There are many compelling reasons for growing your own fruit and vegetables at home rather than relying on stuff bought from supermarkets for your five-a-day. The most obvious one is saving money, as growing your own fresh produce means you’ll be able to reduce your weekly food bills. Equally important is health. Not only does growing your own fruit and veg help ensure that you have a healthier diet; it also means that you’ll know exactly what has gone into your food, so you won’t have to worry about scary GM carrots anymore! There’s also nothing more local than vegetables grown in your own garden, so a little horticultural dabbling can help reduce your carbon footprint by offering an alternative to food flown in from distant lands. You don’t even need a lot of space to get started, as you only require a small garden or allotment plot to grow fresh fruit and veg.
So why wouldn’t you want to grow your own? Perhaps the biggest impediment to such green-fingered endeavours for most people is the time and effort required; after a long week at work, when you get right down to it, can you be bothered to spend your valuable free time digging around in the mud just so that you can enjoy some organic courgettes somewhere down the road? One thing to keep in mind here is that gardening has been proven to relieve stress and help you get some exercise away from the sweaty environment of your local gym, so there are benefits to growing your own beyond the tasty crop you will harvest. But another thing to consider is that modern gardening doesn’t have to be all about elbow grease, as there is now plenty of powerful garden machinery designed to save time, effort and hassle on otherwise wearisome jobs.
And when it comes to digging out your new vegetable patch there are few better tools around for the home gardener than Honda’s superb mini-tillers. Designed to be compact yet powerful, these rotavators – including the FG110, FG201 and FG205 – offer a user-friendly way of cultivating soil in smaller vegetable patches and flowerbeds without having to spend hours on end with a spade in hand. They do this by using powerful petrol engines and a set of sturdy digging tines to dig into the ground, removing weeds and loosening compacted soil so that it is ready for planting. It’s important to make sure you pick the right micro-tiller for your needs, however, so herein we’ll run you through some important features to look out for in a cultivator (drawing on Honda tillers range for a few helpful illustrative examples).
The first thing to consider when buying a tiller for use in a domestic garden is its size and manoeuvrability. As most home gardeners are going to be working in a relatively small area of land – unless you’re digging over your entire garden to plant a new lawn – grow-your-own enthusiasts will therefore need a smaller, lighter machine, such as Honda’s FG110 mini-tiller. With its 25cc GX25T mini 4-stroke engine that offers forward speeds of 128rpm, 23cm max tilling depth and lightweight design (weighing in at only 13 kg), the FG110 is powerful enough to handle initial cultivation work but easy to handle when tilling between rows of planted crops. This means that as well as offering easy starting from the moment you start preparing your vegetable patch, it also makes ongoing soil maintenance work (such as weed control) exceedingly simple.
The FG201 and FG205, meanwhile, feature a larger engine and increased tilling widths (max tilling width of 30cm and 45cm respectively) for effective cultivation in larger flower beds and vegetable patches. Although still lightweight and manoeuvrable these machines won’t be quite as handy as the FG110 in the smallest gardens, though the FG205 does come fitted with crop protection discs so that it can be used to till between narrowly planted rows of crops without damaging the plants on either side. Honda has also tried to compensate for the slightly increased size of these machines by designing them with a low centre of gravity, which makes them easier to handle than most comparable mini-tillers. The main virtue of the FG201 and FG205 in comparison to the FG110, however, is that their extra power and size means they will tackle heavier workloads with remarkable efficiency, even in heavier soil conditions.
Another important characteristic for any mini-tiller is portability and all of Honda’s machines excel in this respect. As well as being pleasingly light in terms of construction and coming with a centralised carry handle as standard, the FG110 and FG205 also feature smooth-running transportation wheels (available as optional attachments on the FG201). This means that it is easy to move your Honda mini-tiller to and from the garden shed, while the folding handlebars on these machines help to save storage space when not in use. Portability of this kind is particularly important if you are an allotment user, so all of Honda’s mini-tillers have folding handles and fold neatly down to fit in the boot of your car. Then, they can be simply carried or wheeled to your allotment plot ready to go.
As well as size, power and portability you may also want to consider the versatility of the mini-tiller you are buying. This can be especially important for those seeking value for money, as many home gardeners worry that a dedicated tiller will spend a lot of downtime sitting in the shed. This won’t be an issue with Honda’s mini-tillers, however, as all can be equipped with an optional lawn care kit with accessories that allow them to be multi-purpose. Thus, you can equip the FG110, FG201 and FG205 with tools to make it a de-thatcher, aerator for turf or a border edger for lawns. With these exceptional machines, then, you will save time and effort on routine lawn maintenance as well as when digging the garden. And at the end of it all, you’ll have a beautiful lawn, perfect growing conditions in your garden and (eventually) a whole heap of delicious fruit and vegetables (which will taste even better for knowing where they come from). Any of Honda’s superb mini-tillers would therefore make a great investment for the enthusiastic home horticulturalists looking for a simple way to get a little more out of their garden.