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Friday Unfavorite: Wild Turkeys

April 28th, 2017

We have quite a population of wild turkeys in the area, the flocks seem to get bigger and bigger every year. Which means they eat more and more. Of course vegetable gardens provide a delicious smorgasbord for wild animals and a flock of 25 or so wild turkeys can do some damage rather quickly.

This year I’m finally breaking down and putting metal fencing around both edible garden spaces. It won’t be a permanent structure quite yet, that will happen in 7-10 years. In the mean time, I need something to keep the birds out. Last year I lost a good amount to the turkeys. We have no summer broccoli because they ate the entire first and second plantings of it. Our Spring lettuce crops were decimated as well. At the moment, I’m protecting tender plants with low tunnels and plastic until we can get the fence up around the garden. Hopefully this will help deter the turkeys from eating the vegetables.

What’s your worst garden pest?

Experimenting with Potting Soil Mixes

April 26th, 2017

One of the things I love about gardening is being able to experiment. I’m always planting different varieties to see the difference between them. While I was at the feed store a few weeks ago, I spotted their Pro-Mix potting mixes. I’m a big fan of the 512 Mix from Johnny’s Seed and have been using that for quite a long time, but I decided to give Pro-Mix a try.

So I made a flat of soil blocks with each of the three mixes. As far as soil blocks are concerned, the Johnny’s Mix and the Pro-Mix Premium seemed to form better blocks. The regular Pro-Mix has a lot more perlite in it, so the blocks don’t seem to form as well or be as strong.

I seeded three different seeds in each type of potting mix to watch germinate and watering rates.

The seeds are just starting to germinate and so far they’re pretty even across the board. The Johnny’s mix definitely retains water much better than the other two varieties. Pro-Mix Premium is in second place and the Pro-Mix is in last place, it’s drying out much more quickly than the other two.

What experiments are you doing this gardening season?

It Survived!!!

April 25th, 2017

In the spring I’m always eagerly anticipating the growth of all the plants, but I’m particularly interested in the plants that were added the previous season. This is always make or break time, they either survived the winter or they didn’t. After a summer and fall of drought last year, I was worried about the many new plants/trees I added to the garden. This spring I was over the moon when I noticed my Cornelian Cherry dogwood (Cornus mas) starting to bud. I watered it religiously last summer, but that’s not always a guarantee that things will survive.

When the buds burst forth into bloom I was even happier. This lovely little tree will be a welcome addition to the early spring garden, the sunny little blooms add such a pop of color. This year I’m hoping to prune it a bit and get starts from soft wood cuttings in July, perhaps I’ll save seed from the fruit and try that method as well. I’ll have to read up a bit on propagating this tree to ensure success.

Did you lose any plants this past winter?

Potting on the Peppers

April 24th, 2017

My peppers are growing very well this year, probably better than they’ve ever grown. Typically, I plant them directly in the garden in their soil blocks. This year they outgrew them and needed potting on.

Now they are happily enjoying more root space and the warmth of the office. My tomatoes are just starting to germinate, hopefully they will be ready to transplant directly into the soil without repotting. I used to start them early and pot them on, but I found out they don’t seem to produce any earlier and it’s a lot more work.

What’s growing in your seed starting area this week?

Friday Favorite: Amazon Music & Bose

April 21st, 2017

I keep my blog add free for a variety of reasons, mostly because I hate ads on blogs. There are some of you who support me with a monthly subscription of $5 or $10, that’s a huge help in paying my hosting bills (which are spendy). Another way to help support this blog is to click through my amazon links (or set up a bookmark through my affiliate account). I get a few pennies whenever you purchase something from amazon. Between the subscriptions and amazon most of the bills associated with maintaining the blog are covered. Amazon is a huge bonus for those of us who live rurally and can’t make it to the store conveniently or quickly or find some products locally. I also love that lots of small businesses use Amazon as their storefront so they don’t have to maintain their own websites. Because we purchase a lot from Amazon we have a Prime membership and we love all the features that come with it, like free TV shows and movies. One feature I’ve discovered this past year is Amazon Music, which is so much better than Spotify (which I was using before). Even their free version that comes with Prime has no ads (something I’m really keen on). A few months ago we upgraded to the paid version and am really enjoying it, since we have music on in the house for 12-14 hours a day, it’s something we get a lot of use out of.

We use our iPad mini as our music player and it hooks up to our speakers via Bluetooth. Mr Chiots got me a Bose SoundTouch for Christmas this year, the main unit along with a smaller speaker for my sewing room. It’s super nice because I can turn on the smaller speaker when I’m in my sewing room and it plays the same thing that’s playing downstairs. We’ve always liked the quality of Bose products (their noise cancelling headphones are another one of my favorite things) and we are really impressed with this particular system. If you’re in the market for a music system with add-on speakers I highly recommend it!!! In the future we’ll be adding a few more speakers for different rooms in the house, I’m thinking my office could use one next.

If you’re a music lover give Amazon music a try, I think you’ll end up loving it as much as I do! I even download lots of songs to my phone and use Amazon music to listen while I’m out and about. I’ve been able to discover lots of great new music that I would never have found otherwise. My music tastes are pretty eclectic, I’m a big fan of modern folk, bluegrass, and pretty much everything but top 40 type music.

Are you a music lover? Do you listen in the car and around the house? What’s your favorite style of music?

If you’d like to try Try Amazon Music Unlimited, click through this link for a 30-Day Free Trial, you’ll be supporting my blog while you do.


This is a daily journal of my efforts to cultivate a more simple life, through local eating, gardening and so many other things. We used to live in a small suburban neighborhood Ohio but moved to 153 acres in Liberty, Maine in 2012.