Initial preparation of Soil vs Cottonwood Tree roots
I have a new plot of land to grow vegetables on this season. I am in the initial prep stages. The landowner removed 3 Cottonwood trees in January that were bordering the garden. Well the top portion of the trees anyway.
Yesterday I was doing some digging around collecting a soil sample and investigating the soil/ground I'll be working with and almost everywhere I put my shovel down there were large roots spread out across the entire plot. Even 30 feet away from the spot where the tree originally sat. Call me naive but I had no idea the entire 30 by 90 foot area would have cottonwood roots 4-6 inches below the surface in all directions.
My questions are
1) can a walk behind roto tiller be damaged if it goes over these roots?
2) should I just dig down and pull out every root in the space & then Till ?
3) am I gonna break my back before I even get a seed in the ground !!