How to Make a Strawberry Hanging Basket

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How to Make a Strawberry Hanging Basket

If you are short on space, growing strawberries in hanging baskets might be the way to go.  It is super simple, and can produce surprising yields. I whipped up a hanging strawberry basket this morning for the greenhouse and thought I’d show you how I did it.

tri star strawberries

To get started, you need to choose what type of strawberry you’d like to grow.  In general, smaller June bearing strawberries are the best choice, because they are not quite as prone to sending out runners. {Runners are how strawberries multiply, but they take a lot of energy from the plant–energy that would be better used to make berries.}  I used my favorite strawberries, Tri-Star.

how to make hanging baskets

Next, you need a hanging basket.  I used a standard wire hanging basket from the Home Depot {Amazon.com has hanging baskets too}.  Anything will work, so long as you have 12-15 inches from top to bottom.  Line your hanging basket with moss {or even coir} to help the plants retain water.

Fill your hanging basket with potting soil. {Need potting soil?  Check out my post on how to make your own potting soil.}

How to Grow Hanging Strawberries

You can typically plant 4-6 plants in your average size hanging basket. My basket was a little larger than normal so I used 12 strawberry plants.

How to Make a Strawberry Hanging Basket

Finally, water those suckers in, and Presto!  In a month or two you’ll have a hanging strawberry garden.

Don’t forget to water your hanging baskets pretty regularly, and your strawberry plants will need to be re-potted each year, to ensure enough nutrients for a good crop of berries.

How do YOU? Are you growing anything in hanging baskets this year?

~Mavis

order hanging baskets online

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.



Wood Pallet Gardening – The Big Harvest

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pallet gardening

Last night we had our first harvest from our pallet gardens. It seems the muggy, damp weather did wonders for the lettuce crops and now we are swimming in it.

mavis butterfield pallet gardening

I still have no idea what kind of lettuce this is but it sure tasted good when I made a “big salad” last night for dinner.

Wood Pallet Garden

Endive, have you tried it? I’ll be sharing my new favorite endive salad recipe a little later today.

endive lettuce

As a rule, endive can taste a little bitter. The less you chew the leafy greens, the better.

organic gardening bok choy

Toy Bok Choy.  I guess I didn’t harden the plant off well enough because it started to bolt. Once a plant starts to bolt there is nothing you can do about it. Luckily, bok choy leaves are delicious!
Pallet gardening organic salad greens

Endive, mystery lettuce and toy bok choy leaves.

DIY Wood Pallet Garden

Here is what the pallet garden looks like this morning. I know this might sound sort of weird, but I have a hard time harvesting anything {especially lettuce and cabbages} when they are all lined up in pretty little rows. Or in this case, pallets.

That first cut is torture. It totally messes with the design I tried so hard to create  and nurture along. It’s like someone came along and slashed my painting or something.

Again, I know I am a total nut. But still, a garden is such a mini work of art. It’s hard to let go.

Recycled wood pallets

The celery is chillin’ like a villain.

wood pallet gardens

And last but not least the romaine. It’s so pretty I smile every time I walk by. Even if 1 head is missing.

How is YOUR garden growing?

Do you get anxious when you have to harvest those first vegetables too, or am I just weird?

~Mavis

heat treated wood pallet

Want to learn more about wood pallet gardening and how I put mine together? Click on the pallets above and it 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.

Sylvia From Salem, Oregon Shares Her Garden Photos

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David and Sylvia

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!

Check out these photos Sylvia, a semi-retired Early Childhood Special Education teacher living in Salem, Oregon sent in.

before

Here is what she had to say:

Although I live in town, I have found ways to satisfy my gardening fever. Our yard has only so many full sun spots and each is filled with raised beds. When plots became available at a nearby community garden, I decided to apply and was able to secure two plots in a newer, full sun garden. For $50 a year I have two plowed plots with free water.

community garden plots

Last year, due to an injury, I was unable to dig in the hard clay ground and had to forgo using the plots. This year raised bed boxes are allowed and I was able to have my partner David build 10 3’x6’ cedar boxes and had them moved them on site. With some help from my daughter and her boyfriend, I had them filled with mixed garden soil.

DIY Greenhouse
I have a greenhouse and started all my vegetable plants from seed.

greenhouse seedlings

This past week I planted all the plants that were ready in the garden, along with flowers, a bird feeder and a birdbath to attract birds and bees.

Pak Choy and peas
So far I’ve planted: sugar snap peas, spinach, romaine lettuce, asparagus, tomatoes, basil, sunflowers (to be the supports for the tomatoes as they grow), nasturtiums, green pole beans, bush soup beans, lima beans, crook neck squash, zucchini, pumpkins, corn, melons, cucumbers, cauliflower, romanesque broccoli,radishes, bok choy, Pak choy, scallions, shallots, carrots, kohlrabi, rhubarb and currant bushes.

Hen with chicks

I have compost bins and compost our coffee grounds and vegetable scraps. A red worm bin provides compost and wonderful black manure tea that I use to fertilize my plants. I also applied for and received a license to keep a few hens and they are amazing us daily with their spunky personalities, additions to the compost bins and wonderful free range eggs.

*********

Wow Sylvia, your pictures are awesome! I love how you turned a simple patch of dirt into a gardener’s paradise.

Stay Green,

~Mavis
gardening in the netherlands

Garden Photos and Drawings From the Netherlands

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.

Container Gardening – DIY Stacked Terra Cotta Planter

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how to make a Stacked Terra Cotta Planter

Wahooo! Check out this stacked terra cotta planter I just put together this morning!

I was at the Home Depot {of course I was, where else would I be?} and I spotted these super cool terra cotta pots with ruffled edges and knew I just had to use the Home Depot card my MIL sent me for Mother’s Day and snatch them up.

Although the stacked terra cotta plants look cool now, just wait until the flowers begin to fill out and start trailing down the sides of the pots. It’s going to look amazing.

How to Make a   Stacked Terra Cotta Planter

Putting this together was super simple. You can do it too.

First, gather up 3 flower pots in graduating sizes, a flat of flowers {even though I’m showing 2 flats, I only used about half of the flowers from each flat}, and a wooden dowel rod. Now the dowel rod is very important. Especially if you have animals or small kids, or who knows, maybe you’re kind of clumsy too. Anywho, the dowel rod will help prevent your pots from falling over and breaking once you get the whole thing put together.

Container Gardening  DIY Stacked Terra Cotta Planter

Are you ready for the directions? They are super easy.

First, place you largest pot on the ground where you’ll be keeping it. Then, fill the pot with potting soil {I used my own homemade potting soil mix}. Insert the dowel rod so it it resting in the drainage hole of the pot.

DIY Stacked Terra Cotta Planter How To

Then, add your second pot, fill with soil, then your third pot and add soil to it as well. Once you get all the pots stacked and the soil in them, trim the dowel rod so it is level with the top pot.

petunias in terra cotta pot

Next add flowers all around the edges of your stacked terra cotta planters.

how to make a Stacked Terra Cotta PlanterAnd viola! A masterpiece has been created.

Now all you have to do is keep your planter watered and sit back and enjoy the view.

Pretty cool, don’t you think?

~Mavis

What is YOUR favorite plant to use in outdoor containers? Mine are petunias, hands down.

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 – 5/15/2013 Garden Tally

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raised vegetable 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

*******

salad greens

Lettuce and radishes were the super stars in the garden this week. We harvested  1 pound 7 ounces of lettuce for the pasta feed we hosted over the weekend, as well as another 9 ounces of radishes. We munched on our radishes and also used them in a delicious asparagus salad I’ll be posting a little later today.  Things are really starting to look up in the backyard garden these days and I’m loving it.

Oh, and I almost forgot to mention the herbs. We snipped chives, basil and oregano from the garden this week too. Wahoo!

~Mavis

Here is what I have harvested so far this year:

fresh organic  basil

Basil – 4 ounces

beets

Beets - 14 ounces

carrots

Carrots – 3 ounces

grow your own chives

Chives – 7 ounces

If you have never grown chives before, you should. They are seriously super easy to grow from seed.

broody chickens

Egg Count – 1,091

We collected  78 eggs this past week. Piggey, Awkward Martha and Squirrely are all still broody. Either that or they’ve decided the nesting boxes are their new clubhouse. I’m not sure which at this point. All I know is they puff up like turkeys when we try to steal their eggs then cluck loudly so everyone knows we are a bunch of egg thieves.

What a bunch of characters!

romaine lettuce
Lettuce
– 2 pounds 5 ounces

microgreens
Microgreens 5 ounces

oregano container herb garden

Oregano - 2 ounce

potatoes

Potatoes – 2 pounds 9 ounces

french breakfast radish

Radish - 1 pound 2 ounces

My favorite radish of all time is the French breakfast radish. The taste is very mild and they are fun to look at.

fresh organic spinach

Spinach – 3 ounces

grow your own sprouts

Sprouts -1 pound 2 ounces

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: 10 pounds 13 ounces
Total Eggs Collected in 2013: 1,091

botanical interests coupon

Botanical Interests is offering $5 off any orders over $25 {discount automatically applied at checkout} now through May 31st. I recently purchased their new seed sprouter and I’m loving it!

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 Zucchini {Start to Finish}

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how to grow zucchini

Is it just me or does everyone and their brother start locking their doors around mid-summer because people are trying to sneak sacks of zucchini in peoples cars? I hear church parking lots are a prime spot for this sort of activity.

Brief description:  Zucchini is a summer squash.  It provides awesome yields and can be used in tons of different dishes or stand alone.

Where to Plant Zucchini:  Plant in garden beds, raised beds and/or containers.

zucchini seeds botanical interests

Planting Seeds:  Plant seeds 1/2″-1″ deep 2-4 weeks after last frost.  Make sure soil temperatures are above 60 degrees.

Growing Tips:  Zucchini is a warm weather crop.  It prefers full sun to partial shade.  Plant with plenty of quality compost.  When watering zucchini, be careful not to water the leaves, it will prevent a lot of potential problems down the road {i.e. powdery mildew and bacterial wilt}.

black beauty zucchini

How to Harvest:  Harvest when fruit is about 4″ or longer–though letting them get too big can cause them to taste a little woody and tough.  Frequent harvesting will encourage new growth.

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 Zucchini recipes:

easy zucchini recipes baked friesBaked Zucchini Fries

Easy Brunch Recipes - Fried Potatoes with Peppers and Zucchini Fried Potatoes with Peppers and Zucchini

vegan zucchini bread recipeVegan Zucchini Bread w/ Chocolate Chips

Fun Fact:  A zucchini has more potassium than a banana.

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

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Growing Vegetables in a Greenhouse

Caution. Lady with the palest legs on the planet ahead.

We are going through a transition in the greenhouse this week. Since most of the seedlings have already been started and are breaking through the soil, I went ahead and removed the folding tables and put the flats on the ground.

greenhouse vegetable starts

I plan on hauling my free potting containers I scored at The Home Depot last year into the greenhouse and setting them up in the center aisle to grow tomatoes and peppers in the greenhouse again.

horse tank wheelbarrow with dirt

Now that the baby chicks have moved out of the stock tank and into the chicken run, the container will now be filled with 2 green zebra tomato plants, onions and carrots.

This morning I got started, but after loading a batch of my DIY potting soil into the stock tank I discovered I would need to make another wheelbarrow of the mixture. The tank is so huge!  I’m out of supplies so now I’ll have to make a run to the garden center.

gardening in gutters

Over the weekend we harvested over half of the romaine and mesclun lettuce from the gutters. I think after we harvestthe next batch I’ll go ahead and pull the plants {even though they would keep on producing} because once the weather warms up, it will be too hot in there to grow lettuce anymore.

grow strawberries in gutters

The strawberries are looking awesome.

meyer lemon tree buds

And Lemon, the Meyer lemon tree is coming back to life again. At first I thought I would put her outside in the summer time but now I’m thinking about keeping her in the greenhouse instead. What do you think? Good idea? Bad idea? This is my first lemon tree so I’m not sure.

flower bulbs in spring

Oh and one last thing. I couldn’t stand looking at the spent bulb foliage so I pulled up all the bulbs. This is naughty. Don’t do it. You are suppose to leave the bulbs in the same spot until the leaves die back before you transplant them. But I just couldn’t stand it any longer.

I’ll be planting them somewhere near the front of the house and hope they come back again next year {they should be okay, but again, I’m not suggesting you do this}.

greenhouse gardening

It’s not pretty, but it’s getting there. Hopefully by next week the greenhouse will be back to normal.

~Mavis

You can see more pictures of our greenhouse and the progress we are making, in my Growing Vegetables in a Greenhouse Series.

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 Potato Tower Update

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How to build a potato tower picture

Back in March I put together 3 potato towers {How to Build a Potato Tower}. Now that the towers have begun to sprout, I thought I would post a few pictures so you can see how they are doing.

This is my second year growing potatoes in towers. Last year I tried and it was pretty much a disaster. I think it may have been my fault though, I had placed the potato towers in a spot that was to hard for me to reach with the hose. As a result they were only watered handful of times or when it rained.

So this year I built my towers behind our greenhouse where I know they’ll get watered on more of a regular basis.

potato tower pictures

Potato Tower #1 - I covered the potatoes with 6 inches of dirt. My plan with tower #1 is to add additional dirt {but no more potatoes} as the potato leaves begin to pop through the soil. So far this tower is coming along nicely. The potatoes are sprouting as they should and I will add about 6 inches of dirt tonight to bring the soil line about 2 inches below the greens.

DIY Potato towers

Potato Tower #2 - I covered the potatoes with 6 inches of dirt, then added 5 more potatoes. I ended up doing this 3 times. Someone had suggested I try this method to see if it would grow more potatoes. I have no idea if it will or not, but I think it will be interesting to see what happens.

potato towers diy

Tower #2 looks the best so far. Potato foliage is coming out of the sides of the tower in two places and as well as on top. I’ll add a little more dirt to the top once the foliage gets a little higher. I’m surprised that with the amount of soil that is in the tower, I see any foliage on the top at all.

How to build a potato tower

Potato Tower #3 - This tower was planted with alternating layers of potatoes, dirt, potatoes, straw, potatoes, dirt. Again, someone suggested this growing method because it had worked for them. Nada. Zilch. Nothing going on with this tower so far. 

If you are growing your potatoes in towers this year I’d love to hear how they are doing so far. Or, if you’ve tried growing potatoes in towers previously, how they worked out and if you were happy with the results.

Have a great night,

Mavis

DIY How to build a potato tower

To find out how I built my potato towers go here: How to Build a Potato Tower

 

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 – All the Grids Have Been Planted

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square foot gardening organic mavis

The last few days here in Western Washington have been muggy and wet. And let me tell you Bob, the plants are loving it! The cool weather crops like kale, broccoli and Swiss chard seem like they have doubled in the past few days, which of course, is awesome.

rosemary plant organic gardening

Remember the rosemary seeds I started from see back in January? Well take a look at them now. Even though I am already growing most of my herbs in contianers I went ahead and planted a few tiny rosemary starts in the square foot garden.

Once the plant gets established and grows larger, I’ll probably move it to a container. We’ll see. But for right now I’m just excited they turned out okay as I had heard rosemary was a little difficult to get started.

organic gardening cucumber seedlings

We also planted out 3 trays of cucumber plants, MarketmoreLemon, and Burpless. I forgot to label the containers when I planted them so I have no idea which is which. Oh well, I suppose I’ll be able to tell soon enough.

square foot gardening organic mavis garden blog

This is how I gardened yesterday. Slippers and my husbands socks. What is it about men’s socks that are so stinkin’ cozy on a lazy Sunday afternoon? Please tell me you steal your husbands socks too.

organic square foot gardening

Cabbage, kohlrabi, broccoli and kale.

square foot gardening images

And finally. Here is what my square foot garden looks like all planted and ready to grow.

Peas, carrots, radishes, strawberries, celery, onions, cabbage, kohlrabi, broccoli, kale, bok choy, tomatoes, potatoes, beans, cucumbers, Swiss chard, beets, and lettuce. I think that’s everything.

Pretty cool if you ask me. Now all I have to do is keep this baby watered {and keep Lucy out!} and in a few more weeks we should be ready to start harvesting some fresh vegetables.

And for all of you who asked, YES, I will be keeping track of how many pounds of vegetables we can harvest out of this one 4×8 foot bed. I think it will be fun to see how much food you really can get from a square foot garden.

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

~ 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.

Andi From Mt. Vernon, Washington Shares Her Garden Photos

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greenhouse garden photos

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!

Check out these greenhouse photos Andi from Mt. Vernon, Washington sent in. The photo above is what her greenhouse looks like right now. This year she planted 21 tomatoes, 4 tomatillos, mature lettuces and greens, and a silly number of starts of everything from squash to quinoa, marigolds to hibiscus.

Greenhouse garden pictures tomatoes{Photo of Andi’s greenhouse last summer}

Here is what Andi had to say:

We built the greenhouse last summer from windows and doors from remodeling the house. It is 14’ long and 3 ½’ wide. I grow everything from seed, starting them indoors for the earliest possible bloom and crop. I started the tomatoes on Feb. 8, I just couldn’t wait.

wildflower cottage garden

We are on a large city lot and have no lawn; everything is garden. We have a huge willow, thirteen fruit trees, lots of berry and currant bushes, several lilacs, wisteria, and bunches of other trees, bushes, and plants. The greenhouse is in the front yard, but we’re building a second in the back. {No way all 21 tomatoes are going to fit in the first one!}

dogs in the garden

We have two dogs, the other one Max, is all black and didn’t want to be in the pic. This one is Wellie.

I am also a full time fiber artist {www.andishannon.com} and when I need a break from the sewing machine, I go out and work in the yard. A good balance as each fuels the other for inspiration.

Wow Andi! I couldn’t agree more! Your garden is beautiful!

~Mavis

fiber art black bag with red roses

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.

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