Recently I had the pleasure to try out the new Troy-Bilt Bronco VTT Vertical Tine Tiller which they sent me to test and use in my garden. I’ve used tillers periodically before in my garden and I was very curious to see how this one functioned. It’s design is significantly different from traditional tillers. The tines extend down like a cake mixer and spin. It’s a very interesting idea but the question is: does the vertical tine tiller work better than a normal tiller?
I tested it in the backyard in a spot that was overgrown with grass and weeds. I like using tillers to start new garden areas because they break through the sod much easier than having to dig through the roots of the grass. I’ve used other methods before like Lasagna Gardening and Raised beds, both of which I like a lot and recommend, but tillers can still be a very useful tool to start a new garden.
I started up the tiller very easily with a switch near the handle bars and a pull on the engine. The blades don’t engage until you switch them on with a dead man’s switch (it’s not as scary as it sounds). You can adjust the height by moving a pin near where the guard is in the back. Once the blades are engaged you can use the self propelled feature to easily move through the turf.
The Troy-Bilt Bronco tiller is fairly heavy but that is necessary in order to push the tiller into the soil. Gravity is a mighty force! The tiller’s weight does make it tricky to turn but it can go in reverse to help with turning and to work the soil in the opposite direction. I also noticed that the reverse option in combination with the guard functioned as a sort of leveling tool to help grade the soil.
As the tines work their way through the turf the spinning action creates tufts of sod which you can then pick up and use in other areas of your yard where the grass may have died and left unsightly holes. I don’t think that was the intent but it’s an interesting side benefit.
Overall I liked this tiller much better than other ones I’ve used before. It doesn’t jerk around much at all and seems to move through the soil very easily. It doesn’t take many swipes to get an area tilled which is better for the soil structure. The less you have to disturb the soil the better. I missed a few spots but was able to clear a good sized area very quickly to plant about 20 Jalapeno pepper plants! My only issue was running out of area to till…I need a bigger garden but don’t tell my wife I said that!
|Troy-Bilt Bronco Vertical Tine Tiller|