What is the Difference Between a Cultivator and a Rotavator?
What Is the Difference Between a Cultivator and a Rotavator?
In order to get your garden’s soil ready for leveling, seeding, or planting, you need to have the appropriate tools on hand to tackle whatever challenges lie ahead. Finding the right machine to cultivate the soil in your garden can be a challenge. There are two similar tools that experts and experienced gardeners use – a cultivator or a rotavator.
While preparing your garden, the soil should be agitated and broken up for proper aeration which can support plant life enabling warm air to penetrate the soil and improve growth. Both cultivators and rotavators do this. So between the two, which would be of more value when tending to your garden and crops?
What Is a Cultivator?
As we mentioned before, a cultivator breaks up soil and supports the formation of numerous tiny underground air pockets. A cultivator is a hand-drive machine with blades – referred to as tines – that demolish clumps of packed soil and remove weeds. For small plots of land, such as your backyard or even a miniature garden for growing your own vegetables, a cultivator is both an effective and efficient tool to have.
The important thing to take away from this article is that a cultivator is a hand-driven unit, meaning that its motor spins the tines but you do much of the pushing into and pulling out of soil. Many models are designed to reduce fatigue by automating many certain aspects of the job, such as the inclusion of forward-spinning blades to improve tilling in a straight line.
However, because of its limitations in design and strength, this isn’t a tool that serious farmers with acres and acres of land would turn to for cultivation purposes.
What Is a Rotavator?
In comparison, rotavators are not always hand-driven, but instead they are oftentimes attachable to the back of a tractor. As the tractor moves forward, the rotavator spins its many tines to pulverize any packed soil and remove large obstructions such as rocks or buried treasure. Their tines usually have a depth capacity of over 9 inches, enabling farmers to plant all sorts of plants along the newly cultivated rows of fertile soil. As for hand-driven rotavators, they are designed to be used in small-scale farming and gardening projects.
Main Differences between a Cultivator and a Rotavator
There are four main differences between cultivators and rotavators. First, in terms of size, rotavators are much larger, heavier, and powerful than cultivators. Most rotavators have a depth capacity surpassing 9 inches, whereas cultivators usually have a maximum penetration of up to 8 inches in packed soil.
Second, the placement of the blades is different in both models. Cultivators have blades in the front while rotavators – both hand-driven and tractor-pulled models – have blades in the back.
Third, cultivators are designed to introduce people into the gardening or farming game. They’re lightweight, easy to control, require no prior experience, and work well for small-scale gardening jobs. On the other hand, rotavators are for the more experienced, professional farmers who need to till large plots of land in a short amount of time.
Finally, perhaps the most noticeable difference between a cultivator and a rotavator is the price tag. Rotavators as powerful tilling machines can cost you a small fortune to purchase, making it a viable option for serious farmers. Cultivators are relatively inexpensive and won’t make a significant dent in your finances if/when you decide that farming and gardening just aren’t for you.
When to Use a Cultivator or a Rotavator
First of all, take heed that neither cultivators nor rotavator are to be used on virgin land. You’ll have to get down and dirty with a fork tool to break up the compacted soil prior to running a cultivator or rotavator over the land.
Next, determine beforehand how much land you plan on using for growing vegetation. If you only want to work on a small plot of land in your backyard, then a rotavator is not the tool for you. To put it another way, imagine using a sledgehammer to crack open a walnut. That’s what it would be like using a rotavator on a small 100-square-foot garden.
Finally, because of their limited power, cultivators are the ideal tool for removing weeds from your garden. The tremendous power of a rotavator would simply crush the weeds and send them flying all over the place, effectively spreading the weeds as soon as their roots find a foothold in your soil.