Wednesday, June 03, 2015

Mantis Rototillers and the Long Neglected Garden

Don't ya just love it when the world works in such wonderful ways ~ that it's hard to count up all those lucky stars?

Take last night, for instance, when my awol farrier (horse shoe guy) finally paid his disconnected phone bill, returned my call, and agreed to give the girls a long overdue pedicure.

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Or, this spring, when I got an email from Steve, asking me to demo a Mantis Rototiller.*  

At that precise moment I was gazing out the picture window, at deep drifts of snow, wondering what nightmares awaited me in The Long Neglected Garden. Saying yes to this goodie was a no brainer.

Revisiting this garden has been so exciting! Beneath a pile of weeds, I found these Heirloom Iris ~ still going strong 12 years later!
Spring has finally arrived in the mountains (we're months later than those of you in the valley.) And, with it a weed problem considerably worse than anything I had imagined. The nerve of those weeds! Growing, unchecked, for 12 blissful years, thinking I'd never return.**

Red Feathers [Echium] don't seem to care if they ever get watered.
So, I've been rototilling like a crazed woman with my spiffy new tiller and I gotta say... it's fabulous.

Here's why I love the Mantis:

It's the right size. 
  • I actually own a rototiller from another company. (I have no idea where it is... I loan it to anyone who asks and the last person never gave it back.) Fine with me. It was a huge beast, too heavy to lift, I found myself opting for a garden fork when creating new beds.
It's quiet as a mouse.
  • Well, maybe not a mouse but the other one roared like a jet engine and that made me nuts.
It was easy to put together.
  • And, I'm the kind of gal that is stumped by nearly every set of directions ever handed her.
It will last a long time.
  • Because I'm not loaning this one out to anybody! :-)
And, they're affordable.

Why Till?
There are two schools of thought, when it comes to rototilling.

Some say it's the worst thing you could possibly do to your garden ~ they say it messes with the soil structure and inspires more weeds to grow. {I emphatically disagree.}

Other swear by it. Claiming that it's fast and effective and works like a charm. I'm in this group; I swear by 'em. They eliminate a lot of back-breaking labor and those buried weed seeds are gonna get ya anyway.

This high up in the mountains, we're stuck with hard as rock alkaline soil and every inch of it requires soil amendments in order to produce a beautiful garden.
Amending Utah soils with a Mantis Rototiller.
  1. First I break up the soil with the tiller. 
  2. Then I add lots of organic matter (aka horse manure) + compost and till it a second time.
What's that you say? You don't have any horse manure?  My CFOs (Chief Fertilizing Officers) will happily help you out with that.

All kidding aside, I've been using the Mantis Rototiller for the last couple weeks and I love it so much I might have to marry it.


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They have lots of different sizes.
* Mantis Rototillers gave me this product to use and review. I am not compensated for this post. It's just one gardener's glowing review of a very good product. I personally feel they're a screaming deal, and well worth the money.


** If you've been on this blog before, then you may know that I moved back to a rental property that I've owned for many years. The Long Neglected Garden is my summer project. And, so far, I'm having a ball!



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2 comments:

KC said...

Funny you say you might have to marry your tiller. With that thought in mind I got a Mantis tiller for our 30th Wedding Anniversary 12 years ago and it was just what I asked for. It and the marriage are still going strong;)
Reclaiming an old garden garden does sound fun and glad you are enjoying it. Say hello to Bad Dog for me. How is the "old boy" doing?

Jeanne Hargrave said...

Love your blog! I live at 8500' in Colorado and am always looking for tips for growing plants, flowers, and vegetables. I just got done planting my seeds for the summer and wrote a blog post about my attempts to grow at high altitudes. I also provided a link to your blog to direct my readers to your helpful information. If you would rather, I can remove it, but do think that it is great information to share. Thanks for letting the rest of us benefit from your efforts!