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Advice on garden tiller


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I have a NICE one for sale. PM if interested. Fully rebuilt, older, more durable than the new stuff that keeps me busy with repairs! ;)

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Last year we rented a small one and ready to buy one this year. Last year we did not get deep enough. And secondly, does any place have this type of thing used, for sale?

 

Thanks for help.

 

 

this one is about money versus effort. The rear tine models do a better job and easier to use, but can cost usually twice a much (new or used). The front tine models will go deep enough, but you will be wrestling the thing and you will be wore out.

 

if you get a used tiller, look at the tines to see how much they are worn out. take a look at a new one to see how long they are supposed to be. a new set of tines are a minimum $70 plus labor. some tillers are old and they do not make tines or parts for them anymore. also, look at the drive belt. some tillers have gear box / chain drive issues, so listen for grinding noises when running. people usually only use the tiller once a year, so, old gas and gummed up carburetors are the most common problems.

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Assuming your yard is like ours:

 

RENT ONE!

 

RENT ONE!

 

RENT ONE!

 

RENT ONE!...first; until you've flipped all the rocks that are in the area that your garden will cover. Don't put that kind of wear on a tiller you're going to keep for decades to come. Seriously, and while making a conscious effort to not exaggerate, tilling out the rocks the first time will be more wear on you and machine than the next 25 years of tilling after the rocks are gone. When I say "rocks are gone", I mean gone from the depth of the soil your tiller's tines (The parts that spin and dig are the tines) can reach.

 

If your area isn't like our yard, maybe go ahead and buy one from the get-go. But, if it is like ours, know that you're in for a terribly hard job flipping rocks. I'm surprised our tiller survived it. I had blisters on my hands from having to physically hold the tiller back--bouncing like crazy the whole time--while the tines coped with trying to get under rocks to flip them over. (I devised a very physically demanding way of coping with the rocks by getting the tiller to flip them.) Once they're flipped, you can pick them up and throw them in a pile or whatever.

 

You'll be surprised how far tree roots travel away from trees.....especially over rocky soil apparantly.

 

Our garden covers about 20 x 30 feet. I do not exaggerate when I say the rocks removed from that small area would not all fit in the bed of a pick-up truck; neither by weight nor volume.

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Our vegetable garden and herb garden is raised beds. The big tillers are useless.

 

I use the Ryobi power unit with an add on tiller. Light weight and it will get deep, but then again, our raised beds are for the most part 20 years old and the soil is rich, and a nice sandy loam from where we have cut in manure, sand and other organic matter over the years. My little tiller is worthless at attacking raw hard ground.

 

When we had our 2 acre garden many years ago, we had a friend with a powerful rear tine TroyBuilt, and it would cut deep and leave the soil well turned and aerated. But then it was almost the cost of a small used car back then.

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Smitty has a very good point.

It is hard to recommend one for you when we don't know how you intend to use it.

How large a plot, your physical abilities to run a large or small tiller.

 

If you have a small plot and are limited with the ability to run a full size tiller over long periods than I would go along with smitty.

 

Rent one or hire someone with a tiller, have them get you deep enough then get them to work in soil conditioners to the 18-24 inch depth.

After that you should be able to work the plot yearly with the smaller tiller.

Here in Georgia conditioning soil especially if you have a newer home is key to having an easy productive garden.

 

I mulch with wood chips every year in the spring I rake back the large pieces, then turn the smaller decomposed wood into the soil.

I keep mulch on my garden year round to prevent the sun from baking the clay.

You can use sand, composted manure, peat moss or even saw dust.

I use whatever is on sale each year to help condition my soil.

 

I bought my first small tiller this year because using the turning fork and rake is getting to hard on me physically.

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She makes a good point. Most all of the tillers I sell are to people with farmland, who need them regularly. If you only use it once, then you're going to have carb problems the very next year, most likely. Ethanol is the debil!

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She makes a good point. Most all of the tillers I sell are to people with farmland, who need them regularly. If you only use it once, then you're going to have carb problems the very next year, most likely. Ethanol is the debil!

 

...And don't hesitate to buy a used tiller after your spot is rock-free. Once it was rock free, it takes me ~60 minutes to till my little spot. It's so easy, I could do it in 15-30 minutes, but because I enjoy the reward of having de-rocked it, I have to slow down to make it last ~60 minutes.

 

A used one is almost certainly going to give service as good as a new one...especially if your going to be using it 2-3 hours per year like I do. The gas will "go bad" over the winter in a new one the same as an old one.

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Wow! Thanks for all the advice. I am going to mull over it with my daughter so we can make a decision. I don't have rocky soil; so that is a plus. We rented a small one last year for our first garden. The garden was so successful (a few mistakes, lol) that we plan to expand this year.

 

Thanks so much everyone!!

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...And don't hesitate to buy a used tiller after your spot is rock-free. Once it was rock free, it takes me ~60 minutes to till my little spot. It's so easy, I could do it in 15-30 minutes, but because I enjoy the reward of having de-rocked it, I have to slow down to make it last ~60 minutes.

 

A used one is almost certainly going to give service as good as a new one...especially if your going to be using it 2-3 hours per year like I do. The gas will "go bad" over the winter in a new one the same as an old one.

 

True that. And if you're looking for a used one, give me a call or a PM. All of my used equipment is reconditioned, so you won't have to worry about the little things that can go wrong on used equipment. :)

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