Tiller?

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Does anyone have a suggestion for a new rear tine tiller? Due to my disability I can no longer use my 30 year old troybuilt horse. I need something big enough to cultivate over 4000 sq ft. but easily manageable. Thanks, Steve
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Sorry about your disability. Why do you prefer turning the ground instead of no-dig (no-till) gardening? In part, no-dig gardening is simplifying gardening for us geezers, the other part is to keep the work that the earthworms and the network of fungal hyphae that gives soil structure. This includes the mychorrhizal network that is important to plants, more so for perennials, but still important for annuals.
"The best fertilizer is the gardener's shadow." - Anon
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wrote:

It's not the turning, it's for shallow hoeing of the weeds between the rows.
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wrote:

MULCH! Or just let them grow. That's what I do. --S.
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I'd put down newsprint first, then the mulch. It's easier on my ticky ticker.
"The best fertilizer is the gardener's shadow." - Anon
Jobs Not War
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Steve, I got a bit less than half of your lot and after I got most of the heavy work out of the way preparing the soil (scree rock and big fir roots in heavy wet clay), the little 2 cycle works well. Just get a quality model. They are very light weight, relatively inexpensive, easier to maneuver around, tills and weeds quick, mixes in compost materials and nutes pretty good. Lot easier on the old joints than taking the big one out for a spin. Have to say if you hit a good size rock or a root it will jump on ya much more than the old heavy B&Ss. Still you have lots of area to work.
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wrote:

Steve, I got a bit less than half of your lot and after I got most of the heavy work out of the way preparing the soil (scree rock and big fir roots in heavy wet clay), the little 2 cycle works well. Just get a quality model. They are very light weight, relatively inexpensive, easier to maneuver around, tills and weeds quick, mixes in compost materials and nutes pretty good. Lot easier on the old joints than taking the big one out for a spin. Have to say if you hit a good size rock or a root it will jump on ya much more than the old heavy B&Ss. Still you have lots of area to work.
Thanks Gunner, at least someone has an actual suggestion. I had a small 2 stroke that pretty much took the place of the hoe on most occasions, but I actually plant a "green manure" crop on areas not in current use. In order for that to be effective it must be turned in at least shallowly. I'm looking at the Troybuilt Super Bronco. It seems to be the only real choice for a mid-size tiller. The tilling path is only 17 inches so my row crops can be closer together and more food produced from the same area.
Steve (who actually grows and preserves a large portion of what his family eats year round, not just a few summer veggies)
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If you have money to burn about $50k. How about a small compact tractor. They can mow the lawn, can add a five foot tiller, front loader, remove the snow, rear baggers for lawn clippings and small enough to fit in your garage. About the size of mid size car.
Easy on the back but hard on the wallet.
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Enjoy Life... Nad R (Garden in zone 5a Michigan)

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You have a wallet? A little ostentatious, don't you think, or is it just an heirloom?
Doing my gardening with newspapers, alfalfa, a pointy stick, and sweat. Total cost $18.
"Tickle the earth with a hoe, it will laugh a harvest." - Mary Cantell
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When gas gets much higher, I will have get out my scythe.
For those with health problems a pointy stick may not do the job. If one has a heavy duty machine like a tractor, a person in their nineties or with disabilities can can do the job of those that are twenty years old without disabilities. I am partial to the John Deere 4300 series.
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Enjoy Life... Nad R (Garden in zone 5a Michigan)

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The soil is soft from having been groomed for years, so pretty much all I have to do with the stick (old shovel handle actually) is to lean on it some to make a hole that the seedling will go into. The newspapers and mulch get rid of the weeds, so there is no weeding. They actually become part of the mulch. The drip irrigation is already laid out, but I have the occasional repair to make which is no big thing, cut, insert a barbed connector, insert barb into new length of drip emitters, and I'm back in business. I normally put tomato arbors over my plants to protect them, which is just habit from when I had two young dogs that would dash from one side of the yard to the other, heedless of prized plants. Last year, I used clear plastic to cover the beds of the tomatoes and peppers. This year, for the beds that don't get plastic, I covered them with chicken wire to discourage ol' rascally raccoon. As you can see, it isn't brute force. It's time and patience. Tractors may allow you to do more in a shorter amount of time, but they have their maintenance too. Where I live isn't flat. It seems that every year, some one who has been driving tractors forever, manages to roll one down a slope. Not pretty.

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Machines can be dangerous if used improperly, Including cars.
My soil is in bad shape. I use raised beds for the veggie garden. Fifty years or more of modern farming techniques before I purchased the land. I like where I am at. The soil is better now under my care. I have more years to go for improvement and In the mean time the heavy equipment helps.
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Enjoy Life... Nad R (Garden in zone 5a Michigan)

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Are you tilling the soil?
For some reason, Nad, I thought of you ;O)
"The best place to seek God is in a garden. You can dig for him there." - George Bernard Shaw
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Shaw, like Mark Twain wasn't very religious. Like "The poor cannot afford morals".
Some, not much tilling. Spreader for the manure and compost. Trailer for the free compost down the road, seems to be good stuff, all grass clippings and leaves from the city. Snow plowing for those one foot snow falls. Front loader for hauling hay to feed the cow. The tractor itself is slightly smaller than my twelve year old single cab Dodge Dakota.
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Enjoy Life... Nad R (Garden in zone 5a Michigan)

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They seem to be even too expensive for the rich as well.

How was last years harvest, and what are you planting this year? Anything new? Any changes to your garden?
If you like weekends (8 hr./day & 40 hr./week), then thank a labor union. They paid for it in blood. Real working class heros. <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Haymarket_affair>
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No, thank you Steve. It is nice to interact with someone w/o a hidden agenda.
I read somewhere in all the face saving subterfuge in another thread that you teach a bit of foraging ? I'm a bit of a rank amateur culinary anthropologist of Meso and Arido American cultures, pre and post Colombian. I also have a fair amount of time actual field time in my earlier travels (PreOldFart). So am always interested in most aspects of local forging, foods, customs, methods and recipes.
Care to share a bit of your interest and knowledge of your corner of the world ? I'm between South Puget Sound and the foot hills of Mt Rainier these days.
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wrote in message> Thanks Gunner, at least someone has an actual suggestion.

No, thank you Steve. It is nice to interact with someone w/o a hidden agenda.
I read somewhere in all the face saving subterfuge in another thread that you teach a bit of foraging ? I'm a bit of a rank amateur culinary anthropologist of Meso and Arido American cultures, pre and post Colombian. I also have a fair amount of time actual field time in my earlier travels (PreOldFart). So am always interested in most aspects of local forging, foods, customs, methods and recipes.
Care to share a bit of your interest and knowledge of your corner of the world ? I'm between South Puget Sound and the foot hills of Mt Rainier these days.
Gunner, most of my knowledge has been passed to me by previous generations. I was actually born within 25 miles of where I now live. I've spent many hours with the older folks foraging & learning what they knew. I guess I was a bit of an odd child but early on I realized they had knowledge that was valuable. If a young person will show just a tiny bit of interest those old folks will share both intellectually and physically.
The beans that I grow have been in my family and one other for well over 120 years. I was in my early 20's and saw them being grown by an old fellow down the road from me. Just walking up on the porch and asking about them earned me a pint jar of seed to plant the following spring. That same fellow later taught me a lot about beekeeping and wild plants. Once while looking for morels I came upon an elderly Cherokee couple picking plants in the forest. I learned 2 new food plants that day.
Western North Carolina is blessed with a huge biodiversity. There's almost always something to eat to one who knows. I tend to graze my way through the woods sampling as I go. This time of year a handful of ramps and morels with a few eggs is a meal fit for royalty. No one eats better than I! I'm not quite sure what you want, ask questions. If I know the answer I'll be glad to share.
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Appalachians ? Been in that area a bit. Spend a life one winter in Dahlonega, Georgia humping those Mts in the early 70s. Then a hella lot of time on both sides of that State. A little time in your State. Read a lot of the old Foxfire series books about the Appalachians in & since that time. Good stories into a disappearing way of life.
I was that kid once myself, Steve. Sharp stick and a dull 3 blade pocket knife, an old twig wrapped with salvaged fishing line, a hook and a sinker crammed in an old Prince Albert Can for "just in case". Probably the reason I'm too old to be this young , but some hellaciously good times to recall for the later years.
Mushrooms and bees are good. Both of them are on my list of to- dos. As much liberty as some here take in defining Edible Garden topics, I think foraging crops or wilding (not the catch word it once was) would be a good occasional topic. Sure beats clueless BS on tractors vs. Newspaper, dont ya think?
Got any recipe/cooking ideas with herbs and veggies you forage? I can dig up some from up here?
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Here in the PNW, its chantrelles and camas
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wrote:

Here in the PNW, its chantrelles and camas
We get the chanterelles here, but it's a late June through July thing. I like to drop a chanterelle into vodka and let it soak for a month or so. It's the ultimate martini.
My home area was settled mostly by Scots/Irish folks with no traditions of mushroom foraging. I remember my mother telling the kids that all those toadstools were poisonous. In my rebellious teenage years I decided to prove her wrong and began a lifelong study of fungi. Don't get me wrong, there was never any money for college but I did finish high school (eventhough I was married before graduation). I was self taught, foraging and eating wild fungi from drawings. It scares the hell out of me now, it's so easy to screw up & be seriously poisoned. Years later I discovered a mushroom club and my education continues to this day.
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