The Accidental Smallholder Forum

Growing => Vegetables => Topic started by: macgro7 on December 19, 2016, 11:56:48 am

Title: Allotment tiller/rotovator
Post by: macgro7 on December 19, 2016, 11:56:48 am
Recently I have been given a new allotment plot. It's been overgrown for last year as the person who had it last sadly passed away about year ago.
I can't be bothered (and don't really have time) to dig it all by hand. Hence I'm looking for a petrol (I could get an electric but the cable would have to really long) tiler/rotovator to make my job easier.
It will be only used several times a year so I'm not looking for something overly expensive. I know you can hire one for about 60 per day but in long term I might save if I have my own.
Was thinking of hyunday 4stroke engine
Look at this on eBay  http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/301981179650 (http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/301981179650)
Anyone used it?
Or maybe you can recommend any other models?

Thanks
Title: Re: Allotment tiller/rotovator
Post by: Terry T on December 19, 2016, 12:48:05 pm
I haven't used this model but would suggest it might be more appropriate for ground already under cultivation. A heavier duty model would be a better bet if the ground has become overgrown.
 
I'm hand digging my half acre plot and can recommend this approach if you want to keep warm and burn off some mince pies  :farmer:
Title: Re: Allotment tiller/rotovator
Post by: cans on December 19, 2016, 03:56:07 pm
Hiya, silly question......... does your allotment group have a tiller/ rotovtor  you could use.
  I only ask because our group has a variety of implements for allotmenteers to borrow for the price of fuel
Title: Re: Allotment tiller/rotovator
Post by: big soft moose on December 19, 2016, 09:54:31 pm
In my experience the cheap end of the rotovator market aren't worth buying (or hiring), they are generally badly balanced and either bury themselves at the slightest provocation or don't have enough weight to go far enough into the soil - or both in different positions.  The one in your link looks exactly like the type best avoided.

My advice would be to go with a rear tine tiller on a two wheel tractor , and to hire as you are looking at nearly a grand to buy new.   Something like this http://www.radmoretucker.co.uk/category/Cultivators/product/Husqvarna_TR430_Rear_Tine_Cultivator/?gclid=CjwKEAiAp97CBRDr2Oyl-faxqRMSJABx4kh9TQ9ssoRXLF_jnyI96_w8_di-HnbJ5mRkbz_4sntsxhoC7jDw_wcB (http://www.radmoretucker.co.uk/category/Cultivators/product/Husqvarna_TR430_Rear_Tine_Cultivator/?gclid=CjwKEAiAp97CBRDr2Oyl-faxqRMSJABx4kh9TQ9ssoRXLF_jnyI96_w8_di-HnbJ5mRkbz_4sntsxhoC7jDw_wcB)

Alternately if its a real mess the other option would be to pay a couple of hard working lads to dig it over for you
Title: Re: Allotment tiller/rotovator
Post by: Possum on December 19, 2016, 10:43:26 pm
I use a 4 stroke Mantis tiller. Very strong and versatile. Copes well with my heavy clay and has lasted for years.
Title: Re: Allotment tiller/rotovator
Post by: macgro7 on December 19, 2016, 10:43:55 pm
I will ask my allotment society!
I'd love to have a walk behind tractor or even a proper tractor!
Title: Re: Allotment tiller/rotovator
Post by: chrismahon on December 20, 2016, 07:13:06 am
You might find you need two Macgro7, a big one for the first turning and then a smaller one for regular use. We have an old 6hp Ariens, which is really hard work but digs deep, plus a Stihl for a light surface turning.


If your allotment society hasn't got a rotorvator I would recommend hiring a Honda which is self driving with contra-rotating tines. Then buy a smaller unit which you can take home with you after use.
Title: Re: Allotment tiller/rotovator
Post by: macgro7 on January 05, 2017, 11:43:08 am
I m going to hire one next week, as long as the weather is relatively good.
Then I can use something smaller like the mantis etc.

What do you think about the wheel hoe? I'm especially interested in the ridging plough attachment.
I know it's ridiculously expensive but if you found one like that for let's say 20, would it do the job?
http://www.agralan-growers.co.uk/wheel-hoe--accessories-590-p.asp (http://www.agralan-growers.co.uk/wheel-hoe--accessories-590-p.asp)
Title: Re: Allotment tiller/rotovator
Post by: farmershort on January 05, 2017, 02:37:28 pm
a good and timely thread! thanks for asking.

I'm in the market for a solution too.... can't dig the whole place as lazy beds... expecially not with a slipped disc!

One of the things we are considering is getting a nearby farmer to pop around with a power harrow on the back of a tractor and use that to tear up the bulk of the land. I don't know if that's viable for you? It's be a lot quicker than a little tiller.

That husqy rear tine machine looks amazing though!
Title: Re: Allotment tiller/rotovator
Post by: Terry T on January 05, 2017, 02:48:52 pm
The husky rear tine is great. Really easy to use (relatively speaking). We turned over meadow with 3-4 passes over it.
Unfortunately mine was pilfered - they left the spade but its a much longer job that way.
  The husky only has a depth of 6" however so not as deep as some of the front tine models.
Title: Re: Allotment tiller/rotovator
Post by: macgro7 on January 05, 2017, 04:12:50 pm
I'd really love to get the husky but I only want to use it for an allotment size plot (6x20 metres approximately) so not worth spending 1000 on it ????
I could maybe buy the smaller husqvarna or Honda machine but even the cheapest ones are 350 so not this winter in afraid, especially that we are moving to a new house and need to buy all the funlrniture which will cost me a fortune  :tired:

For now I'll hire the one I was looking at and see how it goes, hopefully next autumn/winter I'll buy one.

Another thing is I want to put a larger greenhouse or rather polytunnel (6x3 metres). I can't really use the petrol rotovator inside, can I? I'd suffocate in the fumes! That's the reason I want to turn the soil properly for the first time and then try to cultivate it more regularly so it doesn't go wild anymore.
Title: Re: Allotment tiller/rotovator
Post by: Marches Farmer on January 06, 2017, 05:03:51 pm
If the allotment has been properly cared for in the past do you need to dig it over?  If you cover the soil with old carpet or weighted down feed sacks or similar (thick newspaper works well too and you can compost it afterwards) then the weeds will germinate and die and the soil will be warmed up ready for sowing.
Title: Re: Allotment tiller/rotovator
Post by: waterbuffalofarmer on January 06, 2017, 05:25:19 pm
this is one you would probably want ;)
http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Yanmar-YH800-powerful-8HP-Rotovator-Cultivator-Good-Condition-/291990573204?hash=item43fbfe9094:g:~uMAAOSw241YbAit (http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Yanmar-YH800-powerful-8HP-Rotovator-Cultivator-Good-Condition-/291990573204?hash=item43fbfe9094:g:~uMAAOSw241YbAit)
Title: Re: Allotment tiller/rotovator
Post by: cloddopper on January 06, 2017, 08:11:02 pm
I m going to hire one next week, as long as the weather is relatively good.
Then I can use something smaller like the mantis etc.

What do you think about the wheel hoe? I'm especially interested in the ridging plough attachment.
I know it's ridiculously expensive but if you found one like that for let's say 20, would it do the job?
http://www.agralan-growers.co.uk/wheel-hoe--accessories-590-p.asp (http://www.agralan-growers.co.uk/wheel-hoe--accessories-590-p.asp)

There used to be a similar tool called a Jaylo or Jayalhoe with numerous attachments back in the early 1960's .
Next door ( TIM ) was a , " He man  giant " of a six foot four tall  brickie , he had muscles in his s *** & toe nails , was reasonably intelligent as well .   I used to see him trying to shove it along his potato rows or pull it between his sprout plants etc.

 He was out in his garden when my dad was out in the garden with a decent long handle hoe  .  Dad de weeded the garden in less than half an hour whilst he was sweating like a horse and not even half way done.

I think the potato ridging was the final straw . Dad was eigth stone wet through he'd allowed 3 fot six between rows so there was plenty to ridge up with .
Tim allwoed about two foot six and it wasn't long when at the second or third ridging he was running out of soil to ridge with as well as finding it increasingly harder & harder to get the ridging head down into the soil to give 16 inch high ridges .

 One day he was trying to pick dad's brains as to why he with a modern machine couldn't come close to matching how quick & well dad was able to look after the veg garden .
 Dad told him about seeing the same sort poof thing being used in the 1930's but it had a cast iron spoked wheel ,  a wooden shaft & two blokes pulling it & one pushing it .

 Come autumn Tim had slung the Jaylo  at the back of his wash house and gone back to a spade & hoe .
Title: Re: Allotment tiller/rotovator
Post by: cloddopper on January 06, 2017, 08:18:30 pm
I m going to hire one next week, as long as the weather is relatively good.
Then I can use something smaller like the mantis etc.

What do you think about the wheel hoe? I'm especially interested in the ridging plough attachment.
I know it's ridiculously expensive but if you found one like that for let's say 20, would it do the job?
http://www.agralan-growers.co.uk/wheel-hoe--accessories-590-p.asp (http://www.agralan-growers.co.uk/wheel-hoe--accessories-590-p.asp)

 Sometimes if it is a council allotment there is a tractor driven deep rotavator service for the allotment folk this time of the year for as little as 30 so that when the new allotments are given out every one can start with tilled soil .. it's worth looking into .. We had that service available in all the Peterborough allotments back in 1984

 A couple of guys weeds killed the plots before hand  and managed to get several transit tipper loads  of cow muck spread on the plots before the rotavating took place .



You could also buy a cheap mantis electric with all the tools  for about 150 of ebay  ( Check your PM's ) and hire a 1.5 to  2Kva genny  & run it off that . that way with a 25 mtr 16 amp caravan extension lead you should be able to till inside your poly tunnel as well .

Title: Re: Allotment tiller/rotovator
Post by: Possum on January 06, 2017, 09:20:29 pm
I use my petrol Mantis inside the polytunnel with no problems. It has an efficient engine so very few fumes. Just have to have one of the doors open. :)