Most people who own a rototiller come up with the idea that using the machine to cultivate between rows in the garden is a good idea. I beg to differ.
Many years ago I bought a Troy Bilt "Horse" tiller and a couple years ago I treated myself to a particularly nice Italian-made BCS tiller. I like having a tiller to break new garden ground and for working up the garden soil each spring. But that's the only thing I use my tiller for. I never use the machine for cultivating the garden soil throughout the growing season. That's because my Planet Whizbang wheel hoe is a far better tool for cultivating. With that thought in mind, here are 10 Reasons why a Wheel Hoe is better than a motorized rototiller for garden cultivation:
#1...A Wheel Hoe is Easier to Control
Having used my Troy Bilt toller to cultivate in years past, I know how difficult it can be to control. The machine is churning away and moving ahead and, if you are not real careful, it will veer to one side or the other and churn into your plantings. On the other hand, the wheel hoe is simple to control and less stressful to operate.
#2...Children Can Use The Wheel Hoe
Who wants a 12-year-old cultivating the garden with a motorized tilling machine? It's hard enough for an adult. But a wheel hoe is so easy and simple that children can operate it safely and effectively.
#3...There is No Maintenance With a Wheel Hoe
Motorized tillers need their oil changed, the air filter cleaned, and spark plugs replaced on a regular basis. The tines will wear down and need to be replaced. Eventually, something else on the thing will break down and require your time and money to get it fixed. None of these things happen with a wheel hoe. You will need to "renew" the stirrup blade with a file every so often. And, some year in the future, you may have to bolt on a new blade. But such maintenance is very simple and inexpensive.
#4...Wheel Hoes Do Not Need Gasoline
The wheel hoe is not completely dependent on OPEC oil or any other increasingly expensive fuel source. That's a beautiful thing.
#5...Wheel Hoes Are Quiet
The older I get, the less I want to listen to a clangorous motor, especially when I'm working in my garden. When I use my wheel hoe, I can still hear the birds around me, and even the water running in the creek behind my house. I can also see the birds because they have not been scared off by all the noise.
#6...Wheel Hoes Do Not Belch Out Noxious Fumes
Who wants to breathe the exhaust fumes from a gas-guzzling motor when working in the garden? Not me. A wheel hoe does not pollute the air and endanger your health with poisonous exhaust toxins.
#7...Wheel Hoes Always Start
Any tool with a gasoline engine is eventually going to let you down (see #3). There is no pulling a starter cord repeatedly while fiddling with the choke, when "starting" a wheel hoe. Just walk and push.
#8...Wheel Hoes Are More Convenient to Use
It takes a fair amount of effort to get the rototiller out of storage, gas it up, get it started, drive it to the garden, and put it away when you are done. But a wheel hoe is so lightweight, portable, and easy to use that you can just grab it and go. No hassles.
#9...Wheel Hoes Do Not Churn New Weed Seeds to The Surface
There are millions of weed seeds distributed throughout the soil in your garden. Rototiller cultivation continually brings new seeds to the surface where they will sprout and grow. But a wheel hoe with a stirrup blade slides through the soil just under the surface, destroying weeds and not continually bringing new seeds into the germination zone. As you get further into the growing season, less weeds are sprouting.
#10...A Wheel Hoe Will Last For Generations
Closely related to the benefit of no maintenance is the matter of longevity. It is not likely that you would ever be able to hand down a functioning rototiller to your heirs after many years of use. But it is entirely likely that you'll be able to pass on your beloved old Planet Whizbang wheel hoe for the next generation. You gotta love a tool like that!