It is still too early to plant vegetables outdoors in much of the country, but that doesn't mean that you can't be working on your garden. This is the perfect time to build your own raised garden beds, so your garden will be primed and ready when it comes time to plant. Raised garden beds warm up faster than the ground does for a longer growing season, have better drainage, and
will help you get the maximum use of your space and pump up your harvest. Raised beds also make it easier to optimize your soil composition and require less bending when it comes time to weed--a total win for both you and your garden! Read on for the lowdown on raised garden beds.
Lettuce is one of the fastest and easiest to grow crops around. It can be grown in the garden, in containers and raised beds, or almost anywhere you can clear out a little space.
There are hundreds upon hundreds of varieties available - in a myriad of colors, textures, all with their own unique taste. In fact, for most that begin to grow their own lettuce - they are shocked to realize the amazing difference in taste from the generic varieties available in most super markets and grocery stores. Most "supermarket" lettuce, (like the familiar Iceburg head lettuce) are grown specifically for their ability to handle shipping and store well - not for taste. When you begin to grow your own - you might just find out that with all that flavor - salad dressing isn't even needed!
Lettuce can be divided into many categories - but most will agree on these main four : Butterhead (Bibb style lettuce) , Crisphead (Iceberg, etc.), Looseleaf (Cutting varieties) and Romaine style.
Lettuce in general prefers cooler weather - so you will want to plant a spring/early summer crop, with a second fall crop as well. The hot summer heat tends to wilt and bolt lettuce. The good news is that it's a quick grower, and can actually go from seed to table in as little as three to four weeks!
Preparing The Soil And Planting Lettuce:
Lettuce prefers loose, fertile, and well-drained soil. It will struggle to grow well in hard, clay-type soils. Prepare your beds by adding in lots of compost and organic matter. If your soil is on the clay-type side - you can also add a few shovel-fulls of sand to help loosen the soil structure and aid in drainage.
Lettuce can be planted with transplants or by directly sowing seed into the soil. We prefer planting most of ours by seed, mainly for the convenience, and for us, they have seemed to do better emerging from the soil than they have as transplants.
If your soil is fertile, lettuce will not require much additional care other than keeping it watered throughout dry periods. Lettuce, like most vegetable crops, should receive about 1" of water per week. If you do want to fertilize - an application of compost tea can be applied once the crops have emerged through the ground.
We use a fair amount of straw mulch around the plants to keep weeds to a minimum - weeds can wreak havoc on lettuce crops. Be sure to take care when weeding - lettuce roots are shallow and are easily pulled from the soil.
To help keep pests at bay - we like to plant a few of our hot pepper plants near our lettuce or directly in the middle of the lettuce bed. Garlic and onions are also known to have the same effect when planted near lettuce crops.
Harvesting Your Lettuce Crop:
Leaf lettuce can be harvested whenever the plants begin to become large enough to snip their tasty leaves. The beauty of leaf style lettuce is that you can get multiple cutting from the same planting - increasing your yields. Be aware though, that after the first few cuttings, the leaves will start to become a little less tender with each cutting. If left alone, leaf lettuce will usually reach their maximum size in about 50 to 55 days.
Most head lettuce varieties mature in 55 to 70 days - and it is important to harvest them before the summer heat begins to wilt their leaves and change their taste.
To store lettuce, wash, drip or spin dry, and place in a plastic bag in the refrigerator. Lettuce keeps best right around 32°F.
Yo can visit out blog post below to see all about some of the varieties that we love to grow: http://oldworldgardenfarms.com/2013/05/14/gr...
Want to clean that space in between the glass on your oven door? It's really not hard...all you need is an inexpensive tool and a few free minutes...come on over and let me show you how I cleaned mine!
I've never much cared for the store bought air freshener sprays. My nose just doesn't like anything real flowery or fruity, or fake smelling for that matter. So I came up with my own homemade Vanilla Air Freshener spray that's a simple combination of vanilla extract and water. And I love it! This works best in a mist bottle rather than a spray bottle so that you get a finer
mist sprayed into the air. For the complete recipe, you can click below:
Almost 40 years ago we converted a discarded chest of drawers into this doll house for our daughter. It remains in our home for grandchildren to enjoy. I saw this idea in a magazine about
the time a neighbor placed an old chest on the street for garbage collection. The one drawer that still existed was retained at the bottom for storage of extra furniture. Some of the furniture in these photographs was mine (1940's). Other pieces were added in the 1970's for our daughter and some later than that. The drawer keeps the assortment available for redecorating. During its early years, Santa with his sleigh and raindeers sat near the chimney at Christmas.
PHOTOGRAPHS SHOULD EXPLAIN THE RESULTS:
The top of the chest is an attic room. The front side of the roof is built in two pieces and hinged so that the lower portion can be lifted. It is held in place with an attached wooden prop (see photo). The roof is made with latticed wood strips, the chimney is painted with a brick design and trees and flowers are painted on the outside walls. For the floors we used carpet scraps for the bedrooms and the bathroom and a Formica scrap for the kitchen. My husband cut tiny pieces of wood and created a parquet floor for the living room. There are doorway openings between the rooms and a movable staircase. We added wheels for obvious reasons.
I simply love taking something old, unwanted, ready to be thrown away and turning it into something useful, (also known as upcycling). For this particular project I took a door that was
originally from the main door in our house and turned it into a desk for my home office. I now have plenty of space to create, work, and even made the desk fun for my children , by adding mini chalkboards within the desk itself, which also doubles as an area for me to take notes & make lists.
What you need:
Find an old door, any old door will do. Find what you will use for your table legs, in this project I used old shelves that my dad had made when I was a child. Be creative, you can use old sawhorses, buy new table legs from any home improvement store , or shelves, or file cabinets . If desired, find a piece of glass that will fit on top of your door to make a more even workspace, you may have one cut to size at a local glass shop, or you can do like I did and use glass out of an old window-for no cost.
1.) Clean your door to rid it of any dirt, if needed softly sand down the door prior to painting.
2.) Tape off any hardware that you would like to keep on your door.
3.) Spray paint your door, using short back and forth strokes. Allow to dry completely before adding second coat of paint.
(Optional: Tape off sections of door to allow a few of the panels to become chalkboards. Spray panels you desire with chalkboard paint -using 2-3 coats. )
4.) Spray paint your shelves or table legs. Again allowing enough dry time between coats. About 2 coats of paint on all pieces should be plenty.
(Optional: Find some old chairs and paint them too for a whole new look in your home office)
5.) Once table and legs (aka shelves, sawhorses etc) are completely dry and aired out, bring to the location you want to set up your new door desk, place your table legs where you would like them, and simply set the door on top!
As always with any project you find here at The Pink Hammer blog, feel free to change, simplify or customize this project to fit your specific needs and have fun!
Completing this simple & fun project will leave you feeling empowered and ready to start working at your beautiful upcycled desk!
Thanks for reading,
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Products I love that made this project easy to complete and were a breeze to use;
Krylon Dual paint + primer spray paint:
Dual Paint + Primer in One. One can. One Step. For a great finish that lasts like you primed it.Paint and primer in one canProvides the performance of a primer and the durable, smooth finish of a paint in one easy step.Features EZ Touch 360° Dial Spray TipOutdoor use, available in Gloss, Satin and FlatDry to Touch25 minutes or lessDry to Handle2 hoursFor use withWood, Metal, Wicker, Glass, Ceramic, Fabric, Concrete, Masonry.
Krylon Chalkboard paint;
Smooth, slate-like finish, perfect for creating or resurfacing chalkboard surfaces.Creates a tough, slate-like chalkboard surfaceEasy applicationDurable, long-lasting finishDry to Touch15 minutesDry to HandleFully dry 3 hoursFor use withWood, Metal, Glass, Plaster, Ceramic, Paper, Paper Mache.