If you are rototilling, or commonly just called tilling, your garden there are a lot of questions that surround the basic questions of how, when and why. We have summarized quite a few articles that are best practices when tilling.

When you either buy or rent a tiller, the goal is to rotate the soil to either break up large clumps or to mix in organic matter that you have decided will help the overall health of your garden.

In the spring, make sure that your soil is warm, not frozen or solid. No one likes to, or can, till rock hard dirt. When you start your row, be sure to be patient with your tiller, let it do the work. You can either till your row once at the desired depth or set your tiller for a lower depth and then your second pass can be deeper. Don’t over till or else you run the risk of compacting your soil instead of aerating and mixing in vital nutrients.

man tilling a garden

Adding organic matter, such as leaves, shredded bark, grass clippings, hay, compost or even shredded newspapers will help change the soil structure for a healthy garden. Of course, make sure that your bark or grass does not have an excess of chemicals in them because what goes in them will eventually be in your food. Also, as the Garden Gal, Debbie Cook, has pointed out many times, do not compost anything from a walnut tree. Click here to find out why.

In the fall tilling will again help all that organic matter that has accumulated since spring to be turned over and start decomposing. Just like you don’t want to till frozen ground, it is not recommended to till wet soil either.


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