Re: tillers for gardens

Less:  I own a Mantis and it is a fantastic tiller for its weight.  It
bounces all over the place but you can control it well by guiding it to
the left or to the right.  The tines reverse easily for weeding.  I will
like and and I believe it is well worth the money.  I have a big
Troy-built walk behind for deep tilling lots of space and that is more
convient for doing the whole garden in the spring but once things come
up then it is too big and awkward for any cultivation whereas the Mantis
can be used effectively in small cramped quarters.
> I know the following message isn't specifically about Aroids, but it is
> about gardening so that I can grow some large aroids outside.
> It's finally spring here on Long Island and it's time to set up the new
> beds.  This year, I want to have some large areas of colocasias, alocasias
> and caladiums with my few Amorphophallus mixed in.  
> Long Island garden soil is essentially sand with a couple bits of organic
> material.  My landscaper dropped off a huge mound of oak leaf compost and
> I'd like to mix that in.  Tropicals usually do great in it.  I tried using
> my trusty old electric cultivator (Black & Decker) and got bored with the
> slow progress.  It works but it takes a toll on the motor and doesn't do a
> very deep job (frankly, only about 3 or 4 inches at best)  Instead, I want
> to get a small, yet powerful gas-powered tiller.
> Does anyone out there have experience with the Mantis?  I've compared that
> to what little I can learn about Troy-bilts.  It appears that the Mantis is
> perhaps more appropriate for my purposes (in size).
> Does anyone know of others that are the size of the Mantis? 
> (I saw the mantis at: and believe it's
> the same as the one Sears sells under it's Craftsman label)
>      Les

Thomas B. Croat, Ph.D.
P.A. Schulz Curator of Botany
Missouri Botanical Garden
P.O. Box 299
St. Louis, MO 63166-0299
phone: 314-577-5163; fax 314-577-9596; email

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