Community Garden Tool Shed

kansasfruiterJanuary 26, 2011


We received a large grant for a community garden. In looking at lawn mowers, I am considering Snapper Commercial Duty #7800194 self propelled mower. Is this worth the money. I have no experience with mowers.

We also need a small rototiller and rear tine tiller. We are looking at the Stihl Easy Start Tiller MM55C-E, but have no idea for the rear tine. This last year we got a large grant and bought a yard machines for around $700. We have been very disappointed. We wish to have on that can be changed from tiller to walking without locking the wheels. Thanks in advance for your help.

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Hiya Kansas,

Your best bet for both the mower and the tiller is a BCS or Grillo walk-behind tractor. They're quite a bit pricier than the standard MTD & AYP stuff, but they're a joy to use and very durable. The only way a person can wreck one is through abuse or neglect. The feature a fully gear driven transmission and cone clutch. Grillo's clutch doesn't freeze up like the BCS clutch does if you don't leave it disengaged while stored. There are NO belts or chains in the BCS or Grillo machine.

You can get several types of mowers - finish, rough-cut rotary, flail, sickle, drum, etc. A community garden would benefit greatly from a flail mower vs. any other style.

The tiller attachments are far superior to any other rear-tine tiller out there. Both machines run the tines at 290 RPM - twice as fast as any other tiller. BCS makes two main tillers - one adjustable to 20 or 26 inches and one 26 or 30 inches. Grillo makes a tiller even more adjustable than that - 18 inches to 27 inches in one inch increments. Grillo's tiller also features bolo-style tines and a spiral pattern that helps the tiller to run smoother through the soil.

A friend of mine has a Stihl tiller, but I dunno which one. He really likes it.

Good luck!

    Bookmark   January 27, 2011 at 1:21PM
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Hey Kansas,

I should have also mentioned why I don't have much experience with a small tiller like a Stihl or Mantis - I have a Glaser wheel hoe. Several manufacturers make a wheel hoe like the Glaser - Valley Oak, Plow Hoss, maxadyne, Whizbang. Just make sure you buy the style where the handles are aiming at the tool you're using, not the axle of the wheel. Also, make sure you get one with an oscillating stirrup hoe. They are the most efficient to use, meaning the least tiring. Eliot Coleman has an excellent explanation on why this is so in his book "The New Organic Grower".

My favorite reason for having a wheel hoe over a gasoline-powered cultivator is the fact that you don't use gasoline. No one's gonna accidentally put straight gasoline in a wheel hoe or leave fuel in it to go bad and require service. I can get as much done with my Glaser as a fellow can with a powered cultivator in the same amount of time with no noise pollution. In the hands of an inexperienced user, a wheel hoe will do less damage to the growing plants vs. the cultivator. While a little pricey, the Glaser is less money than a gasoline powered cultivator.

    Bookmark   January 28, 2011 at 3:08PM
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Thanks so much for the information. I had no idea such a thing existed. The grant was for $8500, so we will definitely consider it.

    Bookmark   January 29, 2011 at 12:53AM
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