Tips for Harvesting Lettuce So it Will Keep Growing

Tips for Harvesting Lettuce So it Will Keep Growing

Lettuce is one of those gifts that keeps on giving if you know how to harvest it correctly.  Different varieties have different tolerances for how they are harvested {meaning, some will go to seed faster than others if you pick it as you need it}.

cutting lettuce leaves

Head lettuce is really best harvested as a whole head when it has matured.  Just grab a sharp knife and holding the base firmly, cut off the head.  Make sure to leave the base and roots IN THE GROUND, because you will get one more {maybe two} smaller harvest off of them that way.  If you pick the outer leaves of head lettuce, instead of harvesting the whole head, it will go to seed faster.

oak leaf lettuce pictures

Leaf lettuce is the best choice if you want a continual salad all season long.  For leaf lettuce {and lettuce like Romaine}, you can just pick the outer leaves as they are needed.  Don’t let the leaves get too big, or they will start to get tough and bitter tasting.  To harvest them, just snap each leaf off at the base of the plant, being careful not to uproot the whole plant {it’s best to snap off the leave about a 1″ above the base of the plant}.  As long as you keep up with snapping off the outer leaves, the lettuce won’t go to seed until it gets too hot {which in a nice shady area, might mean you can have fresh salad spring, summer, and fall}.  Even if your leaf lettuce threatens to bolt, you can snap out the center of the plant and buy yourself a little more time…and a little more lettuce.

Homegrown lettuce makes store bought seem like punishment, so might as well make the most of your harvest.

~Mavis

 

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The $20/$20 Challenge: Tammy From Michigan Shares Her No-Pantry Pantry Pictures

Tammy pantry pics2What do you do when you have a small house and no pantry? Today’s $20/$20 Challenge submission shows you. Here’s Stephanie’s story:

Hi Mavis!

I’m sending you some pictures of my pantry and food storage for the $20/$20 Challenge.

Tammy pantry picsWe live in a relatively small house and I do not have a dedicated pantry. I have two cabinets that I store my dry goods in. As you can see, my one cabinet is being overtaken by spices! I love to cook, and cook almost every single meal we eat. As a result, I use a lot of spices to flavor our food! There’s nothing worse than boring food!

Tammy pantry pics1I don’t keep a “deep pantry,” but shop the sales for what I need each week {beyond staples, which I do try to keep on hand}. We are a small family of three – my husband and I, and our daughter who is almost 6 – so buying in bulk isn’t always the best for us, though I do buy occasionally from a food buying group.

Tammy pantry pics3I love to try new things, and right now I have olives curing on my counter. I special ordered them from California in October, and if all goes well and to plan, by May we will have a lot of delicious olives!

Tammy pantry pics5My husband is an avid gardener, and this picture shows just one day’s picking last summer. We live in Michigan and right now we are covered in snow and pining for summer. But, we do have summer produce to cheer us up! I spent the late summer and fall canning to my heart’s delight. I canned 344 jars of food in 2014. Much of that was from our own garden, though we did take advantage of the lovely fruit crops Michigan has {strawberries, cherries, blueberries, peaches, and apples}, and put those up as well.

Tammy pantry pics4My husband built shelves in our basement to hold all the canned goods. This picture doesn’t truly show all the fruits of my labor; I never got a picture when I was “done” canning, and we have been eating canned goods all winter. I keep careful records of what I can {recipes, number of jars of each item} and plan to only can what we will eat in one year. I haven’t had to buy tomato products from the grocery store for several years now, and I keep adding recipes to my arsenal each summer.

Thanks, Mavis!
Tammy
pantry-pictures-ideasAre you getting your pantries camera ready? You can participate in the $20/$20 Challenge by simply sending in pictures of your pantry. Find out more about the $20/$20 Challenge: Show Your Pantry – Fill a Pantry!

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Free Kindle Books, Garden Apps, Beltula Sandals, Fishing Gear and More

paucityWord of the Day: Paucity  Definition: Scarcity, small numbers, fewness Used in a sentence: The paucity of his vocabulary was evident in his compositions.

chino the handyman

Happy Thursday!

Chino the handyman stopped by yesterday with our new light fixture for the master bathroom. We had been using a camping lantern so it will be a big upgrade once it gets installed today. I can’t wait to show you the before and after photos!

Have a great day everyone, and keep your fingers crossed it doesn’t rain today. :)

Mavis

Emeril by All-Clad 12 Piece Stainless Steel Cookware Set

Amazon Gold Box Deal of the Day – 65% Off an Emeril by All-Clad 12-Piece Stainless Steel Cookware Set

singer sewing machine

Amazon Bonus Deal of the Day – Singer Special Edition Computerized Sewing Machine with LCD Screen, Bonus Accessories on sale for $215.00 shipped!

Kitchen Towels , White with Blue Stripe

Okay kitchen towel snobs, I have a deal for you. Right now you can get 1 dozen Professional Grade Kitchen Towels for $17.49. These towels have ridiculously good reviews and are perfect for housewarming gifts and those looking for extreme quality.

how-to-make-mozzarella-cheese

I spotted a great deal on a cheese making kit {below} If you’ve never made your own mozzarella cheese before it’s super easy. See my tutorial on How to Make Mozzarella Cheese for step by step directions or Pin it for Later.

free kindle books

Available Kindle Books I think are cool…

The prices on Kindle Books can change quickly, so grab them while you can. Don’t have a Kindle? Download the kindle app on your other devices. It’s easy! :)

amazon basics tablet bag

Get the AmazonBasics iPad Air and Netbook Bag with Handle Fits 7 to 10-Inch Tablets for just $7.99. The reviews are AWESOME and shipping is FREE with Amazon Prime.

the-best-garden-apps

There’s an app for that. Gardening, too! See All the Best Gardening Apps. Find more tips and tricks on my Gardening Pinterest Board.

ankle-boots-like-uggs

6pm has 5 colors of Cupcake Ankle Boots on sale for just $14.88 shipped {pink boots are $24.99}.

beltula shoes
6pm also has Betula {Licensed by Birkenstock}shoes on sale for as low as $39.99 shipped. These retail between $69.99-$89.95! Go HERE to see all the Birki’s  choices available.

target diapers

Target is offering a FREE $10 Gift Card when you buy 2 packs of Diapers. Free Shipping on orders of $25 or more. Wahl 79300-400 Color Pro 20 Piece Complete Haircutting KitStop paying for boy’s haircuts!!! Amazon has the Wahl 79300-400 Color Pro 20 Piece Complete Haircutting Kit on sale for $17.14. I;ve been cutting the HH and Monkey Boy’s hair forever. You can do it!

cabelas-fishing-tote

Get the Cabela’s Fishing Utility Bag for just $12.99 {was $24.99} This would be a great item to buy now and stash away for Father’s Day or a birthday later in the year.
field and stream magazine

Discount Mags is offering a 1 year subscription to Field and Stream Magazine for only $4.99 a year when you use code MAVIS at checkout. This deal will expire 4/24/15 at midnight EST.

mario

Today only BestBuy.com has the Nintendo – Wii U 32GB Console Super Mario 3D World and Nintendo Land Bundle available for $274.99 shipped.

Coconut-Oil-BiscuitsIf you use coconut oil for everything under the sun, I’d highly suggest using some of it and bake up these awesome Coconut Oil Biscuits. Get the recipe HERE or Pin it for Later. Find more recipes on my Breakfast Pinterest Board.

black and white wallet

6pm has the Relic Vicky Checkbook on sale for $12.99 shipped and there are several styles to choose from.

Marmot Variant Jacket

REI Outlet Deal of the Day – Marmot Variant Jacket $67.73 shipped {was $170}.

car seat

Amazon has the Evenflo Big Kid AMP Booster Car Seat on sale for just $29.74 right now! This is a great deal.

Coppertone-Suncare coupon

Check out these New Printable Coupons:

Find More Printable Coupons

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Banana Chocolate Chip Muffins

chocolate chip banana muffins

Because bananas always seem to brown around here before we eat them, I’m always looking for good banana recipes for those bananas on the last leg of their life. So this recipe combines chocolate chips and bananas in muffin form. Pretty sure you can’t go wrong there!

Banana Chocolate Chip Muffins

Ingredients

2 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 medium over-ripe bananas, mashed
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup packed brown sugar {make your own brown sugar}
1 large egg
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3/4 cup chocolate chips

Banana Chocolate Chip Muffins

Directions

Preheat oven to 350 F. Line muffin tin with liners and set aside.

Whisk flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt in a medium mixing bowl until combined. Set aside.

In a stand mixer, combine banana, sugar, and brown sugar until incorporated. Beat in the egg, oil and vanilla and mix until combined. Slowly add in flour mix, stirring just until incorporated. Fold in chocolate chips. If you have major OCD like me, use a 3 tablespoon cookie scoop to fill your muffin tins. But if you’re like the normals of the world, just fill the tins 2/3rds of the way full.

Bake muffins until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, or about 18 minutes. Enjoy.

chocolate chip banana muffins

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Minimally Invasive Surgery Not Always Given as a Choice?

dentist office

Okay, so maybe I found this article about minimally invasive surgery interesting because I just finished watching Grey’s Anatomy seasons 1-10, but still, I am going to share it with all of you.  First off, I want to go on the record saying I know diddly squat about medicine.  Really.  But, the article noted the huge disparity between the hospitals and surgeons that offer minimally invasive procedures vs. the ones that don’t.

It turns out, that if you need surgery, it might be a crap shoot as to whether you are offered the minimally invasive version or not.  It basically comes down to whether the surgeon you were referred to offers and/or is capable of doing surgeries, say laparoscopically vs. opening you up.  Although, statistics show that minimally invasive surgeries result in faster recovery time {on average 1.4 days} and less complications, that doesn’t mean every hospital and/or surgeon has caught up with the times.

The take-away from the article was to be somewhat self-educated about the type of surgery you need.  Ask the surgeon if minimally invasive techniques would be an option for you.  If they can’t do it, and it’s not an emergency, you might want to get a second consultation.

I would not have even know to ask something like this, would you?  Have any of YOU had surgery before?  Were you given the option to have a minimally invasive technique?

~Mavis

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I Fell Off the Wagon

ketchup and mustard

Well, I lasted 112 days. 😉

I picked up some Zaycon weenies the other day and remembered we were out of ketchup and brown mustard. Which is funny because right after I came home from Fred Meyer with my bottles of ketchup and mustard I read a comment One Hundred Dollars a Month reader Sarah had just left for me, “What do you do if you need, say a bottle of ketchup, but don’t want to buy 3 at Costco?”

Ha ha ha.

How timely because I had just been to Costco to buy our groceries for this week. I had gone down the condiment aisle and spotted the enormous 3-pack of ketchup, yellow mustard and relish for $8.99 and got a giant knot in my stomach. For starters… we needed ketchup and it was too early in the growing season to try and make my own {after all, I have no homegrown tomatoes}. Secondly, no one in our house likes yellow mustard {we’re snobs, what can I say}. And thirdly, I’d much rather eat homemade zucchini relish than store bought relish on my burgers.

So did I really need to pay $8.99 for a collection of ketchup, mustard and relish just to accommodate my silly little Only Shopping at Costco for One Year challenge? Should I buy the 1000 packets of ketchup instead {like the ones they give you in fast food restaurants} for $12? All I wanted was a flipping NORMAL sized bottle of ketchup.

So I caved.

I stormed out of Costco defeated and bought normal sized bottles of ketchup and brown mustard at Fred Meyer for $1.00 each. It wasn’t about the money. It was about feeling forced to by something I didn’t need. If one can rationalize being forced to buy ketchup that is. First world problem, I know.

So. A little hiccup in the road.

Will I still continue to shop at Costco exclusively this year? Yes. For one simple reason. Convenience. I can’t even begin to tell you how much time I have saved this year by just buying all my groceries at one store.

I guess we all have our limits though. :(

~Mavis

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What to do When You Can’t Plant Bare Root Plants Right Away…

What to do When You Cant Plant Bare Root Plants Right Away

One Hundred Dollar a Month Reader, Terri, sent in a question about dealing with inclement weather when bare root plants need to be dealt with, and since I have totally been in her boat, I thought I’d share the question and answer {and hoped you all could chime in as well}.

She wrote,

I have several tubs of chipped up leaves that I just finished and it is raining buckets here and of course my bareroot orders (260 shrubs and perennials) have arrived and I can not get into the garden to plant-mostly mud right now. Can I use the leaves with peat moss and sand to make a mix to put in pots? The only other option might be to buy topsoil (expensive) and mix. What is your best idea? Thanks. Terri

bare root fruit trees

First, that’s A LOT of shrubs, holy buckets.  Second, here’s what I would do:  I would take that leaf mixture, add a little peat moss, put it into a plastic bag {grocery, garbage, whatever}, moisten the leaf/peat mixture, and place the bare roots into the bag {leaving the top of the plant out of the bag–you are just essentially planting the roots into a plastic bag to keep the roots moist, but not soggy}.  Then, you can set the bagged plants in a pot, bucket, etc. {to keep them upright} in a cool dark place.  You can set more than one plant in a bucket/container this way, and you won’t need so many pots.  That will buy you a week to 10 days.

bare root grape vines

If the weather still isn’t cooperating, you really want to heel them in, which basically means planting them in a temporary spot, until you can plant them in their permanent location.  This is what they do with plants when they are developing new neighborhoods.  It might mean getting a little muddy, or investing in potting soil–whichever floats your boat.  I would make a long trench along the side of the yard {or some other inconspicuous place, if you have one}, and plant them all in a row, then you can dig them up and transfer them to their permanent location when the weather permits.

How about any of YOU, have you had to deal with something like this?  What did you do?

~Mavis

photo credit

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Free Kindle Books, Docker’s Sale, Kids Gardening Supplies, Summer Dresses, Stadium Seats and More

virtuoso

Word of the Day: Virtuoso Definition: A savant, a scholar, one very learned or gifted in an art Used in a sentence: The grace with which he played the piano proved him to be a virtuoso.

Happy Wednesday everyone! It was suppose to rain all day yesterday but it didn’t and I ended up getting a lot of stuff done {and even made a trip to The Home Depot.} I love it when the weather man gets it wrong. :)

Maybe we’ll get lucky again today.

Have a great day everyone,

Mavis

mens dockers sale

Amazon Gold Box Deal of the Day – 50% or More Off Dockers

Remington razor

Amazon Bonus Deal of the Day – Up to 50% off Remington Hair Tools and Shaving Products for Men & Women.

free kindle books

Available Kindle Books I think are cool…

The prices on Kindle Books can change quickly, so grab them while you can. Don’t have a Kindle? Download the kindle app on your other devices. It’s easy! :)

turtle puzzle

A great birthday party gift… Amazon has the 200 Piece  Ravensburger Ocean Turtles Puzzle on sale for just $8.02. Ships FREE with Amazon Prime.

Growing-a-Rainbow-Vegetable-Garden-

It’s as good for your kids as it is delicious! Check out How to Make a Kid’s Rainbow Vegetable Garden. Find more tips and tricks on my Gardening Pinterest Board.

child garden tools

Looking for some kid sized garden tools? Amazon has the JustForKids Garden Tool Set with Tote for $9.99 and the reviews are excellent.

peterboro garden basket

Looking for a useful {and beautiful} Mother’s Day Gift? Use code HUNDRED to save 25% plus get FREE shipping on my favorite gardening basket from Peterboro Basket Company.

boc sandals

6pm has b.o.c. Marion Sandals on sale for just $19.99 shipped. Perfect for this summer!! I LOVE these.

tube top dresses

Amazon currently has the NY Deal Women’s Smoked Tube Dress Cover Up starting at just $5.99 and there are 35 colors to choose from. Wowza.

all recipes magazine

Get a 1 year subscription to AllRecipes for just $5.99.

Strawberries-and-Cream-Baked-Oatmeal1

This Strawberries and Cream Baked Oatmeal puts that Quaker junkity junk to shame. Get the recipe HERE or Pin it for Later. Find more recipes on my Breakfast Pinterest Board.

48 Organza Drawstring Pouches Gift Bags Assorted Colors

Amazon has 48 Organza Drawstring Pouches Gift Bags  4×5″ for just $2.74 shipped.

Mountain Summit Gear Stadium Seat

REI Outlet Deal of the Day – Mountain Summit Gear Stadium Seat $13.73.

the home depot specials

The Home Depot Special of the Day – SAVE UP TO 50% OFF SELECT PATIO FURNITURE & OUTDOOR LIVING

hanes t shirts for men

I don’t know about you, but I LOVE one stop shopping. Right now you can snag a 10-Pack of Hanes Men’s Classics Crew Neck Undershirts for $34.99 shipped. That’s $3.49 per shirt. Happy Father’s Day HH! :) New to Groupon? Join Groupon Here! Then HERE to get this deal.

new balance sneakers

Today only get a pair of Men’s New Balance 420 Running Shoe’s for $32.99 from Joe’s New Balance Outlet.

baby-saftey

Get the 4-Pack of Door Stop Finger Pinch Guards for only $1.96 shipped. These would make a great addition to a baby gift basket.

Hitachi C10FCE2 10-Inch Compound Miter Saw

Amazon has the Hitachi 10-Inch Compound Miter Saw on sale for $119 shipped. This is a great deal!!

go direct foods

Enter to win a Year’s Supply of Chicken for you and a friend!

Quaker Select Starts Oatmeal  coupon

Check out these New Printable Coupons:

Find More Printable Coupons

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.

Canning 101 – Lilac Blossom Jelly

lilac jamI love when readers send in their canning recipes! The last recipe Susan submitted for Canned Pickled Dill Carrots was a super hit, so I was pretty excited when she submitted another one. This time, she’s using lilacs to make jelly, which is a first for me. I’m so excited to try it out. Here’s what Susan had to say:

Hi Mavis!

My lilacs are blooming, so I decided to make this Lilac Jelly. I will be using these for gifts – kind of a “gourmet” item. I hope to make another batch before my flowers “rust” and are gone.

Ingredients

2 cups lilac blossoms, no leaves or stems
2 1/2 cups boiling water
2 drops purple food coloring, OPTIONAL {the color of the jelly will be a golden/yellow otherwise. I add the coloring for aesthetic appeal.}
1/4 cup lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon butter {for less foaming}
4 cups sugar
One box powdered pectin

Directions

Place the blossoms in a glass bowl and pour the boiling water on them. Let this steep on the counter overnight {or approximately 8 hours}. Strain the flowers out of the water. Squeeze dry, adding the liquid into what you already have. You should have roughly 2 1/4 cups infused water. Add more water if needed.

Place the flower infusion, lemon juice, butter and pectin in a large heavy bottomed pot. Bring to a boil. Add sugar all at once. Return to boil. Boil 1 minute, stirring constantly.

Ladle jelly into clean, sterilized jars, leaving 1/4″ head space. Wipe rims and screw on the lids. Process for 10 minutes in a water bath canner.

Makes 5 half pint jars {5 cups}

Susan :)

Thanks for sharing another great recipe, Susan!

Thanks so much for sharing Susan. They look so pretty and sound delicious!

jam recipesLooking for a few more canning recipes? Search my Full List of Canning Recipes

Want to start canning, but don’t know where to begin? Here’s a guide to help you get started.

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.

Honey Bees and Langstroth Hives

Honey Bees and Langstroth Hives

My Friend Jane and her husband Jamey picked up 40,000 bees last week for their Langstroth hives {yes those bees are riding shotgun in their van!!!} and I wanted to share her beekeeping experiences with those of you who might be interested.

honeycomb

Jane’s first batch of bee’s died this winter after several months of super low temperatures, but after experiencing a record honey harvest last year, they are back at it again with a new colony of bees.

Langstroth Hives

I’ve always wanted to keep bees but I am severally allergic to them, so I guess I’ll just have to live vicariously through her. 😉 If you are interested in beekeeping, be sure and stop by her site ThyHandHathProvided and check out the latest installment in her beekeeping series.

~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.

DIY Garden Markers Using Painted Rocks

DIY Garden Markers Using Painted Rocks

Rock garden markers, well…rock.  You can pretty much always find rocks for free, they never blow away in the wind, and they add a lot of color to your garden.  Oh, and the best part is that you don’t really have to be very artsy to make them look awesome.

You’ll Need:

  • Larger Flat Rocks {pretty easy to scavenge at construction sites, river beds, hikes, etc.}
  • Paint
  • Paint Brushes
  • Clear Coat {to make sure that watering your plants doesn’t also water the color right off of your rocks}

DIY Garden Markers Using Painted RocksDirections:

These are pretty basic.  Paint your rock, or leave them rock colored and just paint the name of the plant on the rock.  You can add pictures, polka-dots…whatever floats your boat.  Allow them to dry.  Apply a clear coat over the top of the painted rock to seal the paint.

Place them next to the plant, and walk away.  It just doesn’t get easier than that :)

~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.

Leggy or Spindly Seedlings

leggy plant

One Hundred Dollar a Month reader, Vicky, recently asked me a question about the seedlings she started indoors.  Her problem is so common, I thought I’d answer her question in a post, in case anyone else is experiencing the same thing this time of year.  She writes,

Hello Mavis, I started seeds for the first time this year. They grew long and spindly. I grew them indoors under a plastic little make shift greenhouse tray that I purchased. Is there any hope for my long spindly veggies ( cucumber tomatoes zucchini and peppers)HELP!!!
Vicky

tomato plants

This is a super common problem.  The plants grow tall and spindly {usually called leggy} and the stems look weak and thin.  It is almost always caused by too little light.  I used to have this problem before I started using a grow light.  Unless you have a window with amazing direct sunlight, plants tend to do this.  My suggestion would be to get a grow light and finish them off under there.   That will fortify them a bit over the next month before you plant.  If a grow light is an absolute no, you may want to “chase the sun” in your house.  Move your plants throughout the day to ensure that they have direct, steady sunlight all day long.

greenhouse tomatoes

Even if you can’t completely reverse their growing patter with more light, the good news is that even leggy plants have hope.  They can typically rally once planted outside–though, be aware, they will not be as strong as non-leggy plants.  The wind will be their biggest enemy as their stems are simply not as strong to withstand it.  You may want to protect them from inclement weather outside until they have grown stronger.

Have any of you ever dealt with leggy seedlings?  How did your garden ultimately turn out?

~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.