Seedfork's blog: Fall cleanup already started

Posted on Jul 4, 2015 12:29 PM

Cloudy and overcast and a slight sprinkle this morning.
My riding lawnmower has been ailing for the past few years, if not belts or filters, then it was carbs or pulleys. For the last two years it has been almost unusable and I felt sure the transmission was shot. It would mow on even ground and down hill, but it was at almost a standstill going up the slightest incline.I replaced the drive belts, adjusted the trans as best I could, but nothing worked. Well, I finally sent the thing off to the shop and got it back. Well, first before I could check it out I needed to get a new battery. Got the battery put in and cranked right up, but I had to install the three bin grass catcher and by the time I did that the thing was out of gas and died, it would not crank back up. I thought that odd, being I knew it had a fair amount of gas when I sent it off. So, I check the oil and it is over twice as full as it should be, but very thin. The carb obviously was not working correctly, it allowed the gas to flow out through the intake and into the engine causing it to "lock up" and then flow into the crankcase. Once the gas settled down the mower would crank a and run a few minutes then quit again. So I drained out all the crappy oil and gas mixture flushed it out good, cleaned the carb as best I could and it is working fine for the moment. Oh, yeah checked the air filter and it needs a new one.
The good news is the transmission seems to be fine and I am grateful for that, the bad news is what shop lets a lawn mower out of the shop with all those problems still. Anyhow, being I did not take the mower myself but sent it by someone who had a trailer I am going to write it off to poor communications and assume the shop was told just about the transmission problems. By the way, I bought my grandson a new lawn mower last summer, this year it wouldn't crank, of course it is the fault of the ethanol they put in gas these days, why they allow...even demand ethanol be put in gasoline is a mystery to me. It must cost millions and millions in increased repair costs every year not to mention all the pollution pumped out as people try to crank their clogged up mowers every spring. So I took off the carb, cleaned it the best I could (but it was a new style nothing like I had ever seen)
and the mower still would not crank, so off to the shop it went. I am still just completely baffled as to why ethanol is being added to gasoline when it causes so many problems. I would also have thought that by now knowing it is required that the mower makers would have been able to make a carburetor that was capable of running on ethanol gas, but the whole problem seems to be being ignored and just yearly repair cost being generally accepted by us public lackies. I consider the entire mess, nothing more than a hidden tax. I think the lawn equipment repair business would be reduced by half if not for ethanol!
Now on the gardening front being my rant is over. I worked on the compost piles and got a lot done. I added to some piles and used compost from others. I also dug out a lot of plants trying to thin out some of the over crowding. I pulled lots of cleome that had gotten huge, and was getting pretty thorny and making it hard to work around the other plants. Then in the holes left behind I would fill them in with compost, not fully decomposed but with plenty of stuff for the worms to work on over the next few months. I also had a lot of Zinnias that were getting to tall and starting to flop and they were beginning to look a little ratty. I pulled those up and tossed them in a new compost pile I started. This is the type of stuff I normally don't do at this time of year but wait until fall as part of the annual fall cleanup, but I think by starting now it will help the garden to look better and make it easier than having to do so much cleanup at one time.
In the back of some of the beds I still had lots of H. fulva, and Kwanso/Flore Pleno and I am still clearing out those, did one more section this morning. I gathered more cukes, and more tomatoes. I pulled the old pickler cucumber vines and three tomato vines, they were worn down and very ratty looking, The new vines are looking pretty good but have just over the past few days already started showing disease of some sort. So it will be a race to see if the plants make any thing before the disease kills them. At the moment my new squash plants look perfect, we'll see how long that lasts.
My 'So Many Stars' daylily the critters dug up, has two new green shoots growing on it now, so right now it looks like all the new plants have new growth and are going to make it. It seems late, but the Crape Myrtles are just beginning to really show many blooms, I was about to think this was just a year to write them off. Still many of the larger trees only have blooms up top, but hopefully they will be covered later.
Still getting some rebloom on the daylilies and have new rebloom scapes forming on other plants.
Crape Myrtles just filling out with blooms.
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Still just a few blooms on my larger trees
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Still getting rebloom on the daylilies.
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Look at the buds on this scape of 'Sparks One Hot Mama'
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I saw no large butterflies in the garden today of any type, but there were hundreds of small ones it seemed.
There are at least five in this first photo.
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Crape myrtle by LysmachiaMoon Jul 6, 2015 8:15 AM 2
Ethanol by nell Jul 5, 2015 9:50 PM 7

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