Friday Night at the Movies – Desert Runners

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A friend recently recommended that I watch Desert Runners–a documentary about a group of runners trying to conquer some of the most inhospitable terrain on the planet.  I am not a great runner, but I have always been drawn to it as a hobby {in theory, not so much in practice}.

One of my goals this year is to complete a variety of races, though, and I think this movie would be totally inspiring.  Everybody has to start somewhere…so I am going to start by watching about it on my couch :)  {If you have Netflix, it’s available to stream}.

desert runners

Peace out Girl Scouts & have yourself a great weekend,

~Mavis

PicMonkey Collage

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!

 

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.



Dig for Your Dinner – Growing Spinach From Seed

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spinach

Do you have lots of shade, but still want to grow something to munch on?  Spinach is where it is at then, my friend.  Spinach is a cooler weather crop, so it’s one of the first ones I start outdoors.  It is great to sneak into smoothies, because it packs a nutritional wallop, and doesn’t affect the flavor to much.  It’s one of those leaves {unlike Kale} that actually has a really nice flavor, if you ask me.  It can stand alone in salads or be mixed in with other greens…and it’s awesome in quiches and sauteed.  Listen, just grow it, so I can stop trying to sell it already.

what-do-spinach-seeds-look-like1How to Grow Spinach

Growing spinach from seed is as easy as pie.  Actually, pie is an art form, now that I think about it, so that’s a stupid saying.  It’s best to start it right outdoors–though, you CAN grow it in containers indoor all winter long, if you have a bit of natural light.  I plan to sow my seeds directly outside.

spinach

You can do containers, garden beds or in pallets.  Plant your seeds about 1/2″ deep.  I like to drop a couple of seeds in each hole, just to make sure I get something to germinate.  Thin seedlings to 1 every 2″-6″ apart {depending on variety, so check your seed packet} when they are about 1″ tall.  Because spinach is a cool weather crop, you will need to find a shady spot for it if you plan to sow it throughout the summer.  You can plant seeds in between the rows of taller plants, like corn or tomatoes–or you can plant it in containers and move the container around as needed.

When is Spinach Ready to Harvest?

Once the plant is established and leaves are about 1″ across, you can pretty much pick off the leaves as you need them whenever the mood strikes.

Spinach Salad w Bacon Dijon Dressing

Spinach Salad with Bacon Dijon Dressing

My Favorite Spinach Recipes:

Quinoa Spinach Salad with Tuna and Corn

Quinoa Spinach Salad with Tuna and Corn

Freezer Meal - Gourmet Spinach Blue Cheese Burgers
Freezer Meal Gourmet Spinach Blue Cheese Burgers

Easy Spinach Frittata
Easy Spinach Frittata

spinach-power-smoothie-recipe1
Spinach Power Smoothie

If you live in the Pacific Northwest Region and are unsure what seeds you should be starting right now, or when your transplants should be set out in the garden, this regional planting guide should help you out.

Don’t live in the Pacific Northwest? Find your regional planting guide 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.

Tips for Mapping Out Your Vegetable Garden

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mapping out garden plan

Now is the perfect time to map out your vegetable garden for the upcoming growing season.  Basically, for newbies, you just literally draw out your space, and decide what vegetables to grow, where you want to grow them, and if you want to get fancy when you plan on planting {that way, you know if you can use the space for something else later in the growing season.  Make sure to include container gardens in your plans.

Mapping everything out will save you from going overboard ordering seeds, because you’ll know exactly how much space you have to work with.  Plus, it gives you time to think about companion planting, water schedules, sunlight vs. shade, soil conditions and crop rotation.

garden map

This year, I am starting from scratch.  My new garden space has a lot of shade, but I’m up for the challenge.

To start, grab a tape measure and measure out your space.  Now grab a ruler or straight edge {you can free hand it, if you want, but please don’t tell me about it.  I like the nice crisp lines}, a pencil {pens are way too permanent} and a blank piece of paper or even better, graphing paper.  Yes, we are going to nerd out, and it is going to be awesome.

puggle dog in cabbage bed

Decide on some sort of scale for your measurements.  Like, an inch for every foot, or whatever else floats your boat.  Draw it all up, nice and neat like.  Now, on a separate piece of paper, write out what you would like to grow and how many of each plant.  If you are like me, this is where you find out that you don’t have the space for all the stuff  you’d like to try. ;)  Start placing them into the map, keeping lighting, soil, space, etc. in mind.  I usually end up with quite a bit of eraser marks–it’s like my own personal Sudoku game.

seed packetsOnce you have it all mapped out, you can order your seeds, and then stare longingly out the window, while you focus on your body’s obvious vitamin D deficiency…or you can redraw a final copy with no eraser marks and color coding {not that I would ever do that, it is merely a suggestion for passing the gray dull days :) }.

Happy mapping,

~ Mavis

groundbreaking food gardens

Want a little help planning out your garden?  Groundbreaking Food Gardens is awesome and gives you 73 amazingly designed garden plans!  The best part, is that their is a design for every space.

 

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 2/22/15

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casoron

I headed off to The Home Depot early this morning to pick up a few supplies for the remodel {the HH and I are going to start working on the demo today} and would you believe while I was there I managed to put a few gardening items in my cart as well. ;)

Some women like shopping with their girlfriends or hanging out at the wine bars, but I’m a Home Depot addict. I.Can’t.Get.Enough. Seriously, I pretty much have the store layout memorized. I should apply for a job there.

casoron

Anywho, have you ever tried Casoron? It is “designed to help prevent the growth of 52 different weeds and grasses, and is recommended for sprinkling around established ornamental trees and shrubs, fruit trees, nut trees and berry plants.”

Yes it is a chemical. No it not organic {shame on me!} Yes it smells bad and you have to wear protective gear {mask, gloves} while applying it, but you know what? It kills all of weeds for up to a year {sometimes even two!} and it is worth it’s price tag of $25 a bag if you ask me.

casoron

Mrs. Hillbilly, Chino and I have all used it before in our rock borders to squelch out weeds. The only trick to getting your weeds to not come back for an entire year is to pull them all out before applying the product. I used Casoron {sparingly} at our last house in the front yard because I didn’t lay landscape fabric down before we installed the garden beds when we were building our house. Luckily I noticed how quickly the weeds were growing soon after we moved in, and used landscape fabric like crazy in the backyard and didn’t really have a weed problem back there.

Now I like a organic garden as much as anyone else, and my vegetable garden has always been an organic one {I do sprinkle a little Sluggo from time to time} but since this place doesn’t have landscape fabric and I don’t want to spend all summer pulling weeds from the gravel walkway, I went ahead and investing in a bag of the stuff. Have you tried Casoron before?

raking up moss

Another little project I’ve been working on is removing the moss from our lawn. It is a total pain let me tell you. metal rake moss

But luckily I found a little metal rake at The Home Depot for $6.99 and it’s making the job go pretty fast. I plan on re-seeding the area once the weather warms up. I’ll let you know if I get a letter in the mail from the HOA telling me my lawn looks like crap. ;)

rock path

Last week I planted 9 blueberry bushes and 75 strawberry plants. So far so good! Everything is still alive.

day lily

And the day-lilies I transplanted a few weeks ago are looking good as well.back patio

The sugar snap peas I planted in containers haven’t popped up be I should start to see them poking through the soil in a few more days.
oregano

Check out my oregano!! I started a half flat of oregano seeds about a month ago with plans to transplant them to individual containers once they reach about 4″ tall. I plant to divide up the 12×12 clump of plants into 9 or 12 smaller containers before planting them into the garden later this spring.I’m excited. If all goes well I should have a nice little hedge of oregano in my herb garden.

basil

And take a look at my homegrown basil. I’m keeping in near the kitchen window and plan to make a batch of pesto when they leaves get nice and fat.

How is your indoor or outdoor garden coming along these days?

~Mavisbotanical interests seed tape

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 2015 Garden Seed Catalogor see the seeds I’ll be growing in my garden this year HERE

Up for a tour? Read about our behind the scenes tour of Botanical Interests Seed Company.

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 – Remember the Titans

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If you are looking for a family movie {tweens and older} that everyone will enjoy, check out Remember the Titans.  It came out several years ago, but it is great movie, with a feel-good message.  The movie is pretty clean, minor cussing, I think is about it.  It’s about a high school football team that is being racially  integrated for the first time.  It’s based on a true story, and is really well done.

remember the titans

Peace out Girl Scouts & have yourself a great weekend,

~Mavis

PicMonkey Collage

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!

 

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.

Dig For Your Dinner – Growing Heirloom Tomatoes From Seed

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heirloom tomatoes

It’s my favorite time of year.  Yesterday, I planted my heirloom tomato seeds.  I grow tons of stuff for the garden, but somehow, growing tomatoes makes me feel all warm and garden-y inside {garden-y is definitely a word}.  Maybe it’s that they kick off the warm season veggies, or that they produce pounds and pounds of produce, or maybe it’s just that it makes my nerdy little gardening heart happy–whatever.  All I know is that I love all things tomatoes…tomato sauce, salsa, pizza sauce {please read like Bubba from Forrest Gump}.

planting tomato seeds

If you have never grown Heirloom tomatoes, you are seriously in for a treat.  They each have a super unique flavor, and it’s near impossible to get them at the grocery store.

tomato seedlings

How to Grow Heirloom Tomatoes

If you are starting tomato seeds indoors, I really do recommend a grow light–otherwise, they get super leggy {spindly looking} and just don’t turn out as strong.  Plant seeds about 1/8″ deep.  Plant a couple of seeds in each pot to ensure germination.  when they are about 2″ tall, thin them down to one seedling per pot.  Tomatoes like the soil to be pretty darn warm, so make sure to keep them in a warmer spot in the house, and if you are using a window for light, make sure there isn’t a draft.

tomato seedlings under grow lights

If you do have a grow light, keep the light about 3″ inches from the top of the soil and maintain that spacing as the seedlings emerge.  Tomatoes will lose their first set of leaves, and then the true leaves will appear, so don’t be alarmed.  You will need to transplant them into larger pots before they are ready to go outside, then put them under the grow lights for a couple of weeks.  They will be ready to transplant outside in about 8 weeks {provided that the weather is warm enough}.

tomato plants organic gardening

To transplant them outdoors, make sure to harden them off first.  Choose a sunny, well-drained location.  When you  plant them, plant them and their lowest set of leaves in the dirt.  That will encourage better rooting.  I like to trim up the rest of the leaves so that when I water, it doesn’t splash up onto the leaves and cause disease.  Tomaters hate to have their leaves wet.  Put a tomato cage around the plant, being careful not to drive the wire into the roots.  You can also stake the plants, if you have lots of plants or don’t want to buy cages.

If space is an issue, you can grow your tomatoes upside down in hanging baskets or in a Topsy Turvy.

tomatoes

When Are Tomatoes Ready to Harvest?

Tomatoes are ready to harvest when they have developed a deep red, orange, purple {whatever the variety you are growing} color and are firm to the touch.  They may still have a little yellow around the stem.  Just pluck them off of the vine with your fingers.  Tomatoes that are ready to harvest will pull from the vine fairly easily–if you need to put your back into it, you may want to give it another day or two.

purple Cherokee heirloom tomato

My Favorite Tomato Recipes:

Heirloom Tomato Sauce RecipeHeirloom Tomato Sauce

baked-tomatoesBaked Tomatoes with Pine Nut and Basil

recipe-crock-pot-pizza-sauceHomemade Crock Pot Pizza Sauce

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 – Moving Boxwoods and Planting Raspberries

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mowing lawn

The weather here in the Pacific Northwest has been crazy good lately, especially for the month of February.  So good in fact I had Monkey Boy mow the lawn yesterday. True, a lot of the lawn is currently covered with moss, ;) but still, having it cut short and all the same length made my little OCD heart happy.

cascade delight raspberries

While Monkey Boy was mowing, I was planting. Cascade Delight raspberries to be exact. They produce big, fat, juicy berries and are perfect for making homemade raspberry jam. I will probably only get a handful of berries this summer from the 15 canes I planted, but next year I should have enough for a batch of jam. planting peas

I also planted our first round of sugar snap peas. pea trellis

I decided to plant the peas in containers this year outside the door. I’ve been using the same trellises I purchased 8 years ago from Lowe’s to grow my peas on every spring, and I’m confident they’ll do fine in containers this year.

boxwood border

I also moved the boxwoods. What do you think? It looks much better now doesn’t it? I just need to buy a tall tree for the corner between the house and the air conditioning unit.

mavis garden blog

And, because I am a total nerd, I placed 33 small terra cotta pots in the side garden where I’ll be planting cabbage plants once the weather warms up. :) I LOVE the look of formal vegetable gardens with all their vegetables lined up in perfect little rows. My plan is to plant radish seeds in front of the cabbage and lettuce seeds behind it in a few weeks. It will look MAGNIFICENT! :) :) :)

Keep calm and garden on,

~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 Butterfield | Backyard Garden Plot Pictures 2/15/15

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mavis butterfield

Yesterday was a pretty magical day in the garden. The weather here in the Pacific Northwest has been crazy delicious and the temps were touching 60 degrees yesterday. In February. Imagine that!!

planting strawberries

I spent the morning transplanting 75 strawberry plants in the side garden. When I ordered the berry plants last fall I had no idea where I was going to plant them but would you believe, I had the exact amount of strawberry plants I needed for this spot? It was meant to be if you ask me.planting blueberries

I also made the decision to transplant my 9 blueberry plants opposite of the side garden as well. Instead of planting an evergreen shrub there now I’ll have an edible one. Pretty genius if you ask me.
vegetable garden

While I was outside working in the side garden I also mapped out a plan. There is so much space available I think I’ll have plenty of room to grow a few rows of vegetables alongside the perennial herbs I’ll be planting. Since the herbs will get taller as the season goes on I think it will work out perfectly.

digging up moss

Do you  have moss in your lawn? Gag. This stuff is everywhere, and to be honest, I’m not sure if I’ll be able to get rid of it because it seems like practically every lawn in our neighborhood has it.

I’ve decided I’m going to work on pulling out the moss this spring and re-plant the patchy areas with grass seed this summer. If it works, great. If not, I’m just not going to worry about it anymore. I have no desire to pump a bunch of money and chemicals into the lawn every year if the moss is here to stay.

future garden plot

And last but not least, my friend Jenny is planning a road trip to visit me in early April. She does not have a garden and all she wants to do is plant vegetables. Can you believe that? So now all I need to do is build those 4 garden boxes the HOA finally approved and I’ll be ready to put her to work. ;)

Yee-Haw! Spring is on the way!

What’s happening in your garden?

Mavis wants to know!

botanical interests seeds

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 2015 Garden Seed Catalogor see the seeds I’ll be growing in my garden this year HERE

Up for a tour? Read about our behind the scenes tour of Botanical Interests Seed Company.

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 Divide and Transplant Daylilies

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How to Divide and Transplant Daylilies

We have 5 clumps of daylilies in our front yard.  I am not a particularly big fan of daylilies, especially the yellow daylilies, so I decided to move them to the side of the house..  Even if you don’t want to transplant your daylilies, sometimes, they do need to be divided.  They can get a bit dense and it will affect their bloom and how manicured they look.

How to Divide and Transplant Daylilies

Early spring is the best time to transplant daylilies, but you can also do it in the late fall, when you know that their flowering is done.  Either way, know that they may not flower the year that you transplant them.  Likely, they will just send up green shoots and die back, feeding themselves for the NEXT flowering season.

How to Divide and Transplant Daylilies

Dividing daylilies is really pretty simple.  Start by loosening the soil all around the base of the plant.  Lift the plant out of the ground in one big clump.  Then, using a garden fork or even a hand shovel, loosen the root ball.  Pull out smaller clumps of daylilies, making sure that you have both the root and at least three sets of leaves.  If you plan on transplanting the pieces you have divided, cut the leaves back to about 6 inches long.  If you aren’t moving the daylilies, just put the smaller divided pieces back into the hole you just pulled them up from.  {For the best results, follow the transplant directions even if you are putting it back into the same hole–it will help the divided daylilies acclimate faster.}

transplanting Daylilies

To transplant the daylilies, prepare a spot by loosening the soil and digging a hole about 10″ deep.  It’s best to plant them with a bit of compost that you have worked into the soil in the newly dug hole.  Space each transplant at least 18 inches apart.  When you set the daylilies into the hole, make sure to fan out their roots before you cover them with dirt.  Back fill the hole completely with dirt, and then pat down and water in well.

How to Divide and Transplant Daylilies

Daylilies grow CRAZY fast, so you may find that you need to repeat the dividing process every 3 years or so to keep them looking spiffy.

Now go divide and conquer.

~Mavis

How to Divide and Transplant Daylilies

 

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 – Valentine’s Day

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We don’t do a ton around here on Valentine’s Day.  It’s kind of one of those commercial holidays that I don’t get behind so much {except for the chocolate–I can totally support that}.  BUT, in the name of a light-hearted movie, I thought I would check out Valentine’s Day tonight.  I never watched it when it came out a couple of years ago, and since Valentine’s Day falls on my ritual Friday Night Movie, it seems appropriate.

Valentine’s Day is a romantic comedy that boasts a star-studded cast.  Hopefully, at the very least, it will be worth a few chuckles.

 valentine's day

Let me know what you think if you decide to watch it–or if you have already seen it.

Peace out Girl Scouts & have yourself a great weekend,

~Mavis

PicMonkey Collage

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!

 

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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