Starting Peas in Gutters

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starting peas in gutters

Yesterday, I did something crazy.
planting in guttersI planted some sugar snap peas.

botanical interests sugar snap peas

Which is a little weird because most people either plant their peas on President’s Day or St. Patrick’s Day. But I couldn’t wait. With the excepting of pruning the raspberry patch and edging the lawn, all my major garden chores for this year are done {go ahead, hate me}.
starting peas in gutters

And you know what they say… Idle hands are the Devils playground. Or in my case, if I don’t start plant some seeds soon, I’m going to have a panic a major attack. planting peas in gutters

So peas it is. gutters in a greenhouse

Now you may be wondering why the heck I don’t just plant my pea seeds directly in the ground. And the reason is that it’s still too cold to plant peas in the ground {at least here in Washington state}. If I were to plant peas in the ground right now there is a good possibility they’d just rot.
gutters in a greenhouse

But by planting the peas in gutters now, and keeping them in the greenhouse for a few weeks until it warms up a bit, I’ll be able to get a jump start on the growing season.
mavis butterfield greenhouse garden blog

Why plant peas in gutters you ask?

greenhouse gutters

Well that’s easy.  Once the pea  plants are established {it will take 4-6 weeks} I’ll then be able to bring the gutters over to my garden boxes, make a small trench in the soil, and then slide the pea plants out of the gutters and into the garden.

It’s kind of a cool trick.

And it will work as long as the temps don’t go below 20 degrees because the greenhouse generally keeps the plants about 10 degrees warmer in the winter. And if the temps dip, well then I’ll simply have to remove the gutters from the greenhouse and haul them into the garage for a few nights. Which the HH will totally be onboard with {not}.

Ahh yes, winter gardening is cool. Don’t you agree?

~Mavis

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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.



Winter Gardening in the Pacific Northwest

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winter greenhouse garden

Yesterday I finally finished digging up all the dirt from last years pumpkin patch. It was a HUGE job and I am glad to have that monkey off my back let me tell you.

Do you see that nice, fat mound of dirt all piled up perfectly {thank you OCD} next to the greenhouse? Well I have a secret. I’m going to plant something really cool there. It’s so cool I’ve been dreaming about it since last summer in fact. I’m keeping my lips sealed for a little longer though.

growing lettuce in greenhouse in winter

Later today I plan on planting some seeds in the empty greenhouse pots. There are 4 of them and I still don’t know what to plant in them. I’m planning on planting some bush variety tomato plants in the black pots in front of the greenhouse later this spring {If I can exercise some extreme patience that is}.

growing lettuce in winter stock tank

Inside the greenhouse the stock tanks full of lettuce are coming along. growing lettuce in winter

This one was planted late last fall and the lettuce is almost ready to harvest. lettuce

Check out the lettuce we have growing in pots. I’ll be harvesting this stuff later this week.
winter herbs herb garden

Have you checked on your herbs lately? Just outside the greenhouse we have oregano, purple sage, thyme and rosemary growing. Oh, and some chives too. If you’ve never planted chives before, you’ve got to give it a go. Chives are a perennial herb up here in Washington and I can pretty much harvest them 10 out of 12 months a year. They’re awesome.

That’s what’s happening in my backyard garden, how is yours coming along?

~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.

Monthly Garden Chores – February

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February Garden ChoresFebruary always gets me excited because I can really start some seeds indoors. I know it’s still winter outside, but with my grow lights blazin’, it feels like the gardening season is right around the corner.

heirloom tomatoes

Seeds I’m Starting Indoors this Month

grow-lightsSee the full list of seeds I’ll be planting this year

bare root grape vines

What I Plan to Plant/Transplant Outside this Month

  • Rhubarb
  • Raspberry Canes
  • Blueberry Bushes {towards the end of the month}
  • Fruit Trees {bare root variety, so you can get them in the ground while they are still dormant}

bare root fruit trees

Plants and/or Bulbs I Plan to Purchase this Month

  • Raspberry Canes
  • Blueberry Bushes
  • Fruit Trees

microgreens

What I plan to Harvest This Month

forcing bulbs

Houseplants and Indoor Bulbs

If you are forcing indoor bulbs, keep the soil barely moist. If you are starting to see some sprouting, it is time to bring the pot into the brightest room you can. As the days get longer, you can start to increase your watering schedule on houseplants. Make sure to continue to check them for dust and spider mites.

purning hedges

Trees and Shrubs

Late February is a good time to prune some of those deciduous trees and shrubs. Remove any dead branches or crossed branches. Avoid pruning any spring flowering shrubs, they like it better if you wait until after they’ve bloomed.

Weed and Pest Control

Nature is doing the job for you here. The cold weather will keep the pests at bay for now.

Lawn Care

Enjoy a final month of nothing to do with the lawn. Those of you in colder climates may get a couple more months of relaxation, but here in Washington, it’s coming to an end.

These garden chores are based on my Zone 8a Seattle/Tacoma WA location. Find your garden zone 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 – Bletchley Circle

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A HUGE thank you to Melissa from Facebook who recommended The Bletchley Circle.  I watched the 3 part mini series last weekend and it was awesome.  It’s about a group of women {one of whom spent her days during WWII cracking Nazi codes} that reunite to track a serial killer before he strikes again. Netflix has it for free!

bletchley circle

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.

How to Make Newspaper Seedling Pots

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How to Make Newspaper Seedling Pots

Have you ever made your own newspaper pots before? If you haven’t, they are are super easy to make. Some people use tin cans, but I prefer to use the Pot MakerI’ve found I can whip out a batch of 50 pots for my seedlings in about 20 minutes or less.

pot makerHere is a quick tutorial on how to use the Pot Maker.

newspaper

Cut newspaper strips 4″ by 9″ each. {20 pots = 20 strips of newspaper}how to make a paper pot

Cover pot maker with newspaper and roll.
make your own paper pot

Make sure your paper is wrapped tight around the pot maker.how to make a paper pot

Fold the bottom of the paper inward.how to make a paper pot

Place the newspaper wrapped pot maker in the stand that’s included with the kit and give it a little twist.how to make a paper pot

And a jiggle.how to make a paper pot seedlings

Then slowly remove the newspaper from the wooden pot maker. how to make a seedling paper pot

It’s that easy.
paper pot for seedlings

Add potting soil, seeds and a little bit of water and you’re good to go. DIY-paper-pot-seedlings

These pots are not only easy to make, but pretty thrifty too. Free newspaper √ Free labor √ {have your kids make them} Life is good! Bontanical Interests has the Pot Maker on sale right now for $12.98.

Do you make your own pots or just buy them at the store instead?

~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 Grow Onions – Start to Finish

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botanical interests seed packets yellow granex onion

Yesterday I planted a  packet of Yellow Granex Onion seeds and thought I would repost this little how to grow onions tutorial for those of you have never grow your own onions from seed before. Not only are growing your own onions super easy to do, if you plant them now they should be ready around the same time your tomatoes are ready to harvest.  And you know what that means right?

Homemade Salsa and Heirloom Tomato Sauce baby!

onion seeds picture

Brief description: The Yellow Granex Onion is mild, sweet, and great for storing {also known as Vidalia Onion}. If you are from Washington State, and like Walla Walla Sweet onions, my dad told me these taste just like them.

Where to Plant Onions:  They thrive in warmer climates with 12 hours of sunlight. Onions can be sown directly outside starting in late fall for a late spring harvest. Or started indoors in early January {like I’m doing} and transplanted outside in early spring when the weather warms up. Onions do well in a sunny location/raised beds/or even a greenhouse.

yellow granex onion

Planting Seeds:  Plant seeds 1/4″ to 1/2″ deep, with 2 seeds every 4 inches apart.

onion transplants

Growing Tips:  Water throughout growing season, including winter.  Onions can withstand a freeze if they are sufficiently hydrated.

How to Harvest:  Harvest when their necks feel soft and/or the tops have fallen over. When 50% of the tops have fallen over and are lying on the ground, go ninja and knock the rest over. Then about a week or two later when much of the foliage has dried, carefully dig the onions out and dry them in the garden in the sun for a couple of days.

After drying, remove the roots, clip the stems so you are leaving about 1″ of the neck.

Have you ever thought about storing your onions in pantyhose? All the cool people are doing it! Go HERE to learn how.


Favorite Recipes with Onions - 

French Onion Soup – Perfect for chilly winter nights.

Favorite recipes with onions 

Rainbow Salsa – Homemade salsa is the best stuff on earth.

Will YOU be growing onions this year? Do you have a favorite variety? Do tell!

~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 – Making Progress

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raised garden beds

I’ve been making some pretty good progress with my backyard garden over the past few weeks and thought I would share a few pictures of it’s current state.

Last year we started off the growing season with {16} 4×8 garden beds. We are now down to 10. This seems much more manageable to me. We’ve got a busy summer planned and the last thing I want the garden to feel like this year is a chore. I love gardening but I don’t want to overextend myself with it like I did last year. Maybe you think I’m crazy, but 10 garden beds seems doable.

lasagna garden

The lasagna garden I started last fall is now about 10 inches high with compost and soil. I still haven’t figured out what I’m going to plant there yet but I feel like there is enough depth in there for whatever I choose to plant.

magnum glass greenhouse

Check out the greenhouse! Lucy the puggle dog and I like to wander out there daily to check on the lettuce we have growing in a couple of old stock tanks. winter lettuce greenhouse

It shouldn’t be too long before we can harvest some lettuce greens.garden plot

My next project: building up the garden space that sits alongside the greenhouse.

backyard garden

I plan to remove the soil from last years pea patch {and cover it with the surrounding bark} and move it up the hill to the garden plot alongside the greenhouse. Then, I’ll need to pull up the {dead} kale border along side the chicken run and spruce up the area in front of the coop.

pumpkin potato patchI plan on using the soil from last years pumpkin/potato patch to do that.

Once I’m done shoveling dirt, I hope to plant this area with periwinkle to match the hillside on the opposite side of the garden. It will take a few years to fully cover the area, but in the end I think it will look pretty grand.

Once those projects are finished… I plan to tidy up the raspberry patch.

Then… I’ll be ready to plant some seeds and get the 2014 garden season started.

Sheesh. I’m tired just thinking about it now!

~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 – Clearing Garden Beds and New Seeds

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magnum glass greenhouse

Yesterday was surprisingly productive. :)

Once I had had my fill inside working on cleaning and decluttering, I went outside to dig.
rotting cabbage

Up this mess.

purple cabbage

Have you ever smelled rotting cabbage before? Well if not it ranks right up there with the smell of old basketball shoes worn by teenage boys who don’t change their socks regularly.  Holy cats! The smell is enough to knock you out.

mavis butterfield gardenSo after removing all the slimy cabbage bits I hauled in a few wheelbarrows of topsoil from a nearby garden bed I dismantled. I was about halfway done when I heard my hottie of a UPS driver roll into the driveway.

botanical interests seeds

My seed order. OH HAPPY DAY!!!

botanical interests seeds

Not only did my online boyfriend Ryan send me all the seeds on my 2014 seed order, he also sent along a bunch of loot for me to share {I smell a giveaway coming}. How cool was that? :)

botanical interests heirloom tomato seeds

Check out all the heirloom tomatoes I’ll be growing.
pineapple tomato seeds

Want to know which seed packet is my favorite? This pineapple pole tomato. I grew these a few years ago and let me tell you Bob, they are the best tomato on the planet in my humble opinion.

botanical interests flower seedsOh, and I almost forgot. I’m also pretty stinkin’ excited to be growing Moroccan Spice Sweet Peas too! Don’t they look pretty?

Hurry up Spring, I want to start planting.

What are you most looking forward to growing this year?

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.

Seattle Tilth Spring Plant Sale and Educational Classes

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unnamedI’m such a big supporter of the Seattle Tilth because their mission is simple and one I can totally get behind: to inspire and educate people to safeguard our natural resources while building an equitable and sustainable local food system. I’ve been to their plant sales, their chicken coop tour and their educational classes and I’ve been blown away by every event.

They have some great things up their sleeves this year. Here are just a few things I’m excited about:

March Edible Plant Sale

Stock-up on organic and locally grown edible plant starts perfect for spring planting, and find a huge selection of edible flowers, fruit shrubs, fruit trees, seeds, supplies and knowledge galore at their March Edible Plant Sale. It’s on Saturday, March 15th, 2014 from 9am-3pm. at the Pacific Market Center garage. Admission is FREE!

Their Classes

Make 2014 your best gardening year ever, by getting educated! Whether you plan on starting your own seeds indoors, adding chickens, bees and other livestock to your urban {or suburban} farm or supercharging your soil with homemade compost, they’ve got a class for you.

Check out their new offerings like Intro to Permaculture and Grow Fruit in Small Spaces classes, or choose from these other awesome options:

Urban Livestock Classes
Backyard Beekeeping 101 Thu., Jan. 23; 6:30-8:30 p.m. (Wallingford)
Backyard Beekeeping 101 Sat., Feb. 1; 10 a.m.-noon (Wallingford)
Backyard Beekeeping 101 Thu., Feb. 13; 6:30-8:30 p.m. (Wallingford)
Beekeeping 201: Start Your Hive Sat., Feb. 22; 10 a.m.-noon (Wallingford)
City Chickens 101 Sat., Jan. 11; 10 a.m.-12:30 p.m. (Wallingford)
City Chickens 101 Sat., Feb. 8; 10 a.m.-12:30 p.m. (Wallingford)
Raise Baby Chicks Sat., Jan. 25; 10 a.m.-12:30 p.m. (Wallingford)
Raise Baby Chicks Sat., Feb. 22; 10 a.m.-12:30 p.m. (Wallingford)

Veggie Gardening
Start Seeds Indoors Sat., Feb. 1; 2-4 p.m. (Mt. Baker)
Start Seeds Indoors Wed., Feb. 19; 6:30-8:30 p.m. (Wallingford)
Smart Garden Planning Sat., Feb. 8; 10 a.m.-noon (Mt. Baker)
Smart Garden Planning Wed., Feb. 26; 6:30-8:30 p.m. (Wallingford)
Organic Gardening 101 Sat., Feb. 15; 10 a.m.-2 p.m. (Wallingford)

Permaculture & Sustainable Landscapes
Prune Fruit Trees Sat., Feb 8; 1-5 p.m. (Wallingford)
Intro to Permaculture Sat., Feb. 8; 2-5 p.m. (Mt. Baker)
Composting 101 Sat., Feb. 22; 2-4 p.m. (Wallingford)
Grow Fruit in Small Spaces Thu., Feb. 27; 6:30-8:30 p.m. (Wallingford)

View their calendar of classes or see the full list.

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 – Euphoria

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Tonight The Girl and I are going to watch Euphoria.  It’s a documentary that popped up on my suggestions list on Amazon Prime.  It’s about our pursuit of happiness–and whether or not it’s working, or even possible.  It’s kind of an interesting premise, so I thought it wouldn’t hurt to check it out.  Plus, it’s FREE on Prime, so I am really not out anything.

euphoria

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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