One of the keys to having a successful garden is fertile soil. Whether you’re growing fruits or vegetables, all gardens require good, rich soil. If you’re getting ready to plant your garden, one of the easiest ways to prepare your soil is to use a garden tiller. Discover the types of garden tillers available and how you can use one to get your garden ready for planting.
Types of Garden Tillers
You’ll find that garden tillers come in different sizes to help you with a variety of different gardens. The most powerful type of garden tiller is a rear-tine option. These tillers typically have a gas engine and range in width from 12 to 24 inches. They’re ideal for large gardens or when you need to quickly break up soil that has never been tilled.
Front-tine garden tillers have smaller gas engines, and they range between 12 and 36 inches in width. Since front-tine tillers usually don’t have as much power as rear-tine tillers, they’re ideal for gardens that have already been established. Your last option is a cultivator. This is the smallest option, and it’s powered by either a gas or electric motor. Cultivators have a small width designed to turn soil near existing plants and remove weeds.
Function of a Garden Tiller
Garden tillers offer a variety of functions to work the land and get it ready for planting. You can use a garden tiller to weed, hoe, plow, or crumble soil. Garden tillers break the soil into smaller pieces, which helps improve the aeration of the soil and prevents weeds from growing. Additionally, tillers loosen the ground under the topsoil to help crop roots develop quickly and reach farther into the earth.
When to Use a Garden Tiller
Autumn and spring are the two best seasons to use a garden tiller on your soil. Regardless of when you decide to use it, you have a few important notes to keep in mind. First, you want to avoid using the tiller when the land is wet since this could result in large clumps of compact soil when it dries.
You’ll get the best results if you wait one or two days after a rain to till the soil. If it hasn’t rained in a while, you can water your soil with a hose or sprinklers a few days before you plan on tilling to make the earth easier to work with. To see if the soil has the right moisture level for tilling, squeeze a handful of it. If the soil crumbles, it should be fine.
Prepare the Soil
Before you start operating the garden tiller, you need to make sure the ground is ready. For new gardens, this means removing any large stones. You should also contact your utility department to make sure you don’t have any underground utility lines where you want to put your garden. For existing gardens, you simply need to walk through and pull up any thick weeds. The garden tiller can handle any small weeds in the soil.
Use the Garden Tiller Properly
When you’re ready to use the garden tiller, keep in mind that you don’t want to dig too deep on your first pass. If the ground is hard or has never been tilled before, you should do two passes in different directions instead of pressing too hard on the machine. On the first pass, use the depth regulator to get the right setting. For hard and compact soil, use the shallowest setting. If the ground is softer, you can start with the medium setting.
The garden tiller is designed to propel itself forward, so you don’t need to use much pressure to get it moving. You simply want to keep the machine going in a straight line. For better forward movement, you can also slightly move the handlebars from side to side. Keep making passes until the soil is broken up to a depth of about 8 inches.
Take Proper Safety Precautions
A garden tiller is a powerful machine with sharp blades. Therefore, it’s important that you take the right safety precautions when you’re using one. Always read through the service manual to make sure you’re familiar with the controls and safety features. You should also wear the proper safety gear, including boots, long pants and sleeves, and eye protection.
A garden tiller is a helpful piece of equipment to break up soil for planting. When you’re ready to use a garden tiller to get your land ready for gardening, follow these steps to make sure you follow the proper steps.