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mgb245
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Recent Entries to this Blog Tomato Sunrise and Raised Beds
Posted: 05 Nov 2012
Tomato Sunrise
Posted: 04 May 2011
One More Year in the Books
Posted: 01 Oct 2010
Crunching and Munching
Posted: 21 Jul 2010
Sure and Sad Sign of Spring
Posted: 24 Mar 2010

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mgb245's Blog




Tomato Sunrise and Raised Beds

Category: Heirloom Tomatoes | Posted: Mon Nov 05, 2012 8:47 pm

Hello again from West Virginia.
I have finally taken the time to set down at my computer and put in an update about my garden. And what a garden I had this year!! Our year started out with spring in January. Record warmth,so I started my seedlings in the greenhouse a lot earlier than I normally would. By march 15, I had chard, broccoli, kale and lettuce transplanted. I also put out 7 raised beds with Red Norland and Yukon gold potatoes as well as banana and French fingerling potatoes. I planted 20 pounds total and my harvest was almost 250 pounds. Needless to say, we are truly enjoying our potatoes.
My wife and I also spent many an evening putting up tomatoes, salsa, spaghetti and chili sauce from our never ending supply of tomatoes, (all of which were heirlooms this year).
Pole beans and bush beans kept us busy also as we decided to pressure can these rather than freeze this year.
The drawback to our warm winter and early spring was the bugs. Powdery mildew got my cucumbers and all of our squashs fell victim to squash bugs. Corn bores did a lot of damage to the sweet corn and the wind finished it off.
Next year I plan on turning my entire garden into raised beds and let the grass grow between the bed and just keep it mowed. I spent too much time and money mulching and weeding. Raised beds are the way for me!!
Until we visit again, take care and God bless you.
So long from West Virginia

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Tomato Sunrise

Category: Heirloom Tomatoes | Posted: Wed May 04, 2011 3:38 pm

Hello again from West Virginia.
It has been a long time since I last posted, things have been a bit wild this year. Finally got my greenhouse put up, and my seedlings started. Had to babysit them this year because of the record cold temps we were getting. That along with the wind and rain, I still have not transplanted everything into the garden.
This year,I am using most of my present garden spot to grow a variety of tomatoes, both heirloom and hybrids. So far my heirlooms are Arkansas Traveler, Woodly Orange, Polish red, Carbon, and Green Velvet. I always plant bush beef, yellow tangerine and cherry jubile as sturdy standbys. I will add more heirlooms as I get them.
After talking to some older tomato farmers, I have decided not to cage my heirlooms, but grow them on a trellis instead. I know this will take up a lot more room in my garden, but I have 10 acres, 7 of which I can plant. I will add some photos as the seasons progresses.
Anyone that has grown heirlooms in the past or are growing some this year, I would like to hear about your success or problems. Your experiences will be be my best teacher.
Until next time-be safe and God bless.
So long from West Virginia

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One More Year in the Books

Category: Wildlife in the Garden | Posted: Fri Oct 01, 2010 1:42 pm

Hello again from West Virginia.
As I set on the deck overlooking the 10 acres that I call my corner of the World, I add one more year to the growing number I have truly enjoyed. Looking after my granddaughter, tending to my ever expanding garden, trips to my favorite fishing hole, hours spent watching the critters that visit my yard and the quiet times I spend with my Wife of 30 years, I am blessed!
This year was very hard on the critters in our area. Record hot days with no rain, all the natural food sources were gone by early summer. Crop damage by deer was at an all time high. The deer finally ignored my low volt fence and broke thru and ate every bit of green in my garden. Not one or two deer, but a herd. My garden was gone in one night. Squash plants, rhubarb, tomatoes, melons, green beans, peas, corn, chard, kale and carrots all filled the menu for this hungry horde. The only thing we saved were the potatoes. Good thing I had put my shovels away that night.
Never have I seen such an onslaught by deer! I thought that rhubarb was toxic in the leaves? That sure did not stop them from munching them to the ground. First this year was the swarms of grasshoppers, and the the swarms of deer, but I think we have a few more plagues to go before we catch up to Egypt.
So I will clean up my garden one more time and expand it just a few hundred more square feet. I still have 6 acres to get under the plow before I cash in my chips. For right now, I will enjoy a cup of coffee while I set in my favorite chair out on the deck and watch the sun set behind the Blue Ridge mountains.
Stay safe and God bless you.
And so long from West Virginia

Last edited: Fri Oct 01, 2010 1:42 pm

This blog entry has been viewed 142 times


Crunching and Munching

Category: Wildlife in the Garden | Posted: Wed Jul 21, 2010 2:58 pm

Hello again from West Virginia.
Now that summer is full swing, I am again doing battle with the things that go munch in the night (and in the day). Our extension service tells me that we had such a deep snow cover this year, (over 2 feet, and very rare for our area) that the insect larvae and eggs from last fall were not killed by the cold and freezing ground. Sounds good to me, but what to do?
I could blast every living thing in the yard with all sorts of chemicals from my local hardware store, but I think I would like to take a more calm approach to the problem. Other than putting a ballet dress, grabbing a butterfly net and running thru my garden like Peter Pan, I am on the horns of a dilemma. My shop vac seems like a good idea, but I wonder if my wife will mind bags of bugs at the curb for trash day? I tried a scarecrow for the grasshoppers, but my granddaughter's Barbi in bibs isn't that scary. I went so far as to move my bird feeders to the garden in the hopes that the birds would get the hint and eat bugs instead of sunflower seeds. Was not a good idea. The birds sat on the rail of our deck and pooped on our patio furniture.
I guess I will get out the power washer and clean the furniture and the deck. For now the critters will keep on crunching and munching, but I am lurking in the shadows with my butterfly net and hopefully a solution to the problem before I have to shovel snow again.
I'll be back soon.

Last edited: Sun Jul 25, 2010 10:18 am

This blog entry has been viewed 146 times


Sure and Sad Sign of Spring

Category: Wildlife in the Garden | Posted: Wed Mar 24, 2010 2:19 pm

Hello again from West Virginia.
Now that Spring has finally come to Wv, I am taken in by the sights as I drive down that country lane leading to my little corner of the World. The fields are now green as the snow drifts are at last melting away. The large piles of snow are melting along the lane, exposing a sight that can only be seen in West Virginia. SODA CANS, BEER BOTTLES, TIRES, WATER BOTTLES,AND ALL THAT WONDERFUL CARRY OUT TRASH FROM OUR FAST FOOD STORES ARE EMERGING FROM THE MELTING SNOW PILES LIKE A FLUSH OF WILD FLOWERS.
I have been all over this land of ours and never have I seen such uncontrolled littering. On my way to Washington DC last week, I saw a washer and dryer, two recliners and a sofa that had been dumped along the road in an apple orchard.I wonder what is going through the mind of someone as they dump thier trash in someone else's yard!
But all of this will now dampen the delight I feel as the warmer days of Spring are now upon us. My garden has been tilled, the seeds planted in the trays, compost bins turned and filled with the shredded branches from fallen trees. I am getting ready for summer!!

This blog entry has been viewed 155 times


The Storm of the Century

Category: Wildlife in the Garden | Posted: Wed Feb 17, 2010 3:41 pm

Hello again from West Virginia.
The blizzard of 2010. Many are calling it the "Storm of the Century". I guess that would be the case, since the Mid Atlantic region has not had a storm like this for over 10 years, it is the storm of the century. At least, this century.
Looking over the snow in my backyard, I hope that Spring will not be late this year, but we have not been very nice to Mother Nature. The animals come to my house every day looking for something to eat. Even those loud and messy starlings are welcome in our yard. Bluejays, titmouses, chickadees, cardinals, woodpeckers, and even a passing crow stopped by for a meal after the storm. The treat we give the birds is cat food. It is great source of protien and has plenty of vitamins for them. Makes them all the more noisy, but I love to have them dropping by. Just wish I could get them to clean up a bit. OMG!! What a mess they make.
I know that the mess is my fault for letting everone of them eat on my back deck. The mess, like the snow, will be gone with the coming of spring.
The deer will come around each day, as will the raccoons, owls, oppossums and the wild turkeys.
Now that I am in my "Twilight years", I seem to see more of these critters each day. Maybe I just hope that I do.

Last edited: Thu Feb 18, 2010 10:37 am

This blog entry has been viewed 167 times


Waiting for Spring

Category: Wildlife in the Garden | Posted: Thu Jan 14, 2010 3:03 pm

Hello again from West Virginia,
Watching the weather on our local station,(from Baltimore),I see that we are in for a real warm up this week. After the last month, anything over 30F will seem like a summer day. With global warming on the horizon, I am planning my garden this year to include some oranges and and some palm trees.
My herd of whitetail deer are back every day to check out my garden spot. Today they found my sunchokes under all the leaves that I put over them. I never thought that a deer could dig up the tubors of sunchokes, but they sure did. I quess that the ground was not frozen under the mulch. Well, I didn't like the roots that much anyway.
All of the local critters come around each day to see what we have put out for them. A noisey group of bluejays always make short work of the dog food we set out. The rest of the birds go after the sunflower seeds and the chicken scratch. We have several woodpeckers that stop by also. We keep a block up for them.
Every time I go out at 5am to start my car,and clear off the frost, I miss the warmth of Spring and the heat of Summer.


This blog entry has been viewed 132 times


Global warming and my worn out snow shovels

Category: Wildlife in the Garden | Posted: Tue Jan 05, 2010 1:40 pm

Hello again for West Virginia,
I have seen the pictures of the Polar bears floating ice slabs, the shrinking glaciers of Iceland, heard all the talk of rising ocean levels, greenhouse gases and ozone decay, but has anyone acually been able to prove that our Earth is getting warmer?
The day before Christmas (2009) West Virginia was hit with a record snow fall,(in our area,) of 24 inches, and then before New Years Day, God blessed us with another 5 inches of snow. We got more snow in 10 days than we get all year. Now we have record cold temps, and record winds. I thought for a while I had returned to the Red Desert of Wyoming!
So as I look out across my back yard, at the blowing snow, I have to wonder if my snow shovels will make it this year or do I have to give Home Depot more of my money?
In any case, when we move on and our place on Earth is cleaner and safer than when we got here, we are doing our part.
Mike


This blog entry has been viewed 130 times


Quiet time

Category: Wildlife in the Garden | Posted: Fri Dec 25, 2009 4:37 pm

Life in West Virginia is called "laid back" by many people including West Virginians, but I call it "my quiet time." We live just 75 miles from Washington DC and the commute home is a nightmare to say the least, but when I turn off of the main road onto the narrow county lane that leads to our driveway I take a deep breath and know that now I will have my quiet time.
Many a time I am awakened by racoons on our porch or by the owls that live in our forest, but there are no car horns, traffic noise, sirens, or loud car stereos to listen to. So every time my garden is visited by the deer or a racoon turns over my trash bin, I promice to fix the problem before the next time it happens. The critters that come to my house and feast in my garden are very honored quests to be treated with respect and I thank God each day that I am able to be among them.

This blog entry has been viewed 173 times


Wildlife and the "Big Snow Storm"

Category: Wildlife in the Garden | Posted: Wed Dec 23, 2009 9:48 pm

Hello again from West Virginia,
I guess by now everyone has heard about the Big Storm that hit the Mid Atlantic states. What a mess, and what a clean up. I finally got our deck cleared and all of the bird feeders refilled. My back yard is 7 acres and it was full of birds, squirrels, deer, red foxes and even a few wild turkeys paid a visit. We have one female squirrel in particular that loves our bird feeder. (I have one set by the back window, on a table so we can watch the birds). I know it is the same squirrel because it only has one ear. Now it is time to head off to the farm store for our usual supplies, sunflower seeds, thistle seeds, and chicken scratch for the wild turkeys and doves. Our neighbor has a small bear that likes to visit his trash bin, but so far I have not been able to see the bear.
Mike


This blog entry has been viewed 154 times




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