How is your weather?


I personally wouldn’t want to charge a battery in the house.


Well, we just changed the battery today, same result. The original battery was bad, it had about 10V on it and showed about 80A on it during a charging test at the auto store.

I’m going to go check the cable connections to see if there’s any voltage drops between various connections.


Might also be the ignition switch itself or a starting relay (if you have one). Quick test is to put a + jumper directly to the starter (on the pin that comes from the switch/relay), and if that is good, then move back to the relay and try the same thing there. [BTW - be very careful with that + line, especially if it isn’t fused. Takes only a fraction of a sec to create a big arc which can have bad consequences around oil and gas]

@jeremymillrood I’d agree, would not charge a batt in the living room or kitchen (although there have been times :wink:). But a garage or basement is often quite a bit warmer on those frigid nights. BTW, I was charging a batt in my attached garage years ago and the CO alarm was going off. Took quite a while to figure it out, but the H2 gas given off by a charging batt can set off a CO detector just like CO (although it is not harmful), even though it was one floor down and on the other side of a weather stripped door.


We shorted out the contacts on the starter relay, no difference. I’m going to try a voltage drop test to see if there’s any cable issues.

Ok, I won’t charge a battery in the house! Thanks. I figured it was probably a bad idea considering its chemistry.


Not charging in the house is safest of course. If you have a heated workshop or the like that would be more appropriate place to charge/store a batt. However it should still be safe (if potentially messy) to just bring the batt inside. The H2 given off by the batt while charging isn’t poisonous, but if you get it at just the right concentration it will burn/explode (same risk applies outside too, you don’t want to be smoking a cigarette over a charging batt). If you’re not charging it inside, no H2, just the mess of a battery.

When I lived in frigid upstate NY years ago, it was fairly common for folks to bring the batts in at night so they’d be warm in the AM and could start the car.

Might want to check the voltage at several points along the big cables while cranking. It is not unheard of for one of those cables to be corroded inside the insulation even though they look OK from the outside.


Yeah…its mostly grass anywhere the sun hits…still plenty of ice patches around. It was 57F here this afternoon. Felt very mild out… i saw a kid walking in shorts so that is a sure sign of spring fever :slight_smile:


Thanks. I did some measurements while my wife cranked the ignition in the cab. There didn’t seem to be any major drops. But, what I found very interesting was that when I put the positive lead of the voltmeter on the positive battery post, and then the negative lead on the positive lead of the starter relay, I got -12V when the ignition was cranked. Is that’s what’s supposed to happen?

I know all this doesn’t directly have to do with the thread, so I’ll ask the same question on my tractor thread in the Lounge.


Back into the spirit of the thread…

Ok, it was sunny and 63 today. Very nice day indeed. But, alas, it’s supposed to rain tonight and tomorrow night, so we got a big fat three days of no rain. Ground is still very damp. But after Friday, we might get several days of dry albeit cooler, and seasonal temps.


Hmm. Not exactly what I’d expect. Did you mean -12v? When the starter is running, with the neg meter lead at the - batt terminal, and the pos meter lead at the relay, I would have expected to see 11+v or so (meaning that most of the voltage drop is in the starter not the relay or wires up to that point). Measuring the way you describe, you should be measuring the voltage drop between the batt and the relay, which should be very low <1v. No clue how that would be negative.

Did you try jumping 12v to the small lug that causes the starter to start? A short jumper from the big wire on the starter to that starter wire’s lug should do it. If that causes the same results (clicking, barely or not turning) with a good battery, then it likely is either the big wiring to the starter or the starter itself. Most starters have a solenoid which engages the starter gears and switches the starter motor on. Sometimes that solenoid can go bad. Could also be the wires and/or connections on the wires to the starter, that big fat one of the smaller starting wire to the solenoid.

Jumpering from the big 12v wire on the solenoid to the small wire connection there which turns it on, would be a useful test. If it cranks ok with the jumper, then it is in the wiring to the start terminal on the solenoid. If you get the same cranking result with the jumper, then either the big wiring to the starter or the starter/solenoid (or a bad ground connection). If you have long enough jumper cables, try putting one cable from + on the batt to the big wire on the solenoid, and then redo the jumper test. And if you really want to be complete, put the neg jumper cable between - on the batt and the case of the starter. If that works, then it is that wiring from batt to starter or the ground if you added the - jumper cable to the case; if no diff then it is pointing to the starter. [Be careful with these wires, especially the big one between the starter and the batt. It is NOT fuse protected and will create big sparks and massive currents if you ground it out somehow. Fires, and destroyed batts can result] You could also measure the voltage at that big wire on the starter when its trying to crank. See how much it drops when the starter is running.

Also, wiring issue can be due to bad/dirty connections. Sounds like you just swapped batts, so I assume those are clean. But the other wire connection can get dirty/rusted/corroded. Again, best to disconnect the ground on the batt before starting to clean any of these just for safety.

Starters can be rebuilt, and a bad solenoid can be replaced. But these days most commonly people just replace the whole starter. The big box auto shops generally can test a starter (you have to remove it and bring it in) if it comes to that.

FWIW, I fought with a similar problem with my tractor for a while. What it turned out to be was a loose connection on the clutch safety switch which does not allow the starter to run unless the clutch is depressed.


So we’re cooling down here, after a too-long spell of lovely weather getting up to as high as 80 degrees. So y’all know I have trees in bloom. It’s very much like last year :frowning:

But if the weather stays as predicted, the freezes won’t be deep. That could work well enough. I’m still going with that being possible.


Since my fruit trees arrived at my yard all things about weather is associated with my plants. After grafting in several plums and pluots last year I have a huge display of flowers. For the last few days the temps have been around 70 degrees which should bring around some early season pollinator insects. The insects moved in slow and increased a little but there was never a huge amount around. Between the insects and me with my soft brush I think pollination was successful at least for my plums.


Thanks for getting back on the weather topic. Was just about to unpin this thread :slight_smile:

Some light frost, and a colder then predicted low here of 29F again. I’m so sick of seeing the white crap on the roofs.


Its been a real winter here for the first time in a few years. Trust me…seven busted pipes in my basement prove it got a lot colder than usual here. Besides those few days of extreme cold, we just had a lot more days of regular winter cold (for us that means a lot more days in the 20’s than usual. It also stayed winter weather right up until the last week or so, and we didn’t have nearly as many unusually warm days this winter. That part I missed! Here in TN, you can almost always count on 7-10 (a wild estimate) of oddball warm days sprinkled throughout the winter…days at least in the upper 40’s to 50’s and even the low 60’s. I usually just wait for those days to do all my pruning and winter orchard work. But they were in short supply this year, to the point that I didn’t get everything done by now that I should have!

What is interesting is - even though we should have had an abundance of chill hours accrued fairly early this year - my trees seem to be a little behind this year. Perhaps that is because we haven’t had much warm weather until now, not sure why really, but my trees are definitely behind. What is exciting about that for me is it looks like this may be one of the extremely rare years that I will get apricots. (Watch me jinx myself now!). My apricots are just now swelling buds and its almost March. Most years mine are actually blooming now. Out of all my trees, my very first one to bloom each year is a Pluot called Dragon’s Tongue (if you’re unfamiliar with it that is because it is a commercially licensed only pluot that seems to be licensed to just one fruit farm in CA and I wound up with it via a long string of unusual happenstance that I’ve talked about on here before). It actually often blooms in JANUARY (!!!) but is just about to bloom now. It’s one of the greatest tasting fruits I’ve ever had, so the idea of maybe getting a whole tree full this year really has me excited. Same with my 4 apricots. I have gotten apricots exactly one time in 5 years! haha. For most people that would make it a pretty useless fruit to grow, but I have plenty of space and they aren’t much trouble since most years I don’t even spray them since they have no fruit. So for me I don’t mind keeping them around for those rare years when all the planets line up just right. haha.

CERTAINLY there is still a month and a half or even more that we could get some freezing weather, so I certainly shouldn’t be so excited about my prospects this year. But I just cant help it!

Anyone else having an unusual bud/bloom schedule this year?


Glad to see you get into a spirit of talking about fruit growing again. With your computer data being destroyed, your busted pipes, your flooded basement, etc, you do not need any more unfortunate event in a foreseeable future.

Hope those blooms won’t be affected by late freeze. You deserve good fortune from your orchard.


I think we are going to be way behind here, possibly a month behind the last two years as far as bloom time goes. Earlier this winter we did not have a ton of snow but did have a lot of well below zero nights so I’m sure the ground is well frozen pretty deep. On top of that we’ve been dumped on with snow the last couple weeks, its deeper now than it has been since the “polar vortex” winter of 2013. Its gonna take a long time for all this snow to melt and for the ground to thaw. I’m crossing my fingers for a stress free spring as far as worrying about frozen blooms/fruits.


Interesting. I’d say we are about 1 month behind here as well. I just hope than translates into blooms happening late enough that frost won’t get them.

@mamuang - You already know that you’re one of my favorite people on here and I hope you know how much EVERYONE here loves you. You are just the nicest, most helpful person in the world. It is typical and characteristic of you to wish me well and welcome me back. And you are certainly right…I feel like I’ve had my share of bad luck! Lets see…my neighbor and boss kills 16 of my trees and ruins 4 more by over-spraying. The following year another neighbor’s herd of cows get out and stampedes most all of my garden, damages several of my trees, killing 2 of them. The following year I get hit with overspray again, this time just killing blooms and deforming a few trees but not killing any. Then last year my entire watermelon crop of about 65 melons were all destroyed by coyotes, leaving me a grand total of 2 melons out of a large patch. Late freeze got almost all my fruit last year but that is something we all deal with. Then this winter I have a massive pipe-freeze damage! Then a loose my entire orchard history by screwing up an attempt to back up my computer before cleaning it up. So yea, I feel like I’m due for some good luck.

Mostly, though, I’m just reminiscing. At the end of the day none of these things were what I’d call catastrophic problems or real tragedies. I see people every day who face REAL problems and challenges and put my little problems into perspective. Just yesterday someone sent me a video of the woman who won last year’s NPR “Tiny Desk Concert” competition. She has had brittle bone disease which resulted in her being born with 26 broken bones and developing with lots of disabilities and she is a tiny little thing. She plays her violin the way a regular person plays a String base except her arms don’t work much. The point is, she has lived her entire life in a wheel chair with unimaginable difficulties and challenges, yet she overcame it all and won the competition only because she makes music that gives you chills. Sorry to ramble on about something so unrelated, but seeing her and hearing her music really reminded me of how lucky most of us are and how the little things we often think are big deals or terrible things in our lives are really nothing at all compared to someone like her- and we know there are lots of people with major, life-altering problems and challenges like her. So my “bad luck” must be taken with some perspective.

But again, thanks for welcoming me back to the fray. Of course now that I’m back everyone will have to endure more of my long, rambling posts like this one! Looks like @scottfsmith and/or the admins did away with the “general non-fruit related” topic category which I understand and respect. I promise to try and not use that as an excuse to have many more non-fruit related posts like this one. ha.

Back to the weather…how has yours been this winter, @mamuang?


The way you sang praises to me, people would know that my check is in the mail to you :grin:

Our winter this year was very cold, very early, end of Dec, early Jan. Our Feb temp was the 3rd warmest on record. Right now, it has been in the 50’s for high for 3-4 days now. This is concerning as March can be freezing cold.

If this year’s weather pattern is like last year’s, I am pretty sure that I can kiss my apricots good bye for the second year in a row.


Mamuang When did your apricot bloom last year?
Mine is just showing pink. Maybe the next few days of seasonal weather will set them back a little. Not sure if it works like that. Maybe once they start there’s no stopping them?
This graft is from last year and I only got about a foot of apricot wood on the tree. I would’ve let it fruit if it wanted to. But I don’t think it has anything that could pollinate it. Do you think pluot can pollinate apricot?


I’m currently in southern Baja California Sur. The weather has been in the upper 60°s day and night, wind about 5-20 mph, waves about 1-3 foot. It rained a bit yesterday and is currently overcast. :slightly_smiling_face:


What’s the variety,Susu?Some Apricots are self fertile,but will benefit from a different one. Brady