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Old 26-02-2003, 12:16 AM
pgh
 
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Default power tiller: to get or not to get one


I know this is subjective, but just to get a feeling for things,
could the experienced gardeners among you tell me how large should
your garden be in order to justify buying a powered tiller.

I have a bias toward simple things, but I figure at some point
doing things by hand is just too much.

Please, shower me with your opinions!



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Old 26-02-2003, 12:28 AM
zhanataya
 
Posts: n/a
Default power tiller: to get or not to get one

On Wed, 26 Feb 2003 00:13:00 GMT, pgh
wrote:


I know this is subjective, but just to get a feeling for things,
could the experienced gardeners among you tell me how large should
your garden be in order to justify buying a powered tiller.

I have a bias toward simple things, but I figure at some point
doing things by hand is just too much.

Please, shower me with your opinions!


Age of the gardener is also a factor. 10 years ago I reveled in
turning the soil with a shovel and adding amendments. Now I have a
small tiller, so lightweight I can carry it around with one hand
without strain. Wouldn't give it up for nothing.

zhan
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Old 26-02-2003, 01:03 AM
Shadow
 
Posts: n/a
Default power tiller: to get or not to get one

Wouldn't give it up for nothing.

Does that mean you would give it up for anything?

(sorry, couldn't help it......it's a side product of continually correcting
my son's grammer)

:-)

--
Shadow
Made In Canada, eh.


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Old 26-02-2003, 01:39 AM
Tim B
 
Posts: n/a
Default power tiller: to get or not to get one

Love my TroyBilt rear tine Pony. Once I got to 30 x 60 feet it really made
it worthwhile. I figured if you rent a tiller each spring and fall to work
the soil, it pays for itself to buy one. They are great for working up the
soil. If you are a straight-rows type of gardener, a tiller works great for
cultivating. I lay the garden out according to the tine width plus a bit.

There are lots of people who like the little spinny weed-wacker-engine type.
That's fine if it works. You should try whatever you might buy (borrow one
or rent one) to see if you like it.

I wouldn't associate getting a tiller with moving away from simple things,
the local Amish use them.

"pgh" wrote in message
...

I know this is subjective, but just to get a feeling for things,
could the experienced gardeners among you tell me how large should
your garden be in order to justify buying a powered tiller.

I have a bias toward simple things, but I figure at some point
doing things by hand is just too much.

Please, shower me with your opinions!




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Old 26-02-2003, 02:51 AM
J Kolenovsky
 
Posts: n/a
Default power tiller: to get or not to get one

The Honda 1.5 hp, 4 stroke is a dirt devil. That little sucker just runs
and runs. In todays NHG magazine, I noticed they are marketed as
"Vortine" high-performance mini-tillers. They run very clean and the
transmission is solid. Weighs 20 pounds and is a one-hand tota around.
If you live in the greater Houston area, I'll be glad to demo the unit
for you.

pgh wrote:
=


I know this is subjective, but just to get a feeling for things,
could the experienced gardeners among you tell me how large should
your garden be in order to justify buying a powered tiller.
=


I have a bias toward simple things, but I figure at some point
doing things by hand is just too much.
=


Please, shower me with your opinions!


-- =

J. Kolenovsky, A+, Network +, MCP
=F4=BF=F4 - http://www.celestialhabitats.com - commercial
=F4=BF=F4 - http://www.hal-pc.org/~garden/personal.html


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Old 26-02-2003, 04:51 AM
Warren
 
Posts: n/a
Default power tiller: to get or not to get one

pgh wrote:

I know this is subjective, but just to get a feeling for things,
could the experienced gardeners among you tell me how large should
your garden be in order to justify buying a powered tiller.

I have a bias toward simple things, but I figure at some point
doing things by hand is just too much.

Please, shower me with your opinions!


If you have the time, energy and motivation to do it by hand, the
measurements of the area don't mean a thing. Save your money, and spend
it on something that enhances your life in more measurable ways.

If you don't have the time, or the energy, or the motivation to do it by
hand, then you probably want to buy one -- assuming that your garden
isn't so small that positioning the tiller is more work than digging by
hand!

I make this on the assumption that renting a tiller (and possibly a
trailer to transport it -- or delivery), or hiring someone else to do it
will have cost more in a couple of years than the price of the tiller.
The exception to this would be if you're on friendly terms with a
neighbor who'll let you borrow his/her tiller at no cost.

Oh... I just thought of one other exception. If you have slave labor
available (read: your kids) that can do the hand digging for you, the
extra food cost will be offset by the money you'll save by not having to
pay someone or someplace to keep them occupied.

--
Warren H.

==========
Disclaimer: My views reflect those of myself, and not my
employer, my friends, nor (as she often tells me) my wife.
Any resemblance to the views of anybody living or dead is
coincidental. No animals were hurt in the writing of this
response -- unless you count my dog who desperately wants
to go outside now.


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Old 26-02-2003, 05:03 AM
Betsy
 
Posts: n/a
Default power tiller: to get or not to get one

I love my little Honda, which I bought after renting a Mantis several times
and watching the fees add up fast.

I've used it to turn sod into perennial beds. I've used it to dig holes for
trees. I've used it to level a 50x30 foot patch of ground for raised beds.
I used it to dig the holes into which I placed the supports for my
trellises.

I don't know what I'd do without it!

"pgh" wrote in message
...

I know this is subjective, but just to get a feeling for things,
could the experienced gardeners among you tell me how large should
your garden be in order to justify buying a powered tiller.

I have a bias toward simple things, but I figure at some point
doing things by hand is just too much.

Please, shower me with your opinions!




  #8   Report Post  
Old 26-02-2003, 02:51 PM
Phisherman
 
Posts: n/a
Default power tiller: to get or not to get one

Xref: news7 rec.gardens:211226

I don't have a tiller, but I do have a Honda lawn mover (after my
Lawnboy died). IMO, Honda has made the best small gas engines,
although they tend to cost a little more than the others. My main
garden is 20x20, and it takes 3-4 days to turn the soil using a
shovel...whew!

On Tue, 25 Feb 2003 21:06:57 -0600, J Kolenovsky
wrote:

The Honda 1.5 hp, 4 stroke is a dirt devil. That little sucker just runs
and runs. In todays NHG magazine, I noticed they are marketed as
"Vortine" high-performance mini-tillers. They run very clean and the
transmission is solid. Weighs 20 pounds and is a one-hand tota around.
If you live in the greater Houston area, I'll be glad to demo the unit
for you.

pgh wrote:

I know this is subjective, but just to get a feeling for things,
could the experienced gardeners among you tell me how large should
your garden be in order to justify buying a powered tiller.

I have a bias toward simple things, but I figure at some point
doing things by hand is just too much.

Please, shower me with your opinions!


  #9   Report Post  
Old 26-02-2003, 08:51 PM
Rojo2G
 
Posts: n/a
Default power tiller: to get or not to get one

I have a bias toward simple things, but I figure at some point
doing things by hand is just too much.

Please, shower me with your opinions!

I have a great tiller (Troybilt, 8 horse). I also like and enjoy turning the
soil over by hand, ah, with a spade shovel.
I've tilled very hard clay soils and think thats the only way short of using a
farm tractor. I have great soil now(never was clay) and its a small garden, and
every few years use the tiller to turn it. I also turn it over by hand..lets
see the size is 30ft x 30ft. I'm 55 and in a few years will probably only use
the tiller.
Good luck and I'm glad to have found this newsgroup.
  #10   Report Post  
Old 27-02-2003, 03:51 AM
Karen Fletcher
 
Posts: n/a
Default power tiller: to get or not to get one

Rojo2G wrote:
: I have a bias toward simple things, but I figure at some point
: doing things by hand is just too much.
:
: Please, shower me with your opinions!

I would second (or fifth?) recommendations of a small tiller. I got the
tiller from Gardener's Supply (I think it's a Gardener's Supply label on a
Troybilt but I'm not 100% sure) and the thing is fabulous. It tackles
even sod with such tireless determination that I call it my Jack Russell
tiller ;-)

It only weighs about 20 lbs which means I pull it out for lots of small
jobs when I might not want to lug out a bigger tiller. It does everything
I need it to do -- digging holes for planting trees, shrubs, perennials,
weeding, expanding my prairie patch or perennial beds, even running
through my composted horse manure to pretty it up. It's very versatile.
I probably use it a couple times a week during the green season.

At around $300 it's not cheap, but it's a long-term investment and a great
time- and back-saver.

-- Karen

The Garden Gate http://garden-gate.prairienet.org
================================================== =================
"If you have a garden and a library, you have everything you need."
^and cats -- Cicero
================================================== =================
On the Web since 1994 Forbes Best of Web 2002


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Old 27-02-2003, 03:51 AM
J Kolenovsky
 
Posts: n/a
Default power tiller: to get or not to get one

Go Honda!

Betsy wrote:
=


I love my little Honda, which I bought after renting a Mantis several t=

imes
and watching the fees add up fast.
=


I've used it to turn sod into perennial beds. I've used it to dig hole=

s for
trees. I've used it to level a 50x30 foot patch of ground for raised b=

eds.
I used it to dig the holes into which I placed the supports for my
trellises.
=


I don't know what I'd do without it!
=


"pgh" wrote in message
...

I know this is subjective, but just to get a feeling for things,
could the experienced gardeners among you tell me how large should
your garden be in order to justify buying a powered tiller.

I have a bias toward simple things, but I figure at some point
doing things by hand is just too much.

Please, shower me with your opinions!



-- =

J. Kolenovsky, A+, Network +, MCP
=F4=BF=F4 - http://www.celestialhabitats.com - commercial
=F4=BF=F4 - http://www.hal-pc.org/~garden/personal.html
  #12   Report Post  
Old 27-02-2003, 03:51 AM
J Kolenovsky
 
Posts: n/a
Default power tiller: to get or not to get one

Karen Fletcher wrote: =

I would second (or fifth?) recommendations of a small tiller. I got th=

e
tiller from Gardener's Supply (I think it's a Gardener's Supply label o=

n a
Troybilt but I'm not 100% sure) and the thing is fabulous. It tackles
even sod with such tireless determination that I call it my Jack Russel=

l
tiller ;-) =


It only weighs about 20 lbs which means I pull it out for lots of small=


jobs when I might not want to lug out a bigger tiller. It does everyth=

ing
I need it to do -- digging holes for planting trees, shrubs, perennials=

,
weeding, expanding my prairie patch


You are cool.
http://www.celestialhabitats.com/tn_Dscn0880.jpg
http://www.celestialhabitats.com/tn_Dscn0921.jpg
Check out the prairie resources I found on the bottom of
http://www.celestialhabitats.com and tell me if I need others.

or perennial beds, even running
through my composted horse manure to pretty it up. It's very versatile=

=2E
I probably use it a couple times a week during the green season.
At around $300 it's not cheap, but it's a long-term investment and a gr=

eat
time- and back-saver. =


-- Karen =


The Garden Gate http://garden-gate.prairienet.org
On the Web since 1994 Forbes Best of Web 2002


-- =

J. Kolenovsky, A+, Network +, MCP
=F4=BF=F4 - http://www.celestialhabitats.com - commercial
=F4=BF=F4 - http://www.hal-pc.org/~garden/personal.html
  #13   Report Post  
Old 27-02-2003, 03:51 AM
J Kolenovsky
 
Posts: n/a
Default power tiller: to get or not to get one

Phisherman wrote:
=


I don't have a tiller, but I do have a Honda lawn mover (after my
Lawnboy died). IMO, Honda has made the best small gas engines,
although they tend to cost a little more than the others.


When general contractors tell me they use Honda's, yes sirree, Bob! And
it ain't Billie Bob or Jim Bob...

My main
garden is 20x20, and it takes 3-4 days to turn the soil using a
shovel...whew!
=


On Tue, 25 Feb 2003 21:06:57 -0600, J Kolenovsky
wrote:
=


The Honda 1.5 hp, 4 stroke is a dirt devil. That little sucker just ru=

ns
and runs. In todays NHG magazine, I noticed they are marketed as
"Vortine" high-performance mini-tillers. They run very clean and the
transmission is solid. Weighs 20 pounds and is a one-hand tota around.=


If you live in the greater Houston area, I'll be glad to demo the unit=


for you.

-- =

J. Kolenovsky, A+, Network +, MCP
=F4=BF=F4 - http://www.celestialhabitats.com - commercial
=F4=BF=F4 - http://www.hal-pc.org/~garden/personal.html
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Old 27-02-2003, 03:51 AM
pgh
 
Posts: n/a
Default power tiller: to get or not to get one

pgh wrote:

I know this is subjective, but just to get a feeling for things,
could the experienced gardeners among you tell me how large should
your garden be in order to justify buying a powered tiller.

I have a bias toward simple things, but I figure at some point
doing things by hand is just too much.

Please, shower me with your opinions!


Man, I'm so glad to have found this NG. Thanks to all for your very
helpful responses. (And more may come!).

It is looking as though getting that tiller will be a wise move.
In the backyard of the house we are buying, I'm looking at a portion
of about 50x60 feet, and I'm pretty sure I'll want to garden all of
it (that's the portion that gets good sunlight, without counting
another 25X60 area where I might build a greenhouse or two...a couple
years down the line). Most of the spaces you all talk about are
somewhat smaller than what I have.

I'll review your responses one more time, with a view to selecting
the right type/size of tiller, or at least narrowing down my choices.

Of course, like someone said, it may be worth checking what my
neighbors have (although I'm not sure I'll feel comfortable asking
to borrow things).

Thanks again!


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Old 27-02-2003, 03:51 AM
Vox Humana
 
Posts: n/a
Default power tiller: to get or not to get one


"pgh" wrote in message
...

I know this is subjective, but just to get a feeling for things,
could the experienced gardeners among you tell me how large should
your garden be in order to justify buying a powered tiller.

I have a bias toward simple things, but I figure at some point
doing things by hand is just too much.

Please, shower me with your opinions!


I find that I only need a tiller for a few hours a year. They are great
when you are making new beds or when you need to work an existing bed in the
spring to prepare for planting. Unless you have a huge garden it is
unlikely that you will get continuous use from a tiller. I plan all my
tilling for one session and rent one. I have rented the small Mantis and a
smallish Honda. The Honda was the best by far while the Mantis was more of
a cultivator. It was loud and simply bounced on the hard earth. My hands
and arms were numb after using it. This happened twice. I rented the Honda
from the Home Depot instead of the equipment rental place were I got the
Mantis. The Honda was a bit bigger and heavier, but proved much easier to
handle, not leaving me numb and with an aching back.

You might take a look at what is available at your local rental. I know
that the Home Depot at Robinson Town Center has a rental department. If
that is convenient, you might stop in and see what they have available. If
nothing else, renting can let you try before you buy. It also make someone
else responsible for upkeep and frees space in your garage the 364 days a
year that you aren't using the tiller.




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