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Smallpatch

Roto tilling

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I got a strange story about my back. First off, the story..

  A few years ago my back had got so bad I had to let the gardening go by-by. 

But something this year told me I got to do something different about me health or else...

I had ordered a couple of large truck loads of good top soil to go in the area I concreted up in 08. Well little did I know all the top soil or any other dirt in this area is all clay....It looks dark red when wet but this time, looks don't count. The dirt came out of the creek going through town and it was full of wild onions...My rototiller said no thanks and refused to run long enough to cover this area one time without dying a few times... so since 08 I been fuming over this so called garden top soil......and with a hurt back I worked in the shop so I wouldn't have to think about the garden...until this year...First thing I did was burn off everything on top of the ground with a propane torch....hoping to get most of the seeds that might be ready to give me fits in a month or two... IMG_2118.JPG.36fe246cfd78a1908fad7f50b2061e52.JPG

 So after the burning I decided to wet it down good to give the tiller more help...Wow, I don't believe I have ever had more ruff body shaking ever...stop the tiller.... More water soaking.... tiller says, hey fool I ain't ready to try that again until you get more water on this solid brick type of dirt...So this picture is after many waterings and between each wetting the tiller went round and round...and a few sacks of volcano sand was added to neutralize the clay. Now it is so soft it is hard to walk from one end to the other..

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 Now some more of the story....The tiller got to where the motor would run slower and slower. Being a do it yourselfer and owning a go cart track since 1984 and working on small engines during that time except for one brand and that was the Honda motors I used on the track....they never had to be worked on and me being the mechanic that was fine with me....except the ropes would wear out from being used constantly...I could fix to rope problem in the five minutes the other carts were going around the track. Can't say that about the Briggs. Anyway the problem with the Briggs motor that was on the tiller happen to be clogged jets in the carburetor... only problem there was where I had to work on it and that was in the hot end of my shop. All it takes is just common tools and one special tool for the small jets are very small...a welding tip cleaner set.. I think even Walmart super center might have those in stock.. The top part of the inside of carb is aluminum and it get crud built up and some stick to the jets restricting the gas flow...The gas tank does not have to be removed just the carb.. and it is important to have a blo gun to clean out the dust before it goes back together.. but don't use a blo gun if the carb is still on the motor...too bad most Briggs don't have a gas filter and they do make a very small and short filter to go in the gas lines but I don't think this 5 hp model has enough room...but also this crud is actually on most all aluminum parts of all small carbs..

  The only thing I ever had to do with the G-200 Honda motor was about once a year take out the spark plug, sand blast it , regap it and put it back it... and the rope fix was all I ever had to do...another thing about the G-200, I used the motor that had a 2 to 1 reduction oil clutch and in the 14 years I never had to replace any part of that clutch on the 15 carts we used 7 days a week...but the regular friction clutches I sold for the cheap go-carts would last only a few days of running before they were wore out...

   Now to get back to my back.....something happens as I am running the tiller with my back....there for a few days that tiller was jumping up and down trying to break up the hard clay and after an hour or two I was exhausted but my back actually felt better than each morning before I cranked up the tiller.. now I have no pain when laying in bed....on sure my arm muscles or what is left of them are very sore but nothing from my back...

  Oh yes, if you have a tiller motor that surges back and forth, your jets are partly stopped up and not getting enough gas to keep it going like it should...yep, you could take it to a repair shop and a few days later and a hundred or so for the bill but maybe you should give it as try and fix it yourself...Might ever help your self esteem shine a little.

 This is what the ground looked like after the first couple of rounds with the tiller. I could only get the tiller tines down maybe a couple of inches and it sure relayed its anger back through the handles I was hanging on to...I would wet it down again, let it soak in a while then go after it again. And each time my back would say, hey it feels better each time you run the machine....go figure!!!

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Leaving a lawn mower out side in the rain might the culprit...!

 

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Interesting, can't say my tiller has even made my back feel better.....and I'd bet our clay is just as nice as yours. I had that exact experience earlier this year with the "top soil" thing. Bought a load and found out it was the same clay as found 20 feet down or so. Anyway, looks like you've whipped your garden into shape but I suspect it's a little late in the year to plant much.

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We were told when we moved here that anything would grow if you could give it enough water. THEY LIED! We started out by plowing a 50X50 area. Then, roto tilling in sand and fertilizers. Every year we started from scratch. Every year we might get enough green beans for a couple messes. Tomatoes were pitiful, watermelon and cantaloupe did fair. Sweet corn was terrible and root plants were a disaster. Beets the size of tennis balls and, carrots no bigger than your pinkie. About 5 years ago, we gave up. Wife planted a few locust and elm trees in the garden and they are thriving. But, so are those planted other places around the house. 

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Fred I'm glad to see you back on here. Its been a while. This is just getting ready for next year. It seems like that time of year I am the laziest so I'm trying to out smart myself.. 

  I was reading where lava sand will break down the clay so using the spreader I cover the ground once lightly then roto till it in.  Funny the only place I could find lava sand was here in this little town. None of the big stores or Amazon shows it in their adds...….also funny for the news it breaks down clay came from the nursery that sells it...Might be a ploy to sell more of it.

   We live on a rock hill so ever so often I get another truck load dumped up front so I can practice filling the low places then wait for the rain to flow it down into the lake..I think my water front lot has gained two foot more land to the total since we been here. At least here in Texas when a person turns 65 his property tax and a few other things are frozen and don't go up.

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44 minutes ago, Smallpatch said:

At least here in Texas when a person turns 65 his property tax and a few other things are frozen and don't go up.

Dang, I wish Ohio would adopt that practice (the property tax, not the other stuff).

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Fred I noticed here the tax people use and over head picture of a persons property so they can easily see if you have added any additional structures and in return go up on your taxes.. Sure saves many long hours of going out and doing the visual sighting..

  This property had never been built on when I bought it and the only permit I needed to build a house and shop was getting a permit for the septic system and I put it all in myself. I had to dig  the ditches and holes for the tanks then get the guy to come out and inspect that part then put in the tanks and lateral lines and call him out again before I could cover ever thing up..I did all the electrical and plumbing without any permits...I also built all the forms for the concrete and then paid a crew to come out to pour the concrete and smooth it...no permits.

  I read one time where this couple bought a water front lot on a lake in the east some where and cut down 18 trees where the house was to go and the authorities made them buy and replant like size trees somewhere on their land...Cost them a fortune..

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1 hour ago, Smallpatch said:

buy and replant like size trees somewhere on their land...Cost them a fortune.

This can suck if you didn't have enough room on property to have the trees away from the house.  Have heard about this once somewhere in Atlanta, right after a storm.  Typical government wanted the trees back that Mother Nature took down.  

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 I like it and am jealous. Your garden area looks great, is elevated and you have an endless water supply right there. In Ohio I had a large garden with more than 8 to 10 inches of top soil. Here in CO the only soil I have is what I put in. Hail is so bad I quit gardening. All I have is  a plot with 3 tomato plants and a few potted plants.

 

I want to see some pictures of your garden full of veggies:)

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