Archive for the ‘Cultivation’ Category

A Tiller for Hun

For the past two years we’ve been hiring a big old rotavator to break up our new pieces of allotted earth. Although this is a costly exercise, at the time, it seemed the cheapest option as we couldn’t afford to buy a rotavator, let alone know where to store one. However, over the past few months we have talked ourselves into believing that a tiller would be a good investment – especially now that the plot is established.

Hun rotavating in 2011

So, the discussions started along the lines of ,”We’ll look for something cheap and second-hand”, “We don’t need a new one – that’s just a waste of money when it will spend most of the year sat in the shed”, “We just need to have a look around and see what we can find for £150-£200. There’s no point in spending any more than that.” – absolutely right!

Then, thanks to the powers of marketing, all those sensible theories went completely out of the window – all thanks to DT Brown for putting that shiny Mantis tiller flyer in with my seed order.

Since then one of us has become completely obsessed (as he does) with the need for a tiller. The discussions then started to go along the lines of “We really need a tiller and this one does everything”, “It’s no good buying second-hand – it’s bound to keep breaking down”, “We really need the Deluxe model – and we need that plough attachement, it’s essential”, “I know it’s more than we planned to spend but…” “…and…the handles fold down!” Short of making coffee, this thing does everything, and so it should seen as it’s already completely churned the budget upside down.

The Mantis

So, after watching numerous videos about how good this thing is, all that praying for a Mantis has finally paid off. We’ve ordered it – the complete all-singing, all-dancing deluxe model with plough attachment, planter attachment and border edger (It would have been almost as cheap to buy a Massey Ferguson!) It arrives at the end of the month.

A Tiller in 2012 – love those safety specs Hun!

Tilly and her Tiller - look at her go! She'll soon have those 20 acres flattened and dug in ready for replanting

Now all I have to worry about is, that once I’ve brought obsessed man and machine together, how do I stop ‘Tiller the Hun’ from ploughing straight through my strawberry beds, the raspberry canes, the artichokes…? Nothing will be safe. Suddenly I feel the border edger attachment will be a wasted expense – the borders will have disappeared after the first outing!

In the meantime, to stop my precious fruit section from quaking in its roots, I’ll give everything a good prune and a good dose of potash at the weekend and pray that this Mantis comes with a foolproof set of driving instructions!