One of the “must-have” tools if you engage in gardening is the garden tiller. It is important, especially if you intend to prepare the soil or flower beds for planting. You can use it to turn the soil and mix compost easily. It will surely come in handy in loosening the soil. Experts in gardening generally recommend tilling the soil twice every year and the best time for tilling includes the times before planting and right after harvesting. You should do this to keep the soil healthy and filled with macronutrients and micronutrients.
Finding the right tiller for your garden, however, is not an easy task given the myriads of models and brands of tillers on the market today. But you can surely zero in on the ideal tiller model if you know the essential factors to look for in a tiller.
Factors to Consider When Buying a Tiller For Your Garden
Tillers come in different sizes and designs. Moreover, many gardening instruments can also be referred to as tillers. There are hand tillers, hand cultivators, power cultivators, and rotary tillers. Yet, we will focus more on power cultivators and rotary tillers in this article. Hence, we are going to discuss only the following factors that you need to consider when buying power cultivators and rotary tillers:
1) Electric-powered VS Gasoline-powered Tiller
When buying a tiller, one question that you need to answer is whether to buy gasoline or electric-powered tiller. Gasoline, of course, is the easier tiller to use. Since it doesn’t require an electric cord, you can easily maneuver this type of tiller across your lawn and garden without having to deal with tangled cords. The gasoline-powered is also available in various shapes and sizes. Hence, you have a wide variety of choices when it comes to gasoline-powered tillers, depending on the size of your lawn and your tilling needs.
The engines of gasoline-powered tillers feature internal combustion that has the capacity to handle difficult and heavy-duty tasks sans any issue. Hence, the gasoline-powered has high efficiency. The downside, however, of opting for the gasoline-powered is that it is heavier and gives off loud sound. Moreover, it produces unhealthy smoke as compared to the electric-powered ones that are more ecofriendly.
On the other hand, the electric-powered tillers are quiet when operating. They are also maneuverable, though you need to plan your route before you start tilling using the electric-powered ones. They are also powerful when compared to the battery-powered unit, though they are less powerful than the gasoline-powered ones. Additionally, most electric-powered tillers are called cultivators, and only those with the highest-amperage can be aptly called rototillers.
You should be within 100 feet of the electrical outlet to ensure that you can use the electric-powered ones. You simply need a longer extension cord if you want to extend the range of utility of the electric-powered ones. Moreover, you need to be extra cautious not to run this type of tiller over the extension cord or cord of the electric tiller.
2) Front-tine or Rear-tine
Another question that you need to address when buying a tiller is whether to go for front-tine or rear-tine tillers. The difference, of course, is too obvious between these two options. First, the front-tine tillers feature blades that are positioned in front of the equipment. On the other hand, the rear-tine tillers have blades placed in the rear of the machine.
The front-tine tillers are generally used for weeding inside small and medium-sized yards. They are also used for soil groundwork. The performance of this tiller is also dependent on how you angle it from behind. You will, however, find it difficult to push this tiller over untilled soils because the front blades tend to slide and slip over the soil instead of efficiently digging into the soil.
Rear-tine tillers, on the other hand, come in handy if you want to engage in a heavy-duty and thorough land-forming project. These tillers’ blades are capable of counter and forward rotating action. Thus, they can easily dig deeper into the soil and can cover more area. These tillers are also easy to control and are stronger than the front-tine tillers.
The downside of using this type of tillers is that you need to get the hang of it before you can fully and efficiently use it. This means it is difficult for beginners to use and is more appropriate for use by professionals. If you only have a small garden, you don’t need to buy a powerful rear-tine tiller.
3) Size of Your Garden
At the onset of buying, you should first consider the size of your garden. The size of your garden will factor well in your buying decision. If you have a small garden, you can invest in a smaller electric-powered tiller. But if your garden is large, you should go for a gas-powered one so that you can cover more ground.
4) Type of Soil of Your Garden
If your garden has fine soil that is loamy and rich in nutrients and organic materials, then, you will have an easy time tilling it. In such a case, you would not need a powerful tiller. You can get by with an electric-powered one, and you can save a bit. However, if your yard comes with heavy and clayey soil that is heavily compacted, then, you might as well go for a powerful tiller that could efficiently do the job. At the onset, therefore, it would be good to study the soil of your yard or lawn so that you can figure out which type of tiller you are going to buy.
5) Tilling Depth and Width that You Intend to Accomplish
If you are going to plant various types of plant species, you might as well go for a tiller that features different options when it comes to the depth of tilling. Some plants want to be planted deeper, while others want to be planted shallowly. Your choice of a tiller, therefore, should allow you to dig shallowly and dig more in-depth at the same time. The deeper depth your tiller dig, of course, the more you can affect the soil.
The tines of some tillers can be readily adjusted depending on how deep you would like the blades to go down. The number of tines at work determines the width likewise of the path. The smaller cultivator, for example, generally dig up to 20-centimeter deep. Full-sized tillers, however, can dig deeper and wider than the smaller ones. They can usually dig up to .9-meter wide in a single pass. Moreover, they have wider tines.
6) Your Budget
If money isn’t an issue for you, you can always go for the most powerful and most advanced tillers on the market today. These tillers may have the price of several thousand dollars. The price range of tillers, of course, is between $200 to $3,000. However, if you have a budget issue, you can instead settle for a tiller within your budget range without necessarily sacrificing efficiency.
You’ll surely have a problem if your budget can only buy a tiller that is not apt for the task at hand. But since tiller is an essential asset, you should never shortchange yourself by buying something that is way below in efficiency than what you really need.
As mentioned above, finding the right tiller is a bit confusing if you don’t know the essential factors that you need to consider when buying a tiller. Yet, if you are cognizant of these factors, you will readily find the buying process quick and easy, allowing you to zero in on the most appropriate tiller to address your tilling needs.