It’s the time of year when you may consider preparing the soil for general planting, sowing seed beds or preparing an area for growing vegetables. You will want to prepare the soil so that it is as fertile as possible to give roots the best chance to grow and spread and absorb all the nutrients and water they require to produce healthy plants.
If you are looking for a machine to help you prepare the soil, both a Tiller and Cultivator will do the same thing in that they dig up and turn over the soil. However, choosing which one you need really depends on the job in hand as there are differences between them.
Really the choice comes down to the size of plot that you are looking to dig and the purpose.
Tillers tend to be more powerful with more digging power than cultivators – they are better suited therefore to larger areas, with generally wider working widths than cultivators and bigger, heavier duty tines to turn over the soil at greater depth. If you want to dig up new ground they are a better option than a cultivator as they can dig deeper and tackle roots.
Areas up to 140 sq metres
Front-tine tillers have tines which help propel the machine forward and dig deep into the soil. These might be a suitable choice of machine for a small to medium sized garden of up to 140 sq metres. Perfect for weeding and general preparation of the soil and mixing in compost.
Areas over 140 sq metres
Rear-tine tillers tend to be a better option for larger planting areas. With forward rotating tines they are good for turning soil in existing beds, for weeding and helping in the addition of compost. If you want to break up new ground then consider a Rear-tine tiller with counter rotating tines as these turn in the opposite direction to the wheels. This gives the tiller the strength and torque it needs to dig deep into the soil.
Cultivators are generally smaller than tillers and are best used for maintaining existing beds, for facilitating weeding and mixing in compost. Cultivators tend to be easier to handle and move around. They are ideal for weeding between rows in vegetable plots as they can have a tilling width of 12 inches.