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Letters To The Editor

Dear Editor,

I recently ordered gasoline to be stored in three empty 275 gallon tanks. I have been told that the gasoline will be bad within 30 days. I am past 30 days already. I used some in my car yesterday and it seemed to drive fine. Am I hurting my engine or carburetor using it? Is it too late to stabilize it now? I need to fine a way to long term stabilize it. I saw something online somewhere about an additive that would keep it a year but can no longer find the information. Please advise as soon as possible …I feel I’m up a creek without a paddle…and have a hole in my canoe!!!

Thanks for any help or advice you may have!

Up A Creek

Dear Up A Creek,

You would think that gasoline would be one of those long-term storage things, wouldn’t you, especially considering that it’s been in the ground for millions of years in an unrefined state. The shelf-life of your gasoline depends on the type of gas and how you store it. Admittedly, gasoline you purchase at the pump may have been in storage for quite a long time, thereby shortening the shelf-life when you get it.

When gasoline goes stale, the lighter elements of the fuel evaporate, leaving behind a heavier product that doesn’t burn as readily. Gasoline must vaporize to form a combustible mix with air. That flammable element is what evaporates, and you’re left with a liquid that creates hard-starting in your vehicle.

However, another reason that gasoline goes bad is oxidation. This is what has happened when your gas turns sour and gummy. It has a noticeable sour smell and is dark. Hydrocarbons in the fuel have reacted with oxygen and have formed new and more harmful compounds that will clog your fuel filter and create deposits in your fuel system—particularly your injectors.

Of course then we have water contamination. This occurs because of condensation from temperature fluctuations in the stored gas. If the gas is pretty fresh, you can add a “fuel dryer” (which is basically isopropyl alcohol) to your stored gasoline.

While ethanol producers claim this fuel mixture stores better than plain gasoline, logic gives me pause. According to sources, ethanol is “hydrophilic,” meaning it draws moisture out of the air. That being the case, you would think it would succumb to water contamination more easily. There’s just no hard data one way or the other.

As far as stabilizers go, there are several on the market. Many people report good success with Sta-Bil, while others’ experience has been less than satisfactory. Another one is Stor-N-Start. 8 ounces treats 40 gallons, and they have sizes ranging from a 4 ounce bottle to a 15 gallon container. Research the different brands and product reviews, then talk to a mechanic you respect to see which brand is their preference and why.

The Editor



Dear Editor,

I’m a professional trucker that knows a little bit about a whole lot of things. (We have plenty of time to listen and think). Anyhow, this is in response to “Z’s” letter on pool gardening.

One method, called a “Japanese tomato ring”, is a system that allows a more efficient use of available space for your gardening requirements. Basically, it’s a system involving a small circle of staked fencing (field fence), a trench about 6 inches from outside of ring and filled with high quality potting soil. Space plants accordingly, based on size of ring.

There’s a small depression inside of the ring to contain your green manure tea, egg shells, coffee grounds, clean veggie scraps, (no meats or salads with oil, etc.). I saw one in N. Florida, and they needed two passes of fencing as the plants were close to eight feet high!! You tie the plants off to the fencing for support.

Also, consider staggering your planting as this will produce a high volume of fruit, unless you plan on eating a lot of tomatoes.

Also, I found a very interesting product, from one of your recent letters. It’s called ProtoGrow, a 100% all-natural fertilizer that guarantees an increase in plant vigor WITHOUT using harmful chemicals. You read right – you are guaranteed to get amazing results without the risks of chemical additives! All natural, that seems to have extremely beneficial results according to the testimonies of users and the list of ingredients.

With this potential for increased crop production, “Z” may have to deal with the locals on “Tomato pollution!!! (A little trucker humor there.) Hope this helps Z and the many readers that have great desires but limited space.

To a bountiful harvest, here and in Heaven,

10-4 and bye -bye,


Dear ChiliDogg,

Thank you so much for your letter and sharing the Japanese Tomato Ring with our readers! And yes, we feel ProtoGrow is an EXCELLENT product for naturally fertilizing your plants without harsh chemicals, as well as for enriching the soil around them.

The Editor

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