What is your Tip OF The Day?


Me too:wink:

Sorry, I’m responding to a comment made a long time ago. It popped up again when someone liked my old comment.

Apple trees have "four general growth and flowering habits’

I was excited when the article mentioned this, but they failed to elaborate and fell back on the simplistic explanation- dividing only twice into spur- type varieties and the rest. I searched for a more thorough explanation because I’ve never heard of a clean 4 type organization, and google apparently hasn’t either. I manage many varieties that bear most consistently and best fruit on the second year wood of 2 year shoots. With such varieties you thin one year shoots to what’s needed to carry the crop the next year and leave most of the 2 year shoots that are loaded with flower buds at their bases (the 2 year wood).

After setting fruit, the 2 year shoots are removed the next winter.

I realize this is confusing to someone starting out, but don’t worry, it won’t be important knowledge until trees start fruiting and if you are observant you will probably notice what I’m talking about. My heads up may make it more noticeable. The worst mistake is to cut off all upright one-year growth, although you can still get fruit from varieties that already have a lot of old spur wood on them, but your cropping may be biennial and fruit smaller than it could be.


This is a great tip and one that I’m attempting to learn.

Me too:wink:


Many of us are moving into the cold season. For myself this is an unwelcome downtime in my orchard. The orchard is small and I truly love spending time doing things in the orchard. My tip for people like me is to look for task that can be done now. The weather warmed up today and I remove the chocking tendrils from my young muscadine cordons that just reached the 20’ trellis. This task could have waited until February when I prune the vines but then I would have missed out on a wonderful day in the orchard.


Here’s my tip of the day. Admittedly most people will be bored with this, since it’s beyond the scope of backyard orcharding, but it pertains to my own orcharding.

A couple months ago I bought a Rears 100 gal. PTO sprayer. It needed significant work, but I bought it cheap ($225). I took the pump off and it seemed good. I had to replace some parts of course.

However, without getting into too many details, the front stainless steel sleeve (made out of 1" sch. 40 ss pipe) which houses a brass bushing for the main shaft was bent. I tried to straighten it, but it split at the threads (I’m sure most people’s eyes are glazing over now, but hang with me).

Anyway, I thought I could order a new piece of stainless steel pipe (to mill the I.D. to the correct size of the new bushing) easily. No dice. Virtually all the new SS pipe is made in China and not made to ASME specs (ASME stands for American Society of Mechanical Engineers. A scientific body recognized as a world standard since before I was born.) That standard, which is older than I, is an i.d. of 1.490" for sch. 40 1" steel and SS pipe.

I ordered stainless pipe nipples from three different suppliers, all of which claimed they matched or exceeded ASME standards (even listing the dimensional standard) and none of them matched the wall thickness or minimum I.D. of the standard, which I needed to mill/drill a cavity to press the required brass bushing.

Finally I simply ordered a sch. 80 SS pipe to get the wall thickness I needed. I still haven’t milled it yet, but wanted to mention what a disappointment it is that manufacturers claim to adhere to the technical standard, but don’t.

My tip for the day is to be aware that technical specs are sometimes listed simply for promotion and have no relevance at all to the actual characteristics of the product.


Only an old retired machinist would understand.


I’m for sure not a retired machinist, but have the upmost respect for the guild. People don’t realize that a good machinist is on the level of master level chess player, imo. Even then it really doesn’t convey the amount of knowledge required to be a decent machinist.

I love fruit growing, but take the most difficult fruit growing and multiply the knowledge and difficulty X 10 for a highly knowledgeable machinist.

I worked in a precision machine shop for about 6 months. Every day I learned a ton of stuff new and realized I’m still a beginner.


Thanks for the tip.


CLEP classes if you can. It saves a bunch of time and money.


A temperature controller for seed starting / heat mats is a very good idea, if not a requirement.

I started rooting some fig cuttings on a heat mat without one yesterday night and checked the soil temperature at the bottom of the rooting container this morning to see that it got up to >110°F overnight. I had this Inkbird C206 temperature controller lying around so now its being used to keep the temps between 75-80°F. Hopefully the $70 worth of cuttings weren’t fried in their overnight sauna treatment.


I had the same problem and opted for one of those cheap outlet timers instead, it needs to be checked regularly and adjusted of course.


Good tip. Thanks


Wisdom is a luxury an aging man has. Punishment does not teach people not to do something it teaches them to punish. Seldom do we realize as we punish the animals and insects that infiltrate our garden they are supposed to be there and it’s us not playing by the rules. We grow weaker plants or raise weak livestock and the rule of nature is target the weak and eat them. Someday we will learn to work with nature instead of against it. If I had but one prayer I would ask God be tolerant of us for our many mistakes. I would encourage people to teach forgiveness and to love while the opportunity exists.


Most of my life was lived without much forgiveness when I thought someone had done something wrong to me or my family. Over the past ten years I have been trying to change myself and I must admit that when I can it is a great feeling. You don’t have to forget to forgive.


Bill, as handsome as a fella you are, I can’t get used to the new avatar pic. Lol. On my cell phone the thread headings only have the avatar and not the name. I thought to myself, who is this new guy, he sure is posting a lot. Haha.


Is your difficulty also the result of purchasing a machine the manufacturer no longer supplies parts for? I had to sacrifice a Stihl top of the line weed whacker a few months ago for lack of available parts, even though the motor still was strong. A while back the same thing happened with a commercial grade, extremely powerful Sachs Dohmer chain saw that worked perfectly but the chain brake no longer functioned. I sold it for $100 to a braver man than me. That thing could sit for 2 years but still start up on the second pull when fueled up. It was about 25 years old. Too big and powerful for my aging body anyway.


Actually, I’m really impressed with Rears. I talked to one of the owners and he told me the machine I bought was 25-30 years old or more. Yet they have every part still available.

When I wrote my original post about it, I was pretty aggravated, as anyone could probably tell. I could have simply ordered the bushings already pressed in the pipe from Rears.

I don’t know if your Rears have the same set-up, but on this one there is a stainless steel shaft which runs through the sprayer, which the paddles for mechanical agitation, are attached to (Mine runs from the front where the PTO shaft is, through the tank with the paddles attached, to the other side where the same SS shaft also runs the pump.) To keep water from leaking out where the SS shaft runs through the tank, the manufacturer used a couple of SS pipe nipples (one at the front of the tank and one at the back). There are two self lubricating brass bushings pressed into each end of each pipe nipple. The SS shaft runs inside those bushings inside the pipe nipples.

I think you mentioned you have one or two 50 gal. Rears sprayers, which I believe have the pump and motor both on the front. The shaft probably runs through the tank, like on mine, has the paddles attached to the SS shaft like mine, but the shaft probably terminates to a blind hole bushing, inside the tank, instead of running through the tank on the back end (so the shaft can power the pump).

The person who owned this sprayer before me had somehow bent the front SS nipple and the shaft inside it. I tried to straighten the SS nipple, but the place where they had milled the threads was so thin, it broke there instead of bending back.

To repair it requires a new SS nipple to be welded in the tank. I could have simply ordered the new nipple from Rears (with the bushings already pressed in) but the bushings they used have a bigger O.D. than I wanted. Imo, it makes the pipe too thin, where they milled a cavity for the bushings inside the pipe nipples. So I ordered my own bushing and pipe. I’m sure the pipe and bushing Rears used would be fine as long as someone didn’t hit it with a tractor. But it’s also cheaper for me to buy the bushing and pipe separate and fit them myself rather than purchase the one from Rears (even though I had to buy 3 pipe nipples to get one to work).

I really wasn’t frustrated with Rears, just that nowadays, cheap imports (mainly from China) don’t seem to adhere to any standards. I’ve seen cheap Chinese pipe which the threads aren’t cut right, so that a pipe fitting will only screw on a couple turns, which isn’t anywhere near enough threads for a good seal, according to long established pipe fitting standards.

Rears is actually a very high quality sprayer, imo. Everything is stainless steel, and it’s a good design. Even the hose they use is high quality hose from Japan. I recently talked with one of the guys selling Rears sprayers at the Expo. He said they still have Rears sprayers going strong after 40 years (probably with heavy use too).


Clark and Auburn,
I hate to get emotional “in front” of a lot of muscular dudes but I have to say that you are both showing a lot of wisdom that I feel I’m starting to get but haven’t quite got yet. Great leadership.
John S


I love cast iron pans, but I do not like the finish that comes with them. I feel it isn’t smooth enough. I got this idea from my dad. I used a soft sanding pad on my angle grinder to give the pan a slick non-stick finish. Over time the pan will develop a nice seasoning and become even more non-stick.


Great tip. I have been thinking about buying one of those skillets.


Seems like the newer ones you buy are much rougher than my old ones. Good tip…


I know the rough finish - I have to suppose it has a purpose, but don’t know what that is