Rotovator / cultivator advice?

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RagnarHairybreeks

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Rotovator / cultivator advice?
« on: November 12, 2020, 22:29 »
Hi all. First post on here.

Iíve had an allotment here in Gloucester for a few months now. Shed is built, kettle and gas burner installed and the chickens (Rhode Rocks) should come on to lay any day.

Iíve laid my plot out to four large raised beds with grass paths, but have just been offered (and grabbed like a child offered free sweeties) the next door plot.

Iíve cleared it and strimmed it today, but it is a fair area;



Can anyone recommend me a best petrol rotovator? Iíd rather not spend more than two hundred but (getting on a bit) not sure Iím up to digging this area over umpteen times a year. I reckon a bit of powered muscle will help; but the choices online are so confusing - Iíd much rather a recommendation from a real world owner.


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CHRISDONOHUE

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Re: Rotovator / cultivator advice?
« Reply #1 on: November 12, 2020, 23:17 »
Before proceeding further, be aware of the potential dangers of rotovating.    If your new plot contains couch grass, you would chop the 20" (50 cm) long roots into 2" (5 cm) sections, each of which is capable of growing into a new plant.   This will make any couch grass problem 10 times as bad as it was before.   If you are an experienced gardener, you will be able to recognise couch grass.   If not, ask another plot holder for advice.

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wolveryeti

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Re: Rotovator / cultivator advice?
« Reply #2 on: November 13, 2020, 00:52 »
I bought the Qualcast petrol rotovator sold in Homebase for a lawn returfing job, and have used on my lottie, but I find it too much of a faff - heavy, jumps about, doesn't cultivate my (clay) soil very deeply. These days I prefer to use a mattock hoe for rough digging over and breaking up ground and an azada (or grub hoe) for getting a finer tilth.

If you are expecting ground prep to be a cakewalk after getting one of these, you may be disappointed is my view, in summary.

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New shoot

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Re: Rotovator / cultivator advice?
« Reply #3 on: November 13, 2020, 11:05 »
Sorry, I moved this thread here as I thought there would be other useful threads to link to, then forgot to do the rest  ::)

Anyway, some discussions that might be helpful  :)

https://chat.allotment-garden.org/index.php?topic=132205.0

https://chat.allotment-garden.org/index.php?topic=131302.0

https://chat.allotment-garden.org/index.php?topic=127127.0
« Last Edit: November 13, 2020, 11:07 by New shoot »

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rowlandwells

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Re: Rotovator / cultivator advice?
« Reply #4 on: November 13, 2020, 17:41 »
i think your very limited to what you mite get for around £200 quid unless you get a second hand Rotovator then there's always a risk of what you mite end up with ?

personally speaking from past experience taking on new plots and couch grass i sprayed the hole plot a couple of times with roundup then dug it over then i could manage it with our rotavator or the Mantis

i tend to think using  a rotavator can cause the ground to pan unless its dug over first but that's my opinion other's mite not agree and its absolutely rite what Chris D  is saying i couldn't agree more with his reply

the only downside to using Roundup or similar product is it mite not work as well in the winter months because I've always used that type of weed killer in the summer months? :unsure:

so good luck with whatever you decide to do with the new plot and welcome to the site  :D

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R Tallentire

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Re: Rotovator / cultivator advice?
« Reply #5 on: November 13, 2020, 19:52 »
I see there is a link by New Shoot back to a previous post I did on this subject, so am repeating myself a bit. There are three basic types of Tiller/Rotavators, the heavy duty rear tyne type, which cover ground quickly but not very deep (circa 6Ē) They are expensive, though some very cheap Chinese models came in a few years back. They take up a fair bit of room too. Then there are the heavier end of ďmid tyne TillersĒ Merry Tillers are the best known, but there were several. No longer made in the big quantities of the 1970s, when Qualcast Cultimatic, Mountfield M1, Landmaster, Flymo and Templar/Westfield, all vied for a share of the market. Merry Tillers are still available new, but expensive, and I think Mountfield still make the Manor model, Honda and Viking also still make them, all are much more expensive than £200 though. They dig to about 12Ē and take a bit of getting used to, I checked several Merry Tiller videos on the net hoping to link to one from my website and none of the ďdemonstratorsĒ had any idea of how to use a Merry Tiller. Much slower than the rear tyne type, but can dig compacted soil and leave it ready for planting. Finally there are the Mantis type, Honda make one too, as do several others, these lightweights are for making a fine tilth in previously dug soil. OK for raised beds etc, as they are light, personally I canít see the point, as the main advantage of a Tiller is not having to dig. £200 would buy only the cheaper lightweights new, but £200 would buy examples of most of the available models of all types used, especially at this time of year. However, my specialist subject is Merry Tillers, and I see vast numbers traded on eBay, many of which are missing vital parts, but are listed as ďgood working order.Ē Others ďfor spares repairĒ are complete and judging from the lack of wear on tynes, have had little use.
R Tallentire

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rowlandwells

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Re: Rotovator / cultivator advice?
« Reply #6 on: November 14, 2020, 09:00 »
Hi just to pick up on the last reply we use our Mantis on our raised beds come spring planting and we found it got the soil down to a fine tilth bought the Mantis some years ago now its just the job to carry down the allotments but we found it no good for heavy ground or first time cultivation we also have a viking that is very good but cost a lot more than £200 quid  :D

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jezza

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Re: Rotovator / cultivator advice?
« Reply #7 on: November 14, 2020, 09:33 »
Hello why not hire a rotavator  £40.00a day try before you buy theres engine over time  and front engine with rear roter types some have a reversible drive on the rota so that they can dig deeper,if theres couchgrass on the site and you can get a tractor on the plot see if theres a local compact tractor hire place and get one with a drag on it and give it a good working to drag the couchgrass out ,jezza



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