Mini-tillers - Can They Handle My Project?


Old 10-14-09, 08:06 AM
Thread Starter
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: South Carolina
Posts: 57
Mini-tillers - Can They Handle My Project?

Hey - I would appreciate some advice from anyone who has experience with gasoline mini-tillers, such as the Honda FG110.

I live in coastal SC, with sandy soil and a centipede lawn. Most of the lawn is in good shape, but there are areas I would like to re-sod, as well as some I would like to convert to natural areas. They generally run 100-200 sq ft. I've tried patching and plugging, but I'd like to go ahead and work up these areas and re-sod properly.

Is a mini-tiller like this up to the job of breaking up areas that include healthy sod? I've laid sod before, and I'm prepared to work. I just don't want to buy a piece of equipment that won't help me do the job. Thanks for your help.
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Old 10-14-09, 12:15 PM
bontai Joe's Avatar
Join Date: Apr 2004
Location: Pennsylvania
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You didn't say how many of these 100-200 sq. foot areas you have. If a couple, then yeah the mini tiller can do the job, if 5 to 10 such areas need to be done, you are going to wish you had a bigger machine unless you space out the work over several days, depending on your physical fitness.
Old 10-14-09, 01:04 PM
Thread Starter
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: South Carolina
Posts: 57
Thanks for the reply. In this case, time is not a big factor if the tiller is capable of breaking up the existing sod so that I can remove it and rework the ground.

I've got several areas, but I'll work on the natural areas gradually over the winter and then probably do the re-sodding one area at a time after next year's growing season starts.

Thanks again for your feedback.
Old 10-14-09, 01:14 PM
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Location: Cinti, OH
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I bought one that attach's to my Toro trimmer. I use it every spring in my small garden maybe 20' by 10'. There's a bit of a workout to it but does a pretty good job once started.
Old 10-14-09, 01:37 PM
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I've always felt the mini units are fine for turning existing gardens or flowerbeds, but they can be very hard pressed to dig into unbroken soil. Not sure if centipede is the same as what I'm thinking..but if its the type that grows by surface runners..they will wrap around the tines and shaft like crazy.

I'd check to see if any place rents similar items and give them a try first.
Old 10-14-09, 03:01 PM
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I agree with Gunguy,
If you are looking to break sod, a mini tiller is not going to do it. Even if you break with a shovel, a mini can still struggle to break it up IMO.
You may get by with breaking it with a shovel and breaking it down with the mini if its only smaller specific areas.
Old 10-14-09, 04:49 PM
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: Texas
Posts: 478
I have a mantis and I wouldn't try it w/ it. I think a rear tine starting shallow and working over the entire area, then drop it a notch and go over it again. repeat going lower each pass until you've reached the depth you want.
Old 10-14-09, 04:55 PM
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Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: canada
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I have to agree with Gunguy & BFH...The mini-tiller would work if the soil was already tilled up,, but to break up sod, I'm sorry,, but your going to be dissapointed,,, Just my thought,,, Roger
Old 10-14-09, 06:40 PM
Thread Starter
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: South Carolina
Posts: 57
Oh well, back to the drawing board...

Can't justify the cost of a big-daddy tiller, and transport of a rental unit is a prob. Anyway, thanks to all for the excellent and prompt feedback.

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