Thinking of Tilling

By JimRental

Why Use a Rototiller?

When construction or remodeling takes place, soil in the area gets compacted by vehicles and procedures involved. These soils can become as dense as cement and need to be broken up. Non-native plants or poor soil may need to be
amended to get a good growing Ph level. Organic matter, fertilizer, and other materials are the most common amendments to getting your landscape back to normal. These are best mixed into the soil the soil rather than being spread on the surface. A quick, effective and easy way to mix the soil is with a rototiller.

When to Rototill?

Rototilling is a great idea if:
You are reclaiming land from overgrowth
You need to restructure your yard by grading, adjusting shape or installing new features
Your soil is greatly compacted
You are breaking new ground for a garden or project (unless the soil is already loose, open and fluffy.)

**For installing a new lawn, a sod cutter and grader rake will be more effective and better for your soil's health.

What Type of Tiller should I use?

Some distinctions:

A tiller is for digging deep into hard soil to break it up into fine soil.
A cultivator is for weeding and taking on the first inch or two of soil to kill weed roots.

Front -tine vs. Rear -tine:

Front tine tillers are usually smaller, lighter and less expensive than rear tine tillers. As the name connotes: the tines are in front of the engine, therefore, it is the tines biting into the soil that propels the machine along. The wheels are not driven by the engine. The tines only rotate forward, causing the user to hold the machine back to make it chop up the soil thoroughly.

Rear Tine Tillers are heavy duty. They are more expensive than front tine tillers, weigh considerably more, and have forward gears and reverse. Some models have tines that rotate both forward and backward. Rear tine tillers have wheels that are driven by the engine; the tines work independently of the wheels. Due to this, once the depth control is correctly set, the machine quickly settles down and can often be run very easily despite the greater weight.

How to Operate a Rototiller

Plan Your Project

Assess your project and develop a plan. If it is a garden, use stakes to mark the edges. If it is an entire yard, make a drawing and use colored stakes or flags to mark the different areas.

Safety

For your safety, you will ABSOLUTELY need:
Gloves
Ear Protection
Eye protection
Appropriate attire IS required when rototilling: wear heavy boots, long pants, and long sleeve shirts.

NEVER operate a rototiller around children or pets!

Why rent?

Rototilling isn't done very often. For this reason, it makes more sense to rent than to own! This saves you cost of maintenance, fuel, and storage. Also, less production means less waste of resources!