Garden Tillers and the Technology behind Them
Garden tillers are amongst the greatest agricultural advancements known to man. Along with plows and other similar advancements, they allow individuals or small groups of people to easily accomplish a task that would normally require an astronomical amount of labor and effort. This time saving allows for large projects to be undertaken, and can result in high-yield farms and gardens.
Garden tillers themselves come in several basic formats. All are motorized, and depend on the rotation of blades to agitate the soil in your yard or field. Self-propelled varieties use an engine and propulsion system much like a tractor or other device so that you aren’t required to draw them manually. These varieties are usually limited to agricultural projects due to their size and cost.
Drawn varieties of garden tillers consist of either two-wheeled or four-wheeled formats. The former uses a rigidly-fixed blade apparatus attached to the transmission, which helps prevent straying or imperfect tillage of the soil. Four-wheeled tractor varieties are attached using a three-point hitch and are driven by a power take-off unit.
Garden Tillers for Home Use
Unless your yard is of enormous proportions, chances are your vegetable garden will not be of excessive size. As such, the agricultural varieties of garden tillers are not your best bet. These are simply too large and expensive, and can be considered overkill for your project. It is best to get a smaller variety, such as a Rototiller or Rotovator. You can usually rent these from most tool rental centers for single-use applications.
The small walk-behind garden tillers are typically propelled forward by the rotating blades and do not have powered wheels, though they may have small level control wheels or ones designed to help you transport the device. To keep the machine from moving forward too quickly, an adjustable tine is usually fixed just behind the blades so that through friction with deeper un-tilled soil, it acts as a brake, slowing the machine and allowing it to pulverize the soil.
The operator can control the amount of friction and braking action of garden tillers by raising and lowering the handlebars. As a safety measure, no reverse tilling functions are present. This prevents misplaced feet and legs and is a design feature no garden tillers are found without. To move back over an area for repeat tilling, the operator must manually pull back the machine, taking care not to draw it over themselves in the act.
Advice for Using Garden Tillers
Garden tillers are a great way to break up your soil prior to planting. They save you from having to hack at the dirt with hoes and spades, which in turn saves you from needing to visit the chiropractor several times a week. Renting one is the best bet for the majority of vegetable garden aspirants, as it is most cost-effective. Chances are, you will not require multiple uses.
It is actually recommended to maintain your soil with hand tools after the initial tilling. This is easier because the soil is already broken up, and so will not cause undue strain to you or your family. Further use of garden tillers may grind your soil into dust, which will defeat the purpose of using them in the first place.
Additional Gardening Advice and Information
Once you have finished using garden tillers to break up the soil for your vegetable garden, there are further steps that should be taken to enhance and maintain soil quality that will assist with and promote rapid growth of whatever you choose to plant. The following are important when growing vegetable gardens:
· Topsoil – Investing in nutrient-rich topsoil from a garden center can make a huge difference if the earth in your yard is dry or poor in minerals. The best topsoil will be rich and dark, and very easy to work with. Mixing this soil into the earth with a spade, rake or hoe is best. Never use garden tillers for this purpose!
· Fertilizer – The best way to fertilize your vegetable garden is with natural means. Animal manure, such as would be used on a farm, is the wisest choice. Not only is this healthier than chemical agents, it’s usually more affordable as well. Mix it in with the topsoil and existing earth to give your garden a head-start in growth. Again, avoid using garden tillers for this.
Now that you know how garden tillers can help your vegetable gardening project succeed, you are better armed to undergo such a campaign. Should you find you have a large amount of work ahead of you, and wish to purchase your own tiller, be sure to store it somewhere safe when not in use. Keep out of the reach of children or animals living nearby to avoid injury on the blades and tines, and store out of the elements in a shed or garage for best results.
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