Should I buy a Mantis Tiller?

edited 30 November -1 at 1:00AM in Greenfingered MoneySaving
6 replies 3.3K views
fremarfremar Forumite
24 Posts
edited 30 November -1 at 1:00AM in Greenfingered MoneySaving
As my wife and I have limited mobility I am contemplating buying a Mantis Tiller to help in the future.
I have recently took early retirement due to health reasons and as my wife and I love pottering about in our garden, I am looking to increase my time there and probably cut up some lawn for a veg patch. Having had problems with my initial attempt (see previous post regarding Silver Birch Roots), I am concerned that without some mechanical help it may prove to be too much work.
Does anyone have any suggestions as to whether this would be a good investment?


  • ddorisddoris Forumite
    392 Posts
    I would suggest getting some raised beds made. Mulch these and the worms will till your soil for you.
    Rotovators can be hard work to use- can you try before you buy?
  • ukjoelukjoel Forumite
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    Agree with previous post.
    You need to plan garden for next 10-20 years plus and that includes looking at you and Mrs you as well as the plants.

    You want to enjoy your time in the garden and not have it be a chore.
    Consider getting raised beds, and researching some low maintainance gardens. Trust me even low maintainence is still pretty hard work but at least it leaves some time for sitting back and enjoying it.
  • datostardatostar Forumite
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    I know I'm resurrecting a 3 month old thread, but here goes. I'm in my early 60's and fortunately have no mobility problems and am reasonably fit. I bought a big heavy Mountfield rotovator a few years ago to break new ground for 3 four foot vegetable beds (I also have a tree root problem with Council maples outside my fence). The heavy brute did the job and nicely chopped the roots. Trouble with the big machines is that whilst it's a lot quicker than hand digging the energy expenditure is probably about the same! Controlling one of them is like a work-out. They like to either run away with you or dig straight down. Pressure on the handles, either upwards, downwards or sideways has to be constant. Hit a big root and it flies up in the air, sometimes at an angle and has to be wrestled back to the horizontal so as not to tip on its side.
    As it's just maintenance now I think the Mountfield is overkill, so I recently bought a Mantis from my sister who had it for an allotment which she gave up. It's a fierce little beggar, a Jack Russell compared to the ponderous Bulldog of the Mountfield. Can be easily carried around and it's much, much lighter than the Mountfield. Technique is different because you pull it backwards while it's trying to run forwards, so some effort is required and hard ground, roots and big stones make it leap about. Difference is, you're not actually constantly fighting the thing and it is a lot easier to handle than a big rotovator. I did a 20ft by 4ft empty bed over in about 20 minutes and it left a very nice deep fine tilth. I'm happy that it will suit my purposes and the big one's going on eBay (back where it came from). They're not effortless to use by any means. If you buy new from Mantis UK and find it doesn't suit you Mantis will take it back within the first year for a full refund so if you're still thinking about one that might be a possible route to take.
  • DavesnaveDavesnave Forumite
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    Thanks for that, datostar. Useful info, though like lots of posts on Greenfingered, none on this old thread thanked, not even by the OP. :(
    People who don't stand for something will fall for anything.
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    I always get a brochure from mantis but it just looks as though it is suitable for very small areas? .
  • datostardatostar Forumite
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    I always get a brochure from mantis but it just looks as though it is suitable for very small areas? .

    No, but it can be used in very small areas unlike the big rotovators. I went over a round bed in the middle of my lawn today, which has a shrub in the centre and rose bushes. You can go in and out and around and by tilting the machine actually steer it. With the tines set for 'cultivating' rather than 'tilling' i.e. 2 to 3 inches depth rather than up to 10 inches, so as not to tear up any roots, it did the job in minutes. Obviously on a bigger area like my veg beds you'll do more walking around because the width of dig is fairly narrow. However, with the big Mountfield I'd be going over the same ground 2 or 3 times to get a fine tilth. Such is the speed of the Mantis rotation with those 'serpentine' tines that I found it only needed one pass.
    Next job with it is part of the front garden which is sloped and terraced. I wouldn't dare put the big one on there, but the Mantis is so light and controllable that I'm confident it'll do a good job.
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