Tilling a patch of land is a laborious and backbreaking task, and for this reason, mankind has been continuously devising new tools and equipment to ease up the burden concomitant with the tilling process. Some farmers, who still stick to the traditional way of tilling the soil, make use of plows to prepare their land for planting; while some small-scale farmers don’t have enough time or capability to manually till their lands. Hence, they make use of power-driven cultivators that are easy to handle and can easily turn over the soil.
The value of power-driven cultivators becomes apparent if you, as a gardener, is already in your senior years and could no longer dig with ease your plot. With the use of a power-driven cultivator, you can readily till the soil. You can also convert weedy, rough ground into nicely-tilled soil that is ready for immediate planting. The power-driven cultivator will surely facilitate the tilling process for you and get the job done with less time and effort.
Cultivators are starkly different from tillers. Cultivators are generally used to loosen up the soil of an existing planting area. They are used to weed the area at the onset of the growing season. They are also used for mixing compost into the soil. They are smaller in sizes as compared to the tillers and are easier to operate and maneuver. They also either come as corded electric-powered equipment or gasoline-powered equipment. Corded cultivators usually require an extension cord to operate around your garden; while some others will crank and come with an optional powered device.
Tillers, on the other hand, are gasoline-powered machines that are capable of greater working width compared to cultivators. They are also more powerful than the cultivators and come with heavy-duty and larger tines for working the soil. They also have more powerful engines compared to those of the cultivators.
Types of Garden Cultivators Based on Sizes
Cultivators can be categorized according to sizes. It can also be categorized according to their applications. Here are the different types of cultivators based on sizes and applications:
1) Lightweight Cultivators
These power-driven cultivators are mostly used by those who have greenhouses and flower beds that they want to cultivate. The soil of these greenhouses and flower beds are mostly light and have already been used for gardening. These cultivators are easy to handle because they are lightweight. They are easy to drag around and maneuver along tight spaces. These cultivators are also designed for use by delicate gardeners who don’t have the typical strength of a seasoned farmer. These cultivators can be easily handled by delicate female gardeners. Moreover, these cultivators can till soil up to 25cm in depth and width of around 35cm. These cultivators generally weigh around 7 to 14 kilograms. Hence, if you are tired of cultivating your own garden manually, you can readily opt for one of these lightweight cultivators.
The general features of the lightweight cultivators are plain and simple. They are easy to operate and are perfect for simple tilling jobs. Moreover, these generators come in two different types based on how they are powered, namely: petrol-powered and electric-powered. Furthermore, most lightweight cultivators come with a two-stroke low-power engine.
2) Medium Sized Cultivators
The medium-sized cultivators can be used more efficiently when tilling soil that has never been tilled and used as a garden before. They are surely heavier than the lightweight and may be twice heavier than the lightweight. These cultivators usually come with four-stroke engines and are designed to last longer than the lightweight cultivators. These cultivators are designed to till soil up to 22 to 28cm deep and 65cm wide. Almost all the medium-sized cultivators are powered using gasoline.
3) Heavy-duty Cultivators
The heavy cultivators are designed to cultivate the hard soil that never been cultivated before, and they can also be used to clear snow during winter. They can cultivate up to one meter wide of ground and can dig deeper than the medium cultivators. These cultivators come with a four-stroke engine; however, there are no electrically-powered heavy cultivators. The heavy cultivators are designed to cultivate a huge tract of land. Their fuel tanks can handle up to 7 liters of fuel, and they could cultivate up to 65 hectares of land. However, they are not designed for cultivating small areas, and they weigh up to 65kg. They are also more fuel efficient than their lesser counterparts.
Important Factors to Consider When Buying a Garden Cultivator
With the myriads of brands and models of garden cultivators on the market today, sometimes, you would get confused as to which garden cultivator brand and model to buy. You would surely want to zero in on the type of garden cultivator that is characterized by quality features and efficiency. Hence, if you are desirous of buying the ideal garden cultivator, you should carefully consider the following factors:
Brands that are well-known for quality products should be your primary choices when it comes to buying a garden cultivator. Since well-known brands have a brand name to protect, they usually produce quality products. When choosing a garden cultivator likewise, it is very important to meticulous check the brand of the engine that powers a garden cultivator. Engine brands like Briggs & Stratton are known to produce the most efficient engines for garden cultivators.
2) Your Budget
If you are on a tight budget, you may be tempted to buy cheap garden cultivators. Yet, if you buy one of the cheap ones, you may end up with something that would easily break down and would not last long. For this reason, instead of saving some money by choosing one of the cheaper ones, you may end up spending more in the long run. If money is not an issue, however, you should always go for the heavy-duty garden cultivators that are known for their durability and quality.
3) 2-Cycle Cultivators VS 4-Cycle Cultivators
The 2-cycle cultivators make use of a mixture of oil and gas as their fuel. They are quite easy to maintain and have simpler features than the 4-cycle ones. Their parts are also easy to replace because they got simple parts. Moreover, they can be more powerful than the 4-cycle ones and can be lighter. On the other hand, the 4-cycle cultivators have engines that are almost similar to car engines. Additionally, they can do more works than the 2-cycle ones and they more fuel-efficient.
4) The Size of Your Garden
The size of your garden should be foremost in your consideration before zeroing in on a particular type of garden cultivator. You should determine beforehand whether you are going to use your garden cultivator to till huge tract of land or you would simply use it to till a small tract of land. Moreover, you should determine the type of soil that you are going to till. Once you have figured out the size of your garden and the type of soil you are going to cultivate, you can then decide on which type of garden cultivators you are going to buy.
Once you have determined the type of soil and size of garden that you are going to cultivate, you can then decide which features your garden cultivator should have. Should you go for the cultivators with the 2-stroke engine or a 4-stroke engine. You should also go for a garden cultivator that is easy to operate. Moreover, you should consider the weight and speed of a garden cultivator.
Those brands that are known for great quality and durability also generally come with the great warranty. Moreover, a conscientious manufacturer always makes sure that his/her product comes with a reasonable warranty. Hence, you should also consider the warranty policy concomitant with the garden cultivator that you are going to purchase.
Should You Use An Electric Cultivator?
As mentioned above, if you intend to till only a small tract of land like a personal garden, you should opt for an electric garden cultivator. Although the electric garden cultivators are the new addition to the array of garden cultivators, they are definitely becoming more popular. The upsides of using electric garden cultivators include their ease of use, and they are less costly. Moreover, they are quite easy to maintain, and they are lightweight with enough power to perform the necessary cultivation of the soil. Lastly, they are quiet to operate. Of course, you will need a long extension cord if you want to maximize the use of your electric garden cultivator. Most of these electric garden cultivators come with a long power cord that allows you to tag it around your garden.
Since electric cultivators do not need a fuel tank, they are definitely lightweight as compared to the gas-powered ones. However, their power is not comparable to the gas-powered ones, and for this reason, gardeners only use them in cultivating a small tract of land that contains lighter soil. Moreover, the power of electric cultivators is usually indicated in ampere. Smaller cultivators usually use around 5 to 6 amps; while larger ones come with up to 10-amp engines.
The designs of the different electric cultivators are generally almost the same. They are also mostly designed for cultivating and preparing garden plots with light soil. Additionally, they are ideal for use in cultivating flower beds and greenhouses. Moreover, they are almost maintenance-free. They are also cheaper to operate and maintain. Lastly, if you are living in a closely-knit community—wherein it is easier to disturb your neighbor while operating a garden cultivator—you should opt for the electric cultivator because this type of cultivator is really silent to operate.
Should You Use A Gas-powered Cultivator?
The other type of cultivators is the gas-powered cultivator. These cultivators are more powerful than the electric cultivators and can do more jobs than the electric ones. The upsides, however, of opting for the gas-powered ones include the following:
- First, you can use it even if you are operating in places where there is no supply of electricity.
- Second, you can cultivate a greater tract of land with the gas-powered ones.
- They also either come with a 2-cycle engine or a 4-cycle engine.
Having known the different factors to consider before zeroing in on a particular cultivator brand or model, you are now in a better position to find the right cultivator for your needs. As mentioned above, you should be meticulous in choosing the type of cultivator you are going to buy to get the best out of your hard-earned money. As long as you bear in mind all the abovementioned factors to consider, you will never be amiss in your choice of a garden cultivator, whether you opt for an electric garden cultivator or a gas-powered one.