Monday 16 March 2009

A Beautiful Sight

Considering the location of our allotment, nestled at the bottom of a hill amidst beautiful Cotswold countryside, it takes a lot for the view inside our plot boundaries to match the one outside it. However, under the beaming Sunday afternoon sunshine my Dad, a rotovator and I managed to create one of the most pleasing sights I've seen in a long while. A beautiful fully dug allotment.

It turned out that rotovating was actually far harder work than expected (ok, not as hard as digging the whole thing, but tough none the less). The rotovator, quite naturally I suppose, was always keen on taking the path of least resistance which meant it'd be perfectly happy to skip along the surface blades spinning at a million miles an hour dragging me along for the ride if I’d let it. To keep it actually in the ground doing its job required me to rein it in all the time a job that needed the upper body strength of an Olympic rower especially over the bits of harder more compacted ground.

Once done however it looked fantastic and by the time we’d gone over it all picking out any weeds that had got churned up and giving it a final rake over we were left feeling very pleased with ourselves.

This week after work I'm going to lay some paths out with some weed suppressing fabric ready to start the planting at the weekend.


Jennifer AKA keewee said...

It sure does leave you with a feeling of a job well done, when the soil has been tilled, raked and is ready to receive plants or seeds.

Anonymous said...

I think you've done well. I didn't want to say before, but what I've seen is that rotavators can be very hard work if the ground's uncultivated.

Paul and Melanie said...

lol Yeah, you're right Simon, not as easy as I was expecting!

I did keep having to remind myself as I puffed, panted and sweated buckets that it was still less work than digging it all by hand... ;)

Anonymous said...

It looks amazing! So glad you have given a real view on rotavating, I keep getting tempted to the "easy route" but maybe I should start thinking about the "easier route". Mind you I still have far to many weed roots that need clearing before I can even think about rotavating.

So when does the planting commence?

Randy Emmitt said...


We call it a rototiller here in the USA. I noticed yours does not have a metal stake in the back of it? This stake digs in the dirt and holds back the tiller as it tills or rotovates as you call it. This stake makes the work about 3 times easier, you might look into rigging one up.

Paul and Melanie said...

Interesting you should say that Randy, there is actually a small stake like thing (a bit of circular metal tubing about 8 inches long and less than an inch wide) hanging down from the back.

The manual called it a 'depth gauge' and there are three different heights you can set it at but since they're all within about half an inch of each other I just left it where it was originally on the middle setting.

I couldn't work out what it was supposed to do though... Since it was effectivly dragging into the already rotovated ground behind the machine as it went along I don't see how it did anything at all. If it had been wider, spade like for instance, I can see how it would have had a ploughing effect and held the rotovater back a bit too which would have been handy... Perhaps I missed the point tho... lol :)

Anonymous said...

There is a real ...sigh....look at that! when you've dug over the beds - a real sense of satisfaction (for 2 weeks then the blo*dy weeds start again!) - its looking good thought! Cat xx