Hello again!

While riding in 2019 along the Continental Divide, I thought my bicycle’s brakes just didn’t feel right. A loaded bike can weigh 60 pounds or more including food and water. Much of the route is uphill, and like it’s been said, ‘What goes up must come down’! With a heavy bike going downhill, it’s imperative that you have good brakes. About half way into the journey, I decided to have a bike shop check them out. I arrived at the shop at opening time. The mechanic examined my bike and diagnosed the issue: the brakes needed to have the hydraulics serviced. Not having the correct brake fluid at the time, he let me know he would go pick some up and have my bike ready to ride after I had breakfast. So after a breakfast of a double stack, bacon, (and a side order of bacon) and 2 eggs at the diner in Pinedale, Wyoming, I picked up my bike and went on my way through the Great Basin of Wyoming.

The brakes felt just ‘ok’ as I made my way through Colorado, so I decided to have them checked again as I approached the final leg of the route. The service manager at the shop wanted to know who had serviced the brakes the last time as they had used the wrong brake fluid.

Instructions from the brake manufacturer:

Can you use DOT 5 with SRAM brakes?
No. DOT 5 is a silicone-based fluid that is not compatible with SRAM brakes. Using DOT 5 brake fluid will damage the internals of your brake system. Using any fluid other than DOT 4 or 5.1 will void the product warranty.

My guess is that the mechanic went to the auto supply store and then used DOT 5 brake fluid. The mechanic did not ‘read, understand and follow’ what the manufacturer had specified.

With our products, it’s just as important to follow the manufacturer's label directions. We have many tools to help with your landscape and garden. This time of the year we deal with weeds invading our lawn and gardens. Most of our herbicides are selective in what they control, meaning their mode of action is specific to a particular class of plants. Take Over-The-Top Grass Killer from ferti-lome for example. It’s a great tool for controlling bermuda grass (and all other grasses) as they make their way into areas containing our desirable broadleaf plants, including vegetables.

Another unique product available as a tool to help remove bermuda grass from fescue lawns is Hi-Yield Triclopyr Ester. This is a unique herbicide in that it kills many broadleaf weeds and suppresses bermudagrass in cool season lawns (tall/turf fescue, Kentucky bluegrass, and ryegrass). Triclopyr Ester also controls actively growing annual and perennial broadleaf weeds including wild violet, clover, ground ivy, oxalis, and field bindweed.

You are probably familiar with Hi-Yield Killzall, a non-selective herbicide which will safely control both grassy and broadleaf weeds. Also available is Hi-Yield Killzall Extended Control. Killzall Extended is a blended product which will kill and prevent weeds from germinating for up to a year. It’s perfect for a crack in the sidewalk, along a fence line or in established landscape areas. But again, follow the label. Killzall is a non-selective control - as the name suggests, it will kill any plant it touches.

Whatever your target weed is this summer, use the correct product or you’ll be like that person putting the wrong brake fluid in the brake line and regretting it later!!

If you haven’t heard, Summer Mania Days are going on now, and it’s time to bring in your Mania Money and spend it. See you soon!

Your friend in the garden,

Marty Johnson
Owner - Johnson's Garden Center