Your Choices For the Best Tiller And Cultivator
My mom was an avid gardener and she grew a lovely flower garden, every year. She had the best tiller and cultivator – my dad. 🙂
If you don’t live in easy soil condition areas like they did, you may need some help starting your garden every spring.
I hope all the information in this article will help you choose the cultivator or tiller that is best for your garden.
Electric and/or cordless garden tools are:
- Lower in the carbon footprint they produce
- Easier to reach gardens farther from your house
- Worry-free about pollution and tangling in cords
- Lighter, less heavy duty, but perfect for smaller non-commercial gardens
- No gas exhaust to contaminate your soil
What Is The Best Garden Tiller
You can spend between $90 and $2,000.00 on a tiller/cultivator. A tiller can turn the soil between 4 inches and ten inches in depth.
You will need the best one for your soil. Is your soil a bit sandy and loose? Or mixed with clay and very packed?
Or something in between – in terms of the effort required to prepare for planting a garden?
What is the difference between a garden tiller and a cultivator?
A cultivator is generally designed to mix loose soil, while a garden tiller is intended to break up dry, packed chunks of ground.
If you are about to prepare a brand new garden area for planting, a cultivator will be too weak to to do this. The tines are simply not up to the task.
You will need a tiller which has more power and heavier duty tines.
How deep will a cultivator dig?
The digging depth of a cultivator is around 4 inches. For a previously used garden, or a garden with loose soil, you can rejuvenate it in spring with a cultivator.
Can You Overtill A Garden?
Yes, you can.
Tilling too early in the season, before the spring sun has dried out the snow melt, can diminish the condition of your soil.
Tillage at the right time, can increase beneficial bacteria in your soil. This triggers the composting of organic material and result in the transfer of nutrients to plant roots.
You will also aerate the soil, and introduces oxygen to the organisms in your garden. This will feed them and increase their benefits to the development of your flowers or vegetable crops.
If these organisms get exposed prematurely, the plants don’t flourish from their benefits. Consequently, the offloads of nutrients in the soil may simply be flushed away by spring rainfalls and general erosion.
Rule of thumb is to wait till the spring sogginess has dried down to 6-8 inches.
Manually forking leaf scraps and other compost will greatly enhance your earthworm population.
Some gardeners understandably will need a more powerful gas fueled tiller. There are many options for those too. This article focuses on the electric, including cordless models.
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Mantis 7250-00-03 Electric Tiller
Here is a video showing this tiller on hard, packed soil.
Schiller Grounds Care Mantis 4-Cycle 7940 Tiller Cultivator
This is the gas powered model, if that is what your property requires.
Powerworks TL60L2510PW 60V Brushless Tiller, 2.5Ah Battery and Charger Included
- High strength 60V Brushless motor has an electric starter, gives more power, torque, and longer life without the hassle of gas
- 4″ hardened Steel tines placed for an 8″ tilling width and tills 5″ deep
- 4 Height placement options for various tilling depths
- Handles fold for compact storage
- Battery and charger included
- This battery is compatible with all Powerworks 60V and Snapper 60V tools (SP60V, SC60V, SH60V, ST60V, SB60V).
- Battery is NOT compatible with Greenworks 60V or any other brands not listed
Ryobi 10 in. 40-Volt X Lithium-Ion Cordless Attachment Capable Cultivator
The vendor states that the Ryobi 40-Volt Cultivator provides gas-level power with none of the frustrations of mixing, starting or maintaining gas cultivators.
Lightweight and with easy movements, this cultivator is suitable for your home garden or landscaping areas on your property.
The heavy strength steel tines have an adjustable width of 7 -10 in. for easy tilling and access between plants and flowers.
The variable speed options of the trigger puts the control in your reach as you work.
A large shield provides a barrier from flying debris.
The 40-Volt power head is designed to accept Ryobi Expand-it Attachments and other universal gas attachments to save time, money and space.
This model is equipped with a 40-Volt lithium-ion high capacity for extended operating time.
All Ryobi 40-Volt batteries come with an on-board battery life indicator for your convenience and over-molded edges for impact protection.
Earthwise TC70040 11-Inch 40-Volt Lithium-Ion Cordless Electric Tiller/Cultivator, 4Ah Battery & Charger Included
If you have a property with a configuration that would be easier with a cordless machine, this is perfect for you.
- Powerful 40-Volt lithium-ion battery and fast charger included
- Ideal for mid-size to large gardens and flower beds
- Functions well as a weed control tool
- (4) durable steel tines
- Cultivates and tills an 11″ width and 8″ depth
- Convenient flip-down rear wheels for walking the tiller through the yard or garden
- Quick and easy start every time
- Soft ergonomic grip for comfortable operation
Scotts Outdoor Power Tools TC70135S 13.5-Amp 16-Inch Corded Tiller/Cultivator, Green
This machine readily competes with gas models – without the fuel requirement, and pollution factor.
- Powerful 13. 5-Amp motor for superior power, run-time and durability
- Ideal for any size gardens and flower beds, including large plots and community gardens; works well as a weed control tool
- (6) Adjustable tempered alloy steel tines. Lifetime on the steel tines; Cultivates from 11″-16″ wide and 8″ deep
- Bail wire with start button for safety and easy start; soft ergonomic grip for comfortable operation
- Flip-down rear wheels for easily walking the tiller; alternative to gas-powered lawn and garden equipment
Sun Joe TJ601E Tiller Joe 9-Amp Electric Garden Tiller/Cultivator
The special features of this machine are:
- Six steel-angled blades that loosen up the packed soil to prepare it for seeding.
- Dirt removal is quick and easy.
- The TJ601E electric garden tiller significantly decreases your exertion so that you can enjoy your efforts without strain.
- The design is considered ergonomic, or best configured for your posture and application.
- It’s 9 AMP motor facilitates plowing through even the hardest packed terrains.
- The tiller’s corded electric design may be your choice if you don’t want to deal with battery charging.
- This tiller features a quick with a start push-button
- The Sun Joe TJ601E electric tiller provides a safety switch that prevents accidental start-ups
- Adjusts for your own height with 7 adjustable wheel positions.
- Your purchase of the Sun Joe TJ601E is ETL has been inspected and approved
- Is backed by a full two-year warranty
- Enthusiastic reviews (over 300) on this model.
- Small, light and effective for gardens up to 600 square feet, and tilled from scratch -even a lawn.
Sun Joe TJ600E Joe 14-Inch 6.5 Amp Electric Tiller/Cultivator, 6.0
A smaller version of the above unit.
I just love the following article. I mean, why gardening? Many reasons! I hope you enjoy Li’s information on gardening.
Gardening – To Sustain Health, Boost Morale, and Generate an Income – Based on Scientific Research! by Li Smith
Gardening keeps life sunny-side up. We are all victims of stress in one form or another. Stress puts pressure on your immune system leaving you susceptible to illness and depression. It also appears to be a risk factor for cardiovascular disease, and can delay wound healing. Research shows that gardeners have the same brain wave patterns as people who meditate. We are genetically programmed to seek nature and interact with it to set up these brain waves in motion – especially during times of stress, says SA Gardening Magazine, June 2005. Apart from recovering more quickly from every day stress and mental fatigue, growing seeds successfully gives us a feeling of self-confidence. A sure-fire recipe for business success.
Getting your hands in the soil and planting can generate sales. By reaping your crops you can earn a good income especially in organic production. “The organic revolution has taken the agricultural world by storm”, according to Farmer’s Weekly Magazine, SA. Getting into this market requires research and long-term planning. Here’s How:
1. Draw a plan and design where your plants should be; trees, herbs, vegetables, flowers, etc.
2. Decide which crops to grow, determined by the size of your available ground. Take into account your soil, climate, water (the water of different plants vary, so group together plants with similar watering needs), and your local market demand when determining how much to plant. I grow a variety of crops for my local market. My mainstay is wheatgrass – the young wheat plant which is popular at my nearby Health Food shop, and recently my passion fruit sold well. They are known in South Africa as the granadilla, and they have an edible egg-shaped fleshy fruit. A supplier at the health shop recently sold over $130 worth of figs growing from her one tree.
If there is a need in your market for sweet potatoes, for instance, your soil should have a high percentage of sand to suit plants with a deep root system. The same goes for carrots, potatoes, maize/corn. Loamy soil will suit most plant species, while clay soil is very limiting and needs to be built up for crop production. Sun and Shade: The following vegetables will tolerate some shade, although they prefer sunny conditions: tomatoes, celery, Swiss chard, green and red peppers, cabbages, parsley, spring onion, chives and lettuce.
How nutrient-dense is your ground? Mulch is decomposing vegetable matter, peat, etc., used to prevent soil erosion or enrich the soil. Organic matter such as compost will boost it, and increases water retention of all types of soil. The earths fertility is determined by the presence of earthworms. The earthworm relies on the biological conditions of your soil, and soil health depends on the critical role of chemicals in the atmosphere.
As Above, so Below
According to Scientific American issue, Atmospheric Dust and Acid Rain by Lars O. Hedin and Gene E. Likens, “Acids and bases are measured by what is known as the pH scale: Solutions with a pH of less than 7 are acidic; those with a pH greater than 7 are basic; those with a pH of 7 are neutral. Most of the bases in the atmosphere can be found in air-born particles referred to as atmospheric dust. These dust particles are rich in minerals such as calcium carbonate and magnesium carbonate-which act as bases when they are dissolved in water. These bases neutralize acidic pollutants such as sulfur dioxide or nitrogen oxides from sources such as fossil fuel combustion, cement manufacturing, etc”.
The chemical interplay that effect conditions in the atmosphere also plays a crucial role in the pH scale or ratio governing our bodies. Most diets are too acidic, and a simple blood test will be able to show your acid/alkaline ratio. It should tend towards a pH of 7.4.
In much the same way that chemical bases in the atmosphere counter the effects of acid rain by neutralizing acidic pollutants, our bodies depend on a decent amount of alkaline properties to counter and balance the effect of acids in our systems. Many of the foods we eat/drink DO NOT have health benefits, and can leave an acidic ash in our bloodstream and organs. This is why antacids are used for an upset stomach. Antacids are not ideal for sustaining long-term health-we need viable alternatives for correcting our acid/alkaline balance. With a formidable body knowledge available to us about plants, herbs and flowers, we can take stock of our lives and make changes that can make us healthier. It is important that the crops we grow thrive in optimal soil.
This is where the Excavators live, and their underground presence is directly related to increased soil productivity. The earthworm is a common animal-like creature, and it is responsible for soil bio-diversity. Irmela Reichardt, South African author and organic gardening expert says, “Earthworms are amazing diggers, integrating organic matter into the soil and bringing up nutrients. Through their constant tunneling, they open up channels, thereby increasing soil aeration and drainage and allowing plant roots easier access to nutrients and water. These powerful ‘workmen’ eat large amounts (compared to their own weight) of organic matter and break it down into pure humus”. Soil aggregates are increased and strengthened by their activity.
3. Make your own Super-Soil. The compost bin or heap is your biological recycling center. For the earth to continue to nurture us and our children, there are many scientific, ecological avenues available for re-building the soil. Here our greatest potential lies within our own gardens. Its hearth and heart is the compost heap. This biological recycling center is charred rich black in color, moist and teeming with earthworms. It has the smell of a clean forest, warm and woody. Composting is easy! It takes about 5 or 6 month to get your compost bin or heap ready. Turn it about once a month. This involves moving the bottom of the pile to the top, and the sides to the middle.
4. Cultivate crops with high levels of vitamins and nutrients necessary for sustaining healthy living.
5. Stock up on organically grown seeds, and use organic potting soil and compost.
Good luck with growing your edible garden. The simple pleasure you derive from your time spent in it will reflect in your health, pocket and outlook. Create a garden to reflect your life and dreams. Investigate really good local variants of your indigenous flora. Develop and design, plant your favorite specimens, and enjoy your time spent in your garden!
Research your crop for niche markets. If you decide to plant carrots, for instance, you will have a nutritious vegetable with a high yield in relation to the amount of ground it grows. The carrot has been one of nature’s best medicinal plants for many centuries. Carrots made their appearance in Central Asia over 3,000 years ago and they were used to treat cancer, indigestion, skin ulcers and impotency. It was regarded as an aphrodisiac by men living in Teheran in the 1870s where carrots were stewed with sugar. The plant pigment that gives the carrot its vivid orange color is beta-carotene which converts to vitamin A as needed. 1 fresh carrot gives us twice our daily requirement of vitamin A. They are also loaded with vitamins B1, B2 and B6, as well as vitamins C and K. Minerals include rich amounts of potassium, iron and calcium. Copper, zinc, magnesium and cobalt are also supplied. Researchers at the United States Department of Agriculture found that study participants who consume 2 carrots a day were able to lower their cholesterol levels by about 20% due to a soluble fiber in the carrot called calcium pectate.
I am author of ‘Wheatgrass: Superfood for a New Millennium’. This book explores the essentials of great health and longevity. It offers a new look into enzymes, chlorophyll, amino acids and minerals for health and vitality. It is easy to grow your own wheatgrass, vegetables and herbs. I have witnessed many cases of dramatic healing among those consuming wheatgrass juice, including the reversal of high blood pressure, anemia, asthma and kidney dysfunction. I have appeared on South African television and in People magazine promoting wheatgrass as a therapeutic superfood. ‘Wheatgrass’ was published by Vital Health Publishing. Brand: Square One Publishers. USA.