tiller

How to Use a Tiller for Improved Spring and Summer Gardening

Tillers are the perfect tool to set up your garden for proper aeration and drainage. They vary in size so that you get enough power for jobs of any size. Many people choose to till their soil after the summer growing season so that any nutrients or additives that are incorporated into the soil have time to be absorbed over the winter. Even though after summer is the best time to till, it can still be done in the spring with great results. Follow our guide to using a rental tiller to achieve a nicely aerated soil.

Step 1

Before digging into the ground, it’s always best to contact your local utility company, to ensure there are no underground lines in the space you want to till. You can also request that they come out and mark the lines so that you don’t dig into them.

Step 2

Next, prepare the area by removing any large rocks, sticks, weeds, or other plants. If you find that your soil is very dry, simply dampen the area a few days before you begin.

Step 3

Inspect your tiller to ensure it has enough gas, oil, and air in the tires. Check the blades before turning on the tiller, for any rocks or debris.

Step 4

Set the handlebars slightly higher than is comfortable because the tiller will sink into the ground as you work.

Step 5

Choose a direction to work, right to left or left to right, and maintain the pattern, being careful not to step on the ground you already tilled.  

Step 6

Place the tiller on the side you wish to begin at, and start it up. Depending on your model, there will be a trigger under one of the handles, or the second set of handles that can be moved up. While holding onto the main handles, pull up on the trigger or second set of handles, and push the tiller forward.

Step 7

Once you’ve gone over the plot once, reset the blades to the deepest setting and go over the plot once more.

Step 8

Now it’s time to add any desired nutrients and/or additives. Sprinkle these over the entire plot, and work them in with your tiller. The ideal depth you want to go overall is 8 inches down.

Step 9

If you have some time, ideally you want to let the nutrients sit for a few days to incorporate properly into the soil. After letting them sit, make one last pass with the tiller to ensure everything is mixed well into the soil.

Step 10

Your plot is now ready for gardening!

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