How to Grow Alyssum {Start to Finish}

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alyssum
{photo credit}

I don’t know when I first fell in love with alyssum, but I absolutely love using purple and white alyssum in my window box and hanging flower baskets every year. It’s delicate, yet very hearty.

Brief description:  Alyssum is a delicate mounding or trailing flower {depending on variety} that blooms throughout the summer.

Where to Plant Alyssum:  Alyssum can be planted nearly anywhere, but make great border flowers, thrive in rock beds, and in containers where they can trail over the sides.  They do best in sun to light shade.

alyssum

Planting Seeds:  To plant seeds, just press them into the surface of the soil.  Put a pinch of seeds in every pot, approximately 6″ apart.  There is not need to thin these clumping flowers.

Growing Tips:  Alyssum can stand quite a bit of abuse.  They are drought tolerant and deer resistant.  For best results, though, water 2 times per week during hotter months.

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

Fun Fact:  While Alyssum is typically an annual, they will overwinter in some climates, popping up sporadically year after year.

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.



Growing Vegetables in a Greenhouse – Spinach, Lettuce, Basil and More

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Growing Vegetables in a Greenhouse , gardening, mavis, magnum glass greenhouse,  Spinach, Lettuce, Basil

I thought I would give you a peek and show you what’s growing in the greenhouse right now. Typically I crack the doors open a bit in the late morning to get a little air flow going. In the summer months I pop the vents and leave those open 24/7 but it’s still a bit too chilly for that right now.

daffodils and gnomes

I think this may be the last week for daffodils and grape hyacinth flowers in front of the greenhouse. I do believe I planted some tulips in those planters so they should be popping up soon.

garden grow in gutters

Growing vegetables in gutters is awesome. We have spinach on the top followed by Swiss chard, lettuce and romaine lettuce in the bottom gutter.

spinach seedlings garden in gutters

The first set of true leaves on the spinach are starting to form.

grow garden in gutters lettuce

The lettuce is bite size. Note to self: keep Lucy out of the greenhouse or she will have enough for a small buffet.

greenhouse gardening

The make folding tables are filled with seedlings. I still have not gotten around to transplanting the basil or zinnias, hopefully I can get my act together soon. I think it still might be too cold to set out the geraniums, so I’ll I think I’ll wait another week on those. Everything seems to be thriving.

cabbage seedlings

Round 3 of cabbage.
slugs eating cabbage

The slugs are back in town. I spotted this little guy munching on a cabbage leaf this morning and promptly tossed him in my salt bucket. Now I have to go on a slug hunt and see if I can find anymore in the greenhouse. How do they get in there anyway?

greenhouse gardening

For the most part, I think everything is coming along pretty nicely for this time of year. I do think I will invest in a greenhouse fan this year, so if you have any ideas on what brand or type I should buy please let me know in the comments below.

I don’t know about you, but I am looking forward to warmer weather.

Stay Green,

Mavis

Flower House Pop-Up Plant House 3 footLooking for a mini greenhouse? Amazon has the 3 foot Flower House Pop-Up Plant House on sale right now. I used the 4 foot version before I invested in my glass greenhouse and it worked great.

This post may contain affiliate links. These affiliate links help support this site. For more information, please see my disclosure policy. Thank you for supporting One Hundred Dollars a Month.

Mavis Butterfield | Backyard Garden Plot Pictures – Week 15 of 52

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mavis garden blog peas along the fence

Week 15 of 52 – Mavis’ Backyard Garden Plot

raised garden beds

Rain, rain, go away, come again another day. Like in the middle of a heat wave in August. Yeah, that would be nice. You know what the soggy, wet bark reminds me of right now?

raised garden beds red bark

A 1970′s maroon shag carpet.

recycled wood pallet garden

Or Ron Burgundy’s sports coat.

wooded backyard garden

Yep, I’d take neon orange bark over this crap any day of the week.

wooded backyard garden

I decided all the sports gnomes needed to be together. So they guarding the perennial garden from squirrels and chipmunks.

magnum glass greenhouse

Thanks to the rain, the greenhouse is nice and muggy. Lately I’ve been keeping the doors open about a good 8 inches. My tomatoes and basil is in there and as soon as the weather warms uspI want to be able to plant them outside. So far the plants are all looking strong.

potato towers

Poor Lucy the puggle dog was having a bad hair day and didn’t want to look at the camera.

wooded backyard garden

A view from the upper deck.

orange omlet eglu cube

The peas have begun to pop through the soil and the fava beans that I planted in front of the chicken fence are about 2 inches high now. I haven’t grown fava beans in a long time {since the kids were 2 & 3 if I remember correctly} So I’m pretty excited.

cascadia raspberry canes

The raspberry patch.cascadia raspberry canes plants

A view of the raspberries from the kitchen window. Hopefully I’ll have time this week to transplant the canes that are growing in the paths to the bare spots in rows 1 &2.

costco brown pots herb garden

The container herb garden. All that’s left to plant is the thyme. We already have oregano, sage, rosemary and parsley planted in this area. We also have mint planted in an oak barrel next to the garden gate as well.

If you look closely you can see 2 rhubarb plants. I’ll have to transfer those to the perennial garden before they get much bigger.

gnome rain gauge

Did I mention rain is in the forecast for 4 of the next 5 days?

Yep. It ain’t easy being green.

Peace Out Girl Scouts, try and stay dry.

~Mavis
free shipping botanical interests

This years garden is being sponsored by the awesome folks at Botanical Interests Seed Company.  You can check out their website HERE, order their new 2013 Garden Seed Catalog 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 Grow Celery {Start to Finish}

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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}

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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

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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.

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