Hints & Tips
Winter has finally taken the long-distance ‘phone call that has asked him to transfer his freezing talents somewhere else and not to come back for at least ten months. I know, I know, he’s hanging on for dear life, dragging his feet, trying to strike up a conversation at the door, trying to cadge that last pint, but his days are definitely numbered.
Soon sultry, sensual spring will be skipping and hopping in here before you can say a very long sentence that makes a weak joke of this well-worn phrase.
So it’s about time you started in on your sad, forgotten flower beds or vegetable patches. In his spot-on blog yesterday, Dick was letting us know, in no uncertain terms, that we need to start sorting out our soil and suggesting we think of purchasing the absolutely excellent value Oleo-Mac MH175RK Tiller with Reverse Drive, (a crash-bang-wallop of a bargain if ever there was one, at £399 with FREE delivery and FREE oil)
But there are a fair few chores and tasks to undertake before you start this or any other cultivating type machine and wake up the neighbours.
So here are a few tips and ideas to be going on with, so you can get started ASAP.
- Clear any obstacles. Rocks, large roots, big sticks, toys, anything that might damage your tiller’s blades or make your job harder should be removed.
- Weed out the enemy. Big weeds, brambles and the like could tangle in your blades and make the whole job more complicated, plus some weeds if chopped up and turned into the soil will just get worse, so weed your patch first.
- Rake and hoe. Get rid of any smaller detritus or weeds by raking and or hoeing the whole patch. You won’t be sorry. The clearer you keep your patch, the more space, air, water and life there is for your crops or flowers.
- Damp is best. The best soil condition for preparing or cultivating is damp. Wet soil can be too cloggy and clumpy and is very difficult to work through, too dry and the ground is too hard to break up. However, if the ground is too hard for a long period, watering can help to dampen it enough to break it up. It all depends on the soil.
- Machine condition. If you already have a tiller, all being well, you cleaned, checked and stored it away properly. however, if you didn’t then now is the time to give it a once over and some TLC. if you own a petrol machine, you should,d have drained the tank before the winter. If not drain it now and hopefully that stale petrol will have caused no issues. Top up the oil and only use FRESH UNLEADED PETROL. If you have a battery powered machine, check the contacts, check the batteries and make sure they are charging properly. They should have been stored partly charged. If your tiller is a mains electric, check the cable for kinks or damage. Check the times are sharp and clean, clean them if not) and check all nuts, screws, bolts and so on. Lubricate joints, hinges and so on where necessary.
- Compost. Make sure you have a good supply of compost to sprinkle or dig in to your plot after turning the soil over. This will warm and enrich the soil. If you don’t have a compost heap, there are places you can go to buy fresh compost.
- Cover your ground. If the weather continues to be cold, cover your newly dug beds with old carpet, sheeting or mulch. This will keep the soil warm and stop weeds getting back in until you are ready to plant.
There is more information on cultivators and tillers on our MowHow pages here. However, if you need any further advice on tillers or cultivators, or anything else, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with our friendly, expert team on 0345 4588 905 (9am-5pm Mon-Fri & 10am-4pm Sat)
‘MowDirect are knowledgeable, approachable, unhurried and friendly without sales hassle, and next day delivery after I made my choice’ D. LEEDHAM
Enjoy your garden. Drew Hardy
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