DIY Rustic Pea, Bean or Garden Trellis

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DIY how to make a pea bean trellis

I originally posted these photos of my rustic pea trellis last year but I thought I would share them with those of you who might have missed it and are looking for an inexpensive way to trellis you peas {or beans} this spring.

If you happen to live in an area where you can score some free sticks, you are in luck. Last spring we had a ton of saplings and dead branches that needed to be removed from the backyard.

We were able to re-purpose them and create a rustic pea trellis instead of just letting them decompose.

grid pea trellis

To make a rustic trellis, simply lay the branches down in a grid like pattern, and tie the sticks together at each crossing {I tied triple knots}.

sticks and twine

This is suppose to be rustic, so remember, it doesn’t need to be perfect. Quirky is good!

garden twine

I like to use Luster Leaf twine for my garden projects because it comes with a built-in twine cutter.

DIY pea bean garden trellis

Once you have all your knots tied carefully lift your trellis and move it into place.DIY how to make a pea bean trellis

Another great way to grow peas is to create a teepee. Either way, fresh peas rule, and once you get your peas planted, you’ll only be about 60 days away from a delicious harvest.

Grow Baby Grow!

~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.



Mavis Garden Blog – Radish, Pea and Spinach Seedlings

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mavis butterfield garden

This morning I went outside while Lucy was napping and planted my second batch of radish seeds between my 12 cabbage plants.

radish seedlings

I planted my first batch of radish seeds about 2 weeks ago and this is what they looked like this morning. I’ll wait a few more days before they are all up before I start to thin the tiny little seedlings.

what do pea seedlings look like

The peas are also up as well. Colleen from facebook was worried she planted her peas too early because they were taking awhile to break through the soil. I told her not to worry, sometimes peas can take up to 2 weeks before they decide to wake up.

spinach seedlings

Also, the spinach in the greenhouse gutters is also starting to peek through the soil as well.

Starting seeds in early Spring can be torture when you have to wait for them to sprout. The cooler temps mean longer germination times, but hang in there, don’t worry, your seeds will grow.

Are you waiting for any particular seeds to break through the soil right now?

If so, what? I’m anxiously awaiting for those Toy Bok Choy seeds to pop up.

Now go out there and have some 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.

DIY – How to Build a Potato Tower

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DIY How to build a potato tower

Last year I built a few potato towers and had minimal success. But in hindsight, I think the lack of watering {and pretty much neglect  on my part was to blame}. So I decided to give the potato towers another try.

First let me say, I personally believe the best way to grow potatoes is in the ground in a traditional trench method.

But, what fun would having a garden be if we all didn’t experiment from time to time and try new techniques. Right?

how to build a potato tower DIY

After reading everyone’s comments, I decided to try growing this years potato towers 3 different ways.

how to potato tower DIY

I used a 4′ x 4′ piece of coated fence wire and bent the edges of the wire inward to secure the two ends together. I then pressed straw into the sides of each wire cage and added about 6 inches of dirt to the floor of the potato tower.

DIY how to build a potato tower straw

I then placed 5 seed potatoes on top of the dirt.

DIY How to build a potato tower

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.

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 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.

I guess we’ll all find out in about 80 days or so which method works better.

What do you think?

Have you ever tried growing potatoes in towers before? Did it work out for you? What method did you use?

~Mavis

Follow the progress of the potato towers below.

The Complete Book of Potatoes: What Every Grower and Gardener Needs to Know

 

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 – 3/27/2013 Garden Tally

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{June 2012}

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

See that picture above? The photo was take on June 28th, 2012 on one of our backyard garden tours. It’s hard to believe that my garden will look like that in about 3 months. Holy cow. Growing your own food is awesome, isn’t it?

Although we spent a lot of time in the garden this past week, the only thing I harvested was a handful of chives and some sprouts. So far we have lettuce, broccoli, broccoli raab, cabbage, carrots, radishes and garlic in the ground. Strawberries, spinach and more lettuce is growing in the greenhouse gutters as well.

If you have not planted yours yet and you’d like to know how, you can find directions in the Growing Guides section on the blog.

I’m not sure what the weather is like in your neck of the woods, but as soon as you can break ground and plant something, Go For It!

~Mavis

Here is what I have harvested so far this year:

how-to-can-pickled-beets_opt{Pickled heirloom beets}

Beets - 14 ounces

rainbow-carrots{Last summers giant carrot harvest donated to the Tacoma Mission}

Carrots – 3 ounces

grow your own chives

Chives – 1 ounce

egg-count-2013

Egg Count – 481 {5.6 eggs per day average}

This week we collected a whopping 79 eggs. OH MY WORD! We shared with Girly Girl and Mrs. Hillbilly and ate a lot of scrambled eggs this past week. I appears all the hens that are capable of laying eggs are laying now.

If you are wondering what we do with the hens that don’t lay very often {Black Fatty is one of them} we keep them of course. Just because they can’t lay, doesn’t mean we ship them off. Chickens are cool pets, and growing your own eggs is pretty awesome too.

microgreens
Lettuce
– 6 ounces
Microgreens 5 ounces

grow-potatoes-in-your-backyard-russet-red

Potatoes – 2 pounds 9 ounces

grow your own sprouts

Sprouts - 8 ounces

Rainbow-Swiss-Chard-picture

Swiss Chard 11 ounces

cut-wheatgrass

Wheatgrass - 7 ounces

Total Food Harvested in 2013: 6 pounds 3 ounces

Total Eggs Collected in 2013: 481

Get out there and grow!

~Mavis

free shipping botanical interests

Need some seeds? Botanical Interests is offering FREE SHIPPING on orders over $50 right now.

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 – End of March

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magnum glass greenhouse in march

Lucy the puggle dog and I thought we’d give you a little tour around the greenhouse today and show you what’s growing.

potted daffodils

Creepy Gnome Guy’s job this year is to protect the greenhouse. Last year he was stationed in the broccoli patch and the year before he protected the peas from the squirrels.

chives tulips

The chive border is coming in nicely and the tulips are about a week away from blooming.

how to grow food in gutters

So far we have spinach in the top gutter and romaine lettuce in the lower gutter. I think I’ll plant some toy choy in the two middle gutters later this week.

romaine lettuce seedlings

What do you think? Maybe a month to go before we are serving Cesar salads?

strawberries in gutters

Lemon the lemon tree is hanging in there and we are starting to harden off a bunch of vegetable and flower flats. I think in another few weeks I’ll try and move all the heirloom tomato plants out to the greenhouse. We’ll see.

strawberries in gutters picture

Strawberries in gutters.

cabbage sprouts

And last but not least, round 2 of the cabbage starts.

brown puggle puppy dog

Yep, I’d say things are looking pretty good for this time of year.  Warming temps, no snow or other wacky weather to speak of and plenty of sticks to chew on. What more could a girl and her dog ask for?

Life is good.

~Mavis

If you are thinking about growing food in a greenhouse but don’t know how to get started,  you should check out Elliot Coleman’s book Four-Season Harvest: Organic Vegetables from Your Home Garden All Year Long. I think it’s pretty awesome.

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 Bok Choy {Start to Finish}

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bok choy seed packet

I planted a flat of Toy Bok Choy seeds last week. Have you ever tried bok choy before?

We love to chop it up and add it to stir fry. My daughter likes the smaller variety of bok choy better better than the giant leave you typically find in the grocery stores so that’s why we grow the toy bok choy. It can be harder to find, and when you do it’s typically in  a specialty market and they want to charge an arm and a leg for it.

Here is how to be cool and grow your own.

what do bok choy seeds look like

Brief description:  Bok Choy is also called Chinese Cabbage.  It is a sweet, mild flavor.  Young leaves can be eaten in salads, or stems are great for stir-fries, etc.

Where to Plant Bok Choy:   Plant in raised beds, garden beds or containers.

bok choy

Planting Seeds:   Sow outside 4-6 weeks before average last frost.  Plant seeds 1/4″-1/2″ deep and thin to one every 6″ when seedlings are 4″ tall.

Growing Tips:   Bok Choy is a cool weather crop.  It does best in loose soil.  Keep Bok Choy beds well-weeded.

heirloom bok choy, Rainbow swiss chard, kale

How to Harvest:  Harvest young leaves as needed.  To harvest entire plant, cut the entire head even with the soil.

Preparation Tip:  Don’t wash Bok Choy until you are ready to eat it.  By not washing it, you can extend its fridge-life up to 6 days.

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

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 Asks Readers to Send in Gnomes

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send in the gnomes mavis butterfield
Last winter I was trying to think of a fun way to give back some of the money this little ol’ website of mine has made over the past year.

Thanks to all of you who have ever purchased anything from one of my links on the bottom of a blog post, printed a coupon or found something you liked enough to purchase via Mornings with Mavis, the blog has actually made some money. This goofy little blog of mine has turned my love of gardening and sharing how I save money, in to an official full time job.

Plus, the blog has also gotten me out of quite a bit of laundry and undesirable chores like cleaning the back deck, so again, thank you for your support. You are awesome.

send in the gnomes mavis

After lots of consideration {and many hours behind the scenes working out the details and getting approval} I have decided to ask for your help with a crazy idea I came up with a few months ago.

I would like you to send me a gnome.

What?

Yes, I would like YOU to send me a gnome.

If you send me a gnome {to be temporarily housed in my backyard} I will donate $10 for every gnome donated {big or small, ceramic or plastic, new or old} to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital at the end of this summer.*

st. judes garden{photo credit}

In case you didn’t know already, St. Jude has an awesome collection of 59 raised garden beds.

Having a garden on site shortens the time between harvesting and serving, which keeps the food’s nutritional value high and provides healthier fare for faculty, staff and patients who eat in the Kay Kafe. Serving foods from the St. Jude Garden also reduces the need to purchase large amounts of produce, which saves the hospital money. – St. Jude website

The Best Case Scenario:

  • 1,000 gnomes from around the world will descend on my backyard {and make the HH crazy}.
  • My helpers and I {including Mrs. Hillbilly, The Girl, Crazy Larry, possibly my online boyfriend Ryan + a whole slew of other people you know} will take an epic road trip towards the end of the summer and hand deliver a check for $10,000 to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital and will place 100 gnomes in the St. Jude Garden in an effort to celebrate kids, gardens and healthy food.
  • The remaining 900 gnomes will be placed in Public, Community and Children’s gardens along the way from Seattle to Memphis, with the possibility of leaving a boatload of gnomes in one unsuspecting strangers front yard. {Holy Crap!}

Worst Case Scenario:

  • You will call the authorities and have me committed.

send in the gnomes one hundred dollars a month

I know this sounds like a totally crazy idea, but I really think I can pull it off with YOUR help.

So what do you say? Will you send in a gnome?

Click HERE to see what gnomes have been sent in so far.

Mavis butterfield gnome St. Jude's wish list

Please send gnomes by August 1st, 2013 to:

Mavis Butterfield
P.O. Box 2083

Gig Harbor, Washington 98335

Under no circumstance will any gnome be returned. By donating a gnome to the Send in the Gnomes project you are giving Mavis and her helpers full authority to place your gnome, or anything else you send in, anywhere in the world.

St. Jude’s, here we come!

~Mavis

 * A maximum of $10,000 will be donated to St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital

The money will come from this years blog earnings {so keep that in mind the next time you see a link to a cool product on One Hundred Dollars A Month}. Again, thanks for your help. Giving back is cool!

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.

Gardening Projects for Kids – Planting Seeds in Eggshells

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planting seeds with eggshells

Chances are you’ll probably have a lot of egg shells on hand after Easter.

If you have young children, a fun way to get them excited about gardening is to let them to have a small area of their own to plant a garden.

Gardening Projects for Kids - Planting Seeds in Eggshells

It’s been my experience that peas are one of the easiest vegetables for children to grow. My kids have been planting them ever since they were around 2 or 3 and the size of the pea seed itself is perfect for tiny fingers to grasp.

planting peas in eggshells

How to Plant Peas in Eggshells

  • Collect a bunch of eggshells {half an egg shell is the perfect size}.
  • Rise the eggshells out with water.
  • Fill each egg shell with moistened potting soil.
  • Add 2 or 3 seeds and bury to the depth stated on the vegetable packet.
  • Place in a sunny windowsill and wait for the seeds to sprout {make sure to keep the seeds well watered}.
  • Once the seed has sprouted, wait until the seedling is about 4 to 5 inches tall before hardening off and setting outside.
  • Carefully crush the eggshell so the roots of the seedlings have room to grow.
  • Plant and water as you normally would any other plant in the garden.

pea seedling

Depending on the variety {I suggest Sugar Snap Peas for kids} peas should be ready to harvest in about 2 months. The cool thing about peas is you can build a teepee to hold up the vines or grow them along a fence. Either way they are fun for kids to watch grow because of the long vines and pretty flowers.

basket of fresh peas

And they’ll love picking and eating them of course too.

Do your kids help in the garden? If so, what is their favorite thing to grow?

~Mavis

gardening projects for kids

Be sure and check out the book The Book of Gardening Projects for Kids: 101 Ways to Get Kids Outside, Dirty, and Having Fun.

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.

Bartering with Mavis – Trading Garden Work for Rice and Sugar

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kids working in a garden

Yesterday I headed over to Girly Girl’s garden to do a little bartering. I used my love of pulling weeds {ha!} and mad gardening skills to tidy up her garden beds and plant her spring garden.

Luckily a few of her kiddos were wager to help.

snow sled with weeds

I asked one of the girls for a weed bucket and she brought me a snow sled. Awesome!

spring potatoes

There were still a bunch of new potatoes in last years potato bed and the kids had a ball searching for them. I think it made the digging and weed pulling go a lot faster because they all wanted to find some potatoes.

garden clean up

It took us just a little over 1 hour to clear 2 garden beds and pull the weeds in the surrounding areas.

mavis one hundred dollars a month

Removing the brush alongside the fence was never part of the deal thankfully.

waxing a SUV

For those of you who were wondering what Girly Girl was doing while I was pulling her weeds, she was playing Karate Kid and waxing her SUV with her husband Chino the Handyman.

raised garden beds

This is what the garden beds looked like before we started.

raised garden beds

And here they are all cleaned up.

costco rice and sugar

Two hours worth of garden clean up {with help from the kids} on a wonderfully sunny day was bartered for a 25 pound sack of sugar and a giant bag of rice.

Sounds like a pretty good trade to me.

I love gardening, and especially teaching young children about growing food. This is the 3rd spring in a row I’ve helped Girly Girl’s kids get their garden started, and I really have a good time while I’m over there. So it really doesn’t seem like to much work to me.

Do what you love, and everything will work itself out.

Peace Out Girl Scouts, I’m off to go pull some of my own weeds now.

~Mavis

The 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.

Mavis Garden Blog – Seedling Updates and Pictures

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basil seedlings

This year we are growing almost all of our garden vegetables {and flowers} from seed. I thought it would be fun show you how a few of the seedlings are doing.

If you’ve never started your seeds indoors before, not only is it easy to do, but it’s kind of nice to be able to grow something indoors when the weather is so stinkin’ chilly outside.

I like to plant seedlings in flats, to save space under the grow lights. This year I am growing 3 different kinds of basil.  Last year was my first successful year growing it and I think it may have been because I grew the basil in the greenhouse.

pepper seedlings

Peppers seedlings. The first true leaves should start to appear soon.

tomato plants 6 weeks

Check out these tomato plants I started back on February 1st.  Don’t you think the stems look nice and plump? Since the Handsome Husband killed off my heirloom tomato plants last year when I was out of town, this year I planted a second batch of seeds last week for back up. Hopefully we will have a ton of tomato plants to set out and extras to donate if all goes well. We shall see.

zinnia seedlings

Zinnias. The leaves look so happy I want to squeeze them!

grow lights

This is what the set up looks like. I have 2 tables set up next to my desk so I can keep an eye on the plants and talk to them.

As soon as the weather warms up a bit I think I’ll try and figure out a way to camouflage an extension cord and bring the whole grow light set up out to the greenhouse though.

Having a bunch of grow lights on in the front room when it’s dark outside and having the neighbors drive by and then call you to find out why there is a glowing light peering through your blinds at 10 pm is a little awkward.

Ahhhh Ha Ha!

Living in the suburbs is awesome.

~Mavis

P.S. Are you using grow lights this year? If so, what are you starting from seed?

grow lights

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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