Monthly Garden Chores for September- East Coast Edition

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1September – and my first-born begins HIGH SCHOOL. Did I say the words High School, cause I’m pretty sure I said Kindergarten just the other day.

On the upside, it’s September here in New England, which means we get a bit more summer hidden in between cooler spells – the warm weather feels like we’re cheating winter and that’s A-OK with me.2

September is also strangely satisfying. The kids go back to school and a regular schedule that my OCD self looooooves has been re-introduced and my garden is mass-producing produce. The chickens are being stuffed daily with gifts from the garden and getting spoiled horribly, and I’ve begun canning continuously.

In addition, I’ve discovered two new food dishes that I love. Kale chips {Mavis is a huge fan hahaha}! I ate a whole tray before I knew what happened {ps: don’t eat a whole tray, it’ll upset your stomach}, it was soo good though and I love the texture! And breakfast burritos. Now that the boy is a freshman and has a very demanding schedule with classes, late and early hockey practices- his sleep will be very… well, odd. So, I figured, the least I could do is feed him a not-cereal breakfast in the morning. By altering the recipe to his taste buds a bit, with no potatoes and adding banana peppers, he christened it delicious and I made a whole batch that are happily frozen and ready for Monday morning. Score one for mom. I think I’ll try Mavis’s Egg & Cheese Breakfast Sandwiches next. I’m pretty sure he’ll love those too.3

Seeds I’m Starting Indoors this Month

Not having any fresh veggies over the winter has become an intolerable thought. And although my yard would not support {either in space or position to the sun} a greenhouse, I’ve decided on a cold frame. I’m thinking I can add to my garden box to create a cold frame. Step 1: create yet another project for myself {done}. Step 2: collect supplies {I’ve hunted down some old windows}. Step 3: Build {uuuuugggh}. I’ll keep you posted. Did I mention I’ve already planted some lettuce? I, eeer, ummm, the HH better get crackin!

What I Plan to Transplant Outside this Month

I’ve got a bit of transplanting to do this month. I’ve got a few plants I’d like to add, split and generally re-arrange. Hostas and other local perennials do well to be divided every 2-3 years. If you just can’t use them put the call out to your friends and give them away. I have a couple of local FB groups that focus on gardens/environment and can always find someone who would like to use them.

Plants and/or Bulbs I Plan to Purchase this Month

I’m still hatching a plan to convince the HH that apple trees {only TWO} would look good in our unused “side yard” in our suburbia neighborhood. Wish me luck as I hatch mission: apple pie.

Keep a close eye on local plant nurseries this month, this time of year they’ll want to clear out their stock and prepare for spring deliveries. Last year I bought three {5 year} blueberry bushes and three container raspberries bushes for 50% off!! Total score.4

What I Plan to Harvest This Month

Holy smokes – what won’t I harvest. I’m on my 5th basket {each 14lbs} of plum tomatoes, which happens to be enough for a full crock-pot of peeled and chopped tomatoes that yields 5-6 pints of canned tomato sauce. So the tomato sauce stash is looking pretty good so far. And I’ve got another one sitting on the counter waiting for me.5

I’ve been faithfully collecting and drying herbs all summer including mint, chocolate mint, chamomile and lemon balm for teas, and oregano, thyme, and rosemary for cooking.6

Jalapenos – do I have jalapenos. Yes, the answer is yes. Bags and bags of cut, seeded, sliced, rinsed and frozen jalapenos. The HH is borderline gleeful over my stockpile of jalapenos.7

Corn. Although I don’t have the space to grow corn, I have visited the farmer down the street for five dozen ears and have shucked, cooked, cut and frozen bags of corn.8

Potatoes. The potatoes did pretty well in my raised garden box, and I got about a dozen big-sized potatoes, which is enough for Thanksgiving dinner. And a boatload of small sized potatoes, which will be perfect for breakfast potatoes. Overall I’ve decided that potatoes are just too cheap and my garden space just too small to use a whole garden box for a few dozen potatoes, so next year I’ll re-allocate the box to something I can freeze or can.9

Carrots – of the few that made it to full-grown carrot size have really blossomed. They are huge. I plan on digging them up for Thanksgiving dinner.10

Volunteerism in a great thing. These cucumbers, however, might very well grow legs and take over the universe. Check this out – incredible. There are mini cucs growing now so we’ll see how they do over the next month.

Remember the winter sowing experiment I did last winter? Well, I am totally doing it again – it worked like a charm! I grew an entire bed of perennial bloom seeds which has created a nice little border of wild flowers for my garden. And the beginning of my lavender hedge is looking pre-tt-y good also. Next year I expect these two sections to really take off!11

Chickens

Now is a good time before it gets too cold to give the coop a good, thorough, cleaning. Over the year I have continuously thrown in bags of leaves and/or straw for the chickens to play in, when you add leftover chix scraps and chicken poo, you end up with rockin’ compost. Scoop all that out and add it to an empty garden bed, then restock the coop with more leaves and/or straw. Check your coop for signs of insects, critters or anything else unsavory and take measures to remedy it. Note to self; that hawk sitting on the tree stump licking it’s chops over your chickens is not there for a playdate – now is also the time to repair the coop/roof and secure the pen if needed.

Houseplants and Indoor Bulbs

There are definitely some things to be done around here in this arena. I just realized there are plants I got when the boy was a baby – 15 years these plants have been kickin’ around in the same pots, in the same soil. Re-potting and dividing these monsters may not get done in September, as I am currently swimming in tomatoes, but it’s on my list. If you’ll be re-potting too, make sure to use a sterile potting soil, not garden/compost soil. If you are good about watering your houseplants, the compost soils retain too much water and the plants rot. If you’re like me, and water sparingly, the compost soil will accumulate too many salts and die.

Trees and Shrubs

After a severe scale infestation last winter, my lil lemon tree has recuperated and doing great! Look how nice and lush he looks.

Weed and Pest Control

Weeding the front walk is absolutely no fun. We’ve thought about paving it, but the sewer entrance is directly under it. I’ve sprayed it with the vinegar combo {1 gallon of vinegar + 2 cups of Epson salt + 2 tbls of dish soap, shake and spray} and it works really well. But I’ve found the best weed control – are my kids. Come home late from curfew? Go weed. Talk back and/or general disrespect? Go weed. Don’t do your chores? Go weed. Weeding worked for me {although now I find it a bit of a zenning moment} and it’ll work for them. Guess I should call my mom, she’s sure to find that hilarious.

Lawn Care

This is a big month for the lawn; it’s generally time to prepare it for next spring. Just as you will put your garden “to bed”, the same thing goes for the lawn. Keep in mind that mid Oct. is your end date. So September is the time to get everything done. Aerate {core is better than pine} and seed. Then fertilize.

How is your garden going? Because I’ll be rotating crops and removing some {like potatoes} and adding another box of a successful crop {plum tomatoes} I’m wondering… what was your most successful and/or useful crop?12

I’m off to pick, cut, clean, steam, pack, and can veggies…

**These garden chores are based on my Zone 5b Southeast/Boston MA 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 – Uncle Buck

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I’m on a John Hughes kick lately.  He seriously puts out what I would call the “classics” of the 80′s and 90′s.  This weekend, I am going to watch Uncle Buck.  In case you haven’t seen it, it’s about a couple who need someone to watch their kids while they head out of town on a family emergency.  The only option is the husband’s less-than-desirable brother:  Uncle Buck.  John Candy is awesome as Uncle Buck–seriously, you will quote this movie for the rest of your life.

I love revisiting my favorite comedies.  What’s your favorite John Hughes movie?  Maybe I’ll add it to my fall line-up.

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.

What Am I Suppose to do With All This Zucchini?

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zucchini and beans

You know that feeling you get towards the end of summer when you’ve tried every recipe you have and even though there are more vegetables to harvest in your garden, you simply have no clue what to do with them?lucy the puggle dog

It’s like your brain just shuts off and calls it quits. Well that’s where I’m at right now.

lucy puggle

So please, if you have a favorite zucchini or bean recipe you think is the bomb diggety and you think we should try it… please leave it {or a link} in the comments below.

I’d sure appreciate 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.

Seatle Tilth’s FREE Annual Harvest Fair September 6th

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fairCelebrate harvest season at Seattle Tilth’s Harvest Fair. This annual urban farm festival is hands-on and fun for the entire community with workshops, cooking demonstrations and fun activities for all ages. Eat tasty food, enjoy live music and check out the colorful and delicious produce local farms and gardens are overflowing with.

Now in its 27th year, this family friendly festival is right around the corner: 

Seattle Tilth’s Harvest Fair
Saturday, September 6 from 10 am-4 pm
Meridian Park {4649 Sunnyside Ave. N, Seattle}

Come hang out and press cider from local apples, enjoy fresh, delicious food, nuzzle a goat or chicken, make an herb crown, or even join the parade. Local and organic farm stands will be stocked with fresh produce at the height of harvest season. The Harvest Fair is a great place to stock-up on fresh foods, farm crafts, native and edible plants, garden supplies and sustainable goods. You can also learn tips for canning and cooking, or bring goods to trade and barter.

See the full schedule of activities and the list of participating farmers, vendors and organizations.

Activities include:

  • Workshops
  • Live music
  • Local food trucks and tents
  • Organic farmers market
  • Urban farm demonstration
  • Sustainable vendors
  • Kids parade (noon)
  • Barter (1-3 p.m.)
  • Canning and cooking demonstrations
  • Cider pressing
  • DIY herb crowns
  • Seed swap
  • Raffle
  • Kids crafts in the children’s gardenUrban Livestock Howdy

Volunteers are needed to help make it all happen and volunteering is a fun way to participate. Sign-up to volunteer HERE!

Admission is free but donations are encouraged at the entrances to help cover event costs.

Seattle Tilth inspires and educates 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.

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 – It’s Time to Clean Out the Greenhouse

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greenhouse tomatoes

I was out in the greenhouse picking tomatoes for some homemade sauce last night when I noticed a few of my tomato plants are on their way out.  :( The leaves are starting to curl and turn brown as if to say “I’m done, please let me die.” growing tomatoes in a greenhouse

The tomato plants in the stock tanks are still hanging in there, but the tomatoes I had growing in pots, well those needed to go.
greenhouse gutters

So I guess you know what that means… It’s time to get the cool weather crops planted! Which is pretty stinkin’ awesome if you ask me because I’ve been missing my dinner salads. My goal is to get my greenhouse gutters planted with some leafy greens, maybe some baby bok choy too.

dragging pot out of a greenhouse

Ahh, to everything there is a season. Right?

How’s it going at your place? Are your tomato plants still hanging in there, or are they done for the season?

~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.

Do You Know What Type of Plants These Are?

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evergreen crawling plant red berries

If you’ve been reading this blog for any length of time then you know I’m more of a vegetable gardener. Trees, shrubs and flowers are not my strong suit. Sure, I know how to plant them, but when it comes to identifying anything other than a boxwood hedge or anything other than my favorite perennial flowers, I’m pretty much at a loss.

So here’s the problem. The home we bought on the east coast is an older home. Even though it’s not jammed packed with oodles of bushes and trees, the ones that are there, I can’t identify. Or rather, I was hoping YOU could help me identify them so I don’t have to spend endless amounts of time researching. Call me lazy. ;)

So here we go.

Plant #1 {above} It’s some sort of crawling evergreen plant with red berries and there are clumps of it all over the backyard.

purple flowering tree

Plant #2 –> Crape Myrtle!! Wahooo! I LOVE this. 

We’ve got a  20 foot tree along side the house with the most amazing purple flowers. It was pretty much done blooming by the time I snapped this photo but I would sure love to plant another one of these somewhere on the property. The tree has peeling bark.
day lilies

Plant #3

I think these are day lilies but I’m not sure. I mainly want to identify them so I can dig them up and give them away. ;)

barberry plant

Plant #4

I think this one might be a barberry plant but I’m not sure. Whatever it is, I’m not a fan. There are 4 of these right smack dab in front of the house and I want to remove them and plant a nice boxwood hedge in their place.

orange lilies in the garden

Plant #5

The property is littered with mounds of these orange flowers. I think they are day lilies as well and I plan to remove these too. Orange is great for pumpkins and squash, but when it comes to flowers, I’m more of a pink, purple and white kind of girl.
maple leaves

Plant #6

Anyone know what kind of tree this is? I like it.

salvia purple flowers

Plant #7

I think this is a salvia plant. There are several of these sprinkled around the property and I plan up digging them up and grouping them together at some point.

green and white grassPlant #8

Any last but not least, what the heck are these green and white striped grass plants? Does anyone know? I’m curious how tall they’ll get and how long they last. If they don’t get too big then I think I’ll move them and plant them over by the hosta plants alongside the house.

If you know what any of these plants, trees or shrubs are I would love to know.

Thanks in advance for your help,

~ 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 for September

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September garden chores

The food is really rolling in this month.  Tomatoes will start coming on like crazy, and I’ll be pretty much glued to the canner.  And guess what?  I love it!

broccoli starts transplants

What I Plan to Transplant Outside this Month

  • Lettuce
  • Broccoli
  • Cauliflower
  • Cabbage
  • Spinach

mavis butterfiled

What I plan to Harvest This Month

  • Tomatoes, tomatoes, and more tomatoes
  • Beets
  • Chives
  • Cucumbers
  • Beans {coming out of our ears!}
  • Kale
  • Mint
  • Oregano
  • Potatoes
  • Rhubarb
  • Sage
  • Basil
  • Thyme
  • Strawberries {If I’m lucky}
  • Swiss Chard
  • Zucchini

spring bulbs in terra cotta pots

Houseplants and Indoor Bulbs

Continue misting houseplants with water.  Regular watering and feeding will continue through this month.  If you plan on forcing bulbs indoors for some early spring color, now is the time to order your bulbs for the best selection.

trimming tree and shrubs

Trees and Shrubs

Now is a great time to start assessing what will need to be pruned later this fall. Also, as the weather cools, you will be able to scale way back on watering your trees and shrubs as well.

purple cherokee tomato

Weed and Pest Control

Watch for worms on your tomato plants this month–all of that effort to grow them and pests can wipe them out in a blink of an eye.  Continue regular weeding.

lawn mower

Lawn Care

As the weather cools toward the end of the month, you can scale way back on watering.  It is also probably time to reset your lawn mowing blade lower.  For now, fallen leaves can just be mowed right along with the rest of the grass.  But as they get heavier, make sure to rake them up and get them off the lawn, they create a pretty hospitable environment for fungus when they get wet.

If you need to, aeration is a good idea now.  It will allow your grass to get all the nutrients it needs for winter.  Also, after aeration, lay fertilizer down for the last time until late spring.

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 – The Boy in the Striped Pajamas

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Tonight I am going to watch The Boy in the Striped Pajamas.  I have wanted to see it since it came out {in 2008, I am only a little late}, but never got around to it.  It is about the son of a German soldier who befriends a little boy on the other side of the fence of a concentration camp.  It is supposed to be excellent, though, with fair warning, it will probably be heart-wrenching.

boy in the striped pajamas

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 – End of August Garden Photos

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growing green beans in garden boxes

The weather has been crazy good here up in the Pacific Northwest this summer and it’s hard to believe gardening season will be coming to a close  pretty soon. Well, not technically coming to a close… we’ve still got plenty of things to grow around here in the winter months, but for things like fresh beans and tomatoes, we’ve only got about a month left to enjoy picking them fresh out of our gardens.

baby green beans

What will I do without fresh beans?

growing zucchini in a garden box

And zucchini? Well actually, to tell you the truth, my love for zucchini is pretty much seasonal thing. ;)  purple Cherokee tomatoes

But heirloom tomatoes? Now that’s something I wish I could grow year round. pumpkin patch

Check out the pumpkin patch? I counted 7 pumpkins growing on the vines. {Plus a few winter squash!}green cabbage with slugs

I think cabbage is going to be on the menu this weekend. I just have to pick off a few slugs first.  :)
Italian kale

And kale. If you can’t kill it, you might as well grow it, right?

Ahh summer. I’m going to miss you.

How is YOUR vegetable garden doing these days? Winding down? 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.

Garden Tip – Use Vegetable Cooking Water to Fertilize Plants

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Use Vegetable Cooking Water to Fertilize Plants

I just did this this morning so I thought I would do a little PSA and repost this handy tip! ;)

The next time you boil or steam some vegetables on the stove top, don’t pour the water down the drain.  Once the water has cooled, pour the vegetable water in your garden or planting containers to “fertilize” your plants instead of wasting it.

I’ve been doing this for a couple of years now I think it really helps keep my garden green.

Do you do this too? Please tell me I’m not a total weirdo.

~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.

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