The Small Rotillers.

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The Small Rotillers.

Post  Guest on Mon Sep 15, 2008 2:58 am

The Small Rototillers. My Experience, Unfortunately, I live in a urban area and have no chickens, but times are changing so maybe I will soon.

Small Cultivators Honda FG110G.
I bought mine in 2005 (Honda) and it has to be my most valuable tool in the garden. I use it like a shovel, hoe and rake combined. To plant trees, shrubs and to make a simple hole for some plant, for edging, and working established beds, and for breaking up chunks of earth it cannot be beat. The tine shaft runs about 180 RPM, which is much much faster than larger tillers. Note: No rototiller made will break up sod sufficiently to prevent grass growth.

http://www.durgan.org/ShortURL/?JHCQU 7 April 2006 Honda FG 110 mini-rototiller Cultivating the main vegetable garden.

http://www.durgan.org/ShortURL/?ESYUK 4 May 2006 Adding compost. Working compost into underlying soil.

http://www.durgan.org/ShortURL/?YGOHE 26 May 2008 Planting Redhaven peach Tree.

The Honda FG110 was used to work reasonably good soil, clay with much compost with no rocks. The area worked was over 1000 square feet. This little tiller did a perfect job. If the tiller got clogged with fibrous plant strings, simply removed the outer tines and clear the obstruction within one of two minutes. The tiller engine starts with one or two pulls of the starting cord.

To plant onions, and other vegetables, I removed the outer two tines and pointed the remaining two inwards and got a perfect row for planting about 4 inches wide. I use the tiller by gently pulling backwards without the drag bar. All the work was done at full throttle as it should be with such a small engine. I consider the operation to be effortless, and the result on the soil is simply not achievable with hand tools.

The noise level is for all intents and purposes not noticeable, since it is a four stroke engine. It is well built, and has no appearance of fragility or poor workmanship. I simply carry the tiller from place to place as required.

To use this small tiller amongst large rocks is misuse in my opinion, but hitting a few rocks the bouncing is controllable-not like a larger machine. I have no rocks. Used with common sense, and not attempting to work it in conditions where a larger machine is clearly required this little machine should last a long time.

To make a small bed, I remove the sod with a kick sod cutter, spade the compacted earth to the proper depth, rototill with the larger machine, then put the Honda tiller to work to condition the soil. On large chunks it jumps around a little, but that is to be expected, but it reduces the chunks. A larger machine simply kicks larger chunks out without beating them into small pieces. The result is near perfection.

Worrying about turning a garden into flour like soil is probably little to worry about. I have spend my life trying to get the chunks small enough for a good garden. Usually I have had clay, but by adding compost and composted wood chips the soil is friable.

I also have a larger tiller but hardly use it anymore.

Since writing this summary, I have had the experience of using the much touted Mantis. The Honda is superior in every way, but the Mantis is also a good unit in some applications.

http://www.durgan.org/ShortURL/?IATNA 6 August 2008 Rototiller. Honda versus Mantis.
The double tines on the mantis make removing vines and stones difficult if between the first and second tines, and much effort is sometimes required. The Honda has separate tines, so obstruction removal is relatively easy, by removing the tines from the drive shaft. If the obstruction is between the inner tines and the drive housing, both units are about equal.

http://www.durgan.org/ShortURL/?CDUIT 7 August 2008 Comparison of Honda and Mantis minitiller tines.
There are four tines on the Honda, and the outer two can be removed for making a row to plant seeds, or cultivating between close rows. The Mantis width is fixed, due to the tines on each side being one piece. To me this is a distinct advantage for the Honda over the Mantis.

http://www.durgan.org/ShortURL/?SJQOX 22 August 2008 Preparing Garden for Spring 2009
A portion of the vegetable garden was cleared of spent vegetation, potatoes, beans, carrots, beets,and prepared for the planting of annual red clover cover crop, which will be surface seeded just prior to a rainstorm. The area was rototilled, using the small Honda FG110, in both directions and raked relatively smooth. The area prepared is 26 feet by 16 feet.
Don't garden without it.

http://www.durgan.org/ShortURL/?KQADS Summary: The Small Roto-tillers

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Re: The Small Rotillers.

Post  Fran on Mon Sep 15, 2008 3:31 am

Ahh - so now I know how you manage all the digging, Durgan Smile Here I would more likely turn the sod over - let it decompose on the ground - lay newspaper and build a garden over the top. Might not be practical in your part of the world though.

Canada is a beautiful country - I envy you that mountain scenery. Both my sons lived there for a short time and loved it. Welcome to the forum Smile
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Re: The Small Rotillers.

Post  Guest on Mon Sep 15, 2008 4:09 am

Fran wrote:Ahh - so now I know how you manage all the digging, Durgan Smile Here I would more likely turn the sod over - let it decompose on the ground - lay newspaper and build a garden over the top. Might not be practical in your part of the world though.

Canada is a beautiful country - I envy you that mountain scenery. Both my sons lived there for a short time and loved it. Welcome to the forum Smile

I live in instant time, like a small child, and can't wait for nature in some cases. I only have three months for growing, then the cold sets in so can't fool around.

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