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S.T.Fanatic

5 year old buck +
Your peas will not produce viable seed. The deer will wipe them out soon after the pods start to fill out. If you till it all under for green manure chances are the turnip seed will be way to deep to ever germinate.

I've been doing TNM/Roll in my "diversity" plot for a few years now and actually haven't had a problem with my turnips and radishes re seeding overly thick.
 

Bassattackr

5 year old buck +
Jbird - I was going to suggest broadcasting some cereal grains around Sept 1 and then mowing the entire thing. TnM..
 

j-bird

Moderator
The "plan" will be to let it all do it's thing until late summer. At that time I will terminate what is needed as the deer will have moved on to the soybeans and the birds will have had their way with what seed was produced. I'll mow it simply to reduce the bulk of it and then till it all in. I will probably row plant it again with AWP and will then broadcast some oats, wheat, and some turnips again (about half the rate I used last year) and some clovers as well and we will see what we get. I liked the clovers ability to carry over as a forge plant into the spring and early summer.

On another subject....
I changed the blades on my rotary mower after nearly 20 years of use and only occasional sharpening. First of all - if you do this....take my advice and don't even mess with anything smaller than 3/4 in drive tools! It took a 1-1/2", 3/4" drive, socket, a 3/4" drive breaker bar and about a 4 foot piece of pipe and some penetrating oil to get the hardware off! I bought new blades just assuming the ones where shot. Well...when I got the blades off, it was almost difficult to tell which way the blades where supposed to turn they where that worn! No don't get me wrong...they took the beating I gave them. But it got so bad it was tearing the grass and not cutting it! It made a huge difference....now I just need to not beat the crap out of these...and maybe sharpen them more often!!!
hog blades.jpg
 

rocksnstumps

5 year old buck +
I changed a set about 5 yrs ago and the spec is about 700 or 750 ft-lbs to tighten. Yah like I've gotta torque wrench for that kinda setup. Like you the 6 ft cheater pipe was utilized with just slightly less grunting to tighten than loosen. I changed the pivot bolts at same time. The hardware is way more expensive than blades but guess I can afford it every 15-20 yrs. I too noted that attempting self sharpening "stone" method is not giving good results. Maybe my rocks need to be "Arkansas stones" instead of granite.
 

Bill

Administrator
Wish you were closer. I ask you to come help with mine.
 

j-bird

Moderator
Wish you were closer. I ask you to come help with mine.
It's not that difficult, you just need some stout tools. You can't use your normal 1/2" drive stuff (I tried and it just "cheesed" the extension I was using into two pieces) and you will need a cheater pipe. If I was to have to do it again....it would take maybe an hour or so once you have all your parts and tools. The "suck" part is that I can only get about 1/2 a turn and then have to reset the tools because of the clearances on top of the mower. If you have a stout impact gun, that would be the ticket! Also use some sort of penetrating oil on the hardware as well, Don't be shy with it and let it sit over night... I used the old German method of torqueing the hardware back together....about a 5 foot piece of pipe, lube the hardware a good grunt till you feel it in your pecker! We call that "Gootentight"...think "good and tight"!!!

Another tip... Do it in the shade! I was not thinking.... That deck gets hot in the sun and it's not exactly leisurely type work. Shady spot with a nice breeze and a few cold ones nearby will help also.

I was able to get some "instruction" from you-tube so if your not sure what your doing... You-tube can typically at least give you some idea of what is needed and give you a little more confidence.
 

Tree Spud

5 year old buck +
It's not that difficult, you just need some stout tools. You can't use your normal 1/2" drive stuff (I tried and it just "cheesed" the extension I was using into two pieces) and you will need a cheater pipe. If I was to have to do it again....it would take maybe an hour or so once you have all your parts and tools. The "suck" part is that I can only get about 1/2 a turn and then have to reset the tools because of the clearances on top of the mower. If you have a stout impact gun, that would be the ticket! Also use some sort of penetrating oil on the hardware as well, Don't be shy with it and let it sit over night... I used the old German method of torqueing the hardware back together....about a 5 foot piece of pipe, lube the hardware a good grunt till you feel it in your pecker! We call that "Gootentight"...think "good and tight"!!!

Another tip... Do it in the shade! I was not thinking.... That deck gets hot in the sun and it's not exactly leisurely type work. Shady spot with a nice breeze and a few cold ones nearby will help also.

I was able to get some "instruction" from you-tube so if your not sure what your doing... You-tube can typically at least give you some idea of what is needed and give you a little more confidence.

How did you access under the mower deck?

Do you sharpen the blades while still on the mower?

I have a 6' mower and am thinking of raising it on chains with my FEL on the tractor. Just not sure how to stabilize the lower end once it is raised.
 

j-bird

Moderator
How did you access under the mower deck?

Do you sharpen the blades while still on the mower?

I have a 6' mower and am thinking of raising it on chains with my FEL on the tractor. Just not sure how to stabilize the lower end once it is raised.
I can show you how MINE is...yours may be different. First of all mine is a 5ft wide John Deere 513 model... just as a reference point.

So to start with I put the mower on the ground but left it hitched to the tractor, but disconnected the PTO shaft (my tractor is a diesel and the last thing I wanted was to possibly "crank" the engine...and of course I was too lazy to disconnect the battery! You are going to be putting a lot of force on the mower so make sure it is safely on the ground and isn't going anywhere! Mine has a hole in the deck of the mower specifically for removing the blades. Yours may have some sort of cover, or no such access... Having this access was nice...but I can certainly see where not all manufacturers may do this. Then you will need to slowly turn the PTO by hand and you will see the nut in the opening (and keep your finger out of the hole! You want to SEE it not feel it)
mower 1.jpg

You next need the tools that will reach where you need but are big enough to get the job done (1/2" drive stuff didn't work for me...I twisted my extension right in half). What you see below is everything I used, but my cheater pipe and penetrating spray. A little hint...The 2 red lines are where I was able to put a piece of 2X between the extension and the support of the mower and that helped keep the nut centered in the opening.....otherwise as the nut loosens and moves up the top of your socket will get pinched against the top of the mower deck. Mine also has a "cover plate" under the mower that spans to both bolts (I think it's to keep stuff from being able to wrap around the gear box shaft).
mower 2.jpg

Then the grunting starts! On mine...righty tighty, lefty loosey is the way. Penetrating oil is your friend as well.... Mine made a significant "pop" once it broke loose and don't put your entire weight on the cheater pipe! If something slips or the like, your going to end up on the ground or landing hard on the steel of the mower. I then used the handle on my breaker bar as a punch and had to pound the bolts/pins out...and they took took a few good whacks. Once everything drops to the ground I picked up the mower with the tractor hitch and pulled my parts out.

Putting it back together... First of all you will be working under the mower deck so make sure it is secure or place it one it's side and ensure it's not going to fall on you!!! The blades are pretty heavy so an extra set f hands may be helpful. My bolts/pins had a hex shape on them that you have to align for them to go in properly (this is what keeps the bolt from turning while your wrenching on the nut). I made sure all that was clear of dirt and the like and I was able to put everything back together fairly easily. The nut will start by hand for a few threads and then you have to use a tool. I don't have a large impact, but that would have been a wonderful tool for this job. Again just watch how you socket and everything lines up as you tighten because with the PTO being free things can and will move some. I have no idea what the official torque spec is for those bolts. But with 250+ pound man pushing on a 5 foot cheater pipe....they haven't gone anywhere....yet! I probably should check them again!!!

Having done it this way and now having the tools...I doubt I flip over the deck again to sharpen the blades and I will simply take them off and re-install...but knowing me...that will be another 5 years down the road! It's similar to doing your lawn mower. You probably can do it while they are on the deck still, but it sure seems easier to do a better job if you can take the blades off. and like anything else....it took me a while to figure it all out the first time, but the more I do it I am sure I will be able to do it far quicker. Having the proper tools was the biggest issue I had initially. I don't have much 3/4" drive stuff around because I don't work that much on big stuff. However, I bought the tools for the job I needed and now I have them for down the road. If your on a limited budget...don't get super expensive tools if they are going to be used once a decade....
 

Buckly

5 year old buck +
An old timer told me 30 years ago when I was looking to buy a brush hog, to take it apart when new and put anti seize on the bolts for the blades. It’s real easy to neglect this as I learned. LOL. Your project brought back memories. After I bought my bigger brush cutter I put the anti seize on every year. They came off easy peasy. After that and it was little trouble taking them off and on each year. 3/4 socket set a must.
 

j-bird

Moderator
So just some random thoughts today...

My plots from last fall are changing about how I anticipated.... The turnips have bolted, produced seed and are now dying. The peas have flowered and are producing pods while the crimson clover is still going strong..here in the early part of June. In areas of cover near by I am finding deer beds...so the deer have noticed as well.
plot.jpg

I also noticed that the late frost and snow didn't get all my apples....so hopefully I will have some fruit this year....
apples.jpg

I also take the kids for a little R&R as well. Here...my 2 youngest wanted to take me fishing. While I was unloading the truck...I had discovered that one had taken my chair and the other had already taken my rod and real! They didn't want to take me fishing...they wanted me to take them! As you can tell they was both not real worried about it when I told them that I didn't think this sort of treatment was fair!! The youngest even tries to tell me "I'm #1"!!! Sarcastic....just like their mother!
emma jenna.jpg

And now just a simple observation that only those that try to plant trees for wildlife will understand. This is my back deck at the house. It's on the north side of the house, and the deck is roughly 3 to 4 feet off the ground at the highest point. So what catches my attention is how we can baby chestnut, and apples and oak trees and the like and they seem to die of too much sun, too little sun, too much water, not enough water, put down weed barriers and set up cages....and then I have this! It's growing in crappy soil, virtually no light and yet I have a hackberry tree growing just as proud as can be in the middle of my deck! This is like planting flowers while a dandelion seems to be able to prefer to grow in the cracks of concrete!!!

deck tree.jpg

Anyhow...it's tropical monsoon season here in Indiana as of late. Rain every day, humidity so high you can feel the thickness in the air, hot and typically still as a tomb so their is no air movement! Great weather for growing corn, but not worth a damn for getting anything done outside unless you want to see how much moisture can come out of your body or a raging case of "swamp ass"! I'm gonna have to use them new bush-hog blades to mow my yard!

We recently went to Atlanta (college visit to SCAD) and the weather was better suitable for humanity down there!!! Oh, and don't forget the constant hum of the cicadas.
 

j-bird

Moderator
This post isn't about habitat or deer...but something far more important to me. One of my kids. I have often shared posts (particularly in November - as that is CRPS awareness month) about one of my kids who has a condition that many are unaware of and it has been quite the journey for her and us as a family. The Hospital that helped her has issued a story about her journey. Scroll down the page and read "Jenna Rose Weisenbach". If you have kids that seem to never recover from some sort of injury and continue to have un-explained pain....PLEASE let me know. I am not a doctor, but I can point you to ones that may help diagnose the condition that Jenna has. Diagnosis was a real challenge at first because the condition is pretty rare...next came the proper treatment. There is no "cure" for this condition...only a means to make it better. If you know of anyone who could be helped that may have this condition or the like...PLEASE let me know. Jenna has taken a position of support and advocacy on the topic...especially for kids.

 

j-bird

Moderator
cicada damage! At first I thought maybe I had been hit with some overspray from the ag fields....but after a quick search....CICADA!

Mature trees will recover...but some of my younger ones...it will be a test. So far they have not seemed to harm my apple/crab trees, but my chestnuts look BAD, my sawtooth oaks I hope to will pull thru, but all my smaller persimmons are dead or soon will be, and the smaller chestnuts are in bad shape as well. My apples (old and young) as well as my crab apples show little to only minor damage so far.

I am going to be real upset if my sawtooths die. I have about 5 years into them and I think they where doing very well, and this seems to be the only thing that has affected them thus far.

This WAS my best chestnut. The other wasn't doing so well as it was and looks even worse. I have not had any luck with the Chestnut hill Chestnuts...they seem to survive for a few years and then fade away. Never thriving...now...well, now they are cicada food! I think I am going to say "hell with it" and try some Chinese chestnuts maybe.
best chestnut.jpg

My sawtooths...they all look about like this. I saw the same condition on oaks much, much older and what seemed to be on every oak that was exposed to the wide open, but the bigger trees will be plenty well established to survive. Will probably put a real hurting on mast production this year however.
cicada sawtooth.jpg

The only good news is that the apples are coming along and my MG screen I planted a year ago seems to be enjoying the heat... Ag field of beans on the left, screen in the middle, plot on the right.
N MG screen.jpg


Cicada - good for fishing bait...bad for my trees. Save a tree and feed the cicadas to the fish!
 

j-bird

Moderator
What the cicadas didn't eat the good lord tried to wash away with a flood.

Friday night and into saturday was the worst flooding we have seen since the actual flood of 2008 here. I don't know exactly how much rain we got but it was way more than the ground and creeks could hold.

The picture below is of one of my "orchards" on sunday well after the water was back where it belonged. Based on the height of the debris in my larger trees I estimate this area was under about 4 feet of water! The bigger trees are fine, the smaller ones where bent over pretty badly, so only time will tell. The battle wagon survived the flood just fine as well. I wasn't able to move it as I wasn't anticipating a flood in mid JUNE! This is the risk you take planting in flood plains. I have about 10 acres of silted soybeans (ag crop) now as well. We are supposed to get more rain tonight and maybe it will wash some of the silt off and the beans will make it...but maybe not.
flood trees.jpg
 

Native Hunter

5 year old buck +
Well that is terrible. So far I haven't see the cicadas. I hope your trees pull out okay, because that looks like a heck of a blow they are taking. Wishing you the best through all this trouble.
 

j-bird

Moderator
Well that is terrible. So far I haven't see the cicadas. I hope your trees pull out okay, because that looks like a heck of a blow they are taking. Wishing you the best through all this trouble.
Doesn't Mother Nature understand that I'm trying to HELP!?!
 

Bill

Administrator
Yikes!
 
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