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

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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

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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

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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?

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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

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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

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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

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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.

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.

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