How to Grow Celery {Start to Finish}

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

celery seeds

I started some celery seeds under grow lights a while back, and yesterday I transplanted the young plants out  to the garden. As long as you keep your celery plants watered, it’s about as low maintenance as it gets. Celery seems to thrive up here in the Northwest because of our cool spring and fall temperatures and it especially LOVES growing in my shady backyard.

Brief description: Celery is a versatile little veggie.  You can eat the stalks, leaves, roots and seeds.

Where to Plant  Celery:  Celery does best in a cooler climates out of direct sunlight.  It is a great choice for shadier areas of your yard {though, it still needs some light}.  You can grow it in garden beds, raised beds, or containers.

what do celery seeds look like

Planting Seeds:  Press seeds into the surface of the dirt.  Thin to 1 seedling per pot {or every 6″} when they are 1″ tall.  When plants are about 6″ tall, harden them off before planting.

celery

Growing Tips:  Celery likes fertile well-watered areas and does not tolerate the heat very well.  In the south, it can be grown all winter.  In the far north, it thrives in the spring.  In most other areas, it really thrives as a fall crop.

How to Harvest:  Cut the stalks off just above the soil line.  You can also harvest single stalks, if that is all your recipe calls for.

regional-planting-guides

Are you ready to start your garden but you’re not sure when you should plant your seeds or set out your transplants? Head on over HERE and you’ll be taken to a handy dandy chart that is broken down into what vegetables should be planted {or transplanted} each month in your area.

Anyone can do this. Dirt + Seeds+ Water = Food!

~Mavis

Storage Tip:  To store a fall crop of celery, pull plant up root and all, and store in a box with moist sand or dirt completely surrounding the roots.  They should keep several months this way.

chicken noodle soup crock pot recipes{Crock Pot Chicken Noodle Soup}

Besides eating celery stalks dipped in peanut butter {Yum!} my favorite way to enjoy it is in homemade chicken noodle soup. Mmm Mmm Good!

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.



Skagit Valley Tulip Festival – Roozengaarde

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

Roozengaarde

Yesterday The Girl and I drove up to the Skagit Valley Tulip Festival in Mt. Vernon, Washington. The festival has been going on for 30 years and it attracts over 1 million visitors from all around the world.

As I was standing in front of the giant windmill at Roozengaarde {the best stop on the tour if you ask me} I was like, Man. I totally should have brought my gnome dress! Oh well, maybe next year.

skagit valley tulip festival roozengaarde

In 1955 Dutch emigrants William and Helen Roozen in 1955 started their farm with only 5 acres of land.

daffodil grape hyacinth tulip border

RoozenGaarde {where all these pictures were taken} was founded in 1985 to serve as the Washington Bulb Company’s retail shop and display garden.

skagit valley tulip festival roozengaarde

Now the Roozen family farms nearly 2,000 acres!

parrot tulips

You could spend hours driving down the back roads and driving to all the farms on the map, but The Girl and I got a late start yesterday and we were on a bit of a tight schedule, so we happily paid the $5 admission fee and toured the Roozengaarde instead. And it was worth every penny too.

grape hyacinth muscari bulbs

A path of grape hyacinth. My favorite!tulip sign

skagit valley tulip festival roozengaarde

It took me a little while to notice all the beds below the trees were mounded.
skagit valley tulip festival roozengaarde

Do you see it? I wish I would have known to do this back when I was planting my daffodil beds last fall.

Skagit Valley Tulip Festival - Roozengaarde

There was also a formal garden with gravel paths and smaller flower beds to walk through as well. You can always pick out the tourists {people who don’t live in Washington state} because they use umbrellas when it’s barely sprinkling. skagit valley tulip festival roozengaarde

If this was my garden, I wouldn’t pick a single flower. I’d  just drag a chair outside and sip tea all day while reading  Jane Austin books. Occasionally I’d send the Handsome Husband a text when I needed a refill of tea or a scone or something.

Who needs cable when you have a flower full of beautiful flowers?

bird eating worm

Hello Spring! I.Love.You.

~Mavis

If you are in the area please go visit the Roozengaarde. You will not be disappointed.

Address: 15867 Beaver Marsh Road Mount Vernon, Washington
Phone: 1-800-732-3266
Website: www.Tulips.com

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.

Backyard Gardening – Raised Garden Beds

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

raised garden beds

I was working in the raised garden beds yesterday and snapped a few pictures and thought I would share them. We currently has 16 raised garden beds along the main garden path. So far we have carrots, beets, cabbage, broccoli, broccoli raab, radish, celery, strawberries, peas and onions planted.

walla walla onion transplants

All the beds are 8 feet long by 4 feet wide about have about 8 inches of soil in them. A couple of beds towards towards the end are a little bit deeper because I propped them up on logs so they’d be somewhat even due to our sloped yard.

walla walla onions and radish seedlings

I heard Wilco had some Walla Walla Sweets in so I grab a bundle of my favorite onions and planted them between rows of radishes. Companion planting rules!

radish seedlings

Have you planted your radishes yet? What are you waiting for? Now is the time to do it.

This is how my first round of radish seedlings look like right now. Hopefully in about a month or so they’ll be ready to harvest. Last spring I was able to barter a flat of french breakfast radishes for some avocados.

cabbage 6 weeks

Cabbage for the Handsome Husband. Cabbage isn’t my favorite, but he’s Irish and loves it so I grow it for him.

beet seedlings

The gourmet blend beets are beginning to poke through the soil. It appears these ones will be yellow and red.

garlic growing in a raised garden bed

Garlic. It’s coming along nicely I think.

square foot garden

And lastly, the square foot garden. So far I have sugar snap peas, celery, onions and strawberries growing in 4 of it’s 32 squares. I think today I’ll plant a  few radish and beet seeds.

Have YOU started planting seeds yet? If so, what?

~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 – Vegucated

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

Tonight, The Girl and I will be watching Vegucated.  Amazon describes the film as:

“…a guerrilla-style documentary that follows three meat- and cheese-loving New Yorkers who agree to adopt a vegan diet for six weeks and learn what it’s all about.”

Even though I’m not Vegan, it should be interesting.  I always like shows that cause people to step outside of their comfort zones and I’m sure my neighbor Francisco will have a discussion about it afterwards too. This should be interesting!

vegucated

Amazon Prime Members can watch Vegucated for free.

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?

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.

Companion Planting Chart

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

carrots love tomatoes{Carrots love Tomatoes – One of my favorite gardening books!}

I don’t know about you, but I am a big fan of companion planting.

Companion planting operates on the basic premise that certain plants play nicer together than others.  Some plants function to bring out the flavor of another, deter unwanted insects, attract wanted insects, and compliment the soil.

On the flip side, some plants cause other plants nothing but root-ache and grief, so you want to avoid planting them near one another.  If you are interested in gardening organically, companion planting is a great way to work with mother nature.

Here’s a basic companion planting guide to get you started as you plant the layout of your garden this year:

Plant Name

Plant Close To:

Keep Away From:

Repels

Basil Most Garden Crops–especially tomatoes and lettuce Rue Mosquitoes
Bush Beans Beets, Cabbage, Carrots, Catnip, Cauliflower, Corn, Cucumbers, Marigolds, Potatoes, Savory, Strawberries Fennel, Garlic, Leeks, Onions, Shallots
Pole Beans Corn, Marigolds, Potatoes, Radishes Beets, Garlic, Kohlrabi, Leeks, Onions, Shallots
Beets Broccoli, Brussels Sprouts, Bush Beans, Cabbage, Cauliflower, Chard, Kohlrabi, Onions Charlock, Field Mustard, Pole Beans
Borage Squash, Strawberries Tomato Worms
Broccoli and Brussels Sprouts Beets, Buckwheat, Calendula, Carrots, Chamomile, Dill, Hyssop, Marigolds, Mints, Nasturtiums, Onions, Rosemary, Sage, Thyme, Wormwood Strawberries
Cabbage and Cauliflower Broccoli, Brussels Sprouts, Celery, Chard, Spinach Strawberries
Cantaloupe Corn
Carrots Cabbage, Chives, Early Potatoes, Leeks, Lettuce, Onions, Peas, Radishes, Rosemary, Sage, Salsify, Wormwood
Chives Apples, Berries, Carrots, Grapes, Peas, Roses, Tomatoes Aphids and Japanese Beetles
Corn Beans, Cucumbers, Early Potatoes, Melons, Peas, Pumpkins, Soybeans, Squash
Cucumbers Beans, Cabbage, Early Potatoes, Radishes, Sunflowers Late Potatoes
Dill Broccoli, Brussels Sprouts, Cabbage, Cauliflower, Cucumber, Lettuce, Onions Carrots
Eggplant Green Beans, Peppers, Potatoes, Tomatoes
Garlic Cabbage, Cane Fruits, Fruit Trees, Roses, Tomatoes Peas, Beans Japanese Beatles and Aphid, Ermine Moths, and Late Potato blight.
Kale Aromatic herbs, Buckwheat, Cabbage Family, Marigolds, Nasturtiums Pole Beans, Strawberries
Kohrabi Cabbage/Cauliflower Companions {except tomatoes} Fennel, Pole Beans, Tomatoes
Lettuce Beets, Carrots, Parsnips, Radishes, Strawberries Cabbage Family
Marigolds All Garden Crops Bean Beetles, Aphids, Potato Bugs, Squash Bugs, Nematodes, and Maggots
Marjoram All Garden Crops
Mustard Alfalfa Cover Crops, Fruit Trees, Grapes, Legumes
Nasturtiums Apples, Beans, Cabbage Family, Greenhouse Crops, Potatoes, Pumpkins, Radishes, Squash Aphids, Potato Bugs, Squash Bugs, Striped Pumpkin Beetles, and Mexican Bean Beetles.  Destroys whiteflies in greenhoues.
Onions Beets, Cabbage Family, Carrots, Chamomile, Lettuce, Parsnips Beans, Peas Many insects/pests–especially maggots
Oregano All Garden Crops Many insects/pests
Parsley Corn, Roses, Tomatoes
Parnips Onions, Radishes, Wormwood
Peas Beans, Carrots, Corn, Cucumbers, Early Potatoes, Radishes, Turnip Garlic, Leeks, Onions Shallots
Peppers Basil, Carrots, Eggplant, Onions Parsley Tomatoes Fennel, Kohlrabi
Potatoes Basil, Beans, Cabbage Family, Corn, Eggplant, Flax, Hemp, Margolds, Peas, Squash Apples, Birch, Cherries, Cucumbers, Pumpkins, Raspberries, Sunflowrs, Tomatoes, Walnuts
Radishes Cervil, Cucumbers, Lettuce, Melons, Peas, Nasturtiums, Root Crops Hyssop Cucumber Beetles
Rosemary Beans, Cabbage, Carrots Bean Beetles, Cabbage Moths, and Carrot Flies
Sage Cabbage Family, Carrots, Tomatoes Cucumbers Cabbage Moths and Carrot Flies
Soybeans Corn, Potatoes
Spinach Celery, Cauliflower, Eggplant, Strawberries
Strawberries Borage, Bush Beans, Lettuce, Pyrethrum, Spinach Cabbage Family
Sunflowers Cucumbers Potatoes
Swiss Chard Bush Beans, Kohrabi, Onions Pole Beans
Tarragon All Garden Crops
Thyme All Garden Crops Cabbage Moths
Tomatoes Asparagus, Basil, Carrots, Gooseberries, Mustard, Parsley, Onions, Rosemary, Sage, Stinging Nettles Fennel, Kohlrabi, Potatoes, Walnuts
Turnips and Rutabagas Peas Knotweed, Mustard

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 Kohlrabi {Start to Finish}

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

botanical interests kohlrabi seeds purple and white

Have you ever tried kohlrabi? It’s kind of funky. I planted our kohlrabi seeds a few days ago and even though it’s one of the vegetables your only likely to find at a farmers market, you should give it a try. Especially if you have kids.

Brief description: Kohlrabi is part of the cabbage family.  It is very hardy and has a very mild sweet flavor and is great in anything you would put cabbage in.

what do kohlrabi seeds look like

Where to Plant Kohlrabi:  Plant in full sun.    It is a cooler weather plant, and thrives in 40-65 degree weather.  It is best in raised beds and garden beds.  Because of its root system, it does not do well in containers.

Kohlrabi

Planting Seeds:  Plant seeds 1/4-1/2″ deep.  Thin seedlings to one per pot or 1 every 4″ when they reach 4″ tall.

Growing Tips:  Kohlrabi does best with consistent even watering.  Mix compost in when you transplant outside  and add another bit of compost around the plant mid-season.

giant-kohlrabi-puyallup-fair-pictures

How to Harvest:  Harvest when bulb reaches 2-3″ in diameter–any bigger and flavor is negatively affected.

regional planting guides

What part do you eat?  The most common part of Kohlrabi is the bulb.  It can be sliced and diced like cabbage for coleslaw, stir-fries, salads, etc.  You can also eat the stems–chop them up into 1″ segments and steam, boil, saute them.  A lot of people think the stems taste like broccoli.  The leaves can also be eaten.  They can be sauteed like spinach.

Are you ready to start your garden but you’re not sure when you should plant your seeds or set out your transplants? Head on over HERE and you’ll be taken to a handy dandy chart that is broken down into what vegetables should be planted {or transplanted} each month in your area.

Anyone can do this. Dirt + Seeds+ Water = Food!

~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.

Wood Pallet Garden Update – Lettuce and Strawberries

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

recycled-wood-pallet-garden
It’s been a while since I’ve giving you an update on my wood pallet garden, so I thought I’d share a few pictures and let you know how everything is growing so far.

strawberry wood pallet garden

Yesterday I planted 16 strawberry crowns. Last year I grew strawberries in gutters, outside along the garden paths and also in a vertical pallet garden. I really enjoyed growing strawberries in wood pallets last year because it kept the berries off the ground away from the occasional slug.

wood pallet garden lettuce

Here is  a close up of a small head of romaine lettuce we have growing in a wood pallet.

wood pallet gardening lettuce

Here is another photo of some sort of red leafed lettuce {I forgot the name of this variety, sorry!}.

recycled wood pallet garden

I know the wood pallet garden doesn’t look too exciting right now, but in about another month or so the pallets should be filled out and pretty lush if the weather continues to warm up.

The one thing I love most about gardening, it’s that there are so many different ways to grow vegetables. It can be overwhelming sometimes because I want to try everything all at once, but I love it. Gardening keeps me out of trouble {Ha!} and I can’t imagine a better hobby than growing your own food.

Gardening Rocks!

~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.

Tips for Container Gardening

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

tips for container gardening

If you are short on space, don’t let it stop you from gardening!  Quite a few edibles can thrive in containers–producing FREE fresh produce for you and your family. One of my goals this year is to show you that anyone can garden, no matter how much space they have.

simple garden container garden kits

Over the next few weeks I’ll be planting several different crops in containers to show you just how easy container gardening can be.

I recently planted 2 small container gardens using Simple Garden Starter Kits.  These kits are cool because they include a 12-Inch by 12-inch planter, peat moss based soil, tomato and basil seeds, and a planting grid for seed spacing, a planting stick for seed depth.

simple garden starter kit

If you have never tried container gardening, here are a few tips to get you started:

  1. Drainage, drainage, drainage.  This is the single most important consideration in container gardening {imagine trench foot in your plants’ roots–they don’t like prolonged sitting in water any more than we do}.  When choosing a container make sure you have plenty of drain holes in the bottom.  A single hole will not cut it {often times, if your pot material allows, you can drill more holes}.  I like to collect all of the river rocks I find in the soil as I’m digging {or scavenge them from construction sites} and put them in the bottom of the containers before I add dirt.  It adds additional drainage and saves a little money on potting soil.  The rocks alone would not be enough, though, so again, make sure your container has plenty of holes.  Also, do not use gravel for drainage–it is counterproductive, causing the water to back up in the soil.  {Feel free to insert something wise about physics here to explain this phenomenon.}   
  2. Fertilize your pots regularly.
  3. Get a set of wheels.  Putting your pots on wheels isn’t essential, but it does allow you to easily move your plants–which depending on your location, may allow you to make the most of the lighting.
  4. Change out the soil yearly.  This doesn’t mean a complete overhaul, but before planting new plants for the year, remove the first several inches and add in new potting soil.  If possible, thoroughly mix it in with the old.  It will add extra nutrients that were lost in the previous growing season, and if done yearly, it will save you money in not having to add new soil to the entire pot.
  5. When using smaller space containers, make sure to check to see which plants play nicely together.  Certain plants do not do well in the same pot, while on the flipside, some plants will increase yields when planted together.  Know your chosen varieties’ enemies!
  6. As with tip #5, make sure to plan to put plants with similar watering needs in the same containers.
  7. Accept death.  This isn’t a nugget of zen wisdom I am trying to sneak pass you here, I promise.  Plants die, no matter what you are growing them in {containers, garden beds, etc.}  It happens to me all of the time.  Sometimes, you follow all of the rules to the letter and they up and die anyway.   Don’t let it discourage you from pressing on.  Live to grow another day.
  8. Use potting soil.  Regular dirt you dig up from the backyard will typically not have enough drainage to support container gardening.  Choose a mix with perlite, etc.  Or plan to amend your dirt. I am a big fan of  Miracle Grow potting soil or you can also make your own potting soil as well.
  9. Consider your water source.  When placing your containers, consider the water source you will be using.  Do you have a hose nearby?  Are you going to carry a watering can out to your plants–and if so, are your containers so far out of your way that your motivation may decrease as the summer goes on?  Be realistic about how much work you want to do and plant accordingly.

How about YOU?

Do you have any container gardening tips to add?

~Mavis

If you would like to learn more about growing vegetable container gardens, check out The Vegetable Gardener’s Container Bible By Edward C. Smith.  Amazon currently has it on sale for $13.29.

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 Your Own Food – 4/3/2013 Garden Tally

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

one-hundred-dollars-a-month-{July 2012}

This year I’m on a mission to grow 4,000 pounds of fresh fruits and vegetables in my suburban backyard. In 2012 I was able to grow 2,028 pounds, and in 2013 I’m going double or nothing. I have absolutely no idea if I’ll be able to achieve my goal. But, as with any adventure, half the fun is getting there.   ~Mavis

Well it was another exciting week harvesting vegetables in the backyard garden. I harvested 1 ounce of chives to use on scrambled eggs. HA!

It’s hard to believe that somehow I’ll find a way to grow another 3,994 pounds of food between now and the end of the year. When you think about it, it’s pretty crazy. I can only imagine what it must be like for those of you living in much colder areas with shorter growing seasons. It’s got to be tough.

All I can say is, I am totally looking forward to June, and planting pumpkins. Let’s hope we can grow a couple of hundred pounders this year. Wouldn’t that be awesome?

Let me know if you have any secrets to growing giant ones!

Happy digging,

~Mavis

Here is what I have harvested so far this year:


beets

Beets - 14 ounces

carrots

Carrots – 3 ounces

chives and tulips{Lucy likes to tip toe through the tulips and chives daily}

Chives – 2 ounces

francisco mavis{Francisco stopped by for a visit and held Baby Fat, our tiny Black Australorp}

Egg Count – 563

Last week we collected a whopping 82 eggs. That is almost 1 dozen eggs a day! I don’t think the weekly egg count will get any higher than that. Black Fatty, and the two Bantam hens are occasional layers and the rest of the girls are laying about 6 eggs each a week. Not to shabby if you ask me.

microgreens
Lettuce
– 6 ounces
Microgreens 5 ounces

potatoes

Potatoes – 2 pounds 9 ounces

grow your own sprouts

Sprouts - 8 ounces

Rainbow-Swiss-Chard-picture

Swiss Chard 11 ounces

cut-wheatgrass

Wheatgrass - 7 ounces

Total Food Harvested in 2013: 6 pounds 1 ounces

Total Eggs Collected in 2013: 563

Get out there and grow!

~Mavis

free shipping botanical interests

Need some seeds? Botanical Interests is offering FREE SHIPPING on orders over $50 right now.

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 Carrots {Start to Finish}

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

rainbow carrots seed packets

I think carrots are hands down one of the easiest vegetables to grow {zucchini and peas are at the top of the list too}. This year I’ll be growing 3 different kinds of carrots:

Brief description:  Carrots are a root vegetable.  They have a sweet mild flavor.  They are super easy to grow–and once you’ve had homegrown carrots, it will be tough to go back.

Where to Plant Carrots:   Plant in raised beds and garden beds. I plant mine in a garden box that is about 12 inches deep.

what do carrot seeds look like

Planting Seeds:  Sow outside 2-4 weeks before last frost.  You can sow them every couple of weeks for a continuous crop, but stop about 2 months before the first expected frost.  Sow seeds about 1/4″ deep.  Thin to 1 every 3″ when seedlings reach about 1″ tall.

Growing Tips:   Carrots prefer loose, well-composted soil.  Don’t allow young carrots to dry out, consistent watering will provide the best growth and limit cracking.

rainbow-carrots

How to Harvest:  Don’t allow carrots to get too big.  Check your seed packet for full grown length, and harvest by loosing the surrounding soil and pulling the carrots out by hand.  Digging them up sometimes results in damaged carrots.  Carrots actually get sweetest after a light frost.

regional planting guides

Are you ready to start your garden but you’re not sure when you should plant your seeds or set out your transplants? Head on over HERE and you’ll be taken to a handy dandy chart that is broken down into what vegetables should be planted {or transplanted} each month in your area.

Anyone can do this. Dirt + Seeds+ Water = Food!

~Mavis

Here are a few of my Favorite Carrot recipes:

chicken and thyme rice with carrotsChicken and Thyme Rice with Carrots

the best moist carrot cake recipeCarrot Cake 

carrot cake jam recipe canning

Carrot Cake Jam

Fun Fact:  In the 16th century, Dutch carrot growers invented the orange carrot in honor of the House of Orange, the Dutch Royal Family. They created the carrots by cross breeding pale yellow carrots with red carrots.

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