Rotavators

Dave115Dave115 Aberdour,FifePosts: 9

Is there a good time to use a rotavator? I used one last spring on my plot.It certainly broke the soil down into a fine tilth to a depth of about eight inches,but it also sliced and buried all the small weeds which promptly resurfaced again about a fortnight later. And I haven`t seen a worm on the area since. More trouble than they are worth I would say.

Posts

  • LynLyn DevonPosts: 13,943

    I wouldn’t use one for the same reasons.

    Gardening on the wild, windy west side of Dartmoor. 

  • LoanaLoana Posts: 427

    We used to use a very old merry tiller, which belonged to my father in law. But last year she just would not fire up, so i decided to shelve that idea. There was quite a bit of talk last year about 'not' rotavating, so I didn't bother last year. This year after building my new raised beds, we wouldn't be able to rotavate anyway, so its digging for me from now on ?

  • KT53KT53 Posts: 3,436

    I use a Mantis Tiller and get good results, on lightish ground.  I can't do much manual digging because I have a dodgy hip and a pair of knackered knees.  For me it's the Mantis or stop veg gardening.

  • Allotment BoyAllotment Boy North London Posts: 1,888

    Like a lot of Allotmenteers I do both. I rough dig in the Autumn/ winter only taking out perennial weeds but otherwise leaving it for the frost. In spring I then rotavate either I hire the society Honda 5hp Tiller or for small areas I use my own Mantis. The lack of worms is nothing to do with the rotavator its a lack of organic matter for them to feed on. I have used these techniques for years, & my plot  soil is packed with worms. 

    AB Still learning

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  • LynLyn DevonPosts: 13,943

    It seems the ‘no dig’ method didn’t catch on then?

    Gardening on the wild, windy west side of Dartmoor. 

  • Dave115Dave115 Aberdour,FifePosts: 9

    That`s another can of worms,Lyn (excuse the pun).In fact I have the Organic No Dig book on my shelf

    and there seems no doubt from various tests (by Scotland`s gardening Doyen,Jim McColl,no less)

    that the method seems to produce increased yields. My only misgiving is that farmers have turned the soil for centuries.But then allotmenteers are vegetable gardeners,not farmers I suppose. 

  • LynLyn DevonPosts: 13,943

    It’s quicker for farmers, then most of them will use weed killers. 

    if you have good ground,  no weeds in the first place then it’s ok but if you have weeds, such as ground elder or bindweed, then every bit of chopped up root will grow. 

    I cant see any point in deep digging, just pile on the compost in the autumn, worms will earate it in  the winter. 

    Gardening on the wild, windy west side of Dartmoor. 

  • Allotment BoyAllotment Boy North London Posts: 1,888

    I have tried some beds of no dig but with our "London Clay" the beds always end up compacted & weed ridden with couch & bindweed. I know some of the no dig proponents say it does work on Clay soil but I don't think I can ever get enough compost for it to work for me. Garden Which had articles from Charles Dowding (advocating no dig) and the following month Terry Walton on why he digs. They both put forward valid arguments you just have to judge for yourself.

    AB Still learning

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