So, using the CR-V as a mule (since I never did find the Avis rent-a-mule office in my area) worked nearly perfectly. I worked on the tiller, and my wife (who is awesome for doing this by the way) drove. Now, a car goes faster than a tiller normally does, even when you just take your foot off the gas and let it coast, or even while keeping a little pressure on the brake, so it was definitely challenging The ground isn’t perfectly flat, or level, so while you’re coasting at a good speed one minutes, your stuck in a mound or rut the next, and having to give gas to get over it. After I realized it wasn’t my wife driving like crap, and it was the terrain  I was a little more pleasant to be around. She was doing me a huge favor, as she reminded me several times while I was fussing at her about her driving.
Now that the tilling is done, I can spend the rest of the year working on the tiller at a leisurely pace. Taking my time with the transmission, since I hear there are a lot of parts, and you don’t want to forget how to put it back together once it’s in 100 pieces on your garage floor. I remembered to take pictures so that you can fully appreciate the genius and hilarity of the whole situation, and can image what my neighbors probably thought when they saw me out there like that. Luckily, since the neighborhood is still under construction  I don’t have a neighbor in front of me or to the side of me yet, but I’m sure they’ll get to know me quickly because of my crazy antics.

So here are some helpful tips if you too want to ever try this:

-A rope is good for pulling, but backing up is still a pain. Since we figured it would be easier to just keep going forward and reverse, rather than turning around the car, I still had to pull the tiller back to the starting point at the end of each row. Luckily with the tines spinning, it kinda pulls itself a little if you don’t put too much pressure on it.
-Make sure your rope is long enough. With the car backing up to the start point, it ended up driving over the tilled dirt, compacting it again. Now, with the thick layer of sod broken the hardest part is done, I can go back over it with my smaller Mantis tiller. But if you want to avoid your nice fluffy dirt being pressed back into clay, make sure that the rope has enough length to keep the car out of the garden.
-Get a whistle. Figure out a “tweet” system, since hand signals are difficult when you’re holding a tiller that’s chomping through the ground, and shouting is inefficient, confusing, and pretty frustrating. The car and tiller make quite a bit of noise.
-Take your driver out for a nice dinner, some ice cream, or a beer afterwards. Tilling is hard work, but being shouted at by the tilling-operator while sitting in a car without the music, on going back and forth for 1-3 hours is a different kind of hard work and should be rewarded.



Now, the tilled land does look messy, but that’s mostly because I just tilled the weeds and grass into the soil.  The weeds haven’t gone to seed, so I should have to worry about them coming right back immediately, and the main thing is that the ground is now broken up and soft.  I’ll post more pictures when I’ve cleaned it up a bit, and I’m ready for planting.




Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: