diy garden cultivator

Welcome! This site details the design of a walk behind diy garden cultivator made from a salvaged bicycle. This project has saved me a considerable amount of time weeding my vegetable garden. It performs a lot better than it looks!

The purpose of this site is to inspire rather than give a step by step build guide. The project is environmentally friendly. You can recycle a bicycle and scraps of steel and create an efficient, people powered garden tool! The cultivator does not require a gasoline engine and no pollution is created during operation! 

The photo above (click on it to enlarge it) shows the general concept of the cultivator. The rear tire and the corresponding section of the bicycle frame are kept. The frame is rotated 180° from its normal position. The bicycle pedals are normally located at Point A, in the above photo, while the seat is usually found at Point B.

The bicycle frame was cut using a hack saw and the chain was removed. Wrenches and pliers were needed to remove both the pedal assembly and seat. The handle bar was set aside for reuse.

The main points to consider when building your own garden cultivator are the ergonomic positioning of the handles and
the effectiveness of the cultivator teeth.

Care should be taken to place the handles sufficiently far from the cultivator teeth to avoid kicking them with your feet during use. The height of the handles should allow for comfortable use by the gardener. I used a length of steel tube that fit over the bike frame to locate the handles at a comfortable position. Clearly you can use a piece of the discarded bicycle frame for this purpose.

The following photo shows the cultivator from the perspective of the operator.

I elected to make three cultivator teeth by welding flat steel bar to cutting teeth normally used in agricultural equipment. This is not necessary, however, and I would definitely consider using other material, such as an old lawnmower blade, to make one wide blade. This way you can avoid gaps between teeth and you can also avoid having two rows of teeth that never seem to penetrate the soil at the same depth.

I found it necessary to add support to the cultivator teeth assembly and welded 3/8" steel rod to the bicycle frame.

Overall, I am happy with the cultivator's performance and highly recommend building one to fellow gardeners. Note that this is a garden cultivator and is not intended for tilling fresh unbroken ground.

You will be amazed at how much ground you can cover versus using the traditional garden hoe. Thanks for visiting!