Re: tillers for gardens

I too have a Mantis which I "need" every spring. It is the best tool for 
incorportating additions into the soil. It also is great for fluffing up 
mounds-essential in my heavy, wet CT soil. In this area the soil is also 
full of stones which embed themselves in the tines. (The tines are 
guaranteed for life-I am on my second pair.) Vines too will clog the 
works. I keep a fish-tailed weeding tool nearby and declog as necessary.
Unfortunately the Mantis is useless for starting new beds in my soil, 
even in grass. The vegetation, combined with the muck, is just too much 
for it. After I gave away my old standard tiller (my back demanded it), I 
started covering  proposed new beds with black pastic for a season. Then 
the Mantis could sink in its teeth. I don't know if your sandy soil would 
present the same problems. Weight was an important factor in my choice.

For sources other than Sears, look at Gardener's Supply Co in Burlington 
VT 800-863-1700. I purchased my Mantis from them, but noticed they now 
carry one of their own.
Elisabeth Harmon

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