The Mantis is one of the greatest garden tools I’ve ever been around – easily one of the best purchases we’ve ever made as homeowners. It’s a small, lightweight rototiller that runs on a little 2-cycle engine. That little sucker pulverizes everything in its path and – just like the advertisements say – it really does turn it into fine, loose garden soil. Amazing!
So when Dad left yesterday and the beds in the hoophouse were piled with an uneven, clumpy mixture of topsoil and humus and whatever he shoveled out of the bottom of the silo, I said, “No problem. We’ll let it dry a little and I’ll mantis it up.”
It’s important here to note that the hoophouse, even though it’s in the backard, is an enclosed structure. And the Mantis runs on a gas engine. You can see where I’m going with this.
The moment I stepped into the hoophouse with a chugging Mantis in my hands, I realized my mistake. (I’m sure somewhere in the Mantis owners manual there’s a strong warning about using it indoors. And if I ever saw it before, I’m sure I thought, “Who would be stupid enough to do that?”)
But the door and window were open, and I was already there, soooo….. doing my best not to breathe, I zipped around the beds and mixed things up. They do look nice, but I think next time we’ll just move the hoophouse off the beds and till in the open air.