There are a couple things you need to consider when purchasing the Fiskars Telescoping Rotary Cultivator, specifically the type of soil in which you are you using the gardening tool as well the primary use for which you intend it, as there are a few uses for which the cultivator was designed.
Personally, I have mixed feelings about the product overall, but I believe if one takes into account the aforementioned considerations, they will not have unrealistic expectations as I may have had.
The Bad News First
My husband and I first moved to the south, we needed something to loosen the hard soil so that our landscaping vegetation didn’t suffer. I am originally from the Northeast, so even though I had little experience, I had never really had an issue with gardening.
Anyways, as a new resident of Georgia, I had already made an attempt at a round of flowers that didn’t fare so well. I had followed guidelines for the plants and for the area, but had no success. Our neighbors had a beautiful lawn and landscaping, and they recommended this particular cultivator to till up some of the soil and aerate the bed. So, we originally purchased the product in order to aerate and mix the soil in our landscaping, and I was going to try to use it in my backyard to aerate the grass, as we laid down fresh seed in some bare spots.
I didn’t expect to have much success in the backyard, and we didn’t. The soil was just so hard and dry that even when it rained, it didn’t absorb. It didn’t really work too well in the landscaping either. So, for the use of it as an aerator, it was not too effective in the Georgia red, so it sat in the shed a few months.
My husband is in the military, so we travel a lot. When it comes to tools, you never know what might work in one location and fail you in another, so I kept the cultivator around. We just recently moved further south in the Gulf region and it did work better for all purposes here in Alabama, ones that I didn’t even know existed. We tilled a little with the aluminum blades before we laid down weed killer in some areas, and wouldn’t you know it, a lot of the weeds came up just like that, roots and all, with just a couple passes!
We used a trimmer first, but it didn’t get up the roots of the weeds and there were a lot of stragglers left behind, so it definitely finished the job for us. My husband was surprised as well, and questioned why he even bought the weed spray. I wish I had a picture of the landscaping before we made a pass with the cultivator, but what was once filled with weeds was now fairly barren. In other areas, we also laid down some wild flower seed and spread it into the soil without a problem, so I am confident they are covered just enough to sprout with success.
One of my favorite aspect of this particular cultivator is that it does have the telescoping feature, so I don’t have to break my back when I am using it. It extends an entire 20 inches, from 40 all the way to 60. I am tall, so I appreciate it immensely. It is easy to extend and, unlike many tools that have a similar extendable feature, it doesn’t collapse in mid-use.
Further, because it has a steel shaft, it doesn’t really bend or have as much give as other tools on the market, and the handle doesn’t blister my hands if I use it without gloves.
There are 6 aluminum wheels that won’t rust, and there is a removable middle wheel to get in between your rows. Be careful though, they are super sharp! It is also very lightweight, which I like, although it may have contributed to its inability to aerate the hard Georgia soil.
If your soil is super hard or previously uncultivated, I would pass on this product. If your soil has the give of some moisture or has been previously cultivated, or if you are using this to yank out some weeds or spread seed, this is a great choice for you!