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Alternative for a rototiller?


 
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rodm1
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 02, 2012 12:34 pm    Post subject: Alternative for a rototiller? Reply to specific post Reply with quote

Next year I'm planing on increasing my garden to about 1200sqft. I would like to buy something with low cost that would do a similar job as a rototiller.

Since this is a small garden I'm wondering if a middle buster (3 point) would be satisfactory. I have a dirt scoop and a back blade that might be us full for this task what do you guys think?

I guess I'm just looking for some ideas I havenít thought of yet.
 
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jackinok
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 02, 2012 12:50 pm    Post subject: Re: Alternative for a rototiller? Reply to specific post Reply with quote

plow,and disc.middle buster will work if you plant on ridges or in bottom of furrows,but its hard to cultivate unless you have a ridge buster or monitor.basicaly its a lister plow.you can break your ground up if you have a way of releveling. if your just looking for a single implement,i would look for a feild,or rigid shank cultivator.could use it to do main cultivation and with a little resetting use it as a row crop cultivator also.
 
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El Toro
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 02, 2012 2:04 pm    Post subject: Re: Alternative for a rototiller? Reply to specific post Reply with quote

My garden is 1350sqft and I use my garden tractor to plow it and I use a Troy Bilt tiller I bought in 2005 for $100.00 to till the garden.

I plant double rows of green & yellow beans about a foot apart. I use my Mantis tiller to till in between and on the outer edges. In about 2 weeks once they they're up I replant another crop. The Mantis tiller is 25 years old. I also use it around the tomato and pepper plants. When they get big I use a garden hoe that has two small culivator teeth. I mulch the tomato plants with grass clippings and I use
wire cages made from heavy reinforcement wire about 36 years ago. I mow off the bean vines and plow them under. I don't do that to the tomato vines. They're picked up and composted at the local landfill. Hal



 
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TomH in PA
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 02, 2012 3:33 pm    Post subject: Re: Alternative for a rototiller? Reply to specific post Reply with quote

I use a moldboard plow and disk. It does a better job than a rototiller. Old, small equipment shouldn't cost much.

Or just rent a rototiller.
 
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Paul from MI
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 02, 2012 6:28 pm    Post subject: Re: Alternative for a rototiller? Reply to specific post Reply with quote

The old walk behind cultivators and plows were pretty handy, even in a larger garden.
 
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Dean Olson
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 02, 2012 7:08 pm    Post subject: Re: Alternative for a rototiller? Reply to specific post Reply with quote

Sounds Like you have a tractor with 3 point hitch????

If so get a mold board plow, disc, drag, and cultivator. Mold board plow, IMO, doesn't break
down the structure of the soil, buries all the leftover trash about 6-8" deep. Out of sight and
gets some organics into the soil. Tiller just seems to wrap it all up.

Disc will bust up the clods. I disk occasionally in the off season to keep the weeds down.

I ended up with a Farmall Super C with Fast HItch, I have about $1k in it, and my 1000sq ft
garden is now 2-5000' gardens.

I can now grow all the stuff that takes a lot of room, ie corn, melons etc.
 
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MisterT
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 03, 2012 5:25 am    Post subject: Re: Alternative for a rototiller? Reply to specific post Reply with quote


Any good, rear tine walk behind roto-tiller will handle 1,200 square feet just fine. You don't need anything else except for a hand hoe.
 
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mkirsch
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 03, 2012 6:38 am    Post subject: Re: Alternative for a rototiller? Reply to specific post Reply with quote

Middle buster is NOT for preparing a seed bed. It's for digging trenches. If you want to make a nice mess of your garden, a middle buster would be the correct tool for the job.

What you want is something to prepare a smooth consistent seed bed. For larger areas nothing beats a moldboard plow and some sort of harrow to break up clods and level the dirt.

I suspect that you'll be plowing up some lawn to make this garden. The clumps of sod make for good organic material, but they are hard to break up with a disk or spring tooth harrow. A rototiller is the quickest way to chew them up, after you've given them a few days to die and dry up.

After the first year you can just plow, then harrow, then plant. If you need fine soil for certain crops, just use the tiller on selected areas of your garden.
 
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cd1
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 03, 2012 12:19 pm    Post subject: Re: Alternative for a rototiller? Reply to specific post Reply with quote

If I was in your shoes I would really try for a tiller. Sure you could get a plow, disc, harrow, and work it all down but by the time you get that stuff you could likely have bought a tiller that would have done the job faster and left a nicer seed bed. A tiller, unlike a moldboard plow, doesn't require much knowledge or experience to do a good job. If you are going to be converting lawn into garden, spray and kill it now, get it rotting now, not in the spring.
 
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rodm1
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 03, 2012 1:58 pm    Post subject: Re: Alternative for a rototiller? Reply to specific post Reply with quote

Thanks everyone, It seems that I would have to invest in several pieces of equipment in order to replace a tiller and cost would probable be more then one. Sow I'm wondering what would the cost of a good quality tiller cost me? Any models to look at for 1200sqft?

At this point I'm thinking it might be better to buy a 3 point model.
 
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El Toro
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PostPosted: Sat Oct 06, 2012 5:58 pm    Post subject: Re: Alternative for a rototiller? Reply to specific post Reply with quote

I use this for making furrows using my tiller.
This is used after I plow and till the garden.
I plant a cover crop each Fall and then plow it under in the Spring. It's easy to plant potatoes
after making those furrows. Hal


 
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Leroy
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 08, 2012 5:15 am    Post subject: Re: Alternative for a rototiller? Reply to specific post Reply with quote

With a plow you have to work the whole garden at one time, with a tiller just work the strip you want to plant when you want to plant it. Say if you have had an early crop of something in a couple of rows at whatever width the tiller is you can go in between crops still standing to prepare for a second later crop.
 
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rockyridgefarm
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 08, 2012 8:49 am    Post subject: Re: Alternative for a rototiller? Reply to specific post Reply with quote

It's not "cheap", but it is a fantastic unit -





It's a BCS 850 diesel walk-behind tractor with a Berta double rotary plow. You can't find a better small-sized sod buster.
 
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