The Garden Community for Garden Lovers

By Nib

United Kingdom Gb

Being new to the use of tillers/cultivators I would like to know how one deals with the difference between sowing on soil which has been turned over using a spade or a fork and the vegetable matter and soil mix that results from the use of a cultivator. I am concerned among other things about the presence of vegetable matter in the seed bed instead of under it and how this may effect germination of seeds, especially small seeds. Any further techniques unique to this method of soil management would also be helpful. The machine I have is a Mantis



And there you've described why I never use those machines - it's always better to dig properly by hand, when you can then remove any debris and all roots of perennial and annual weeds. Many of the perennial weeds will sprout from tiny sections of root lying around in the soil, so I can only suggest you dig out by hand initially anything like bindweed, brambles, nettles, docks, celandines, ground elder, etc.

12 Apr, 2011


Thank you for your reply. I have started to use a cultivator/tiller because without such a tool my gardening, which is only for the table, would be impractical as I am unable to dig a plot big enough to make my gardening worthwhile. I have for the past fifty years cultivated three allotment plots in the conventional manner, using hand tools, but I'm afraid those days are gone. I could not manage one now. For 2010 I managed two plots using the machine but found the growing techniques I used somewhat strange with there being no inversion of the soil but instead the soil broken and mixed. Being as there are so many of these tools about I felt it would be worth seeking any advice there may be on them and any special adjustments that need to be made to adjust to their use when having no previous experience of them. One point I did find was that to sow seed requires a change of tecnique where soil is applied from a container of sieved soil to cover the seed instead of raking over the drill to cover the seed as was my previus practice. I'm sure there must be many others tricks I'm not aware of hence my enquiry.

12 Apr, 2011


I wondered if that was the case (your choice to use one now). Hope someone else can be more helpful, but I think as a rule, most people on here don't use them. I wonder if there are any publications available with helpful info on this, I'll have a trawl through on google tomorrow...

12 Apr, 2011

How do I say thanks?

Answer question


Not found an answer?