Is a Mantis what I need?

juleecat(z5 OH)June 1, 2010

We have lots of large flower beds.....and the mulch gets hard, and comopacted over the winter. I am getting too old to "fluff" this stuff with a hoe! Would a Mantis tiller do the trick? We have pretty heavy soil, too, and I am forever digging new holes for new plants-we have a large tiller for the veggie garden, but I need something smaller that won't disturb plant roots......hope I am making sense! I have searched a bit on this forum, and you guys are fairly entertaining! (while being quite helpful!) Thanks!

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Yes, Mantis is perfect for flower beds and between plants. If you worry, get the new model with bigger 35cc engine. But it is going to cost you!!!! It is worthy.

For digging holes for plants, I learn from my gardener. He use a Bosch Rotary hammer that use the big SDS bits. He use one that look like a 4" wide shuffle and just hammer down!!! He can dig a hole for 5 gallon plant in like a minute or two!!!! Too bad I only have the rotary hammer for small SDS bits and they don't come with anything more than 1.5" wide!!

    Bookmark   June 1, 2010 at 10:12PM
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Based on what you wrote, I'd say that a Mantis is something you will find very handy. The engine speed is controlled by a lever next to one handlegrip and that gives you very good control over what's happening with the tines. The Mantis is very light and easy to move around.

It does take a bit of practice to get used to it because it is certainly different from other types of tillers that one normally uses so don't expect it to behave like your current tiller. YOU... have to act as the anchor for the Mantis but that isn't difficult to do.

Digging holes is an easy task for the Mantis once you practice this task a few times. Unlike other tillers that move ahead of you while tilling the soil, the Mantis is used by dragging it backward. I have lots of flowerbeds too and the Mantis is a huge timesaver when it comes to dealing with weeds. Again.... with practice you can decide just how deep you wish to cultivate and this is done without having to make any adjustments to some part of the Mantis because there are no such adjustments possible.

It all comes down to how long you hold the Mantis in one spot as to how deep it will till. The Mantis spits the soil out behind it so you can dig a hole by keeping the Mantis in one spot and walking around that spot to create the hole.

As I said many times, there is a learning curve with this tiller. Take your time. Practice with it. Once you understand how to make this tiller do what you want, you will come to love it as much as many thousands of other gardeners do.

    Bookmark   June 1, 2010 at 10:25PM
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I forgot to mention, for digging very narrow path, I replace one tine with the wheel that comes with the edger attachment ( come free with my Mantis) and dig with one tine.

Yes you need to pratice first. You don't want to start tilling between flowers until you pratice how to control the tiller. Like Kompressor said, you pull backwards. Even if you want to hold it in place to dig a hole, you have to pull it backwards a little to prevent it from jumping.

The Mantis with the 21cc 2 cycle Echo engine has plenty of power already, it is just the lightest and more prone to jumping. Pratice on normal soil before venturing in between the flowers so you won't cry if it jump and land on the flowers!!!! Take me like two days to really get the hand of it. Now I can control it as will and never..........well almost never jump on me.

To me the biggest asset of the Mantis is for dethatching. More so than tilling and cultivating.

    Bookmark   June 2, 2010 at 12:54AM
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juleecat(z5 OH)

Thanks for the quick Mantis has the capability of just cultivating several inches of compacted mulch, and can also dig holes for new plantings, correct? Sounds like the perfect tool. My beds are large, and I don't have a problem with hand-weeding through the growing season (mulch pretty well takes care of that for me). We plant the vegetables in rows far enough apart so that we can get the regular tiller in there to weed.......but a Mantis might make this job easier, too? Thanks again!

    Bookmark   June 2, 2010 at 7:59AM
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Mantis can dig!! If your soil has been maintain ( been dig or tilled within a year), Mantis has no problem tilling to even 10" or more deep. In fact I tilled my two flower bed that has not been tilled as long as I own the house ( 7 years+) with just the Mantis and I dig down to at least 10" for my wife with east. It really cut the soil finer than my big tiller because it turn much faster than the big tillers and cut the soil like sand fine.

Yes you'll be very happy with it. If you have a lawn, get the dethatcher tines, I can guarentee with my name.............well find me if you have a problem!!!!!!!!!

Seriously, After all the use, I still consider my Mantis a dethatcher. Make sure you use Stabil in your gas and still try not to use gas that is more than 4 months old in it. If you only use it seasonal, empty the gas out, prime all the gas out of the bulb, rest the tine on soft soil, close the choke and try starting it and run it until it stop. Then with the choke still close, hold the trigger and pull it a few more times to pull all the gas out. Make sure resting on soft soil so if the engine rev up and turn the tine, it won't jump on you. Then you can store it away for months or a year.

Good luck.

    Bookmark   June 2, 2010 at 12:23PM
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