In this video:
Pam McGroarty is painting signs for the donkey shed. Check them out.
How to use a Mantis Rototiller to level and move soil in a landscaping bed.
Some new plants that you’d probably like to meet.
Most people think of a rototiller as a device used for loosing and digging up soil for planting. But I regularly use my Mantis Tiller as a device for moving soil and or leveling soil.
As the machine tills, it also throws the tilled soil behind the machine allowing you to move soil with the tiller instead of a shovel. It actually works pretty well for doing this.
In the video, I am starting with a pile of soil that I piled up with the front end loader and I needed to turn that pile of soil into a nice mounded bed that would be suitable for landscaping.
So I turned to my Mantis Tiller to do the job. As you can see in the video it worked well and the landscaped bed turned out really nice.
Questions or comments? Post them below.
I would like to “borrow” some lamb’s ear from a friend.
Could you tell me how to propagate them.
They can be divided or possibly root some with one of these methods. https://mikesbackyardnursery.com/2015/01/easy-summertime-plant-propagation-techniques-can-home/
Jim Walker says
Mike, I have checked your “directory” and unless I overlooked it I didn’t see anything regarding plants, either vegetable or ornamental, that does well in full shade. My back yard is fully shaded by large oak trees…and we love the shade. But, can you recommend which, if any, vegetable do well in fun shade…with a little scattered sun. And also I would like to grow some flowers that do well in shady areas. Can you help me. I love you website…just retired so I’m trying all of you stuff!!! Thanks so much for the free info…much appreciated. Oh, I live just outside of hot Houston, TX…in the coastal region for purposes of plant selection.
where and how to buy a mantis tillerand what is the price?
David McCracken says
Got mine thru Amazon about $375. I LOVE IT. I need to get better at moving dirt with it. I tilled a 30×60 garden, and nearly 1/2 of it was still grass. That was work. This year, I have a patch of cardboard with mulch on it, and will work that over the winter when there is no snow. LOTS to learn for this ol’ duffer, but my garden is looking better and Mike is part of the reason!
They look like a good idea so must put it in my christmas list!!
Hi Mike I agree with you the computers, drive me nuts. I have a problem with beetles on my roses, I have the beetle bag out but they seem to still be eating my roses, can you help? Thanks Joan
Joan, Japanese beetles eat roses like crazy. Beetle traps? Do they work? They trap a lot of beetles, but others think they attract more than they trap and those attracted lay eggs in your lawn. The best approach is to control the grubs in your lawn. https://mikesbackyardnursery.com/2010/07/how-to-get-rid-of-japanese-beetles-and-grubs-in-your-lawn/
Japanese beetles have a pretty short feeding cycle. You can treat your roses with something like Bayer 3-1 Rose and flower care or you can just wait them out then fertilize with miracle grow when the beetles have quit feeding. I hope this helps.
Tina Wise says
Hello Mike, I luv all your tips, and the new donkeys ! My question is, we have large thimble berry-blackberries on our property,but they are not sweet until they are dead ripe, I mean very soft,and almost mushy.
Why is that ? At first I thought it was because they didn’t get enough sun, so we cut and trimmed trees around them,so they now get full sun,still they are very sour.Any suggestions ?
Thank You !
I really don’t have an answer. My feeling is that is has to do with the variety of blackberry that you have. Maybe one of our blackberry experts out there will see this and offer a better answer.
Charline Jolly says
Hi Mike, thanks for the video of the little ones. Taking care of them has peeled so much weight off, the bibs are falling off you! Looking good.
Donna W says
Cute donkeys – and now you will have a constant supply of free fertilizer!
How do you get away with making a bed on top of a grassy area without all that grass coming up through your bedding soil? Did you have something that you put down under that pile of soil? Just curious. 🙂
No I didn’t. I just piled the soil on the grass, that killed the grass under the pile. Then I sprayed around the edge of the piled up with glysophate which is just a generic herbicide. Then I tilled the bed as you saw me do in the video. Now that the bed is done and mulched I’ll maintain the edge of the bed by spraying glysophate as needed. A few years ago I would have beat myself up edge that bed and peeling the sod back, but now that I am older I don’t put myself through all of that.
Carlos Cavazos says
My brother has my Mantis now. Though I do NOT miss the noise, I could still use its powerful versatility as you show us time and time again!
And thanks for the laughs with your email first thing this morning about the geeks in your email room.
Had lunch with a corporate programmer once. He said unless they programmed known glyches and planned obsolescence into the programs we used, ‘corporate’ would often just wait until it broke beyond repair before calling the Geek Squad to work on the technology. With programmed, planned obsolescence, they could be there to maintain our technology as it was meant to be.
Now, I think, there is just so much more profit and ‘fun interaction’ if they program things so that it requires Geek Squad help – or that of your nearest local five-year old, – purt’ near all the time!
Hate to say it, but I think they are trying to tell you it is time for an IT (Information Technology) Geek Squad to share the profits of your enterprise by settling into another not-quite-so-small donkey barn out there … maybe you could call them Duphus & Dork!!! <);~)
Susan H says
Those donkeys are just so darned cute!
Thanks Susan, we think so too.
marshall reagan says
I have a white miniature jack. he loves to roll in the dirt so I call him MY DIRTY WHITE ASS. He is so rotten , but I would not take anything for him.
Boy do they ever love to roll in the dirt!
Joyce Dupont says
Mike….How cute are they? You like you have your hands full with them. Pam did a great job on the signs. Looks good. I have a Mantis and should get it out and do my back yard. Had some seed planted and all I have now is weeds. I need to redo it myself and then I can only curse me. Can’t do any worse.
Oh Mike…you and Pam have totally lost it!! Those donkeys are really cute, though, I have to admit.
Hey Mike…good stuff,thanks. Re: your rant…I agree with you, every time they “upgrade” or “improve” a website, it comes with a learning curve that I’d just as soon not have. Bur “they” can’t leave well enough alone for whatever reason(s). “They” certainly are not versed in common sense like a man of your experience is!
Mike,I have the 2 cycle Mantis..I like it..Have you ever tried or heard anything about the 4cycle Mantis?..It would be nice to not have to mix the oil and gas..thanks
I really have no knowledge, but I don’t think I’d like the 4 cycle machine. I’m afraid it would stall out when the machine tips or turns on it’s side. Think about a chainsaw. You can turn a chainsaw (2 cycle) to any angle and it runs fine. Your lawn mower (4 cycle) not so much. It will flood and stall. A Mantis isn’t like a bigger tiller, these things are often on their side when you use them the way I do.
Ken Warthen says
I have the four cycle Mantis tiller and it works great. Never had a problem with it in two years.
James Kinn says
Mike, do you know much about the mechanics of the Mantis Tiller. I have one that locked up after I assembled it with new gears and bearing. The local Pro Mow Mantis dealer could not get it apart. But somehow managed to get the worm out but bent. Even then the gear will not turn! Can you put some insight into this mystery?
All I can say is that something else has to be bent, broken or frozen in the gear box.
Donna M. Schmid says
I do the same thing with my Mantis rototiller! It’s also useful for digging planting holes! I love my Mantis!!!