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  1. #21
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Location
    Berkey, OH, USA
    Posts
    1,487

    Post

    Get a cow. Run a pig behind the cow. Run chickens behind the pig.

    Wish I could get my wife to let me take my own advice!

    I have a troy built rear tine tiller. It has worked well for me. The wrong tiller can work you to death. The right one is a breeze. But if you are busting sod the first time pay your neighbor to bring his tractor over. Or else set the tines very shallow and prepare to spend some serious time.

    Although right now it sounds kinda fun to think about speindg serious time tilling, given the 10 degrees, foot of snow blowin around by 40 mile winds!

    david

  2. #22
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    46,108

    Post

    I suppose it's obvious to some of us, but tilling soil that is the right moisture content makes all the difference in the world. Too wet, it's soup. Too dry, it's concrete. Use sprinkler to get it soaked and wait for it do dry enough to be nicely moist.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  3. #23
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Location
    North Georgia mountains
    Posts
    923

    Post

    I garden a small (6000 sq ft) veggie garden for farmers market sales using raised beds and intensive gardening. I got the Mantis last year and consider it one of the best investments I have made. With that said, it is the fact that I use raised beds that makes it valuable. With regular (row) gardening on open ground I think I'd use a hoe and shovel for less than 2500 square feet or a rear tine tiller on larget plots. If you look they can be had, used but in good shape, for 350 or so.

    BubbaBob

  4. #24
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Location
    Merrimack, NH
    Posts
    159

    Post

    well i have been really thinking about getting a mantis off ebay for $300 shipped. i might even get the industrial version (honda motor) for $50
    more?

    2 questions :

    1) has anybody heard about using red weed control covering for tomatoes? the red is suppose to reflect on the fruits and make them grow larger.

    2) i purchased a bunch of seed packages for this year. anybody use seeds too? i usually purchase the plants already growing in planters. suggestions for up north in NE?
    NH Beekeeper

  5. #25
    Join Date
    Apr 2004
    Location
    estevan, sask, canada
    Posts
    185

    Post

    I'm not sure a pig is a good idea,but,will churn up the ground.We had chickens and pigs for years.2o years later fenced turkeys in there.They got a disease,legs went wobly,eyes got all pussy,thin,poor feathers,never got any over 20 lbs.Our big ones before that dressed up to 48 lbs.Sheep manure would probly be best,bud don't dig ground to good.
    B. roger eagles

  6. #26
    Join Date
    Apr 2003
    Location
    Greenville, TX, USA
    Posts
    4,376

    Post

    My current personal policy on small gasoline powered devices, if it doesn't have a Honda engine, it's not coming home with me. I'm through trying to coax stuff to start when I want to do some work. My small Honda engines start first time, every time. The Honda Harmony small tiller is great.

  7. #27

    Post

    For first time tilling, the small tillers will make you work.

    Roger's post about turkeys and pigs seems to indicate that maybe pigs were the problems with turkey health, but as I understand thigs, turkeys are tougher to raise than other birds. The turkey farmer I used to live with always was treating them with drugs...

    THe large tiller I used was called something like Bareto, Barreta.

  8. #28
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Location
    Devils Lake, North Dakota
    Posts
    9,123

    Post

    The Mantis is a good tool but not for initial tilling.

    For breaking sod, rent one or hire someone to do it for you.

    If you are going to buy one machine, a small rear tine is the best. Do not buy a front tine tiller..... they are a pain in the arse.

    Do you have a lawn tractor? Most will have tillers available.

    I run old Cub Cadets made by International Harvestor (I have 7 of these rascals).

  9. #29
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Location
    Devils Lake, North Dakota
    Posts
    9,123

    Post

    I agree with Ross........ Honda is hard to beat!! For sure get a 4 stroke.

  10. #30
    Join Date
    Apr 2003
    Location
    Greenville, TX, USA
    Posts
    4,376

    Post

    I have used my Honda Harmony to break blackland sod for flower beds. It will dig through Dallis grass. I would not want to do a whole garden with it, but it's great for cleaning up grass after the garden is up and growing. If you can cut the sod first, it is much easier to till with any tiller.

  11. #31
    Join Date
    Jan 2001
    Location
    New York City
    Posts
    3,401

    Post

    We have a circa 1970s Troy-Bilt "Horse"
    roto-tiller.

    Oh yeah, it breaks sod. It gives the impression
    that it would happily churn through blacktop,
    sidewalks, and 2-inch thick titanium without
    a thought. Bought it at an auction for $50, and
    gave it some new rings and a cylinder honing to
    bring it back to life. I guess the prior owner
    never realized that the oil needed to be changed
    at least once a decade. [img]smile.gif[/img]

    Honda engines? Ha, this thing has a 8HP Tecumseh.
    A block from the days when the engines were made
    of cast iron and the men were made of steel. No
    plastic on this baby. A child of 8 could tear
    down and rebuild the engine using only 3 wrenches.

    When I lived in New Hampshire, I sent a soil
    sample into the state, and they said I needed
    everything but rock. When I lived in Florida,
    I sent a soil sample into the state, and they
    said I needed everything but sand. In North
    Carolina, I needed (you guessed it) everything
    but clay. Now I live in Virginia where the
    soil comes ready-to-grow, and need several
    reference books just to identify all the weeds.

  12. #32
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
    Location
    Kiel WI, USA
    Posts
    2,368

    Post

    <<Ha, this thing has a 8HP Tecumseh.>>

    There's a chance my dad(or grandpa, or one of many aunts, uncles, cousins and schoolmates) made part of that engine

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