Welcome to the DoItYourself Forums!

To post questions, help other DIYers and reduce advertising (like the one on your left), join our DIY community. It's free!

Mini-tillers - Can They Handle My Project?

whitpet's Avatar

Join Date: Sep 2005
Posts: 57

10-14-09, 08:06 AM   #1  
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.

Sponsored Links
bontai Joe's Avatar

Join Date: Apr 2004
Posts: 592

10-14-09, 12:15 PM   #2  
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.

whitpet's Avatar

Join Date: Sep 2005
Posts: 57

10-14-09, 01:04 PM   #3  
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.

mattison's Avatar

Join Date: Mar 2003
Posts: 5,549

10-14-09, 01:14 PM   #4  
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.

Gunguy45's Avatar
Super Moderator

Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 20,662

10-14-09, 01:37 PM   #5  
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.

"I sometimes wonder how some people ever made it to adulthood..."

BFHFixit's Avatar
Forum Topic Moderator

Join Date: Jun 2007
Posts: 1,762

10-14-09, 03:01 PM   #6  
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.

mla2ofus's Avatar

Join Date: Jan 2005
Posts: 478

10-14-09, 04:49 PM   #7  
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.

hopkinsr2's Avatar

Join Date: Feb 2005
Posts: 1,561

10-14-09, 04:55 PM   #8  
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

whitpet's Avatar

Join Date: Sep 2005
Posts: 57

10-14-09, 06:40 PM   #9  
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.

Search this Thread