We’re sweltering here with unseasonable hot weather and no rain. Just half an hour south of us, they had a good shower, but we only got to see the clouds. Will’s between hay fields right now, and we could sure use some rain. The weather forecast called for thunder storms yesterday and today, but so far we have only sweated — no rain. So we’re busy weeding, mulching, and side dressing pumpkins, squash, and corn with manure. But as it’s so hot, you can only work for an hour or so at a time then you have to head for shade and water.

My oldest son, Bill, had an old Simplicity garden tractor with tiller. It hadn’t been out of the shed for something like 20 years but when he found out I needed a way to till our North garden’s corn and pumpkins besides the TroyBilt (which my bum knee didn’t like running for more than about half an hour) he and David got it out, got it running, and loaded it on David’s truck after the Fourth of July camping was done with. Unfortunately, the tires were dry-rotted so I had to order a set online, which we’re anxiously waiting for right now. Will planted the North garden corn rows far enough apart so I can till between the rows with the Simplicity. I’m really excited!

Bill’s old Simplicity garden tractor and tiller will make weeding the North garden much faster and easier when we get it up and running.

Yesterday David and Will got the east gable end of David’s cabin closed in with OSB. That was a job as it was so high up! But David slid the pieces of OSB up the extension ladder ahead of him, carrying his nail gun on his belt. Will waited upstairs on a scaffold and held the pieces in place while David nailed. With the center piece, Will was able to reach over the top and do the upper nailing for him. Next is the other side. It doesn’t help that it’s so hot!

David slid the pieces of OSB ahead of him on the extension ladder.

I’ve been hand weeding the rows of corn and beans in the Sand garden. Everything there looks great. I got the pink popcorn weeded, then side-dressed it with manure and mulched it heavily between the rows. I think it looks happier just a day later. Now if it will just rain …

The Sand garden is doing very nicely; I’m hand weeding between the corn and bean plants there.

— Jackie


  1. I have a Simplicity tractor and tiller like that. Mine is a 1967 Landlord 2012 (12 hp). Built like a tank!

    One thing to watch out for when tilling, is the tiller can “drive” the tractor with such force that the brake won’t stop it. You need to anticipate this and lift the tiller up off the ground before you want to stop. And lifting the tiller is heavy. Too bad your tractor doesn’t have a hydraulic lift; according to my owner’s manual, some models did have hydraulics.

    Another thing to watch for: the center PTO has a zerk that is hard to find (it’s between two pulleys), and the manual was cryptic about its location as well. (Although you won’t be using that PTO for the tiller.) Fortunately, when it failed due to lack of greasing replacement parts were still available from the dealers.

  2. Hot here too, near 100 all week and dry. Determinate tomatoes and squash done, potatoes dug. Still have bill beans and providers though! The new website look is pretty, but harder to use. Is there going to be a search box?

  3. There really isn’t a modern equivalent to those old lawn mower/tractors. I’ve got a 1975 Wheel Horse with a just a mower deck, but looking at all the attachments that were made for makes one wonder why they aren’t still built that way. I’m keeping my eye out for a chipper/shredder with a broken motor to adapt to the PTO. I’m also working on a welder to run off the PTO so I have a portable welding set up.

  4. Your gardens look great! It’s very hot here in southern Wisconsin with heat warning today. In the spring we had too much rain (20-25% fields unable to be planted) and now we need rain. To bad we don’t control the spigot in the sky. My Bear Island Chippewa corn was doing so great, loved the smell of the pollen–however 3 thirty foot rows were completely cleaned out by coons and that’s with a 7 foot high fence. They know the good stuff it was a heart breaker. Any other ideas to control coons. I’ll now have to wait until next year and I think I’ll have an interior electric fence around it. I wonder how the Indians and early settlers grew things. The wildlife eating on the smorgasbord of the garden is a pain. I’m praying now for rain also.

    • Awww, Everett! I’m so sorry the coons got your corn! Been there; done that. If you put two strands of electric fence about a foot apart, about two feet up the fence, the little buggers will hit that while climbing the fence and go away. It’s the only thing besides a .22 that’s worked for me. And they come at night so good luck with that one. The Indians kept old women, kids and dogs in the corn patch 24/7 when the corn was getting ripe. And they ate the coons….

  5. Here in the Copper Basin Alaska we had our two weeks of 80’s and 90’s with no rai . It ended with a night of heavy showers sothere is enough moisture to hill the potatoes. Last couple days were highs in the upper 60’s and it got to 38 last night. Could use more rain. Picking green beans, zuchini and the first ripe tomatoes. Your gardens look great.

    • You’re ahead of us, Howard. My beans are flowering and I have tiny tomatoes on, but no squash yet. But then you do garden in high tunnels so I’m sure that helps as we have big green peppers in our hoop house right now. Things look good if we don’t get hail…..

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