A small rototiller. Honda FG110G
http://www.durgan.org/URL/?ZDDKN 26 May 2008 Planting Red-haven peach Tree. Honda in action.
These small machine reduces the labor for backyard gardening by a guess-a-mate of about 80%.
Demonstrated is the manual kick sod cutter, and reducing sod so the grass roots are killed in the chipper/Shredder.
Small Cultivators Honda FG110G.
I bought mine in 2005 (Honda) and it has to be my most valuable tool in the garden. I use it like a shovel, hoe and rake combined. To plant trees, shrubs and to make a simple hole for some plant, for edging, and working established beds, and for breaking up chunks of earth it cannot be beat. The tine shaft runs about 180 RPM, which is much much faster than larger tillers. Note: No rototiller made will break up sod sufficiently to prevent grass growth. The Honda is four stroke. I don’t have a two stroke garden tool, due to the misery in starting if the oil gas mixture is slightly off, which is common.
The Honda FG110 was used to work reasonably good soil, clay with much compost with no rocks. The area worked was over 1500 square feet. This little tiller did a perfect job. If the tiller got clogged with fibrous plant strings, I simply removed the outer tines and cleared the obstruction within one of two minutes. The tiller engine starts with one or two pulls of the starting cord.
To plant onions, and other vegetables, I removed the outer two tines and pointed the remaining two inwards and got a perfect row for planting about 4 inches wide. I use the tiller by gently pulling backwards without the drag bar. All the work was done at full throttle as it should be with such a small engine. I consider the operation to be effortless, and the result on the soil is simply not achievable with hand tools.
The noise level is for all intents and purposes not noticeable, since it is a four stroke engine. It is well built, and has no appearance of fragility or poor workmanship. I simply carry the tiller from place to place as required.
To use this small tiller amongst large rocks is misuse in my opinion. I have no rocks. Used with common sense, and not attempting to work it in conditions where a larger machine is clearly required this little machine should last a long time.
To make a small bed I remove the sod with a kick sod cutter, spade the compacted earth to the proper depth, then put the tiller to work to condition the soil. On large chunks it jumps around a little and reduces the chunks, but that is to be expected. A larger machine simply kicks them out without beating them into small pieces. The result is near perfection.
Worrying about turning a garden into flour like soil is probably little to worry about. I have spend my life trying to get the chunks small enough for a good garden. Usually I have had clay, but by adding compost and composted wood chips the soil is friable.
I also have a larger tiller, but use it selectively now.