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SevenTooMany
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SevenTooMany's Blog




Here are a couple photos of some of our horses...

Category: My Garden | Posted: Sat Jan 18, 2014 2:27 am

Well, mart, I found some photos of horses that our farm has produced.


( photo / image / picture from SevenTooMany's Garden )
These are just some babies in the field. We are horse breeders. My girlfriend is the manager of our rather small thoroughbred operation.



( photo / image / picture from SevenTooMany's Garden )
We won the lottery in 2001. Our farm produced Monarchos who won the Kentucky Derby that year.

My parents own the farm, Two Bucks, and I do maintenance of farm machinery (tractors) and other odd jobs that need tending to. I am the least knowledgeable person about horses on the farm, but living on a horse farm is a privilege.

Taking care of any animal is rewarding. In my experience with horses however, most of the time I prefer the disposition of the cats to the horses.





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The fruit trees I have growing in my yard...

Category: My Garden | Posted: Wed Jan 15, 2014 2:22 pm

Here are the 8 fruit trees I have growing in my yard. These photos were taken on September 24th of 2013.


( photo / image / picture from SevenTooMany's Garden )
This is a Mericrest Nectarine tree we ordered through the USPS from Summerstone Nursery. It came as a bare root stick in the beginning of June, we fertilized it some, kind of too much, and the leaves wilted and it almost died, but came back strong and hopefully hardy enough to survive the polar vortex we recently had. Mericrest is suppose to be one of if not THE hardiest nectarines, so hopefully it will survive.


( photo / image / picture from SevenTooMany's Garden )
This tree was marked as "Yellow Delicious" at the nursery we purchased it from. It has been growing for a couple years in our yard, but this past year was the first year it bore fruit. It's not Yellow Delicious but some kind of hard green cooking apple. We need it to pollinate the dwarf honeycrisp apple tree you will see in a bit.


( photo / image / picture from SevenTooMany's Garden )
This Cherry tree we purchased at Meijer a couple years ago. It is a "Frankenstein" tree because its limbs are from 5 different kinds of cherry trees grafted onto rootstock. There is Sam, Rainier, Van, Bing, and Montmorency limbs. We had about 10 spectacular Rainier cherries in 2013, but it still has to grow to produce more cherries.


( photo / image / picture from SevenTooMany's Garden )
This is a Frankenstein cherry tree we got from Meijer about 2 months after the previous cherry tree. It only has grafts of four types of cherries and the Montmorency cherry limb is missing from this one. It needs to grow...


( photo / image / picture from SevenTooMany's Garden )
This is a peach tree we purchased from Lowe's. I don't know what kind of peach it is, but the peaches taste like mangos.


( photo / image / picture from SevenTooMany's Garden )
This is a peach tree we got from K-Mart. I think the aroma of these peaches must really attract Japanese Beetles. It has been a disaster even with spraying Sevin to keep the beetles from devouring the peaches. The first year we planted it, it had the best peaches I have ever tasted. The beetles assure us that we will never taste a decent peach from this tree again. We have tried spreading grub killer around the peach trees, but haven't won the battle with the insects yet.


( photo / image / picture from SevenTooMany's Garden )
This is a Stanley Plum tree we got from Gurneys via UPS truck a couple years ago. It was a bare root stick, had a couple blooms in 2013, but has yet to bear fruit. Hopefully in 2014 we'll have some plums.


( photo / image / picture from SevenTooMany's Garden )
This Dwarf Honeycrisp Apple tree was the tree that produced the best fruit in 2013. I pollinated it by taking a paint brush from the yellow delicious (hard green) to the honeycrisp. The bees can take credit for 40% of the work. The problem is that it really is dwarf. I had to rig wires to keep the limbs from breaking under the weight of the apples. I sort of wish I hadn't gotten a tree grafted onto dwarfing rootstock, but my hope is it will manage to grow thicker in the coming seasons. We got this one at the same time as the Stanley Plum from Gurneys via the UPS truck.

Overall I'm pretty pleased. The only tree that died was our red plum, but the Mericrest Nectarine tree took the place of that this year. We are learning every day in the summer, and once they have thoroughly established themselves, hopefully we can concentrate more on pruning and keeping the insects away rather than on keeping them alive...





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Some of the things growing in our garden...

Category: My Garden | Posted: Sun May 01, 2011 3:06 pm

Well the rain just doesn't want to seem to let up. For the most part, our garden hasn't suffered too much. Some of the grass at our place has really gotten drowned, but most of the key vegetation is surviving so far...


Some of my girlfriends Purple Iris ( photo / image / picture from SevenTooMany's Garden )

And I know Toni was talking about how her Iris smelled like popsicles, so I took one in and ours smell like popsicles too, or something very sweet and fresh.


Sweet and Fresh fragrance from our iris ( photo / image / picture from SevenTooMany's Garden )

We have 2 Chester Thornless Blackerry bushes and the older, bigger one is building blooms. This is just the second year for the smaller one so it seems to be concentrating on mainly vegetative growth.


Large Thornless Blackberry bush ( photo / image / picture from SevenTooMany's Garden )


Small Thornless Blackberry bush ( photo / image / picture from SevenTooMany's Garden )

Our Rhododendron is actually blooming with white flowers. I don't know if it likes where it's planted too much since it's like clay and is always moist there, yet it's slowly growing and blooming. We just planted the foxglove behind it - I hope it takes.


Rhododendron with Foxglove behind ( photo / image / picture from SevenTooMany's Garden )

We finally have a red rose if you can make it out in the burgundy bush in the back. The greener, yellow rose bush has the makings of many blooms as well, but none has opened yet.


Red Rose bush in middle back and Yellow Rose bush in front ( photo / image / picture from SevenTooMany's Garden )

Finally for today we purchased these colored spike things from a nursery. I don't think they had a label and they remind me of Astible blooms but they are annuals so they may be Celosia. I think they look neat following the small sidewalk that leads to our door.


Spikes like Astible blooms but they are annuals - may be Celosia ( photo / image / picture from SevenTooMany's Garden )

It's really too bad we have rain in the forecast for the next few days. I just got done mowing the grass on Saturday and we can't really enjoy the outside, with it looking so neat, for a while. I did see a baby rabbit today come running from under a bush, so I keep the hopes up for calm sunshine.





Last edited: Sun May 01, 2011 7:15 pm

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This is our first year with strawberries.

Category: My Garden | Posted: Fri Apr 22, 2011 3:11 pm

Actually, last year was our first year, but we planted 6 Ft. Laramie Everbearing variety in the fall in the spot we have picked out just for our strawberries. The plants died down to nothing and surprisingly have come back this year pretty hardily. I decided to get Ft. Laramies because I heard they are resistant to cold temperatures without the need to mulch much for winter. We then purchased 4 more Ozark Beauty variety plants in spring to fill out our strawberry patch space. I notice the plants getting blossoms and I'm wondering if an insect actually has to pollinate them before a fruit will form. I'm not going to resort to hand-pollinating them like I did with our fruit trees, but I do notice the potential for fruit with the number of flowers I see appearing. I've read you should plant June-bearing strawberries along with your Everbearing varieties to get a maximum yield. I didn't do this as I went with just 2 varieties of Everbearing. Here is the extent of our measley patch so far. 6 Ft. Laramie plants in the center and 4 Ozark Beauties on the left and right.


Our Tiny patch of 10 Strawberry Plants ( photo / image / picture from SevenTooMany's Garden )


A re-spawning Ft. Laramie plant from last year ( photo / image / picture from SevenTooMany's Garden )


Another Ft. Laramie variety ( photo / image / picture from SevenTooMany's Garden )


See the white blooms? ( photo / image / picture from SevenTooMany's Garden )

It will be kind of interesting to see these strawberry plants fill out. I know they get runners, but my girlfriend who has grown starwberries before in Lithuania, says we should probably clip those as they tend to sap strength from the original plant. Well, everything is always an experiment when you're taking about growing something. I'm looking forward to my first homegrown strawberry.





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If I can make it through tornado season...

Category: My Garden | Posted: Wed Apr 20, 2011 5:23 pm

Hopefully, strong winds will become less and less a threat to our fruit trees as spring moves into summer. It has really been an amazing year so far, and the tactics I used to guarantee the pollination of my fruit actually worked even though bees were scarce to be found. As I mentioned in a previous blog, false summer left the fruit trees blooming right before a cold snap hit and began frosting everything. The bees were dormant or dead, and I had to manually approach each tree's blossoms with a swirl of an artist's paintbrush. This was experimental, I had never done it before, but my efforts, as it turns out, were not in vain...


Little Plums, Partially pollinated by bees and me... ( photo / image / picture from SevenTooMany's Garden )


Cherries, this could be an interesting year... ( photo / image / picture from SevenTooMany's Garden )

It turns out the small cherry trees we have are trees that have been grafted onto rootstock. The particular cherry tree seen above has grafts of 5 different kinds of cherries onto one rootstock. I made sure to cross-pollinate from one graft to another since I have an idea that most cherries are not self-pollinating.


Peaches - And an anomally - A double peach. ( photo / image / picture from SevenTooMany's Garden )

As far as new trees go, it really is best to buy from a local nursery if you can. This year we took a little risk and purchased some fruit trees from the internet. Gurney's seed and nursery is about a state away and twigs abandoned of all dirt on their roots arrived in a four foot tall box via UPS. We ordered trees that were grafted onto dwarf rootstocks, and it is amazing to see that they are thriving. We ordered one Honeycrisp Apple, one Stanley Plum, and one Dogwood (The dogwood isn't grafted and it's just a tiny twig - we hope the Dogwood makes it).


Dwarf Honeycrisp Apple, doing surprisingly well considering... ( photo / image / picture from SevenTooMany's Garden )


Dwarf Stanley Plum - Come on, grow, grow ( photo / image / picture from SevenTooMany's Garden )

So, to recap, the established fruit trees are actually growing fruit thanks in part to my paranoia about there not being enough bees and hand-pollinating them. And the internet trees are actually alive and growing which seems like a miracle to me. The sorry, lifeless appearance they had when they first arrived had me wondering if they still had any life-spark inside them. Overall, we're pretty pleased with what we've got going, but we have a long season of growth and interest ahead of us.





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Our Amaryllis is officially out of control.

Category: My Garden | Posted: Tue Apr 12, 2011 1:12 pm

We received this bulb of amaryllis last year and transplanted it with some withering leaves intact. Since that time we cut all the dying leaves off leaving only the bulb sticking out of the ground. In March the bulb came to life presenting leaf buds and all seemed to be well. Since then the plant has grown exponentially and I often wonder how such a flower could survive in nature without the assistance of human intervention to provide a support apparatus. My signifigant other has been constructing a rudimentary frame around the leaves and flower stalks. Thank God it just started to bloom because further upward growth was becoming unmanageable. The bulb currently has 2 flower stalks and 5 or 6 leaves, but it's really bursting from its training wheels.


Tall enough for ya'... ( photo / image / picture from SevenTooMany's Garden )



Two stalks and an apparatus... ( photo / image / picture from SevenTooMany's Garden )





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Hurray! The bees have arrived...

Category: My Garden | Posted: Thu Apr 07, 2011 3:29 pm

Well, It's April 7th and the bees seem to have come awake from their dormancy. I caught this Bumble Bee Pollinating the peach tree I had wrapped with frost cloth in my previous blog...


Bees have arrived, finally... ( photo / image / picture from SevenTooMany's Garden )

I even saw some honey bees I couldn't catch with the camera at the peach blooms. Now it's only a matter of time before they find the cherry blooms and begin pollinating there...


Cherry tree blooms impatiently waiting for bees... ( photo / image / picture from SevenTooMany's Garden )

I have to say I was a little paranoid about whether or not the bees were going to return while the blooms were still viable so I enlisted my girlfriend's tiny artist's paintbrush and was making my rounds with a swirl to the peach, cherry, and plum trees we have. I don't know if I'm as talented as the bees are at distributing pollen though. Well, all seems to be good with the universe for now - it's just a matter of time before I see if any fruits begin to develop...



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My fruit trees aren't liking false summer

Category: My Garden | Posted: Tue Mar 29, 2011 5:38 pm

In earlier March we had some 70 degree weather here in Kentucky. This was a false paradise because normal cold weather returned a week later and brought below freezing temperatures back to our fruit trees. The peach trees were tricked into thinking it was time to bloom, and now, with the absence of bees here at the end of regular cold March, I may need to pollinate the blooms by hand. I don't even know if this is going to work, because the blooming flowers freeze at night. Earlier in the month, during the false paradise summer, I saw many bees polinating our plum tree but then the weather hit with a cold snap. All of the plums are probably going to be lost. We wrapped one peach tree with frost cloth that was blossoming after the 70 degree weather departed, but I had to take the frost cloth off and expose it to the sun after three days of being covered. What a drag, this was the first year we were going to have some decent fruit to harvest and now it may be lost because of a false summer. I doubt any bees are less than cold zombies now because it drops down to below freezing most nights.






This is the peach tree I wrapped with frost cloth for 3 days. ( photo / image / picture from SevenTooMany's Garden )








And this is the same peach tree exposed with blooms waiting for cold bees. ( photo / image / picture from SevenTooMany's Garden )





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Well, the gardening hasn't gone too bad this year

Category: My Garden | Posted: Mon Jul 26, 2010 1:08 pm

We haven't had too bad a summer so far for our outdoor gardening here in Kentucky. It's July 25th and we have already harvested all of our peaches and most of our Blackberries. We've also harvested a lot of cherry tomatoes and a bunch of cucumbers. As well, we've been a little unlucky with our watermelons, and the Charleston Gray variety proved to be very sensitive to either the calcium in the soil, the watering schedule, or the lack of sunlight (probably the lack of full sunlight, more than likely). All of the bigger Charlestons got blossom end rot and we have picked them off of the vines.



Our Coleus really did well, and the entrance to our small house is pretty. ( photo / image / picture from SevenTooMany's Garden )







A small Charleston Gray yet to catch The Blossom End Rot ( photo / image / picture from SevenTooMany's Garden )







My most promising Charleston Gray, and then it caught rot fever ( photo / image / picture from SevenTooMany's Garden )







A Crimson Sweet variety that is healthy so far ( photo / image / picture from SevenTooMany's Garden )







Our thornless blackberry bush, the upper stalks just exploded this year ( photo / image / picture from SevenTooMany's Garden )







A peach tree we planted just this year from K-mart that yielded 6 sweet peaches ( photo / image / picture from SevenTooMany's Garden )







Our cucumbers, tomatoes, and Heirloom Cantaloupes ( photo / image / picture from SevenTooMany's Garden )







A cantaloupe being held up by a sling while it grows ( photo / image / picture from SevenTooMany's Garden )







Our poor contorted filbert, the Japanese Beetles really tested it this summer ( photo / image / picture from SevenTooMany's Garden )

So, we've come through a bulk of this summer with a lot of things that really grew. It will be interesting to see what the cantaloupes and the European Heirloom melons turn out like. We've grown watermelons before but this will be our first year for cantaloupes. I'd say I'm pretty satisfied with what we've been able to produce so far. We sort of had a dry spell for a while there about a month back, but the growing season has been good. Besides a storm that recently snapped off the top of a tree in our yard, we are growing stuff pretty easily.





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