Posted: 18/10/2013 at 19:00
Thought I'd pop back with an update.
I bought the 800W tiller in the end. Now it is in no way intended to do the job I asked of it, but I managed to get reasonable results.
The tiller made a real mess, but scraped the turf off in no time, then whilst trying to wrestle it to keep it in one place decided there was no chance it was ever going to make it's own way through the clay soil. A quick dig with a fork to start to loosen the clay and give the tiller something to get it's teeth into and the results were surprising. Okay, there were a few (actually a lot) of stones in the ground which did make a racket and occasinally need me to stop and pick them out. Within no time at all (except the occasional bounce when it hit a stone) the tiller was throwing out small pea size lumps of soil. Unfortunately my Wife and 2yr old came home at that point so I decided it best to put it away, never got the chance to get it going on incorporating some topsoil or farmyard manure.
Sadly it's rained pretty much every day this week so the ground is a real mess, but I was out there earlier and a quick turn over with a fork returned a still loose although clay-y bed. If the weather stays dry overnight and into the morning I might see how we go at getting some topsoil and manure into it.
Then just the small matter of the larger bed, the one I dug last week is a triangle with 2m diagonals, this next one is larger.
I'll have a look at the YouTube link to the tips and see how I feel about trying that method.
The only downside to the tiller is that it does make a mess, throws the soil everywhere, decided to get some marine ply cut to the same width/length as the paths around and between the veg patch so I can cover them and just tip the soil back in once tilled.
Thanks again for all the advice, I'll try and get some pictures up.