10 Shade Tolerant Edible Plants

  • Like on Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Print Friendly and PDF
  • Pin It

10 Shade Tolerant Edible Plants

Got shade?  A couple of weeks ago, a friend of mine was saying that she only has a small area in her backyard for a garden, and it is not ideal because it’s mostly shady.  She wanted to know what I thought she could grow in the shade.

While it’s true, most edible garden plants prefer full sun, there are a couple that will give you yummy produce and tolerate the shady areas in your yard.

Here’s a few for her and you to try:

  1. Celery–try this one in the heat of summer, when most gardeners can no longer grow celery.  The shade can provide a cooler place for the celery to be happy.
  2. Asparagus–asparagus is a semi-shade plant, but I know lots of people who have been successful growing it in full shade.  Keep in mind, though, that it takes a couple of years before you get a crop.
  3. Mint–mint is almost impossible to kill.  A lot of gardeners avoid it all together because they say it is invasive, spreading like wild fire.  It makes a great edible ground cover for a shady area though.
  4. Bush beans–they actually prefer full-sun, but they can totally be grown in shade if you don’t mind lower yields.
  5. Spinach–spinach loves the cooler weather, and the shade provides it long after spinach season would otherwise be over.  Try the New Zealand variety for even more success.
  6. Arctic Beauty Kiwi–I really want these!  Apparently, it’s a vine that produces 10-15 pounds of fruit per year.   You’ll need 2 of them for pollination, but they are shade tolerant and cold hardy.
  7. Swiss Chard
  8. Kale
  9. Lettuce–this is another one to try in the heat of summer.  Since it will normally bolt in hot weather, the shade can provide it a cooler place to thrive.
  10. Honeyberries–I haven’t ever tried these, but apparently they are a cross between a blueberry and a grape.  You’ll need two of these for cross-pollination, though.

What do you grow in the shade?

~Mavis

61PBpRtZjKL._BO2,204,203,200_PIsitb-sticker-arrow-click,TopRight,35,-76_AA300_SH20_OU01_

Planting the Dry Shade Garden: The Best Plants for the Toughest Spot in Your Garden

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.



Ask Mavis – Help! My Tomato Leaves are Turning Yellow

  • Like on Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Print Friendly and PDF
  • Pin It

My Tomato Leaves are Turning Yellow

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.

Shell writes:

Hey Mavis, my tomatoes have yellowing on the leaves…is that a nutrient deficiency? I planted them with egg shells for the calcium. What is also good for them? No bugs, slugs, or other creepy crawlies on them either…I’ve been watching closely.

Good question Shell.  Unfortunately, the answer isn’t super straight-forward.  There could be a couple of different things going on, so you may have to read through these and see if any apply.

Right off the bat, I would want to know the climate in your area when you planted them.  If you plant tomatoes too early, the cold soil and weather will sometimes cause a shock that causes their leaves to yellow.  You could try to use a plastic mulch or black paper to warm the soil the best you can.

Next, if the temperature isn’t the issue.  I would check your soil for two things:  nutrients and pH level.  Check the pH level first.  Tomatoes like a pH level between 5.5-7.5, depending on the variety.  The reason I would check it first is that there is no reason to fertilize if the issue is the soil pH.  You can raise or lower your pH using sulfur {to lower pH} or lime {to raise pH}.  If you are good there, you may need to find an organic fertilizer or high quality compost that will add nitrogen into the soil.

Let’s see, what else?  Are the plants getting enough sunshine.  If just the lower leaves are turning yellow, the top might be shading the plant from getting enough sun.  You can try trimming back some of the top leaves–if your plant is big enough.  {Also, I am assuming you are watering enough, but not so much your tomatoes are constantly sitting in water?}

Finally, if none of those seem to be the issue, you could have a fungal or bacterial issue.  There is a whole host of tomato diseases that each require different types of action, so you may want to take a couple of the leaves to the local nursery and get their opinion if you think a disease or fungus is the problem.

Those are pretty much all of the basic problems that come to mind.  Let me know if any of these help.

Happy Gardening,

~Mavis


The New York Times 1000 Gardening Questions and Answers: Based on the New York Times Column Garden Q & A is awesome. I own it, and it’s pretty darn 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.

Square Foot Gardening – Lettuce, Kohlrabi, Peas, Kale, Radishes and More

  • Like on Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Print Friendly and PDF
  • Pin It

square foot gardening

Wowza! Take a look at the square foot garden. It’s growing like crazy.

I had absolutely no idea you could pack so many different vegetables into a 4×8 plot. The peas, carrots, radishes, strawberries, celery, onions, cabbage, kohlrabi, broccoli, kale, bok choy, tomatoes, potatoes, beans, cucumbers, Swiss chard, beets, and lettuce are all doing great together.

kohlrabi

Check out the kohlrabi. You can see the bulb starting to form and I think it looks really cool. Last year I grew these successfully for the first time and I think I may have harvested them too early.

So this year, I plan on letting them get a big as the palm of my hand.  I saw some pretty huge ones at the Puyallup Fair last fall so I’m going for it. The packet I planted contained purple and green kohlrabi varieties and I’m hoping for a couple of purple ones. We’ll see.

kale

Kale. Whop T Do.

Even though I’m not a big fan of this leafy green, it sure does grow well in the Pacific Northwest.

radishes

First radish harvest from the square foot garden. Yum!

bok choy leaves

The bok choy bolted here as well as in the pallet garden. I think I might have planted them a little too early, but I started another flat yesterday so we’ll try again.  I can still use the leaves in a stir-fry or salad.

beans sprouting

The green beans are breaking ground. Don’t they look like little aliens?

raised bed gardens lettuce

The lettuce should be ready to harvest by the end of the week.

square foot gardening pictures

Here is a view from 6 feet up. The sugar snap peas in the upper left corner are about 3 feet tall, the bare looking squares in the center are where the beans are breaking ground and in the front row of the square foot garden grid, there are cucumbers starts I transplanted last week.

Pretty neat-o if you ask me!

Are YOU square foot gardening this year? Have you been surprised with your results?

~Mavis

Read more about my adventures in Square Foot Gardening.

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.

How to Make a Bean Teepee

  • Like on Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Print Friendly and PDF
  • Pin It

how-to-make-a-bean-teepee

When Monkey Boy and The Girl Who Thinks She’s a Bird were young, I would build them a bean teepee every summer.  Back then, we lived on a .25 acre lot and because there was not an abundance of trees, I would purchase 6 foot bamboo poles at the Home Depot.

These days, we live in a more wooded area so we can make teepees a big as we want now.

If you have never built a bean teepee {or even thought about building one} for your kids, and you have the space, you should give it try.  Not only will your kids think you are the coolest parent ever, but if you space the poles far enough, your children will be about to walk into the teepee, giving them a unique summer “clubhouse.”

Lets get started.

First, you’ll need to decide how wide you want the inside of your teepee to be. I spaced my poles far enough apart so there was about 4′ of open space in the center, which is plenty of room for a child and their friend to sit down and enjoy a picnic lunch.

Next,  gather {6} 1o’ wooden poles and secure them together with twine, both at the top and the bottom.  Make sure you push the poles deep into the soil so they don’t fall over if it gets a little windy or Fido walks by.  Most pole beans grow about 6′ tall, so don’t feel like you have to haul 10′ poles home from the hardware store.  6′ poles will work just fine.

Once you have your teepee poles in place, rake the soil from the center of the circle to build up a nice mound of dirt around the teepee base.

Then, plant a generous amount of pole beans in the mound of dirt surrounding the teepee, and water as necessary.

You should have a fully covered teepee in about 60-70 days.

gardening-how-to-grow-a-bean-teepee

Last year we planted squash at the base of the teepees and it did really well. So if you have the space, go crazy!

If you are interested in learning about the history of teepees, check out Tipis, Tepees, Teepees: History and Design of the Cloth Tipi by Linda Holley.  Amazon currently has the book on sale for $11.55.

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 21 of 52

  • Like on Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Print Friendly and PDF
  • Pin It

wooded backyard garden

Backyard Garden Plot Pictures – Week 21 of 52

peas growing along fence

I plan on spending all day in the garden today. My online boyfriend Ryan from Botanical Interests is coming to visit me in less than 2 weeks when he’s up here for the Mother Earth News Fair and I want to have my garden in tip top shape.

On the agenda for today is whipping up a few batches of potting soil, watering the garden, pulling weeds, spreading a yard of bark in the front yard, cleaning off the front porch {it’s a disaster} and getting my pumpkins planted. I’d also like to tackle the raspberry patch and get the greenhouse in order too.  I believe in miracles, don’t you?

I already told the kids we are not leaving the house today so we’ll see what gets done.

Here are a few pictures I snapped this morning while wandering around my backyard with a cup of tea in my bathrobe.

wood pallet garden

The wood pallet garden is looking good. I plan on harvesting more lettuce for a salad tonight.

raised garden beds

Inspector Lucy followed me outside early this morning to check on the 16 raised garden boxes. She loves those French breakfast radishes and now every time we go near them she sits by the garden bed and waits for me to pull one up for her. What a nut!

bean teepees

The pea and potatoes are growing really well. I do need to get some twine and help the peas up the teepee poles though.

magnum Glass Greenhouse

The greenhouse is still a work in progress. I plan on making another batch of my homemade potting soil and adding some black pots {for growing tomatoes} down the center of the greenhouse today.

DI Potato Towers Wood Compost Bin

I reported the progress of our potato towers last week. So far so good. If you look real hard you will also see potato plants coming out of the wood pallet compost bin. I’m not sure how a potatoes got in there {My guess is Lucy had something to do with it} but we now have potatoes growing in the compost bin. Ha! I wonder what they will taste like.

wooded backyard

Here is a view from the back deck. I think I need less bark and more dirt.

omlet chicken coop

We planted a mini pea patch right smack in the middle of the shaded backyard. And guess what? They love it there. Fava beans, Swiss chard and kale line the perimeter of the chicken run.

raspberry patch western washington

The raspberry patch had become a bit unruly again.

best raspberries to grow in Washington

Here is a view of the raspberry patch from the kitchen window. Our 12 blueberry bushes are just beyond the raspberries on the left. For some reason the blueberries are kind of tricky to photograph, but I’ll try and get a decent photo so you can see how tall the 1 gallon bushes we planted 4 years ago are getting.

container herb garden

The herbs we have growing in container are growing really well too. I still have a few tiny rosemary starts I want to get planted. I need to check Costco and see if they have anymore of those huge brown pots in stock. Have you been lately?  Are they still selling them?

Well that’s a bout it for this weeks garden tour.

I’m off to pull weeds!

Have a great day everyone.

~Mavis

botanical interests coupon

This years garden is being sponsored by the awesome folks at Botanical Interests Seed Company.  You can check out their website HERE, order their new 2013 Garden Seed Catalog HERE, or visit my boyfriend Ryan’s blog HERE.

This post may contain affiliate links. These affiliate links help support this site. For more information, please see my disclosure policy. Thank you for supporting One Hundred Dollars a Month.

Mavis Garden Blog – Garden Seeds I Still Need to Plant

  • Like on Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Print Friendly and PDF
  • Pin It

botanical interests seed packets

Last night while The Girl Who Thinks She’s a Bird and I watched Freakanomics I sorted through my giant bin of garden seeds hoping to find something new plant this weekend.

Well, clearly I am behind.

I still have sunflowers to plant {doing those this morning!} beans, ornamental corn, another round of lettuce, more kale {I can’t believe I’m saying that} ornamental millet {the Handsome Husband LOVES this plant} and oh, and more basil. Is it even possible to plant to much basil?

botanical interests seed packets

There are also a oddball seeds I need to get started in flats, and I need to finish planting our pumpkin and winter squash seeds too. Typically I don’t start those until June 1st, but I’m feeling a little anxious this year. Must. Have. Pumpkins. Lots, and lot’s of pumpkins!

How are your seed packets looking these days? Do you have everything planted yet?

I’d say it looks like I’ll be spending all day in the garden. Again. Does it ever end?

Happy Saturday everyone. Get out there and do something you love.

~Mavis

Gardening Tips and Tricks – How to Organize Seed Packets

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.

Friday Night at the Movies – Freakanomics

  • Like on Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Print Friendly and PDF
  • Pin It


Tonight The Girl and I are going to watch Freakanomics.  It’s based on the best selling book by the same title.  Basically, an economist attempts to answer what motivates people to make everyday decisions.  He uses statistics to explain life’s most basic mysteries, like crime rates, poverty, etc.

The book got such great reviews, that I thought the movie might be a cool overview.

freakanomics

Amazon Prime Members can watch Freakanomics for free HERE.

Let me know what you think if you decide to watch it–or if you have already seen it.  Did you love it? Hate it? Can’t wait to watch it over and over?

Looking for more movies?

Check out the full list of my Friday Night at the Movies Selections or click on over & look at all the movies on Amazon Instant Video. There are a ton of videos to choose from that will cost you absolutely nothing {nada, zilch, free-o} with Amazon Prime; like thousands of regular movies & TV shows & hundreds of documentaries {Wahoo!}. Get all the details HERE!

Peace out Girl Scouts & have yourself a great weekend,

~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 Plant, Feed, and Prune Roses

  • Like on Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Print Friendly and PDF
  • Pin It

How to Plant, Feed and Prune Roses

Do you have roses?  My friend Karen has them and she has always said that with a  little extra effort, there is a huge difference in how they look.  They add a ton of color to her yard, and as an added bonus, they always bring in the bees she needs for her garden.

If you plan on getting roses, or already have them, here’s a few tips on how to plant, feed, and prune them:

First, planting.  If you have soil with lots of clay, make sure to add compost when you plant them.  Also, choose an area with at least 6 hours of direct sunlight a day.   If your roses don’t get enough sun, it will totally affect how many flowers you get.  {Do a little research to find the type of roses that do best in your area.}  Finally, add a little mulch to ensure the roses stay cool and moist during the hottest parts of summer.

Next, feeding  and watering your roses.  Roses need to be fed about once a year–usually in spring as soon as the first leaves are out.  Your local nursery should have some organic options for feeding roses.  As far as watering goes, roses typically need about 1″ of water per week.  Try, if possible, not to let sprinklers hit the leaves of your roses, because they are super susceptible to fungal infections.

Finally, pruning.   A standard rule of thumb is to prune your roses when the forsythia blooms in your area.  Pruning helps to make sure you get blooms all summer long.  To prune, always cut the stem at a 45 degree angle.  How often you prune depends on the variety of rose you chose.  You can ask your local nursery for the specifics.

That’s pretty much it when it comes to maintaining your roses, as far as I’m concerned.

Do we have an prize-winning rose gardeners out there with more tips?

~Mavis

Roses Love Garlic Companion Planting and Other Secrets of Flowers

Roses Love Garlic: Companion Planting and Other Secrets of Flowers

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.

Raised Garden Beds – Backyard Garden Tour

  • Like on Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Print Friendly and PDF
  • Pin It

mavis butterfield one hundred dollars a month

Happy Friday everyone!

I thought I would give you a mini garden tour today and show you what’s growing {and what’s not} in our 16 raised garden beds. If you are wondering why I’m holding Miss Lucy, it’s because she is not longer allowed in the front yard. Every time she’s out in the front, she bolts.

She’s a free spirit. What can I say.

raised garden beds

Okay, before I show you all the vegetables that are thriving, let’s talk about these 2 stinkin’ garden beds shall we? I cannot get ANYTHING to grow in these. Nada. Nothing. What is up with that? I even tested the soil.  These beds are cursed I tell you. Cursed!

I think I’m going to have my online boyfriend sing to them or something when he visits me in a few weeks for the Mother Earth News Fair. Something has got to be done about this.

Has something like this ever happened to you? Seriously, what’s the deal?

raised garden beds organic cabbage heads

The cabbage {which is in the bed right next to the duds} is totally thriving, And no, I did not add another cabbage in the empty space yet. I thinkI’m going to leave it empty.

raised garden  beds radish

Radishes. We are picking them today!

The onions and kohlrabi that are in there are doing great.

square foot gardening

The square foot garden. So far so good. I’m really surprised at how well all the different plants are growing next to each other.

raised garden beds rainbow  Swiss chard

Swiss Chard. Ahh I love how it’s growing in perfect little rows.

raised garden beds organic tomatoes

We planted 6 beds with tomato plants last week and they are doing great.

heirloom tomato plant

Here’s a close up of one of the tomato plants. I’m thinking we are about 60 days away to fresh salsa. What do you think?

raised garden beds

We planted garlic last fall and typically harvest towards the end of June or early July.

atrichoke

Close up of the artichoke leaves. I seriously thought these were gonners, but after some serious watering, they perked back up.

young beet greens

Check out the beets! They are coming alive. I need to get out there and thin these soon.

raised garden beds mavis blog

Here’s a view from the back of the garden. I think everything is looking as it should for mid-May. In about another month or the tops of all the raised garden beds should be covered in a sea of green and it will start to look dreamy.

Right now I’m wishing I had a few more garden boxes.

Hmmm. I wonder if I can get the HH to build me a few.

What’s new in your garden? Are you tomatoes in yet? Have you spotted any tomato flowers yet?

~Mavis

Maximizing Your Mini Farm: Self-Sufficiency on 1/4 Acre 

Mini farming describes a holistic approach to small-area farming that will show you how to produce 85 percent of an average family’s food on just 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.

How to Make a Strawberry Hanging Basket

  • Like on Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Print Friendly and PDF
  • Pin It

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.

Recipes Garden Frugal Canning Chickens Travel