Irish Gardeners Forum Home
 FAQFAQ   MemberlistMemberlist   UsergroupsUsergroups   RegisterRegister 
 ProfileProfile   Log in to check your private messagesLog in to check your private messages   Log inLog in 
Custom Search
   
Weather Report /
Moon Phase for Ireland

Post new topic   Reply to topic    Irish Gardeners Forum Home -> Vegetable growing, fruit and allotments in Ireland

Advice for firsttime rovovator


 
Most Recent Posts Garlic problem
Last post: Greengage
funny
Last post: ponddigger
Introduce yoursellf to whom.......................
Last post: Keeks
I'm new here
Last post: tagwex
 
Visit TheGardenShop.ie
Author Message
sirpsycho
Rank attained: Pedunculate oak tree


Joined: 15 Mar 2010
Posts: 341
Location: Stamullen, Co Meath

PostPosted: Tue May 04, 2010 2:09 pm    Post subject: Advice for firsttime rovovator Reply with quote

With the recent dry spell my new allotment is turning out to be a tough one to get the soil broken down by hand / fork. I'm thinking of hiring out a rotovator for a day to run over it and start making some beds. I've never used one before so looking for advice please! Will it break the soil down a lot so that I can start making beds? I assume it depends on the number of passes and the power of the rotovator. I'm looking at hiring an 8hp rovovator (only one they seem to have). My plot is about 120sq metres but I have already hand dug a small bit of it.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website
breezyacre
Rank attained: Silver Birch Tree
Rank attained: Silver Birch Tree


Joined: 07 Mar 2009
Posts: 163
Location: Drogheda, Ireland

PostPosted: Tue May 04, 2010 3:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

In my limited experience of using a rotovator you really have to have the ground turned by hand first. I do not think it will cut its way into hard unturned earth
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
sirpsycho
Rank attained: Pedunculate oak tree


Joined: 15 Mar 2010
Posts: 341
Location: Stamullen, Co Meath

PostPosted: Tue May 04, 2010 3:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

sorry, i forgot to mention it was rotovated before I bought it but i dont know when exactly. so it wouldnt be "hard unturn earth", just hard turned earth I suppose Smile
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website
blagadan
Rank attained: Hazel Tree
Rank attained: Hazel Tree


Joined: 02 Mar 2008
Posts: 18

PostPosted: Tue May 04, 2010 5:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Prepare yourself for a couple of days recovery afterwards!! Rotavators can be really tough on the arms and back.

I've used rotavators quite a bit over the years, most recently about 2 weeks ago. They can till hard unturned earth but it takes time. I churned up 20 sq mtrs of sod recently. It wasn't impossible but it did take time and effort.
But you say the ground was tilled before so it should not be a big deal. Just watch out for big rocks that can grab the machine from you. As you unearth them, pick them and stock pile them. Dont hold on to the handlebars so tight and let the machine skip about a bit.... let it do the work and dont try to fight it.
I usually make several passes instead of one big run... It makes it a bit easier.
You'll develop your own technique after you get the hang of it. 1000 times better than hand digging with a fork for sure!!!
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Annamoe99
Rank attained: Hazel Tree
Rank attained: Hazel Tree


Joined: 13 Jan 2009
Posts: 20
Location: Annamoe, Co Wicklow

PostPosted: Tue May 04, 2010 5:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have just spent the weekend rotovating 9 plots (each 100m2) twice each. My arms and back are fairly sore after all that but if you are rotovating 120m2 of previously tilled soil, I don't think you have too much to worry about. You will do that plot three times in about 1 hour and the soil should be very fine by then. I agree with everything blagadan says though - the stones can make it jump around a bit. If you can, get someone to help you as the rotovator is difficult to turn a sharp corner quickly. Get your buddy to walk beside it and give it a pull around when you get to the corner. Don't let him walk in front though as the rotovator can "take off" a bit if the tines get caught on a big stone or piece of timber in the ground. Also if the plot is on a hill, it can be difficult to keep it on a straight line as the weight of the rotovator will tend to make it slide sideways down the hill in the tilled soil. Good luck!
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
sirpsycho
Rank attained: Pedunculate oak tree


Joined: 15 Mar 2010
Posts: 341
Location: Stamullen, Co Meath

PostPosted: Tue May 04, 2010 9:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for the comments! Annamoe99 - you sound like an animal with rotavators!! Very Happy I'm building up a picture in my head of what to expect now... especially the bits about the rocks and turning corners....don't wanna end up going through the fence into one of my neighbours!

One other question though, how deep do they dig into the ground?
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website
michael brenock
Rank attained: Chlorophyll for blood


Joined: 12 Aug 2008
Posts: 1275
Location: cork

PostPosted: Tue May 04, 2010 10:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

if at all possible do not use the rotavator for a number of reasons, spreading roots of perennial weeds, damaging soil structure danger of stones and if it rains afterwards and then dries it will set like concrete and will not dry out properly. use a spade or fork and prepare a small area properly as required. i used a rotavator nearly 40 years ago, got rid of it and am digging ever since. As for depth a rotavator will go as deep as you wish by holding it back but a depth of 10-12 inches (25 -30cms) is usually sufficient
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
sirpsycho
Rank attained: Pedunculate oak tree


Joined: 15 Mar 2010
Posts: 341
Location: Stamullen, Co Meath

PostPosted: Wed May 05, 2010 9:32 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

cheers for your comments michael brenock. i've hand dug a few areas on my plot but i just wont have enough time to get the rest of the areas dug out and plant my stuff. after i rotavate, would covering some of the areas with plastic/fleech prevent the problems you described after rain?
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website
blagadan
Rank attained: Hazel Tree
Rank attained: Hazel Tree


Joined: 02 Mar 2008
Posts: 18

PostPosted: Wed May 05, 2010 9:33 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

sirpsycho wrote:
One other question though, how deep do they dig into the ground?


The deeper you go, the harder it is to make progress. On my bedding area, I was digging to 12-14 inches, and at that, the blades were pretty much submerged in fluffy soil.
I'm sure if you were determined enough, you could dig as deep as you like...

Its also a good time to add manure to your soil... before you rotavate, spread a few inches on top of the beds and churn it in with the machine.

Heres a tip... If you need to rotavate alongside a fence, put a builders plank or piece of plywood on edge by the fence to protect it. I have chainlink fence around my place and if the rotavator blade gets a hold of it, it can get messy real fast... lol
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Display posts from previous:   
Post new topic   Reply to topic    Irish Gardeners Forum Home -> Vegetable growing, fruit and allotments in Ireland All times are GMT
Page 1 of 1

 

Jump to:  
You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot vote in polls in this forum
You can attach files in this forum
You can download files in this forum


Powered by phpBB © 2001, 2005 phpBB Group

Privacy Policy | Copyright © 2006 - 2016 IrishGardeners.com (part of GardenPlansIreland.com)