Gauteng Smallholder October 2015 - Page 34

IN THE WORKSHOP Blades: It’s a question of balance T here is no quicker way, short of mowing through a field of rocks, to destroy any kind of rotary cutting device such as a tractor-drawn slasher or mower, than to run it with unbalanced blades. That's because the vibration caused by the blades of different weights rotating about the shaft will soon destroy any shaft bearings, not to mention wearing ...because if your blades AREN!T balanced you!ll destroy your mower through vibration the shaft itself. In the process, of course, the vibration will cause other components to wear and break, including cracking welds, loosening bolts and causing unnecessary engine PLANNING From page 30 scheduling watering times to avoid the heat of the sun, when more will be lost to evaporation than at cooler times, and use of mulches on one's beds to help seal in the moisture in the soil, as well as to help keep the soil cool. Another advantage of a good layer of mulch is that it will help suppress weed growth. Good sources of mulch are can be achieved very accurately after sharpening by weighing them on a small kitchen scale ~ the kind one wear through vibration. uses to measure out very It is imperative, therefore, that small quantities of flour for the two, or four bolt-on baking. Simply weigh each blades of whatever system blade in turn, and dress the one has weigh exactly the heavier blades till their same. weights correspond to that of For small bolt-on blades this Continued on page 34 any seed-free organic matter of sufficiently small size that it can be spread around small plants without damaging them. Thus, a useful addition to one's range of garden equipment is a shredder which is able to chop up small branches, scrub, dry fruit tree prunings etc. Such material should not be added to the compost heap but should be 32 reserved for use as mulch. Having made that point, the shredder can also be used to chop up dry leaves and other plant material for addition to the compost heap where it will take up less space and be processed into usable compost faster than if added whole.