Today was a catch-up day. We missed the window of opportunity to plant garlic and fall bulbs early in the month, and it has just been way too soggy up to now to get in the garden. So today we got the garlic in and some purple allium, and three kinds of peonies (Duchesse de NemoursÂ -white, Sarah Bernhardt -pink, and Red Magic – red). We also collected a bunch of seeds from flowers and beans, among other things.
A few days ago, I wouldn’t have bet that I’d be able to dig this trench with the tractor. Our neighbor filled our two wagons with corn and I went out after I got home from work after dark to haul them back home. On the way home, the tractor seemed like it was running a very rough and might not make it home. In my paranoia, it seemed like the exhaust had a white tinge to it, but it was night, and I hadn’t yet run the tractor at night, so I wasn’t sure what it looked like normally at night. My fear was coolant in the combustion chambers. Or, I thought maybe the heavy load was straining it because one of the wagon wheels was nearly locked?Â But when I got home and stopped the tractor, it still was acting up. I turned it off and a few minutes later it wouldn’t start. So I went and got the 2nd wagon with the truck (I felt some urgency as rain was possible in the forecast) and felt lucky not to get stuck in the soft waterway with a two wheel drive truck and gravity wagon full of corn and a dead tractor unable to pull myself out.
Over the night, ruminating about how much a cracked head or other major repair would cost, I remember an old mechanic telling me that if I ever put gas that had a mixture of ethanol in an engine that had not run it before, it would dissolve and break loose all kinds of gunk that might be in the gas tank/fuel system. I may have grabbed a gas container that had ethanol in my rush to get out in the field. So in the morning I thought I’d drain the carburetor and check out the gas, and if necessary drain the gas tank and start over. But after draining all the gas out of the carburetor, it started up and ran just fine – so I am attributing the problem to a fuel line problem that has worked it self out.
Having the tractor to dig trenches to plant garlic, gladiolias, and potatoes is a huge back and time saver.