Extend Your Harvest Into the Colder Months

When the days start to get shorter and the weather turns a little chilly, gardeners tend to start thinking ahead to next year’s garden. But wait – this season isn’t finished! Even though the weather is cooler (even with some frost), there is still time to grow vegetables into early winter.

Even though the weather is cooler (even with some frost), there is still time to grow vegetables into early winter. Learn how to extent your harvest.

There are a variety of ways to extend your growing season. First, choose plants that will tolerate the colder, end of season weather. This may mean that you plan a second planting late in the season of lettuce, carrots, cole crops like broccoli or cabbage, or spinach. Almost any variety that will enable you to harvest an early crop in the Spring can be replanted in the late Summer for the next round of cold weather.

Look for micro-climates around your yard

We all have them – little places that seem to thaw first, or those areas that always have shade and the snow never melts. Choose the warmest spots to plant your fall/winter gardens. Those areas will stay warmer long into fall and your veggies will thrive. Avoid the colder shady areas and plant them only in spring/summer.

Use succession planting techniques

Plant crops every couple of weeks so that you will have a longer growing season. Most plants are annuals and have a definite life cycle. Plant the amount you will use in the 2-week time period. Then plant again for another period. Once the original plants are harvested, you can re-plant with another crop of something else. For maximum soil benefits, rotate what you plant (don’t plant the same crop twice in a row). Each crop takes and replenishes different nutrients, and planting the same variety will leave your soil depleted.

Consider protection from the cold

This can be as simple as mulching around the plant base to hold in soil heat to using rigid protection like cold frames. You can also use one of the various garden fabrics to cover your rows and trap heat. If you don’t have acres of garden, an eco-friendly method is to make mini-greenhouses out of gallon milk jugs. Remove the bottoms, keep the caps. Place the jug over the plants and during the day, remove the caps to let excess heat escape. Replace the caps in the evening to keep the cold out.

Cold frames are a great way to extend the season. They can be as simple as plastic sheeting stretched over PVC pipe, or as elaborate as glass windows built onto a raised frame. The one advantage is that they allow plants to have protection from the cold at night and enjoy all the benefits of the sun’s heat during the day. You can keep most vegetables producing for several weeks past their normal end of season by using cold frames or hoop houses. This is also a great way to ripen your late-season tomatoes on the vine.

Keep root crops in the ground, even after the first few light freezes. Cold weather will actually improve the flavor of many root crops like carrots and turnips. Harvest before the ground freezes, though, or your soil may compact.

Move perennial herbs to a shed or enclosed porch. Rosemary, parsley, and many other biennial or perennial herbs will survive over winter on a covered porch. Water lightly, keep in partial sun, and they will be ready to plant back in your yard early spring.

Use artificial lights indoors. Many lettuces and spinach can be grown over the winter indoors. Use specially designed grow lights that mimic sunlight if you don’t have a sunny place to set them. Start seeds a week or two apart, and you can have fresh greens throughout the Winter months.

Protect your plants from the freezing weather, and you will be rewarded with tasty produce. By employing some of these techniques, you can extend your growing season well into the cold, snowy months of the year.

The post Extend Your Harvest Into the Colder Months appeared first on The Happy Housewife™ :: Home Management.

  

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Join me for the Frustration to Functional Closet Challenge!

Have I told you about my friend Kelly? I met Kelly many years ago at a blog conference and I always thought she looked amazing. (She’s super smart too- but I digress)

Kelly is one of those people who always looks good, no matter what she is wearing. I always assumed that Kelly had oodles of money and access to the latest fashion, so I was surprised when one day I complimented her on her outfit and she told me it was from Old Navy and she bought most of the pieces on sale.

The bottom line is that Kelly knows how to dress for her body type, and she knows how to put together outfits so that she always looks amazing. And she does it using math and science, so it takes the guess work out of figuring out what to wear.

This is a before and after of one of one person who took her course. Isn’t it crazy that changing the type of clothes you wear (based on your body type) can make you look like you’ve lost weight?

Lose weight by changing how you dress.

Here’s another example.

what clothes make you look thinner

My sister actually signed up earlier this year and has learned so much about how to dress for her body type! I saw her this summer and she looked amazing and thinner even though she hadn’t lost any weight.

If you are tired of standing in your closet and wondering what to wear you’ll want to join Kelly’s FREE challenge that launches this week. During this 14 day challenge Kelly is going to help you create a functional wardrobe out of the clothes you already have in your closet. Since cleaning out my closet was high on my priority list (it’s such a mess!) I’m excited to join her challenge and I’d love for you to join along with me.

In this free challenge Kelly will give us:

  • Four information-packed lessons complete with videos and worksheets
  • “From Frustration to Functional” wardrobe planner
  • Weekly LIVE video sessions with Kelly (where she will answer your specific questions in real time)
  • Facebook accountability group
  • and more fun surprises

I’m excited to participate in this free challenge and I hope you will consider joining me! If nothing else you’ll end up with a clean and organized closet, and probably a few newly discovered outfits in your closet.

The post Join me for the Frustration to Functional Closet Challenge! appeared first on The Happy Housewife™ :: Home Management.

  

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Grilled Thai Chicken

By contributing writer Tessa

When I created my Thai Cabbage Slaw, I knew I wanted a marinated chicken to grill and place over the top for a full meal. Using similar ingredients, I’ve created a luscious marinade for this Grilled Thai Chicken.

This Grilled Thai Chicken has a luscious marinade full if Thai flavors. Serve this moist chicken over stick rice or a Thai slaw.

I consistently turn to boneless chicken thighs for grilling as they are such a moist and juicy cut of meat. Regardless of my marinade or lack thereof, I have nailed down the art of grilling this cut of meat to perfection.

In Thailand, you will see amazing grilled meats served in many different ways, each more succulent than the last. Stateside, I have turned to some classic Thai flavors to make this chicken work: lemongrass, fish sauce, and lime. If there was ever a more magical combination of ingredients, I have not known it.

I serve this atop the aforementioned cabbage slaw, but my kids eat it atop a bed of sticky rice. Either way, do yourself a favor and make at least a double batch of this chicken because it will disappear quickly!

This Grilled Thai Chicken has a luscious marinade full if Thai flavors. Serve this moist chicken over stick rice or a Thai slaw.

Grilled Thai Chicken
Serves: 6
 
Ingredients
  • 2 pounds boneless skinless chicken thighs
Marinade
  • ¼ cup avocado oil
  • 2 tablespoons lime juice
  • 2 tablespoons fish sauce
  • 2 tablespoons coconut aminos or soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon palm sugar or brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons minced ginger
  • 2 teaspoons minced garlic
  • 2 teaspoons minced lemongrass
Instructions
  1. Mix marinade ingredients together in a container larger enough to accommodate all your chicken and place the thighs in. Cover and marinate for at least 6 hours, preferably overnight. Remove from fridge an hour before grilling (ideally).
  2. Preheat grill to high heat.
  3. Place thighs smooth side down and close lid. Cook for 2 - 3 minutes to develop grill lines.
  4. Open lid and flip pieces. Closing the lid back up, cook the chicken for an additional 2 - 3 minutes then turn heat to low to cook the rest of the way, about 5 minutes.
  5. Remove from grill, and let rest for about five minutes before serving.

You might also like…

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Quick Fixes to Make Your House Look Awesome!

How many of us walk into our home and see all the small things wrong with it? Did you know there are a simple things you can do that don’t cost a lot of money and can be done in less than a day? You do not have to embark on a whole house renovation to create some big changes in your home. Check out these quick fixes to make your house look awesome.

Check out these quick fixes to make your house look awesome. These simple tips don't cost a lot of money and can be done in less than a day.

Brighten up your home

Lights do not cost very much money. A quick fix to make your home look awesome is to get better lighting. Perhaps your light bulbs are dull. A few bucks and you can brighten up your home in no time. Also, consider switching to LED bulbs to save money on your electricity bill.

Add a slip cover to the couch or replace your throw pillows

This is such an easy fix and slip covers cost around $50 for a decent one. Slip covers can cover up an old couch (and stains, rips, or tears) in a heartbeat. Add a few pretty pillows and your living room is going to look grand.

I shop the clearance section of Target, Marshall’s, and TJ Max for throw pillows at discounted prices.

Use throw pillows to quickly update the look of any room.

Clean your carpets

If your carpet is looking dingy, spend a few bucks to have it carpet cleaned. You can also add a throw rug to help take the attention off the main carpet. Go a step further and pull up the carpet, if you think you may have hardwood floor underneath.

Update the hardware in your home

One of my favorite ways to make a home look awesome is to update the hardware. Hardware isn’t that expensive and can be added to dressers and cabinets. I have purchased hardware from Amazon.com and Overstock.com for significantly less at than Home Depot or Lowes.

Another way to update your hardware is to spray paint it. Rust-oleum has a collection of spray paints in metallic colors like hammered bronze and brushed nickel. A can of paint costs around $5 and covers knobs for several pieces of furniture.

Change the curtains in your home

Want a quick fix to make your home look awesome? Change the curtains! I have room darkening curtains in my home. It’s amazing how it keeps the light out when I want and brings the sunshine in when I’m ready.

Do you have any blinds that look like this?

Quick fixes that make your home look awesome.

We didn’t even have a pet when our mini blinds looked like this! If you have a window that requires custom blinds, making (or buying) curtains can be an inexpensive alternative to freshen up the room.

A few years ago I made these curtains for my girls out of leftover fabric. If you can sew a straight line you can make curtains for any window in your home. Inexpensive curtains can update any room in your home.

When I want really cheap curtains I look for flat sheets on clearance. You don’t even have to know how to sew to turn sheets into curtains.

You can also update a inexpensive curtain rod with a coat of paint.

Paint your front door and add a kick plate

For some reason, painting your front door can really make your house look awesome. Add a kickplate and you will hardly be able to recognize how awesome your home looks.

If you are feeling brave, go with a bright color on your front door. We painted our front door a blue green color and everyone who comes over loves it!

Painting your front door can make a big difference!

Update the paint on your shutters and trim

There are a ton of things you can do on the inside and outside of your home to make it look awesome. A quick fix on the outside is painting the shutters. This is a job that’s not all too hard and not too expensive. Once done, it’s going to add a lot of pizzazz to your home.

If you really want to make your house shine, repaint or clean your interior trim. Bright white trim inside a home really makes a difference.

Spray paint rusted vent covers

This is so easy I can’t believe I didn’t do it in my other houses. You can spray paint rusty (or dated) vent covers so they match the ceiling or floor. All you need to do is remove the covers, clean them thoroughly, spray paint them (I did 2 coats), let dry, and screw back in place.

Paint vent rusty vent covers for an inexpensive fresh look.

Painting costs significantly less than replacing vent covers and they look brand new!

Clean up the clutter

It’s amazing what a little decluttering can do for a room (or a home). I love to organize using bins and baskets so that random things aren’t lying around my house getting shuffled around every few days. I’m also not afraid to throw things away if they don’t have a home. It’s rare that I’ve thrown something away and needed it later.

Quick fixes that will make your home look awesome.

Paint one piece of furniture

Although I’m partial to white and gray, I do love having one piece of furniture that pops with color. I use chalk paint (read my review on Valspar Chalk Paint here) and it makes the painting process much quicker.

I painted this table in a few hours and it really changed the look of the entire room. (I also spray painted the knob.)

Paint a piece of furniture for a pop of color.

Replace dated bathroom floors with vinyl stick down tile

While this tip isn’t quite as easy and cheap as the other ideas, you can do it for under $100 and the results are dramatic. I recently discovered groutable vinyl tile and it looks amazing! No one can tell it is vinyl and it is very durable.

groutable vinyl tile can update a bathroom

You can lay it right over the existing tile as long as your surface is level. This is a great quick fix for an old floor.

As you can see, many of my quick fixes involve paint, which is my favorite way to update just about anything. Paint is cheap, and the results are almost always fantastic. Before I jump into a big (and usually expensive) DIY project, I try to make little changes and live with them for a while. It saves me time and money.

The post Quick Fixes to Make Your House Look Awesome! appeared first on The Happy Housewife™ :: Home Management.

  

Related Stories

This post may contain a link to an affiliate. See my disclosure policy for more information.

Quick Fixes to Make Your House Look Awesome!

How many of us walk into our home and see all the small things wrong with it? Did you know there are a simple things you can do that don’t cost a lot of money and can be done in less than a day? You do not have to embark on a whole house renovation to create some big changes in your home. Check out these quick fixes to make your house look awesome.

Check out these quick fixes to make your house look awesome. These simple tips don't cost a lot of money and can be done in less than a day.

Brighten up your home

Lights do not cost very much money. A quick fix to make your home look awesome is to get better lighting. Perhaps your light bulbs are dull. A few bucks and you can brighten up your home in no time. Also, consider switching to LED bulbs to save money on your electricity bill.

Add a slip cover to the couch or replace your throw pillows

This is such an easy fix and slip covers cost around $50 for a decent one. Slip covers can cover up an old couch (and stains, rips, or tears) in a heartbeat. Add a few pretty pillows and your living room is going to look grand.

I shop the clearance section of Target, Marshall’s, and TJ Max for throw pillows at discounted prices.

Use throw pillows to quickly update the look of any room.

Clean your carpets

If your carpet is looking dingy, spend a few bucks to have it carpet cleaned. You can also add a throw rug to help take the attention off the main carpet. Go a step further and pull up the carpet, if you think you may have hardwood floor underneath.

Update the hardware in your home

One of my favorite ways to make a home look awesome is to update the hardware. Hardware isn’t that expensive and can be added to dressers and cabinets. I have purchased hardware from Amazon.com and Overstock.com for significantly less at than Home Depot or Lowes.

Another way to update your hardware is to spray paint it. Rust-oleum has a collection of spray paints in metallic colors like hammered bronze and brushed nickel. A can of paint costs around $5 and covers knobs for several pieces of furniture.

Change the curtains in your home

Want a quick fix to make your home look awesome? Change the curtains! I have room darkening curtains in my home. It’s amazing how it keeps the light out when I want and brings the sunshine in when I’m ready.

Do you have any blinds that look like this?

Quick fixes that make your home look awesome.

We didn’t even have a pet when our mini blinds looked like this! If you have a window that requires custom blinds, making (or buying) curtains can be an inexpensive alternative to freshen up the room.

A few years ago I made these curtains for my girls out of leftover fabric. If you can sew a straight line you can make curtains for any window in your home. Inexpensive curtains can update any room in your home.

When I want really cheap curtains I look for flat sheets on clearance. You don’t even have to know how to sew to turn sheets into curtains.

You can also update a inexpensive curtain rod with a coat of paint.

Paint your front door and add a kick plate

For some reason, painting your front door can really make your house look awesome. Add a kickplate and you will hardly be able to recognize how awesome your home looks.

If you are feeling brave, go with a bright color on your front door. We painted our front door a blue green color and everyone who comes over loves it!

Painting your front door can make a big difference!

Update the paint on your shutters and trim

There are a ton of things you can do on the inside and outside of your home to make it look awesome. A quick fix on the outside is painting the shutters. This is a job that’s not all too hard and not too expensive. Once done, it’s going to add a lot of pizzazz to your home.

If you really want to make your house shine, repaint or clean your interior trim. Bright white trim inside a home really makes a difference.

Spray paint rusted vent covers

This is so easy I can’t believe I didn’t do it in my other houses. You can spray paint rusty (or dated) vent covers so they match the ceiling or floor. All you need to do is remove the covers, clean them thoroughly, spray paint them (I did 2 coats), let dry, and screw back in place.

Paint vent rusty vent covers for an inexpensive fresh look.

Painting costs significantly less than replacing vent covers and they look brand new!

Clean up the clutter

It’s amazing what a little decluttering can do for a room (or a home). I love to organize using bins and baskets so that random things aren’t lying around my house getting shuffled around every few days. I’m also not afraid to throw things away if they don’t have a home. It’s rare that I’ve thrown something away and needed it later.

Quick fixes that will make your home look awesome.

Paint one piece of furniture

Although I’m partial to white and gray, I do love having one piece of furniture that pops with color. I use chalk paint (read my review on Valspar Chalk Paint here) and it makes the painting process much quicker.

I painted this table in a few hours and it really changed the look of the entire room. (I also spray painted the knob.)

Paint a piece of furniture for a pop of color.

Replace dated bathroom floors with vinyl stick down tile

While this tip isn’t quite as easy and cheap as the other ideas, you can do it for under $100 and the results are dramatic. I recently discovered groutable vinyl tile and it looks amazing! No one can tell it is vinyl and it is very durable.

groutable vinyl tile can update a bathroom

You can lay it right over the existing tile as long as your surface is level. This is a great quick fix for an old floor.

As you can see, many of my quick fixes involve paint, which is my favorite way to update just about anything. Paint is cheap, and the results are almost always fantastic. Before I jump into a big (and usually expensive) DIY project, I try to make little changes and live with them for a while. It saves me time and money.

The post Quick Fixes to Make Your House Look Awesome! appeared first on The Happy Housewife™ :: Home Management.

  

Related Stories

This post may contain a link to an affiliate. See my disclosure policy for more information.

Grilled Veggie Kabobs

By contributing writer Tessa

One the best things about these marinated Grilled Veggie Kabobs is that they’re equally delicious hot or cold. They’re pure heaven chilled and served with a garlic yogurt dip. But hot off the grill to adorn your barbecued protein is amazing too!

One the best things about these marinated Grilled Veggie Kabobs is that they're equally delicious hot or cold. And your kids can help chop the veggies!

Many summer nights have us at the grocery store grabbing something to throw on the grill for an easy summer meal. And simple, flavorful sides to accompany our warm weather BBQs are always useful.

This one is fun for the kids to help chop because larger pieces are easier to work with. I’ve got my kids helping to make dinner now, and hopefully one day they’ll enjoy EATING their carefully chopped veggies too!

While we stick to zucchini and peppers usually, mushrooms are sometimes thrown into the mix too.

One the best things about these marinated Grilled Veggie Kabobs is that they're equally delicious hot or cold. And your kids can help chop the veggies!

Grilled Veggie Kabobs
Serves: 2
 
Ingredients
  • 4 cups large chopped veggies (like peppers, zucchini, and mushrooms) Keep pieces large enough they will stay on the skewer, about 2 inches squares
  • ¼ cup avocado oil
  • ¼ cup lemon juice
  • 4 cloves minced garlic
  • ½ teaspoon parsley
  • ½ teaspoon basil
  • ½ teaspoon sea salt
Instructions
  1. Place all chopped veggies into a Ziploc bag or container and pour marinade over the top. Make the sure all the veggies are coated, shaking sealed bag as necessary. Place in the refrigerator for 4 - 12 hours, periodically turning the bag to disperse marinade.
  2. Thread veggies onto soaked bamboo skewers.
  3. Grill the veggie skewers on high heat with the lid closed for about 2 minutes. Turn skewers and repeat. Remove when veggies are crisp tender.
Notes
To keep things extra simple you can skip the skewers and place all the marinated veggies in a grill basket.

One the best things about these marinated Grilled Veggie Kabobs is that they're equally delicious hot or cold. And your kids can help chop the veggies!

You might also like…

The post Grilled Veggie Kabobs appeared first on The Happy Housewife™ :: Cooking.

  

Related Stories

This post may contain a link to an affiliate. See my disclosure policy for more information.