Plows versus tillers?

   / Plows versus tillers? #1  

SmallChange

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Tractor
New Holland WM25 with 200LC front end loader, filled R4 tires 43X16.00-20 and 25X8.50-14 (had a Kubota B6200D with dozer and R1 tires)
This is just curiosity, but I've always wondered. It seems like farm fields always get worked with plows, but home gardens get worked with rototillers. What's the difference? Aren't both trying to achieve the same goal?

Thanks!
 
   / Plows versus tillers? #2  
A plow breaks ground for use with other larger equipment that doesn't need fine soil. It's mostly for breaking up roots of weeds and allowing better moisture penetration. The surface will remain rough and can be difficult to walk on.

A tiller chews the soil up much more finely for gardens and lawns where the surface generally needs to be smoother and easier to work with hand tools.

In some cases the ground may need to be plowed before it can be tilled.
 
   / Plows versus tillers? #3  
If tillers were viable to make a very large one, more farm ground would be tilled. But they are small for a reason, takes a lot of hp. They are great for good soil cause your one and done.
 
   / Plows versus tillers? #4  
This is just curiosity, but I've always wondered. It seems like farm fields always get worked with plows, but home gardens get worked with rototillers. What's the difference? Aren't both trying to achieve the same goal?

Thanks!
Take a look at a plow working the soil. Basically, all it does is turn the soil over one time. So the grass that was on top is now on the bottom, and what was under the grass is now on top. Very similar to what you do if you turn a garden over by hand with a shovel. Relatively fast. (The plow, not the shovel).

A tiller breaks everything up and thoroughly (in theory) mixes everything together, incorporating all the organic matter evenly throughout the mixture. It’s also good for spreading fertilizer and soil amendments on top, then mixing and incorporating everything together. Relatively slow.

For a typical home garden, a tiller will be much more useful. For a typical field, plow. (Note I said typical, because folks have different needs and not all are typical).
 
   / Plows versus tillers? #5  
Some folks will tell you that a tiller destroys the soil structure, for what that's worth. I suppose a hand garden rake destroys soil structure by the same token.
 
   / Plows versus tillers? #6  
   / Plows versus tillers? #7  
I prepared our garden in two ways. One half was broken with an 8 hp Troy bilt Horse. The second half was first broken with a single bottom moldboard plow and then hit with the Troy bilt tiller.

This entire garden area was virgin ground. Never had been broken previously. The second method make it all go a whole lot easier. Both ways took roughly the same amount of time.

I had to till the ground two times when I only used the tiller. AND it was a real "ride" using the Troy bilt Horse. First pass with the tiller was shallow. Second pass went to full depth.

The second year I used the rototiller only and it went well.

All things considered. If I had the Kubota and a large, heavy PTO driven tiller - that's probably all I would have needed. I initially had a Ford 1700 with about 20 PTO hp. Not enough to drive a heavy tiller.
 
   / Plows versus tillers? #8  
I've seen a lot of large tillers in use in European fields. Maybe our friends from across the pond can give some insight.
 
   / Plows versus tillers?
  • Thread Starter
#9  
Wow -- well, this is all fascinating! Thanks for a nice little education here!!
 
   / Plows versus tillers? #10  
Just a thought........If I would have a choice between the two i.e. a plow or a PTO driven tiller, I'd buy a tiller.

Cheers,
Mike
 
 
 
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