Raised Garden Beds – Growing Cabbage, Onions, Radishes, Garlic, Broccoli and More

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DIY Raised Garden Beds

Check it out!

The raised garden beds are really starting to fill up. It’s so nice to finally see green in those beds instead of soil. We have 16 raised garden beds and so far 10 have been planted. I’m saving the last 6 for tomatoes {which I’ll be setting out in a few more weeks}.

DIY Raised Garden beds Cabbage

Garden bed #1 has Chinese cabbage growing in it. We had to replace the broccoli raab that bolted and so far the cabbage transplants are doing great.

DIY Raised Garden beds Broccoli

Broccoli and radish.

DIY Raised Garden beds Cabbage

Cabbage and radishes.

Have you read Calvin & Hobbes? Well Lucy totally reminds me of Calvin. Ha!

Raised Garden Beds Radish Onions

I think out of all of the raised garden beds, this one with radish, onions and kohlrabi looks the best.

DIY Square Foot Gardening Grid

The square foot garden. I think this will look really cool {artsy?} when all the seeds have been planted. I’m excited to see what it will look like once the tomatoes are in and to see how much we can harvest out of this raised garden bed.

DIY Raised garden bed Swiss Chard

Swiss chard. My neighbor planted this yesterday. In about 2 weeks we will thin the transplants and move the extras to another bed {probably over by the chicken coop}.

DIY Raised Garden bed artichoke

Artichokes. These are not looking so hot. The ones I planted over in the perennial garden are doing much better and I’m not sure why.

DIY Raised Garden Bed Garlic

Garlic, Garlic, Garlic.

DIY Raised Garden Bed Beets

If you squint really hard you might be able to see some beet greens trying to pop through the soil.

beet seedlings

I’m not sure why, but beets always seed to take forever to come up. Does this happen at your place too, or is it a Pacific Northwest thing?

DIY Raised garden beds carrots

Ahhh yes. Carrots. These are notorious for taking a loooooooong time to germinate. Last week I thought I spotted a few delicate seedlings coming up, but now I think they may have just been weeds.

DIY Raised Garden Beds

Here is a view of our 16 raised garden beds from the back of the garden. There isn’t much to look at right now, but we are getting there. One seedling at a time.

How is YOUR garden growing? Have you planted anything yet? Is there one vegetable in particular you just can’t wait to grow?

~ MavisThe Backyard Homestead

Looking for a great gardening book? Check out The Backyard Homestead and learn how you can produce all the produce you need on only a quarter acre.

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 Wood Pallet Garden – Spinach, Lettuce, Celery, Strawberries and Boy Choy

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DIY wood pallet garden

Yesterday I was hand watering the pallet gardens and snapped a few pictures so you could see how some of the vegetables are growing.

Sadly everything in the garden has to be watered by hand because we have no drip irrigation or sprinklers set up. Luckily though we live in the Pacific Northwest and we typically don’t have super hot summers so I can get away with watering about every 3 days or so. Unless of course it rains, and then I can wait a bit longer.
DIY Wood pallet garden celery

I some celery in a pallet last year and it did great so I decided to grow it again this year. So far so good.

DIY wood pallet garden lettuce

Even though I have no idea what variety of lettuce this is, I am in love with it. The leaves are super thick and the colors are amazing.  I can’t wait to try it.

DIY Wood Pallet Garden spinach

The spinach I started under grow lights is looking great too.

DIY Wood Pallet Garden

Here is what all six pallets look like right now. Pretty neat huh?

Even though I don’t think you’d be able to grow more food in a pallet than you would in a traditional garden bed, I still think it’s neat to try new things.

What do you think?

Would you consider growing your vegetables in a wood pallet?

~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.

Container Gardening with Andy the Plant Whisperer

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Container-Gardening-with-Andy-Plant-Whisperer

So I’ve really gone and done it:  In additional to having my neighbor help me in the garden this summer I’ve also rented/bartered {?} out the basement to a guy named Andy {HH, if you’re reading this, I promise, it’s all going to work out fine}.

Container Gardening with Andy the Plant Whisperer

Andy is from Miami, Florida and is here for this years growing season to help me with my container gardens. Word on the street is he is a plant whisperer {seriously, he talks to them, people}, which is great because I can really use all the help I can get around here while I try to grow 2 tons of food this summer.

Container Gardening with Andy the Plant Whisperer

Andy’s partner Gladys will be joining him a little later in the growing season, but had to stay behind in Florida to tie up a couple of loose ends {something about a medicinal herb farm–I decided not to ask}.  Andy can’t wait to experience a summer in Seattle.  He claims he’s never seen a pine tree until now, but swears he could grow anything with his beloved containers, so we’ll see if the Washington growing season will give him a run for his money.

Container Gardening with Andy the Plant Whisperer

I asked him to write up a little description of himself for you all, so without further ado, meet Andy:

Hello fellow growers.  I am honored to be coming to you live from…Mavis’s basement.  Can you hear the cheers?  I can!  No wait, that is probably the dirt calling to me.

Real quick like, here’s a little about me:  I love Pina-Coladas and getting caught in the rain…Ba, ba, so come with me and escape.  Ha! Oh man, and I love a feel good tune.  Seriously, though, I do love Pina-Coladas.

I have lived in Florida for the past 18 years.  I strive for stress-free living.  Nothing, and I mean nothing gets me down.  Typically, I practice Yoga on the beach every morning, with my guru, Yolanda.  Then, I pop home for a sponge bath and a little time with my plants.  I am a self-proclaimed herbivore.  My plants are my babies.  I love each of them individually–and unconditionally.  Out of respect, I am going to ask you to do the same.

Now that I’ve decided to trade in the sun and surf for one little summer in the Northwest,  I am going to show you all how easy it is to grow an impromptu garden from just about anywhere.

Andy

Container Gardening with Andy the Plant Whisperer

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 – 4/24/2013 Garden Tally

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herb container garden organic

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

*******

gardening in gutters romaine lettuce

Guess who harvested romaine lettuce last night? We had homemade lasagna and mini Cesar salads and it was awesome! Could I have waited a little longer to harvest the lettuce? But of course darrrrling,  but I just couldn’t wait. Nope.

I also harvested a wee bit of oregano from the container herb garden, sampled some spinach and brought in a boatload of eggs this week too.

But that isn’t the coolest part.

Are you ready for a story?

Last night I called my neighbor. I asked to speak to her older daughter who is about to graduate. She will be studying nutrition in college and I thought I’d see if she would be interested in helping me this summer in the garden.

What I didn’t know was that I had actually called her mothers cell number and not their home phone {it was meant to be I tell you!}.

Unfortunately {but good for her!} the daughter had  just accepted a summer job someplace really, really cool. I was happy for her, but also a wee bit disappointed because I could really use a farm hand.

Then something awesome happened.

Her mom had been thinking about approaching me and asking if she could work in my backyard garden in exchange for fresh veggies and eggs but wasn’t sure how much time she could commit and a weekly basis. And plus, we live in suburbia so the whole I can afford to buy my own food, but can I eat yours instead because I like working in the garden and want to learn more about canning and some other stuff – might come off as a little odd.

What? Did I just hear that right? You want to barter weeding and garden chores for vegetables and eggs? Are you kidding me? When can you start?

Tomorrow apparently. Wahooooooooo!

Life is good.

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 – 856

The chickens are egg laying machines. What can I say?

romaine lettuce
Lettuce
– 10 ounces
Microgreens 5 ounces

oregano container herb garden

Oregano - 1 ounce

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 11 ounces

Total Eggs Collected in 2013: 856

Get out there and grow!

~Mavis

Urban Homesteading Heirloom Skills for Sustainable Living

Urban Homesteading -Heirloom Skills for Sustainable Living

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How to Grow Vegetables in a Greenhouse – Lettuce, Spinach, Tomatoes, Basil and More

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magnum glass greenhouse gardening

Lucy and I have been working out in the garden this morning and we snapped a few pictures to show you how the vegetables are coming along in the greenhouse.

greenhouse gardening eliot coleman

The plants are growing like crazy! I need more hours in the day to get all these seedlings planted.

growing food in gutters

Check out the gutters. Pretty cool huh?

We have spinach in the top gutter followed by Swiss chard, mesclun lettuce and romaine lettuce on the bottom. Click here to see what the gutters looked liked 1 month ago. What a difference a few weeks make!

romaine lettuce

I think I’ll harvest some of that romaine lettuce tonight for a mini salad.

growing food in gutters swiss chard

Swiss chard!

strawberries in gutters

The strawberries we planted in gutters are looking great too.

organic tomatoes

Now, if we could just speed up time 3 weeks I could set my latest batch of tomatoes into the raised garden beds.

organic vegetables seedlings

So many plants, so little time.

~Mavis

Looking for a great gardening book?  You Grow Girl is a hip, humorous how-to for crafty gals everywhere who are discovering a passion for gardening but lack the know-how to turn their dreams of homegrown tomatoes and fresh-cut flowers into a reality. I own a copy and love 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.

Mavis Garden Blog – Planting Chinese Cabbage

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raised garden beds

After I discovered my broccoli raab had bolted while we were away, I had to pull it up and plant something else in it’s place.
Chinese cabbage seedlings organic garden

Luckily I have a bunch of seedlings growing in the greenhouse and indoors. Since it’s still a wee bit chilly out, I thought Chinese cabbage seemed like a good fit for the space. Even though we have 16 raised garden beds, I am trying to hold off on planting the rest of them for now. It’s hard, but I want to be able to maximize the space by planting a boatload of tomatoes, cucumbers and beans in the beds. If I fill them up with more cold weather crops now, I won’t have room when I set out the warmer crops in about another 3 weeks or so.

It’s a tough call, but I think it’s the right one for now.

Chinese cabbage raised garden bed

Now, I suppose the question is, what am I going to do with all this Chinese cabbage when it’s ready to harvest? Ha! I guess I’ll have to cross that bridge when we get to it.

Unless YOU have some ideas of course!

~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.

What Is Bolting – What It Means When A Plant Bolts

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What It Means When A Plant Bolts

I have the most amazing readers, and most of the time, it is me learning from you, but every once in awhile, someone sends in a question that I think, “Hey, I bet lots of people would love to know the answer to that.”  So, I am going to try to feature some of your questions and answer them, the best I can.

Cheryl writes:

I have a question, you said the broccoli raab has bolted, how can you tell if something has bolted and why does it happen?

First of all, in case you don’t know, bolting is when your plant rapidly turns from leafy to mostly flower and seed.  {Whenever I hear the term bolt, I have to try to resist the urge to picture it lifting up its roots and running for a different yard, where it might be happier.}

Typically, plants will bolt due to hot weather.  When the temperature of the soil gets above a temperature where the plant is happy, it bolts.  Think of it as a survival mechanism for the plant.  The plant gets nervous that it won’t have time to produce another generation, so it quickly goes to seed.  Also, remember, hot weather to us, is different than each plants definition.  Cool weather crops can bolt long before the dead heat of summer.

What It Means When A Plant Bolts broccoli raab seed head

Once a plant has completely bolted, it is inedible–not because it is harmful, but because the process causes the plant to taste like barf.  If you happen to notice your plant going to seed in the early stages, you can occasionally slow down the process.  Trim back the flowers and flower buds {this is particularly effective for plants like basil}.  Other plants, such as lettuce and broccoli, may still taste bitter, despite your best efforts.

Bolting is a sign of the beginning of the end for the life cycle of that plant.  Each plant prefers a certain season.  If you make sure to plan your garden by season, you should be able to get a great crop out of your plant before it bolts.

Cheryl, I hope this answered your question–and keep ‘em coming.

Happy Gardening,

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.

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.

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