By Duston On October 17, 2011
Posted in: Tools of the Trade
Could you please give me some advice, I have plants in planter’s that need storing for winter. Dune grass, marigolds, hens & chicks, babys breath, silver dollars etc. I have a crawl space but it stays at least 60 degrees, (we tried to store cannas in it but they grew, turned yellow then died when we planted them the following spring) We have a un-heated garage but the mice dig up the root and live on them all winter. Can I dig them up paper bag them and put them in a sealed storage containers and keep them in the garage.
Don’t know what zone you are in but here (where it gets to minus 20 degrees F at night for a couple weeks) hen and chicks survive the winter just fine outside and the rest you mentioned (except dune grass…don’t have a clue) are all annuals….just save seed and replant in the spring. Not worth the hassle to try and save plants through the winter.
I’ve had a Mantis tiller since 2003 and it has been one of the best investments I have ever made. It always starts – it does a great job – and is perfect for the aging adult with bad knees and a wonky back when it comes to labor saving movements. I have dug many a hole for perennials and trees with this baby.
I don’t have a scuffle hoe but I think I’ll put one on my Christmas list for this year.
Always nice to see a new video – thanks.
Thanks for the tutorials..keep ‘em coming. I pass them on to my gardener friends too…
I also have a mantis..Unfortunately it’s kind of sick right now and doesn’t work too well on Georgia clay.
As always…thanks again..
How do people get their mum plants so full & wide. I see some plants that are 3 feet wide. Mine are tall & skinny,
you need to cut the mums back in the last spring and early summer not sure where you live. I live in northern virginia and I cut mine back twice by the end of june. I cut them back to 6 inches and by october I have stems that are as big as my thumb and one stalk makes a very nice small bouquet.. If you want them to spread out as I have them down one side of my driveway. Just root the clippings I have a 2 X 24 foot bed downthe drive way and my neighbors think that my mums are yellow and maroon hedges. If i forget tocut them back my will be very spindly and fall over and they are not pretty. You have to cut them back before they bud and before it gets too hot. If you use fertilizer do this a week before cutting back it stimulate the new growth. Hope this helps. – Jo
Mary, when the mums begin to grow in the spring, pinch the stems back a couple of inches every couple of weeks until mid July. That forces the mum to become bushy and have a lot more flowers. I’ve done it and it works every time!
Variety. Buy wide variety like dinner plate mums.
Pinch your Mums back until July 4. They will fill out and be lush with blooms.
Hi Mary, My mums are like that too I have heard that you are supposed to pinch the mums back when the are growing and you will force bushier plants by giving more energy to producing more foliage and than stop pinching back around end of July(that’s a guess) so that the flowers can form. I read about it online a while back but I have never tried it. Hope this helps a bit
My scrubs need trim but my husband tells me I cant do it now. the temp is 66 and lows are 40. I live in arkansas. I also love my mantis and have had one for at least 2 years. It’s easy and light. thanks dee
I’m 73 yrs old, (two time cancer surviver)and have reduced my large gardens to 4 small raised beds and numerous pots for growing herbs. I started an herb soc. Northern KY Herb Soc. We grow herbs and give classes on them. I’ll skip the Mantis tiller, although have used them in the past. Do enjoy your newsletter! Grace
Loved your video on the Mantis tiller. I have one that I have used for years. I found that by turning the upper section of my handlebars over, it is much easier to use and you don’t have to bend over as far to use it. Give it a try , I think you will like the results.
Keep up the great videos, they are very helpful.
I have had a Mantis for 26 years. Worked up rocky soil, sod and trenched with it. They have replaced the tines twice as they have worn out or broken by the rocks. They even had an offer many years ago to replace the old engine at a very reasonable cost. It is still running and a wonderful machine. It is an excellent investment. Love it!
Mike, the Mantis can also go sideways to make a pretty good row.
I have had the electric Mantis for 3 years now and just love it for my 5′ by 38′ garden area and the occasional flower bed. I bought the electric as soon as I heard about it since I didn’t want the hassle of mixing the gas and oil for the 2-cycle engine. It does a great job of mixing in my compost every spring.
P.S. The elecrtic works just like the one in the video.
I have never used any mantis tiller before and would like to know
Which brand or what kind of tiller I should buy. I live in central nj and
I do plant bulbs, grow vegetables and plan to plant fruits tree this coming
another good you tube clip mike, keep them coming. thanks frank in northern n.y.
I too love my mantis tiller!.. I especially like the edging blade.
We used to edge all our flower beds and around our trees by jumping
on a shovel, one blade-width at a time !!! I can now edge around the entire house, 2 large flowerbeds and 16 trees in about an hour each spring.
Then we just come back with both tiller blades and run around inside the new edge cut to uproot the grass that invaded over the winter.
We will be trying the hole-digging feature as soon as possible. Thanks for the tip!
I have had a mantis tiller for years (22) and it is a fantastic machine, was when it was new and still runs like new. Now that I am older, I am still able to use this without any problems at all and because it is so lightweight, I can carry it anywhere or run for long periods of time. It can do a 3 day job on 1 tank of oil/gas mixture and runs like a top. I still have the original tines, and they work the same and look the same as when I took them out of the box. It has done a wonderful job with the clay soil I have in my yard, and mixes up top soil and spaghnum and peat to make great planting areas anywhere. It is the best machine I have ever owned and would tell anyone wanting to do landscaping/ or just a few plants here and there, or vegetable garden that they will not go wrong with this machine. I also have a Troybilt Rear-Tine Tiller and it does a fantastic job also but is just to cumbersome and heavy for me to use, where the Mantis can do the same job and easier to carry to the spot I need to dig, be it a new bed, or a planting hole. Thanks, Mike for the video as everything it claims… is absolutely true. Thank you from Southern Illinois.
I love my Mantis tiller! I bought it to use in my flowers and have used in my garden vegi garden and even our deer food plots. It does a great job and comes with a 5 year warranty. would love to have a scuffle hoe.
mike, Thanks so much for the advice. I have a Mantis Tiller and would not sell it for $1000.00 and have to do without it. They are great little machines. I leave my Craftsman Duel Tine in the shed and use the Mantis. Love it. I’m 76 years young.
For Yuki, as far as I know they have 3 different tillers at Mantis. Go to Mantis.com and see what they have. I ordered the one with the Honda engine it is a little bigger engine. I carry it to the garden with one hand it is so light. It will do just about any kind of digging you need to do and don’t wear you out. I ordered mine from the Mantis Co. and I received it 3 days later at my home. You can e-mail me if you want just put Mantis in the subject line. Good luck. Read my above comment.
I’ve had my Mantis (electric) for 6 years and it has been a fantastic work horse. Love it!
I live in zone 5 and hen and chicks stay out all year round and florish.
I too have bought the back and forth,rocking hoe, it makes weeding in my flower beds a breeze and quick and easy, it is actually a pleasure to do and you can turn the small greenery back into the soil for nutrients. And Thanks! for introducing it to me in one of your past videos, I love it! I offered it to my 79 year young next door friend to try for a week and he loves gardening and says he is going to buy one. It is a must try.
I have the Mantis tiller bought in 2002. I love it. I so glad that I did. It is light weight, tackles very hard black dirt, easy to remove and change tines (weeds sometimes wrap them or rocks occasionaly may get stuck. I am not good for future thinking…but Mantis is the best for getting older every day. Now at 60 not as strong as I was when I bought it. Oh is great for circling trees and shubs. Will jump and hop it you hit roots though.
For the Mum lovers…Get hardy Asters! I have two colors a deep pink, and a royal purple. They stool out grow at different heights. (pink-3′ purple 2i/2′) Here in Illinois they bloom late Sept./Oct Many flowers show-offs with the sticking colors! Do not pinch back till cut back after blooming late fall or early spring before re growth. Next year I will have to support and seperate my pink, they are falling over with weight of flowers.
Have a beautiful day and Autumn!
Thanks Mike for sharing info on the Mantis. I have owned an electric Mantis for about 4 years. I am female, 67 years old. I can tell you that it is one of the best things I ever did for myself. I am able to do serious tilling, aeration and dig deep rows when needed. It is so light and marvelous. I feel proud everytime I use it.
I chose electric Mantis because I didn’t want to deal with gas in any manner.
Thank you Mike.
I am on my second Mantis in 30 years, I bought the de-thatcher and the other attachments. I just love my Mantis!!
I would recommend it to everyone who is gardening!!
I purchased a mantis around 7 years ago. it uses the gas/oil mixture. I got sick right after and I havent started it since. Now I am afraid to try. What should I do first to it so that I don’t hurt it when I try to start it again? It is brand new. Thanks, Mary
hi Mike, first time I saw a mantis tiller at work. Spring is around the corner and I am reluctant buying veg. seeds at $2 per packet. any ideas fora cheap source for growing cilantro. Thanks Andy Atlanta
We buy the bargain bottles of Coriander from the spice rack of the local “Dollar” store. And begin weekly succession planting of 5′ to 6′ rows as soon as the soil warms up. We begin harvesting as soon as it grows to about 6″.
When it begins to bolt and flower we pull it a “feed” it to the compost pile Then we till that area with our Mantis and replant the next succession.
Make sure to keep it moist to keep it growing well.
Got to agree with Mike, those Mantis tillers are great.
Never have owned a Mantis Tiller. My husband has the a big gas one that is a monster to use. I think it is craftsman. I would like to get something smaller that I can use. Which one would you recommend to get. And are they all electric? If not, which is the best to get?
I’ve have the Mantis with the two cycle gas engine and love it. I’ve heard great things about the 4 cycle engine model as well. I think everybody needs a Mantis tiller and a larger tiller as well.
My husband has been living 5 states away for over a year now in order to keep his job. This can’t go along much longer. He used to keep a garden and landscape stuff but he can’t now. And I’ve been vegetarian for a year now and would love to grow my own food instead of paying big bucks for simple food. Your system would be a big help to us in many ways. And we’re your age, this could also be our retirement plan too!
I do exactly the same thing you do with my Mantis and “Hula Hoe”! Both work very well.
I have very sandy soil and a never ending supply of horse manure and some cow manure. Both are very good soil builders. I use my Mantis to dig down about a foot to begin tilling it in. This gives me a nearly 2′ deep bed of good rich soil.
Thanks for the great tips!
I have been following your tips for a few years from down here in Pretoria, South Africa. Our seasons are obviously different to yours, being in the Southern hemisphere. Hot December and cool July!
I am interested to buy a Mantis to help prepare beds for vegetables. Last year we did the double dig technique to loosen the bottom soil and it worked great. I have noticed a lot of earthworms in my soil. I know they are good. So my concern is what will the Mantis do to them? After seeing your video, I have visions of them being shred to bits!
Looking forward to you reply.
Great question! But I’m not sure how to answer it. Even hand digging and chopping can be pretty hard on the earth worms so I’m sure rototilling is as well. But you’re right, earth worms are a sign of great soil.
Mike, are you compensated by Mantis for advertising their product. I notice that you emphasize MANTIS.
No I’m not you’d think they’d at least send me a new Tiller for as much as I plug that product. I plug the Mantis tiller because it really is a handy little machine. It can’t do everything, but it’s good for the things it’s good for. Mantis! Are you listening?
The Mantis tiller carburater can be changed out for an echo carb. If’n that is you find yourself rebuilding the mantis one too often. Cheaper.
Mail (will not be published)
Copyright © McGroarty Enterprises Inc.All Rights Reserved.