Mavis Garden Blog – Pruning Rhododendrons, Planting Carrots and Planning My Winter Garden

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Pruning Rhododendrons

I know the rhododendron is the state flower of Washington state, and tons of people love them, but I despise rhodies with a every fiber of my being. And unfortunately the house we bought has like 10 million rhododendrons on the property.
chopping rhododendrons

I don’t know what the plant did to me in a previous life, but I aim to chop down every single one of them on my property by next spring. Sadly though I can only do it one yard waste bin at a time. :( At our other place I could just heave unwanted brush over the back fence… but not here, so it’s going to take some time.

blowing leaves

Another thing that’s a little different with this property are all the pine needles. Monkey Boy blows them into a pile for me to rake up at least once a week but it’s still not enough to keep on top of them.

We had tall pine trees all over our last backyard but they were spread so far a part I guess I never really noticed what nuisance they can be when you are trying to keep a garden path clear all the time.

I may have to rethink my brick and pea gravel walkway I had planned to build this winter and switch to a brick and mulch walkway instead. If I don’t I think I’ll  loose my mind trying to keep all the pine needles out of the pathway during the spring and summer months when I’ll be using it everyday.botanical interests seed tape

On a brighter note… my Botanical Interests Seed order arrived yesterday! :) :) :)

botanical interests seeds

I can’t wait to put all these babies to use in my winter garden. Our remodel should be done in just a few more weeks {and so will all my indoor projects} and then I’ll get to work on this years winter garden. There is SO MUCH TO DO before next spring!!! Holy cats people, starting over is hard work.jiffy pots under lights

Luckily though I was able to get a jump start on things indoors. I planted basil seeds a few days ago under the grow lights and plan on getting a few more things planted this weekend so when I do finally get going on the backyard garden, I’ll have something to put in the ground {the basil will stay indoors though}.

How is your garden doing these days? Are you done for the year, so are you just getting started?

Mavis wants 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.



Upcoming Seattle Tilth Events and Classes

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Seattle tilth fall classes

The Seattle Tilth is such a cool organization. They inspire and educate people to safeguard our natural resources while building an equitable and sustainable local food system. They have been providing hands-on education in organic agriculture for 36 years. They believe that all people deserve access to healthy, nutritious food and that changing the way in which we grow, cook and eat food has the potential to transform people’s lives as well as the communities in which we live. Check out what classes and events they have coming up:

KidsEdRBUFW 2Announcing Enhanced Garden Educator Workshops
The Seattle Tilth is partnering with the University of Washington’s College of Education to include a new component to their Garden Educator Workshops this fall. Join them to learn about incorporating Next Generation Science Standards and Common Core requirements in your garden education lessons and learn about useful resources and teaching techniques. They have an upcoming workshop on November 22. Or ignite your children’s passion for the natural world with hands-on learning in their school garden and farm tours.

Seattle Tilth Garden Drive
This fall, go beyond the old school canned food drive and join their Just Garden program’s Garden Drive! Invite members of your congregation, school or workplace to support food garden construction for families and communities facing hunger in King County.

Compost BinsFall Classes:

Composting
Fall is a great time to gather materials and learn how to create your own compost — join our final composting class for the year and take part in building a hot compost pile.
Composting 101 Sat. Nov. 1, 10 a.m.-noon

Garden Educator Training
Teachers and parents: bring garden education to schools, classrooms, youth programs, child care programs and community centers.
Schoolyards & Sustainability Sat, Nov. 22 10 a.m.-noon

Buy Apples to Fund Farm Education
This fall, eating an apple a day comes with a bigger benefit than keeping the doctor away! If you shop at PCC, be sure to pick up specially marked Farm to School bags of Fuji apples. Proceeds support hands-on educational field trips for K-12 students to Rainier Beach Urban Farm and Wetlands and Garden Educator Workshops that show teachers how to create garden classrooms.

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.

Plant Tulip Bulbs in Fall for a Colorful Spring Garden

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mass-planting-tulip-bedsI know it’s starting to get a little gray and gloomy out there, so it seems odd to be thinking color right now. But even though planting might be the last thing on your mind, tulip bulbs shouldn’t be. I’m talking all about fall bulb planting in my latest eHow article: Plant Tulip Bulbs Now for Fall Color.

When my daughter was 3 years old, we made a our first trip to the Skagit Valley Tulip Festival in La Conner, Wash. That trip really opened a whole new world to me. I had no clue there were so many tulip varieties available, and ever since that trip, I’ve tried to plant a few new varieties each spring.

My all time favorite tulip variety is the Parrot Tulip. Their frayed edges make me swoon and every fall when I pass by the big tulip displays at the store, I just have to grab a few bulbs to add to my collection. 

Read the full article 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.

Friday Night at the Movies – The Big Year

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I recently watched The Big Year on a flight, and I have to admit, I was pleasantly surprised.  I was expecting goofy and ridiculous, but it was actually amusing and clever.  If you are looking for a light-hearted feel-good movie, you should totally check it out.  It’s about three men, each in different phases of their life, who go on a year long adventure {turned competition} to do all of the things they always dreamed about doing.

the big year

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.

Mavis Garden Blog – Planting Cabbage and Lettuce for My Winter Garden

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planting vegetables in a stock tank

Yesterday I was able to sneak outside for a bit and get a jump start on my winter garden. I planted 3 purple cabbage and 2 packets of lettuce seeds in the stock tank turned planter alongside the house. I ordered some Carnival Carrots and Detroit Dark Red Beet seeds from Botanical Interests over the weekend, and as soon as they get here, those will go in the planter as well.

cabbage plant

I also planted a few more cabbage plants and some cauliflower starts in the big pots along the back of the house as well. Normally I would have planted these in early September, but with the move and remodel going on, I’m a little late this year. But I’m optimistic. Unless we have a ridiculously cold winter, I should be harvesting cabbage towards the beginning of next year. It’s a long time to wait for a head of cabbage, but at will at least give me something to look forward to as I map out my garden for next year.

growing basil indoors

And today, I hope to find the grow lights {buried in the garage somewhere} so I can get some basil going indoors. Which I think will look pretty darn fantastic once my kitchen window area gets put back together.

Gardening, there’s always something you can 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.

Let’s get This Garden Started!

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pulling weeds

I feel like I’ve been a total slacker in the gardening department lately. Seriously. But those days are behind me now because yesterday the HH picked up a truckload of potting soil for me {here’s how to make your own potting soil} and for the first time in about a month, I took some serious time off from all the craziness that’s been going on {traveling, moving, the remodel} and went outside and played in the dirt.

weeded garden

It was pretty RAD. I got half of the lower hedge area weeded, {noticed I said weeded and not pruned?, yeah, that’s coming} and shoveled some serious dirt too. It felt great!

filling pots with potting soil

All the pots I brought with me from the old place are now full and ready to be planted {I’m not sure with what yet though} and things are finally started to look up in the gardening department around here.

using stock tanks as garden containers

I also had to came to a decision as to where/what I was going to do with the stock tanks I was previously using in my old greenhouse. I new I wanted to keep them, but I just wasn’t sure where to put them because honestly, they can be kind of an eye sore if you don’t have a fenced yard. Which we don’t have at this point.

landscaping with stock tanks

My neighbor lady across the street actually has one in the front of her house {and it looks great} but it’s pretty hidden and she has plants cascading over the side so it looks pretty spiffy. My stock tanks on the other hand are pretty bare, and stick out like a sore thumb when placed alongside my house. Can you spot Lucy the trouble puggle in the picture? {Hint she’s up high}.

stock tanks as garden containers

Ultimately I decided to just use one stock tank for now.  I plan on using it to plant some winter veggies until I can get the backyard garden dug up and ready for action. I was also thinking about painting the stock tank to match the house as well.

What do you think?

One isn’t too much of an eyesore, is it?

~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.

Fall and Winter Gardening: Growing Your Own Salad Greens

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packet-of-lettuce-seedsWhen I first began gardening, I never realized you could garden all year long. I loved growing lettuce for fresh-from-the-garden salads, but I thought all that had to end when the ground froze over. Not the case at all, and I’m talking all about how it’s possible to grow lettuce and salad greens all year long in my latest eHow post: Tips for Growing Salad Greens in Late Fall and Winter.

One of my favorite things to grow during the fall and winter months is lettuce. Sure anyone can grab a bag of salad mix from the store for a couple of bucks, but if you’re a die hard vegetable gardener like myself, you are going to need to get outside to get your daily dose of vitamin D or you’ll go nuts. Plus, we all know homegrown just tastes better!

Tips for Growing Lettuce in Late Fall and Winter

Be patient. Lettuce germinates best in cooler temperatures, but if it gets too cold germination may slow down considerably. The ideal time to plant is two weeks before the first fall frost. Most lettuce varieties only take about 45 – 60 days to reach maturity.

Check out the full article 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.

Friday Night at the Movies – Mad Men

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The HH and I stared watching Mad Men a few weeks ago, and it’s shocking to see how women were treated back in the 60′s, not to mention the affairs… holy stilettos people…. aren’t those people exhausted already?  Still. I.  Can’t. Stop. Watching. It.  What is it about shows like that?!  They grab a hold of you, I tell ya. We are on season 3 right now but plan to watch them all.

mad men

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? Don’t you just want to slap Don Draper?

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.

How to Store Winter Squash

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How to Store Winter SquashWinter squash are like potatoes.  If you store them right, they will seriously last you most of the winter–at least until you can get out and grow yourself some cool weather kale and spinach.

heirloom-butternut-squashTo ensure that you get the longest life out of your squash, start by picking it at the right time.  The squash shouldn’t be wet at all, so don’t pick after the sprinklers have come on or after a rain.  Cut the squash from the vine, instead of pulling it.  That way, you won’t accidentally break off the stem too close to the squash, causing a blemish that will speed up rot.  Also, make sure to pick it before the nighttime temperatures dip into the 40′s.  Don’t let the name fool you, winter squash does not like it to be too cold.

anna swartz hubbard squashThe first step in storing winter squash is curing.  Curing is basically a fancy word for leaving the squash out somewhere warmish with good air circulation and ignoring for a week and a half to two weeks.  Curing helps make sure any excess water leaves the squash and makes it taste better long term.

Some people like to give their squash a quick diluted bleach bath before storage.  It helps to kill any fungus or bacteria on the squash.  If you do decide to give your squash a bath, dilute it 1 part bleach to 10 parts water.  Rinse well after the bath and dry completely before storing.  This step is completely optional.

hubbard squashWinter squash are happiest when stored at about 55 degrees.  If you have a root cellar, well, then I’m jealous.  If you don’t, your best bet is going to be a basement or garage.  They need to be completely dry throughout storage, so either keep them up on a shelf or in a box, where water from melting snow off of the cars, etc. can’t get to them.

Depending on the type of squash you are storing {acorn has the shortest shelf life, while blue hubbard has one of the longer shelf lives}, it will last anywhere from 4 weeks to 7 months.

What’s the longest you’ve successfully stored a winter squash?

~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 – Pictures, Plans and Planting Ideas for My New Garden

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abortive privacy hedgeOnce we decided to downsize our home, one of the most major things I was looking for was a home with a garden. Sometimes you get lucky, and find everything you want in not only a home, but a garden as well. We didn’t. Be we saw possibility. MAJOR possibility. And that was confirmed yesterday while I began the {long} process of weeding our new {to us}, upper garden.

backyard full of moss

Remember the new 85 year old neighbor of mine who brought me flowers? Well, I met her husband yesterday while I was working near the arborvitae privacy hedge. WHAT A HOOT! Not only did he tell me he’s running for congress {at 85?} he also invited me for pecan pie and tea next week.  :) :) :)

He said, “I heard you’re a gardener, and that’s good because this garden hasn’t been touched in years. It’s nice to know someone is going to bring it back to what it once was.”

grass full of moss

Well, I don’t know about that, but I’ll tell you one thing… the backyard is full of moss. Lot’s and lot’s of moss.privacy hedge

And I can’t wait to dig it up and plant a vegetable garden in it’s place. I have high hopes of turning this little plot of land into a mini Monticello vegetable patch. A long, rectangular patch full of homegrown goodness. evergreen hedge

In fact I’m hoping to turn the garden into one of those well manicured ones you’re always seeing in home and garden magazines. At a little over a 1/3 of an acre it’s just enough to keep me busy without feeling chained to endless weeding and landscaping projects 24/7.

future garden plans

I have high hopes that by next summer we’ll be able to sit at the patio table nibbling on summer salads and gazing out on our newly planted perennial flower and vegetable garden.

future patio garden

And the patio garden? BRING IT ON!! I intend to have oodles of pots lining the back of the house filled with both vegetables and flowers.

future potting bench area

I’m hoping to find a cool potting bench this winter to go alongside the house where those pots are right now. potted broccoli plant

But I better get crackin’ if I want to eat more than a couple of heads of fresh broccoli this winter. So this weeks goal is to weed, weed,weed. Once that’s done, I can get back to what I know best… getting my hands dirty. ;)

Have a great Sunday everyone,

~Mavis

P.S. What do you think of my new garden space? Any suggestions?

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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