NFU Mutual Smallholding Insurance

Author Topic: Mini Mantis Rotavator - I'm considering  (Read 2169 times)

arobwk

  • Joined Nov 2015
  • Kernow - some say it's in England !
Re: Mini Mantis Rotavator - I'm considering
« Reply #15 on: May 10, 2018, 11:45:50 pm »
Get hold of some syringes that you can accurately measure out small volumes ...

Yep, have those already from my farm store:  bought them (with large-bore needles) for herbicide injections, but useful, as you say, for fuel mixing and the odd tester injection of fuel into carb' (during recent Mantis tests).  The Mantis tiller seems happy enough with the 45:1 fuel-mix I used during her final recovery.
Voss Electric Fence

arobwk

  • Joined Nov 2015
  • Kernow - some say it's in England !
Re: Mini Mantis Rotavator - I'm considering
« Reply #16 on: May 10, 2018, 11:54:09 pm »
I recognise that tale - Mr F has been there often - hopes up, hopes down.  I'm keeping my fingers crossed for you .


How did it perform for the actual rotavating ?  :garden:

Thank you, but can't report on rotavating performance (as of this eve) as my parents wouldn't have been too happy to see their lawns chewed up.  I took along the border-edger instead (unexpected, it came with that as well)- it performed well enough with that, but, of course, the real test will be in rotavator mode.  Weather permitting, that might be tested tomorrow.
« Last Edit: May 11, 2018, 12:17:31 am by arobwk »

arobwk

  • Joined Nov 2015
  • Kernow - some say it's in England !
Re: Mini Mantis Rotavator - I'm considering
« Reply #17 on: May 13, 2018, 09:43:19 am »
How did it perform for the actual rotavating ?  :garden:

A bit like wrestling a lively wallaby tethered to a stick, on my stoney soil, but pretty good actually!  I'm quite impressed.

Fleecewife

  • Joined May 2010
  • South Lanarkshire
    • Wester Gladstone Hebridean Sheep
Re: Mini Mantis Rotavator - I'm considering
« Reply #18 on: May 13, 2018, 11:47:46 am »
How did it perform for the actual rotavating ?  :garden:

A bit like wrestling a lively wallaby tethered to a stick, on my stoney soil, but pretty good actually!  I'm quite impressed.


 ;D ;D   Remember to pull backwards as you go forwards - stops it bouncing around and helps to dig in deeper
www.scothebs.co.uk

Do something today that your future self will thank you for - plant a tree

Draco dormiens nunquam titillandus - let sleeping dragons lie

chrismahon

  • Joined Dec 2011
  • Gascony, France
Re: Mini Mantis Rotavator - I'm considering
« Reply #19 on: May 13, 2018, 12:53:13 pm »
We have a mini Stihl rotorvator which I find is much easier to use if you walk backwards with it- contrary to the operating instructions.

arobwk

  • Joined Nov 2015
  • Kernow - some say it's in England !
Re: Mini Mantis Rotavator - I'm considering
« Reply #20 on: May 13, 2018, 10:50:51 pm »
I agree, as recommended, that actually pulling the Mantis backwards is the way to go.  The wallaby reference was a bit exagerated and, actually, once mastered and in weeding mode, I was often able to "hoe" a full circle around saplings in a single manouvre within inches of their lives - so far, none mangled! 
Haven't tested for digging planting holes yet - I'm thinking a good shovel or a wide auger bit might be easier/cleaner, but I shall experimemt idc when it comes to digging lots of holes for transplants.  (In passing;  some say augered planting holes hinder root growth into surrounding soil - not sure I'm entirely convinced about that - might do a little trial idc, i.e.  shovel v auger v Skippy and see whether any noticeable affect on plant growth + time and effort.)
« Last Edit: May 13, 2018, 10:57:31 pm by arobwk »

Fleecewife

  • Joined May 2010
  • South Lanarkshire
    • Wester Gladstone Hebridean Sheep
Re: Mini Mantis Rotavator - I'm considering
« Reply #21 on: May 13, 2018, 11:13:42 pm »
When we use the Mantis for preparing planting holes, it's to work in manure, seaweed meal etc.  It chops up less well composted material finely.  If it's to be a deep hole, it still has to be dug out by hand, but the soil is now very soft so lifts easily.  That is for veggies, not trees - they have nothing added so their roots spread into the new soil to find nutrients
www.scothebs.co.uk

Do something today that your future self will thank you for - plant a tree

Draco dormiens nunquam titillandus - let sleeping dragons lie

arobwk

  • Joined Nov 2015
  • Kernow - some say it's in England !
Re: Mini Mantis Rotavator - I'm considering
« Reply #22 on: April 27, 2019, 05:35:38 pm »
... Haven't tested for digging planting holes yet - I'm thinking a good shovel or a wide auger bit might be easier/cleaner, but I shall experimemt idc when it comes to digging lots of holes for transplants. 

Verdict on Mantis v earth auger v shovel for digging multiple planting holes: 

Mantis - quite good where soil already loose/fairly weed-free and not too many other plants close-by (which will get covered by the spoil and also hinder recovery of spread soil back into the planting hole!)  Effort required to transport and restrain, while digging, is very bearable for quite a long while.  Unfortunately, Mantis not good for starting holes in the very weedy ground I've been tackling recently.  (Good for slimmers though:  actually, I should get the Mantis out having had a relatively sedentary winter when I also stopped smoking resulting in a bit more snacking and a bit more body girth!!)   

Single-person earth auger with 200mm auger bit - hard work "holding" auger while churning through well-established meadow grass.  Once through the turf it's OK with my soft soil, but the combined weight of power-head and a double-helix auger-bit takes its toll with the the lift-and-shift between multiple holes.  (Probably also good for slimmers, but likely to result in a new twisted body-shape after an acre or so  ??? :) )

Hand digging with a good, sharp shovel/spade - all will know this is always hard work!  But it's less stressful than either the auger or the Mantis.  However, it is just so boring (mentally) when digging tens and tens of holes at a go and I have 1000+ to dig overall.  (Obviously also good for slimmers!) 

Summary:  it's hard work no matter what option! 
However, I think I'm going to give the auger an extended/preferential trial hoping that I will regain the necessary upper body-strength in reasonable time to make it less onerous! 
In good, loose, open soil, I would be more tempted by the Mantis option despite the wider spread of the "diggings". 
Hand digging is eco, but I just can't stand the boredom, especially when digging solo.  (I was in such a foul mood recently after manual digging for 100x apple plantings.)
« Last Edit: May 05, 2019, 11:02:20 pm by arobwk »

 

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