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Garden Talk: Tillers.

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gardener_mick
Wentworth, SD
(Zone 4a)

January 6, 2001
12:04 AM

Post #409

Has anybody here used one of thos mantis tillers. I was wanting to get a small tiller for my garden. I know they don't work well on sod, but can borrow or rent for that. I just want something not too expensive for working in my already prepared beds. Do they really work?
Debby
Milo, IA
(Zone 5a)

January 6, 2001
12:31 AM

Post #46374

I have an electric Mantis, have had it for 10 years--no problems with it, it is a great machine. It can get down to 8 to 10 inches. It does a good job, after the sod is removed from a new bed, but a big tiller is the same, the sod needs to be removed first. It is not cumbersome, you pick it up and go to next bed. Debby
Byron
Lyndeborough, NH

January 6, 2001
11:06 PM

Post #46435

I hope you folks also realise problems with using tillers for "Weeding" Many veggie plants like Tomatoes and peppers send out feeder roots about 2 ft from the plant just under the soil surface. When you go thru between the rows you cut off these delicate feeder roots. When you do you also affect production of the plant.






gardener_mick
Wentworth, SD
(Zone 4a)

January 7, 2001
2:45 PM

Post #46505

Byron, Thanks for the info. I wasn't planning on tilling around all of my plant. Mainly I want to till some of my garden that was plowed up last year that we had a lot of trouble with weed seed with. I was going to till it under a couple of times early on in spring to get rid of most of them.
Gabrielle

(Zone 5a)

January 7, 2001
6:16 PM

Post #46521

Also, tilling too much, making the soil too fine is not good.
notmartha
Bay City, MI
(Zone 6a)

January 7, 2001
11:36 PM

Post #46560

i just sent for more info on the mantis tiller-im very interested in this little tiller for those hard to get spots. my brotherinlaw has another kind he got at homedepot. When i used it on the harder ground it would send it bouncing almost out of my hands. is the mantis like that?? what about price??
Brook
Richmond, KY
(Zone 6b)

January 9, 2001
2:53 PM

Post #46786

Hey, Gardener-Mick,

For the very limited use of a tiller you indicate, you'd probably make out better by renting a full sized one.

I haven't used one, but my understanding is that the Mantis is really more of a cultivator than a tiller. It won't stand up to heavy duty work.

Also, you can kill off those weed seeds by solar sterilization. After tilling just once, spread _clear_ plastic over the area, sealing all the edges with dirt. Let it sit in the sun for about three weeks. That's all it takes.
plantnutz
Austell, GA
(Zone 7a)

January 9, 2001
3:13 PM

Post #46789

I have a Mantis and I love it. Used to have to beg a guy to till for me. No more. I just carry it to where I want to dig and dig away. I have tilled around a lot of roots so it does get tangled but... The main selling point for me was the lifetime warranty on the tines (is that still a warranty? Anyway, I love mine!!! Brenda
Byron
Lyndeborough, NH

January 9, 2001
10:21 PM

Post #46866

One of the most important garden tilling times is in the fall after you pull up and remove all your dead plants.

Tilling in the fall can kill over 90% of the bad insects and diseases in your garden.




Gabrielle

(Zone 5a)

January 9, 2001
11:29 PM

Post #46876

For those who may not know, don't work wet soil. It should be dry enough that when you drop it from about chest high, it easily crumbles apart rather than splats. Otherwise, when it dries, you will have big clumps that are hard to work with.
eiroberts
Schenevus, NY

January 10, 2001
1:14 PM

Post #46946

i use a heavy tiller once. when i first open a garden. i then make raised beds.(just pile stuff in the main areas with compost,dirt) the rows i pack with leaves.all season i walk on the leaves, next yr i throw that stuff on the beds, i put new leaves in row. I never till again. it works for me
justmeLisa
Brewers, KY
(Zone 6b)

January 10, 2001
2:41 PM

Post #46955

I have a Mantis tiller. I would be lost without it! My husband is a Landscaper and he always manages to "borrow" it from me. He loves it too! I think it is a great investment for any gardener. Bye, Lisa
Pauline
Pittsburgh, PA
(Zone 5a)

January 19, 2001
4:12 PM

Post #48037

I wait a long time before I get one. Mine is not a Mantis but an Echo. Cost less but it is the same. I save a lot of time with this machine and I would not garden without one anymore. Since two years I do new beds this way: news paper over the sod; some compost and 3 to 5 inches of wood ships. After 3 to 6 months I mix everything with the Echo machine and I plant.
MaryE
Baker City, OR
(Zone 5b)

January 19, 2001
5:33 PM

Post #48053

Look over on the Farm Forum for a discussion on "tillers, garden tractors, shipper/shredders". There are lots of coments on the Mantis tiller on it. I just checked and it is on the second page as of a minute ago.
plantbug
Asheboro, NC

January 23, 2001
2:42 AM

Post #48525

I really like my Mantis. I can start, till, and move it anywhere I want to when I want to. Much easier than the old big one I use to have. We have clay soil, yes, it bounces, but because it is so light, you have much more control over the machine.
Jake
Glen Arm, MD
(Zone 7a)

January 23, 2001
10:28 PM

Post #48626

You may want to check out the small tiller from Troybilt.Same or larger engine than the Mantis but has wheels with depth adjustments on them. Roughly the same price.Just a thought.

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