Dig For Your Dinner – Growing Peas and Sweet Pea Flowers from Seed

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

sugar snap peas

It’s time to get your peas planted!!!

Peas and Sweet Pea flowers are both hardy enough that you can directly sow them outside as soon as the soil can be worked.  Peas are about the easiest thing ever to grow.  They can tolerate the cold.  They have a fairly short growing season, so you can enjoy them early, and then use the space to plant later warm crops in their spot.  Best of all, they add nitrogen to the soil while they grow, so they will enrich your soil for whatever you plan to put there next.

pink sweet pea flowers

Sweet pea flowers add a pop of early spring color to borders–and they smell unbelievable.  While they like to have “their heads” in the sun, their roots can be shaded–which makes them ideal for the cooler weather.

soak peas befor eyou plant

How to Grow Peas

Peas do best in temperatures under 70 degrees.  Most seed packets recommend soaking seeds for 12-24 hours before planting.  I’ve heard mixed opinions of whether that is necessary…I do go ahead and soak them, and I’ve never had negative results because of it.  Just toss them in a bowl with water, let them sit for the recommended time indicated on your seed packet, and then drain them and you are ready to plant.

sugar snap peas

To plant them, choose a sunny location.  If you are growing snow peas or sugar snap peas you will need a trellis for them to climb.  Follow general planting guides on the back of your seed packet {different pea varieties have slightly different directions}, but in general, plant them about 1″ deep and 2″ apart.  You won’t need to thin them–which is nice, because you can pack them in nice and tight and still get great yields.

peas in pod

When Are Peas Ready to Harvest?

Peas are ready to harvest when they’ve started to plump.  Don’t let them get too plump, or their flavor will be affected.  Harvest frequently to encourage growth.  To harvest them, just clip or snap them off of the vine right at the top the pea.

sweet pea flowers

How to Grow Sweet Pea Flowers

To plant sweet pea seeds, choose a sunny location {though, as I mentioned their roots can be shaded, which makes them great in garden bed borders, where shrugs might block some of the sunlight}.  Plant the seeds as soon as the soil can be worked {usually about 6 weeks before the last frost}.  Plant seeds 1/2″-1″ deep, and space them according to the directions on the seed packets {different varieties have different requirements}.  If you want a faster germination, you can nick the seeds and soak them in water for a couple of hours.  If you want them to get the most out of their blooming season, you may want to consider a quality organic fertilizer once or twice during the growing season.

 

Ranch Pasta Salad with Broccoli, Spinach and Green PeasRanch Pasta Salad with Broccoli, Spinach, and Green Peas

recipe peas and baconPeas and Bacon

Fresh Pea Salad with Bacon and Chives
Fresh Pea Salad with Bacon and Chives

 

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.



The Plastic Livestock Has Arrived

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

lucy the puggle dog

Yesterday I stopped by the post office to mail and few letter and HOLY CANOLIES people… there were 3 packages for me to pick up. At first I was like, wait, what? I haven’t ordered anything lately… and then I noticed the address.

address label

Ahhh…The flamingo sanctuary. Of course. lucy puggle opening packages

Man you guys are fast. LOL. ;) pink flamingos

Sarah sent in a pair of flamingo plant stakes. I set them in with the pea plants for a little splash of color.

garden gnome

And the bare bottomed garden gnome from Tracey? Nothing says I am a super classy person, please stop and chat a bit, like a plastic gnome with it’s bum exposed in your garden. ;)

lucy opening packages

And then there was that giant package. plastic livestock

Full of plastic livestock!!lucy

Have I ever told you how much Lucy LOVES to open packages? lucy the puggle dog

What’s that? You need a little CPR? No problem my new flamingo friend.
lucy pink flamingo

It’s MINE!!!! All mine! These flamingos were sent for me not for you mom.pink flamingos in box

Holy canolies! Rosemarie sent in an entire flock {12 flamingos!!!} for the yard.
hide and seek flamingos

I thought it would be best to play a little game of hide and seek. You know, for all the people walking by. After all, slow and steady wins the race right? I wouldn’t want to stick them all in the front yard and make it look obvious or anything. Weaving the flamingos here and there between the hedges and plants is more artistic. Don’t you think?
pink flamingo in bushes

This is going to be fun.

Thanks so much everyone,

~Mavis

If you have any pink flamingos you are willing to part with, please send them my way. There is nothing in the CC&R’s against pink flamingos in the yard. Yet. ;)

Pink Flamingo Sanctuary  {Gnomes and dream-catchers are welcome too!}
C/O Mavis Butterfield
P.O. Box 2083
Gig Harbor, WA 98335

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 3/15/15

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

mini daffodils

This week started off on a bit of a sour note because of the latest letter from the HOA snoopervising committee. The good news is… there are only 564 days to go before we can sell this house. The bad news is… I have to find a way to deal with the incredibly restrictive neighborhood rules, which I totally agreed to when we bought the house {but didn’t realize they’d be driving by my house on a weekly basis with a clipboard in hand looking for infractions}.

ivy

I pulled up the ivy I transplanted in January as per requested.

boxwood hedge

And then stood in front of our house and tried to figure out some different gardening layouts, ones that wouldn’t cost too much money and ones that would still allow me to have a little {dare I say} freedom. And all of them included submitting plans for approval. Which honestly, does not appeal to me WHAT SO EVER {for about a hundred different reasons}.

And then it hit me. Container gardening.

There is nothing in the rules and regulations about container gardening here in Stepford.
bed of carrots

Or edible landscapes.

botanical interests seed packets

If I start plants and vegetables from seed I should be fine. Right?pea seedlings

It would be a gradual thing…

botanical interests

By the time they figure out what I’m doing it would be time to harvest. :) :) :) So this is my new plan. Because really, I’ve already been “approved” for the shrubs I want to plant {I’m just waiting for the Home Depot to get them in stock}. So other than vegetables, and flower bulbs, there really isn’t anything else let to worry about here in Stepford. Life is wonderful. It’s all good. It’s … perfect.

removing moss

Unless of course I want to work outside in peace in quiet.

Okay, are you ready for this?

I was outside on Friday raking the moss out of the grass on my side yard with ear buds IN MY EAR and not one, but two people came up to me and wanted to know WHAT I WAS DOING!!! Did I mention I had earbuds in my ears and was listening to music?

Nosy Nelly #1  Stood about 2 feet behind me shaking her head back and forth in a disproving matter when I noticed she was there. I looked up {irritated} and then went back to what I was doing. About 5 seconds later she was RIGHT BEHIND ME waiting for me to take my earbuds out so she could ask me questions.

I said nothing. I took a deep breath and walked around to the back of my house and waited for her to pass by.

Then, not even two minutes later, Nosy Nelly #2  walked by and started talking {while I had ear buds in}. He wanted to know what I was doing, where my husband worked, and what my plans were. 

mrs hillbilly

Thankfully a few minutes later Mrs. Hillbilly called to tell me she and the kids had just bought chicks. When I mentioned I had an extra stock tank in the garage if she wanted to use it until the chicks were ready to go outside, she decided to swing by to grab it.

stock tank

While she was here I told her what had just happened with the Nosy Nelly{s}. She laughed, said “I told you so” and then made me an offer I couldn’t refuse.

mavis butterfield

She said I could babysit sit her chicks …

mavis butterfield

And dig up her yard… and plant whatever I want so I don’t shrivel up and die in Stepford waiting to serve out my sentence. lucy the puggle dog

The Hillbilly’s added a small garden plot to the side of their kids play-set last year that just did so-so. But now that they’ve got me on board to do all the vegetable gardening… I am going to triple their garden space and turn it into a 3 season backyard garden. Wahoooo! And as an added bonus, Lucy will have a weekly play date with her pal from the old neighborhood.

gardening

Yesterday we added 2 yards of soil and planted a few cold weather crops {radish, onions, Swiss chard and beets}.mavis butterfield

If you can’t dig up your own yard… Find somewhere you can. Right?

Only 564 days to go! :)

~Mavisbotanical interests free shipping

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.

Seattle Tilth Spring Plant Sales: March 14th and May 2nd-3rd

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

seattleOne of the highlights of my year is the Seattle Tilth Plant Sale. If you’re a gardener in the state of  Washington, you need to check it out. Not only is their selection incredible, but the deals you can score are amazing. I always leave with a ton more than I intent to because there are just so many perfectly priced plants.

A big warning before you go, the sale features over 50,000 organically or sustainably grown plants that are specially chosen by Seattle Tilth’s experts because they are well-adapted to thrive in our Pacific Northwest climate. So knowing that you’ll have tens of thousands of plants to choose from and they’ll all grow like mad in our area, I’d totally suggest driving a U-Haul there! Seattle tilth plant saleYou’ll be able to get your dream gardens growing with:

  • More than 350 plant varieties for your summer garden, including rare and heirloom varieties
  • Summer crops that love full sun such as tomatoes, peppers, cucumbers, squash and melons that can be planted at the end of May or in early June
  • Plants for beginning gardeners such as lettuces, Asian greens, kale, chives, arugula, strawberries, culinary herbs and edible flowers
  • Exotic flavors and colorful vegetables such as sweet chocolate peppers, bulbing fennel, Thai basil, lemon cucumbers, Purple Erdine eggplants, tarragon and striped tomatoes

Seattle tilth plant sale long linesIf you want to avoid the lines,  Gardens to Go can be ordered online in advance. These trays contain an assortment of plants that are pre-selected around different themes. Options include Summer Hits, Container Gardens, Organic Gardening 101 and Edible Plants for Kids. Swing by Meridian Park for a quick pick-up during the sale.

Seattle Tilth Edible Plant Sale

The March Edible Plant Sale is on Saturday, March 14 from 9 a.m.-3 p.m. at Pacific Market Center in SODO and is FREE to attend. Get directions.

The May Edible Plant Sale takes place on May 2nd and 3rd, from 9 am-3 pm at Meridian Park {4649 Sunnyside Ave. N, Seattle 98103} and is FREE to attend.  Get directions.


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 – Still Mine

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

Tonight I plan on watching Still Mine.  It’s a love story about a man and women who are well into their golden years and now facing health issues.  As the woman’s memory fades, the husband decides he is going to build them a smaller house, so that they can maintain their independence without having the burden of more than they can handle.  He chooses a spot on his own land and starts to build.  As he builds, he is faced with all the bureaucratic red tape and permit issues he hadn’t planned on, and finds himself potentially facing jail time.  It’s one of those movies that gives you hope that real love lasts a lifetime, and shines a light on just how complicated life has become.

still mine

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?

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!

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.

Dig for Your Dinner – Growing Brussels Sprouts from Seed

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

Growing Brussels Sprouts from Seed

Growing up, we had a neighbor who called Brussels Sprouts Martian heads.  As a kid, I loved and hated that description–it was fun and disgusting.  Now, though, the thought of growing Martian heads makes me smile.  The key, in my humble opinion, is to know how to prepare Brussels Sprouts AFTER you’ve grown them, otherwise, they can seem like vegetable punishment.  Done right, though, they are tasty, tasty.

Brussels sprouts get their name because they were originally cultivated in Brussels, Belgium in the early 16th century.  Brussels sprouts and chocolate–those crazy Belgians.  Brussels sprouts are literally PACKED with vitamin A–one measly little cup contains over 1000 IU of Vitamin A.  1 cup contains 160% of your daily vitamin C, and a pretty good dose of beta carotene.  So, eat up.

How to Grow Brussels Sprouts:

Plant Brussels Sprouts in a sunny location.  Sow seeds directly into the garden about 1/4″ deep.  When the seedlings are 2″ tall, thin to one plant every 2 feet.  Brussels sprouts are best saved for spring and fall plants, as they thrive in cooler/mild weather, rather than the dead heat of summer {they taste bitter when they are harvested in summer}.

brussels sprouts

When are Brussels Sprouts Ready to Harvest?

Brussels Sprouts mature from the bottom up, so you can pick them as you need them from the bottom up, or you can harvest the entire stalk.  They are ready when they are about 1-2″ in diameter.

brussels sprouts

Which Brussels Sprouts to grow?

Brussels Sprouts with Balsamic Vinegar

My Favorite Recipe with Brussels Sprouts:

I usually make these Brussels Sprouts with Balsamic Vinegar for Thanksgiving.  They key to good brussels sprouts is chopping them up smaller.  It allows them to get a bit crunchy when baked or sauteed on the edges, which significantly cuts down on any texture issues that come up when they are cooked whole.

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.

how-to-grow-Brussels-sprouts

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.

Do You Have a Favorite Houseplant?

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

houseplant

I am in the market for a houseplant.   Just something green to set in my kitchen window.  On top of a little bit of color in the kitchen, houseplants have tons of air purification qualities.  One little plant can help you breath easier–and unlike humans, they love it when you breath in their face.  Plus, according to a study cited on Huffington Post, plants have a mood boosting effects–I’m pretty sure gardeners everywhere didn’t need a study to confirm this one.

I don’t have many requirements.  I want a plant that looks good, is low maintenance, and that has a reputation for cleaning the air…okay, maybe that is a lot to ask {might as well throw in that I wouldn’t mind if the plant could solve world hunger :) }.

I made a list…because I love lists.  I might one day make a list of all of the lists I need to make.  I digress.  I made a list of some of the plants I am considering.  I am sharing my list, because I’ve done waaaay more research than any one person should do on a houseplant, and now, you don’t have to. No need to thank me.

aloe plant

Aloe

I like Aloe because it thrives in a sunny location.  It doesn’t need a ton of water–in fact, it prefers a little neglect.  Best of all, when I burn myself in the kitchen, which I do like once a week, I can slice a little piece off and soothe my blisters.  It would be like having a little pal in the kitchen that requires almost nothing of  me, but gives, gives, gives.

english ivy

English Ivy

English Ivy is classic.  It screams classy, which hopefully will fool others into thinking that I am classy.  The only thing I don’t love about this one is that I prefers cooler temperatures–and with all of the baking/cooking I do, the kitchen tends to be quite a bit warmer than the rest of the house.  Still, it would be very Downton Abbey of me, and I may chance it.

spider plant

Spider Plant

Spider plants add a pretty big boost of green to where ever you set them.  They are one of the top air purifiers.  They are virtually impossible to kill and are fast growers.  The only thing I don’t love about them is that they are common.  It’s not that out of the ordinary to see one, so occasionally they fade into the background.

peace lily

Peace Lily

Peace lilies are another common choice for air purification.  I like these because they flower–which adds another element of awesomeness.  They have the same downside as English Ivy for me, though, in that they don’t do as well in higher temperatures…which it’s not like I am cranking out 70 plus degree temperatures on a regular basis, but like I said, I am really looking for low maintenance, and not giving it its preferred environment might mean more work for me.  Also, these ones are a little taller, and I don’t want the plant to block my whole view of the outside, just add a little splash of life.

purple orchidOrchid

Orchids are super popular right now.  They come in a ton of different colors.  Caring for them is pretty easy, once you know how.  The only thing is that they bloom for several months, then you’re done.  You have to start over.  They have HUGE visual appeal, though, and make any space seem graceful and feng shui.

jade plantJade Plant

Jade plants are succulents, and I have never met a succulent I don’t like.  They call to me, visually, what can I say?  I like this option because of the way they look, the fact that they aren’t bothered by normal fluctuations in room temperature, and wait for it…they thrive on a little watering neglect.  They also live forever {okay, maybe not literally}, but they do live for YEARS.  They grow slowly, so it’s one of those plants that you can grow attached to.  They’ll witness graduations, Christmas dinners, births, deaths…and there is something comforting about knowing that they’ll be there with you every step of the way {I might have an unhealthy relationship with plants, but I accept it}.

There are obviously a ton more to choose from, but those are the ones I am tossing around for the space that I have.  Do you have any other suggestions?

~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 vs the HOA Part 3

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

hoa letters

When I came home last weekend there was a huge stack of mail to go through. And what do you know… there was a letter from the HOA. Remember all that ivy I pulled up from the side yard and transplanted in January? Well it seems someone on the snoopervising committee FINALLY realized I did it. Which makes me kind of wonder what took them so long.

Did someone report me? Do they seriously go around and look at each and every property in here looking for anything amiss? Do they have one of those google maps vehicles and take pictures of everyone’s property? Is someone on the committee reading this blog? Does the fact that tons of other people have {manicured} ivy growing on their hillsides matter? If they hate ivy why don’t the other people have to remove theirs?

hoa letters

Basically they are requesting I remove it. So does that mean I have to remove it?

They were also kind enough to include a list of approved trees and plants I can use in place of the ivy. But of course before I can plant any of their “pre-approved” plants, I would have to draw out another detailed map and submit it for approval.

Luckily, I’ve decided to play their game. Why? Because the way I see it, I’ve only got 19 months to go before we can sell this place. It’s like doing time, with a good attitude. We knew when we bought the house it wasn’t our forever home. But {visually} it is a great neighborhood, with great walking trails and it’s super close to amenities. Our plan was to fix it up and re-sell it, and let me tell you Bob, that is what we are going to do.

pink flamingos

So if you have any pink flamingos you are willing to part with, please send them my way. I read through the CC&R’s…. and there is nothing against pink flamingos in the yard. Yet.

~Mavis

Pink Flamingo Sanctuary  {Gnomes and dream-catchers are welcome too!}
C/O Mavis Butterfield
P.O. Box 2083
Gig Harbor, WA 98335

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 – Upstairs Downstairs

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

I’m giddy because I think I’ve stumbled on a new series to watch {okay, new to me}.  It’s called Upstairs Downstairs.  It’s set in England {eeee!} and is about a family who takes over an old house {165 Eaton Place} and breathes new life into it.  This one is set in the 1930′s, but it is still complete with a full house of staff, and the drama that comes with socialites.  The best part is that it’s totally free to watch on Amazon {whether you are a Prime member or not}.

upstairs downstairs

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?

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!

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.

March Home Maintenance and Garden Chores

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

mavis garden blog

This time of year is soooooo hard for me, because the weather is starting to get nice and I really just want to plant EVERYTHING.  I feel like a caged horse that needs to run–I have to keep my cool, though, and wait it out.  Luckily, there are plenty of things I can start, which usually distracts me from getting over-zealous and planting outside too early.:)

growing herbs under grow lights

Seeds to Start Indoors in March

This month, I plan on continuing to take care of the seeds I started last month.  I started basil before I left on vacation {fingers crossed the HH has kept it watered}.  My freezer is getting low on pesto, so this new batch couldn’t come soon enough.

planting peas

Seeds to Start Outdoors in March

I plan on sowing my lettuce, {more} peas, radish and spinach seeds directly outdoors this month.  I probably could have started some of them last month, but I have found that they grow about the same rate when I plant them in February vs. March {I think it’s because the cold slows down the germination process considerably  in February, but that’s just a theory}.  Plus, I still had some prep work to do in the yard, so it worked out okay. Towards the end of the month, I will also start swiss chard and beets outside.

blueberry bushes raintree nursery

What I plan to Transplant Outside this Month

I don’t really have anything to transplant outside this month.  If you started lettuce indoors {or any of the other above mentioned plants}, you can harden them off and plant them outside if the weather in your area is mild like mine.  It’s also a good time toplant strawberries, blueberries or raspberries.  I planted those last month, but again, my area is super mild weathered.

growing sprouts

Vegetables to Harvest this Month

Again, the only thing I’ll be harvesting this month are sprouts from my Botanical Interests Sprouter.

Houseplants and Indoor Bulbs 

As the days get longer, you may see houseplants start to perk up a bit.  If you didn’t last month, give them a diluted fertilizer this month to ease them awake.  If you forced bulbs, you probably are seeing green shoots by now.  Make sure to continue to water them {but not over water}.

fiskars garden pruners

Basic Yard Maintenance

If you couldn’t get outside last month, prune fruit trees and other bushes this month before they start to bud.  It’s also a good time to spray dormant oil on your fruit trees {as long as you have a 48 hour window of no freezing temps}.  If you are just starting your garden area, this is a good month to dig it out and create your space {assuming you are not dealing with a rock solid frozen tundra still}.  I’ll be busy most of the month getting my gardening beds ready {provided the HOA decides to cooperate}.

Home Maintenance Outside

March is pretty much the last low-maintenance month, so unless you have basic repairs, you can rest easy.  Get pruning shears, etc. sharpened if they need to be so that you can tackle the growing season without grunts the neighbors can hear.

Home Maintenance Inside

Finish up your de-cluttering, if you committed to it this year.  Next month will bring a lot more consistently nice weather and you will want to be able to get out and enjoy it.  It’s a good time to start your spring cleaning too.  Wash bedding, give the ceiling fans a good dusting, vacuum baseboards, etc.

As always, most of my advice is geared around the Northwest, but you can find your garden zone HERE and tweak my suggestions as necessary.

~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.

Recipes Garden Frugal Canning Chickens Travel