gumbo2176
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Jal, I was using my tiller for that very purpose but I find it easier to just lay down some cardboard and cover it with organic matter to keep the weeds down and to hold moisture-----especially in the summer when it is hot as all get out.

I know your garden is considerably larger than mine so it may not be something you would undertake but with only 5 rows, that means I only have to cover four 45' long x 3' wide areas between the rows.

I sure miss the 8 hp. TroyBilt I used to have. It was not hard at all to till with that machine. One hand operation was easily achieved.

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tomf
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Location: Oregon

One thing I would recommend is that after you get the ground worked up amend your soil. If it is clay add sand and compost, if it is sand add clay, toss all you rakings and lawn cuttings and such on it and till it in one more time. You may even ask your neighbors for some clippings and you can get compost locally in most places. One way to see what your soil is like would be to take some of it and put it in a jar then shake the jar up. It should settle out to around 1/3 clay, 1/3 loose sandy kind of stuff and 1/3 organic soil. This is the standard formula but I feel lots of organics are good.

I have a front end Sears tiller I got cheap but I have not used it in years as it fits few jobs I do and I do not like working that hard. For a walk behind I like my BCS, it is perhaps a bit much for a small garden and they are not close to being cheap but they are powerful and built like full on farm gear. You can even get a ride behind seat for it. I have hay cutter that goes on it and the handle bars turn around so you can use it as a cutter. I also have a small tiller that goes on my Sthil weed wacker.
Each job needs a different tool depending upon what you need to get done so we may all my need different tools.

Hiya it may be best for you to rent a larger rear end tiller and work up the spot you want as a garden and then get a smaller tiller as the soil will have been loosened up and it will not take as much to work it.

DDog your right I have a 5' PTO tiller; it works well for big jobs. I have tilled many an acre with it and it's kind of fun when you can do it sitting down.

The BCS tiller.
[img]https://i37.photobucket.com/albums/e57/twistedtomf/tiller3.jpg[/img]

The PTO tiller.



[img]https://i37.photobucket.com/albums/e57/twistedtomf/tractortiller.jpg[/img]
Last edited by tomf on Sun Sep 19, 2010 5:15 pm, edited 3 times in total.

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tomf
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I did not give very good instructions on testing your soil in the above example so I'll do so now. The jar should be like a mayo jar size jar and fill it with 1/3 soil, then fill it up with water. Shake it up and let it set. When it settles down and clears look to see what your soil has in it. :oops:

DoubleDogFarm
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adding to Toms soil test. They recommend you take your soil sample about 6" below the surface.

Eric

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jal_ut
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Location: Northern Utah Zone 5

[img]https://donce.lofthouse.com/jamaica/johndeeretill.jpg[/img]

Just a little tiller for you.
6 feet wide. 56 HP tractor. Does a great job.
Gardening at 5000 feet elevation, zone 4/5 Northern Utah, Frost free from May 25 to September 8 +/-

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rainbowgardener
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hiya - these boys love their toys! :) Remember they are talking about acreage. You couldn't turn one of those machines around in 20x20. And you are new to gardening, it would be good to get some experience first before you decide that you are going to want to garden more of your 1 acre.
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