the sports gnomes needed to be together. So they guarding the perennial garden from squirrels and chipmunks.

magnum glass greenhouse

Thanks to the rain, the greenhouse is nice and muggy. Lately I’ve been keeping the doors open about a good 8 inches. My tomatoes and basil is in there and as soon as the weather warms uspI want to be able to plant them outside. So far the plants are all looking strong.

potato towers

Poor Lucy the puggle dog was having a bad hair day and didn’t want to look at the camera.

wooded backyard garden

A view from the upper deck.

orange omlet eglu cube

The peas have begun to pop through the soil and the fava beans that I planted in front of the chicken fence are about 2 inches high now. I haven’t grown fava beans in a long time {since the kids were 2 & 3 if I remember correctly} So I’m pretty excited.

cascadia raspberry canes

The raspberry patch.cascadia raspberry canes plants

A view of the raspberries from the kitchen window. Hopefully I’ll have time this week to transplant the canes that are growing in the paths to the bare spots in rows 1 &2.

costco brown pots herb garden

The container herb garden. All that’s left to plant is the thyme. We already have oregano, sage, rosemary and parsley planted in this area. We also have mint planted in an oak barrel next to the garden gate as well.

If you look closely you can see 2 rhubarb plants. I’ll have to transfer those to the perennial garden before they get much bigger.

gnome rain gauge

Did I mention rain is in the forecast for 4 of the next 5 days?

Yep. It ain’t easy being green.

Peace Out Girl Scouts, try and stay dry.

~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.

How to Grow Celery {Start to Finish}

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celery seeds

I started some celery seeds under grow lights a while back, and yesterday I transplanted the young plants out  to the garden. As long as you keep your celery plants watered, it’s about as low maintenance as it gets. Celery seems to thrive up here in the Northwest because of our cool spring and fall temperatures and it especially LOVES growing in my shady backyard.

Brief description: Celery is a versatile little veggie.  You can eat the stalks, leaves, roots and seeds.

Where to Plant  Celery:  Celery does best in a cooler climates out of direct sunlight.  It is a great choice for shadier areas of your yard {though, it still needs some light}.  You can grow it in garden beds, raised beds, or containers.

what do celery seeds look like

Planting Seeds:  Press seeds into the surface of the dirt.  Thin to 1 seedling per pot {or every 6″} when they are 1″ tall.  When plants are about 6″ tall, harden them off before planting.

celery

Growing Tips:  Celery likes fertile well-watered areas and does not tolerate the heat very well.  In the south, it can be grown all winter.  In the far north, it thrives in the spring.  In most other areas, it really thrives as a fall crop.

How to Harvest:  Cut the stalks off just above the soil line.  You can also harvest single stalks, if that is all your recipe calls for.

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

Storage Tip:  To store a fall crop of celery, pull plant up root and all, and store in a box with moist sand or dirt completely surrounding the roots.  They should keep several months this way.

chicken noodle soup crock pot recipes{Crock Pot Chicken Noodle Soup}

Besides eating celery stalks dipped in peanut butter {Yum!} my favorite way to enjoy it is in homemade chicken noodle soup. Mmm Mmm Good!

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.

Skagit Valley Tulip Festival – Roozengaarde

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Roozengaarde

Yesterday The Girl and I drove up to the Skagit Valley Tulip Festival in Mt. Vernon, Washington. The festival has been going on for 30 years and it attracts over 1 million visitors from all around the world.

As I was standing in front of the giant windmill at Roozengaarde {the best stop on the tour if you ask me} I was like, Man. I totally should have brought my gnome dress! Oh well, maybe next year.

skagit valley tulip festival roozengaarde

In 1955 Dutch emigrants William and Helen Roozen in 1955 started their farm with only 5 acres of land.

daffodil grape hyacinth tulip border

RoozenGaarde {where all these pictures were taken} was founded in 1985 to serve as the Washington Bulb Company’s retail shop and display garden.

skagit valley tulip festival roozengaarde

Now the Roozen family farms nearly 2,000 acres!

parrot tulips

You could spend hours driving down the back roads and driving to all the farms on the map, but The Girl and I got a late start yesterday and we were on a bit of a tight schedule, so we happily paid the $5 admission fee and toured the Roozengaarde instead. And it was worth every penny too.

grape hyacinth muscari bulbs

A path of grape hyacinth. My favorite!tulip sign

skagit valley tulip festival roozengaarde

It took me a little while to notice all the beds below the trees were mounded.
skagit valley tulip festival roozengaarde

Do you see it? I wish I would have known to do this back when I was planting my daffodil beds last fall.

Skagit Valley Tulip Festival - Roozengaarde

There was also a formal garden with gravel paths and smaller flower beds to walk through as well. You can always pick out the tourists {people who don’t live in Washington state} because they use umbrellas when it’s barely sprinkling. skagit valley tulip festival roozengaarde

If this was my garden, I wouldn’t pick a single flower. I’d  just drag a chair outside and sip tea all day while reading  Jane Austin books. Occasionally I’d send the Handsome Husband a text when I needed a refill of tea or a scone or something.

Who needs cable when you have a flower full of beautiful flowers?

bird eating worm

Hello Spring! I.Love.You.

~Mavis

If you are in the area please go visit the Roozengaarde. You will not be disappointed.

Address: 15867 Beaver Marsh Road Mount Vernon, Washington
Phone: 1-800-732-3266
Website: www.Tulips.com

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.

Backyard Gardening – Raised Garden Beds

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raised garden beds

I was working in the raised garden beds yesterday and snapped a few pictures and thought I would share them. We currently has 16 raised garden beds along the main garden path. So far we have carrots, beets, cabbage, broccoli, broccoli raab, radish, celery, strawberries, peas and onions planted.

walla walla onion transplants

All the beds are 8 feet long by 4 feet wide about have about 8 inches of soil in them. A couple of beds towards towards the end are a little bit deeper because I propped them up on logs so they’d be somewhat even due to our sloped yard.

walla walla onions and radish seedlings

I heard Wilco had some Walla Walla Sweets in so I grab a bundle of my favorite onions and planted them between rows of radishes. Companion planting rules!

radish seedlings

Have you planted your radishes yet? What are you waiting for? Now is the time to do it.

This is how my first round of radish seedlings look like right now. Hopefully in about a month or so they’ll be ready to harvest. Last spring I was able to barter a flat of french breakfast radishes for some avocados.

cabbage 6 weeks

Cabbage for the Handsome Husband. Cabbage isn’t my favorite, but he’s Irish and loves it so I grow it for him.

beet seedlings

The gourmet blend beets are beginning to poke through the soil. It appears these ones will be yellow and red.

garlic growing in a raised garden bed

Garlic. It’s coming along nicely I think.

square foot garden

And lastly, the square foot garden. So far I have sugar snap peas, celery, onions and strawberries growing in 4 of it’s 32 squares. I think today I’ll plant a  few radish and beet seeds.

Have YOU started planting seeds yet? If so, what?

~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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