Saturday, September 18, 2021

Mesonet at SD State Eagle Butte realtime weather web widget

Home and Garden Tips

Greetings everyone. I hope you have enjoyed the last few days of summer.

As far as the calendar goes, the season of Fall begins September 21. If this year is anything like the past few years, we should enjoy the next couple weeks before the first flakes fly.

This is the last chance for early fall deals on winter equipment. While I do not receive any endorsements, the following is my personal Wish List for small tractor equipment and snow removal equipment.

Mini skid steer and utility tractors trucks

This week I would like to highlight the power of the tiny tractor. There are several manufacturers that offer a great product. My preference for snow removal is the tried and true American-made workhorse, the Bobcat Toolcat series. They have a variety of attachments available for snow removal and ice control and now have more power than before.

These are also year-round work horses for the ranch and commercial property. Bobcat also now makes a sulky velke for its walk-behind skid steer. The walk-behind unit promises to be a great workhorse for small projects, but I am not completely sold on the sulky velke attachment. History has shown these have flaws in their design and have weak points such as their pin attachment locations.

Bobcat is launching a new electric series tractor. The T76 Compact Track Loader debuted in 2020 and is going to be available nationwide. They also offer other electric equipment nationwide now.

Snow blowers

There are a lot of snow blowers out there and the ones to avoid are the ones you do not need. Don’t buy too big or too small. Get some numbers on the area you need to clear. Calculate linear feet and square feet and get the machine that can do the job in 1-2 hours. Clearing rates for all machines are listed in the specs for each machine online. There are preseason deals to be had. Just ask your local dealer.

Pre-treatments for ice

Stock up on supplies now and get a better deal. Wilmar, also known as Home Depot Multi Family, serves apartment, commercial and ranch operations. They will have deals right now on last year’s inventory.

There are a variety of products on the market that claim to keep a driveway 100% free of ice and snow. I have not yet seen one that meets the claim.

I have found one product that does a better job than others, Bare Ground. This product keeps the snow from compacting and will help a lot by keeping the ice from sticking to the pavement, making it easier to clear and keep clear after a storm passes. The product is a liquid that can be applied with a pump sprayer.


If you have everything harvested out this week you have done well. If not, you still have time. I know quite a bit of winter squash and root crops are still growing.


Go ahead and give your lawn what might be its final cut of the season. I recommend cutting about a half an inch shorter than the last cutting in order to eliminate suspended thatch.

Lawn and garden equipment

Power wash your mower and other equipment. After you have completed your final cut, service the plug, air filter, fuel filter and run the tank dry. You can choose to keep the tank empty or fill it with fuel and fuel stabilizer. I have found it’s best to keep the tank empty if it’s plastic. If the tank is metal with a cap that seals, it’s up to you. Most steel tanks don’t have the issues that plastic ones do where the chemical makeup of the fuel changes over 6 to 8 months.

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