Return to the Tool Shed Forum | Post a Follow-Up

 o
Proper use of a tiller

Posted by wankel 6 (My Page) on
Wed, May 30, 07 at 9:03

I have just spent a couple of days tilling a new garden in the back of my yard. Had to cut through grass, grass roots, and the tiller has been doing a good job of digging up rocks. I plan to put in tomatoes, peppers, and zucchini.

I have been trying to get about 8" deep with the tiller and break up the soil as fine as I can. I've been going back and forth and zig-zagging at diagonals across the garden bed.

Then a friend stopped by and told me that I don't want to overtill the soil and get it TOO fine.

Overtill? I don't want the soil to be too fine??

After my friend left, it hit me that I don't have a clue about how to till... I just do it. The instruction manual that came with my tiller (a front-tine Craftsman bought about 15 years ago, has lots of advice on safety and basic operative procedures, but none on tilling from a gardener's perspective.

Oddly, a Google search doesn't turn up much either. Lots of stuff on front tines vs. rear tines, etc. but hardly anything on technique.

Any tips on tilling would be most appreciated...

W


Follow-Up Postings:

 o
RE: Proper use of a tiller

Until you mentioned it, I too have never heard or read
anything on technique or proper tilling procedures.
I suppose it is one of those 'just get on and ride',
activities. I have a small city lot garden and use
a Mantis tiller and , like you, go back and forth and
zig-zag. I go over it quickly, just to bread up the
surface and then spread the fertilizer, then go over it
more thouroughly, letting the machine get as deep as
it can by pulling it back after it has gone forward
a bit. When I am done the soil is like powder, but
the plants love it. It seems to compact more than a
more coarse soil and I suppose I should till in some
more organic material from time to time. In the fall,
after cleaning out the garden, I till it again and
then plant my garlic for the next year. I guess
'maybe' that the finer soil will not let as much
oxygen down to the roots after it compacts on the surface,
???? Also water absorbtion is not as good because
a heavy rain will run right over the crust of the
soil if there is any grade whatsoever. I suppose this
discussion should be on one of the garden forums, but.... Just my thoughts.


 o
RE: Proper use of a tiller

>> I suppose this discussion should be on one of the garden forums

You know, I thought about that but there are a bunch of garden forums and I hate to cross post.

I guess I'll see what kind of response I get here.


 o
RE: Proper use of a tiller

Do a forum search for the Troybuilt manuals for the Horse tillers. They have an entire section on how to till.


 o
RE: Proper use of a tiller

i till pretty much the same way. the biggest drawback to over tilling is that you pull a LOT of weed seeds up to the point they germinate. many are buried too deep to do anything, but the tiller pulls them up into optimum level and next thing you know you have weeds everywhere.

i now only till a few weeks before i plant, then go back in a few days and round up te whole area to kill off the weeds.


 o
RE: Proper use of a tiller

W,

There are a few tips on tilling at this link.

MM


 o Post a Follow-Up

Please Note: Only registered members are able to post messages to this forum.

    If you are a member, please log in.

    If you aren't yet a member, join now!


Return to the Tool Shed Forum

Information about Posting

  • You must be logged in to post a message. Once you are logged in, a posting window will appear at the bottom of the messages. If you are not a member, please register for an account.
  • Posting is a two-step process. Once you have composed your message, you will be taken to the preview page. You will then have a chance to review your post, make changes and upload photos.
  • After posting your message, you may need to refresh the forum page in order to see it.
  • Before posting copyrighted material, please read about Copyright and Fair Use.
  • We have a strict no-advertising policy!
  • If you would like to practice posting or uploading photos, please visit our Test forum.
  • If you need assistance, please Contact Us and we will be happy to help.


Learn more about in-text links on this page here