This is mine:
It’s a Honda mini-tiller, and I use it to loosen up my soil in the spring. I still weed properly, and do the rough dig in Autumn, but employ this to finish off before sowing.
Some of the old boys give me a gentle raise of the eyebrows when they see me with it, so I try to use the tiller on quiet days. I know it’s not traditional, and I know it’s lazy. I also know it uses petrol, and perhaps isn’t quite in the spirit of things, but my goodness does it make nice soil.
It’s Not Mine!
In my defense, the tiller’s not mine. My dad, in his annual state of birthday panic, usually decides that something for the garden is a good gift for mum. A couple of years ago, he was feeling particularly generous and splashed out on the tiller. The only problem is that dad knows nothing about mum’s garden. If he did, he’d have realized that the garden is well established, and there is nowhere that needs a tool like this.
The same thing cannot be said for the allotment, and each year I take it over, feeling slightly guilty as I start up the little 25cc engine. Really I should be digging and hoeing and all these old fashioned, time-honoured methods, but… well, the soil just looks incredibly good afterward. And it’s so, so quick.
What’s Your Guilty Secret?
It got me thinking about other allotment guilty secrets. My friend, for example, pays his little nephew a penny for every stone he picks out of the beds, while a nearby plotholder regularly sneaks down late in the day with a hosepipe and waters his plants. I swear some of the old boys only have an allotment to get away and gossip too and pop into the shop for veg on the way home, but I’m yet to prove this!
I’ve got to be honest and recommend the tiller if you ever feel inclined to splash out on a new fancy toy. It’s easy to transport and store, a doddle to use, and whips up the most beautiful soil I’ve ever seen.
Just please don’t tell anyone I said so. I’m a traditionalist. Honest.