Gardening is a hobby that many are taking an interest in regardless of their age. The rising popularity is due to the numerous health benefits of horticulture, both to the body and mind.
Like any hobby, gardening requires a plethora of tools, and garden tillers are an essential part of these tools.
In this article, we’re going to highlight some of the garden tiller uses. *Spoiler alert*, they’re not limited to breaking down soil! Once you get to know these uses, you can get a good grasp of how you can benefit from them in various aspects.
Stay tuned to find out what these machines are capable of!
1. Cultivating Your Garden
The first step to prepare a garden is to till its soil, which -obviously- can be easily done using a garden tiller. Instead of using spades and rakes, you can simply use a tiller to turn over your garden’s soil.
For those who aren’t familiar with the term, turning soil over is a method used by farmers to increase the fecundity of the soil.
In addition, there are two things to take note of when using a tiller to cultivate your garden. Don’t rush the tiller while it’s working through your soil and don’t till a row more than once.
By doing so, you’ll expose your soil to damage, where excessive tilling can compress your soil instead of breaking it up into pieces.
2. Plowing Sods
Terms such as ’tilling’ and ‘plowing’ can be confusing for those who are new to gardening.
To put it in simple words, plowing is a part of tilling. Though tilling is the disintegrating of soil components into softer and smaller pieces, plowing is a bit harsher than this.
Plowing is the pulping of soil to unearth what’s underneath it. When you plow a soil, you’re not only revealing the worm colonies found in the soil, you’re also mashing any weed roots and small plants that could harm your crops.
Plus, when you plow a garden’s soil, you’re burying the remains of your previous harvest deep into the ground. This can help improve your next round of crops, where these remains will act as fertilizers as they dissociate into the soil.
3. Loosening Hard Soils
You can use a garden tiller to boost your garden’s soil and grow crops of good quality.
Garden tillers are manufactured to disintegrate hard soils into loose dirt. Crumbling your soil into smaller, loose pieces, can provide your seedbeds with the supplements needed for plant growth.
When you use a garden tiller, you’re digging up the nutrients found in deep, rich soil and bringing them up to the surface. Your crops will absorb these nutrients, which in return, will better their quality.
Choosing the suitable temperature and weather is vital for the cultivation of your soil. A warm climate is the best option for tilling your garden.
Keep in mind that tilling very dry or wet soils has counter effects to what tilling a damp soil has.
Cultivating dry soils exposes the ground to additional amounts of dust that can ruin the structure of your soil. Tilling wet soils increases the chances of having your soil compacted, which can put your crops in various risks.
4. Digging Ditches
Since tillers crumble hard soil into pieces, they come in handy when digging ditches in a garden. They’re more effective than any other digging tools, especially when it comes to dense soil.
All you have to do is run the garden tiller over the area you want to trench. The soil of that specific area will break into loose segments, which you can dig out using a shovel and place it in a wheeler.
You can repeat this process for as much as you want until you reach your desired depth.
5. Eliminating Weeds
Weeds can ruin a garden in more ways than one. Not only can they spread diseases, they can also suck up the nutrients and water from the soil.
It’s essential to remove pre-existing weeds before planting any crops. However, you can’t get rid of these weeds using a garden tiller at once. They’ll tangle in the blades of the tiller, rendering it useless.
You have to manually pluck those pesky weeds out first. To make sure you don’t scatter their seeds anywhere, pull them out gently and dispose of them immediately.
After eliminating the weeds, run the garden tiller over the area they were spread in. This facilitates pulling out their roots from deep soil and putting an end to them once and for all.
6. Ventilating Crops
Running a garden tiller between the rows of your crops helps with ventilating your plants. By integrating the soil around your crops using a tiller, you’re allowing an air passage to flow through.
This air passage can help remove excess humidity and heat from the soil. It can also provide your crops with the amount of oxygen and carbon dioxide needed for their vital processes.
Aerating your garden prevents the compaction of the sod as well.
Soil compaction causes roots to exert additional efforts to reach water and minerals needed for the plant’s growth.
Such a process is hard for the roots to perform. So, instead of branching into the soil, the roots will reduce in number and size, which results in poor plant growth.
Compact soil can cause the death of your crops too. Dense soils blocks water from reaching the roots of the plants you’re growing, inevitably causing their death.
Luckily, there are plenty of methods you can use that will help aerate your soil. Using a garden tiller is one of them.
7. Mixing Fertilizers with Soil
No need to get your hands dirty when garden tillers exist. You can make use of one to mix fertilizers with your garden’s soil.
To perform such an action, add the suitable fertilizers to your soil and till them using a power tiller.
Push the tiller across your garden to mix the components of the soil with the newly added fertilizers. Make sure to remove any rocks or weed roots that the tiller digs up.
Moreover, various types of garden tillers are capable of mixing fertilizers with soils, two of these machines include:
In this kind of garden tiller, the tines of the machine are located in front of the tiller’s wheels, just below the engine.
Front-tine tillers are easy to steer through the soil and easy to operate as well. They’re suitable for cultivating gardens of small widths.
Rear-tine tillers are more powerful than the previously mentioned machine. They have larger wheels than front-tine tillers, with their blades located in the back of the implement.
These machines have several options for the course their tines can rotate. Some rear-tine tillers can forward rotate and others can do the opposite.
8. Hilling Potatoes
Like any other machine, you can add attachments and accessories on a garden tiller to widen its uses.
There are several methods you can use to hill potatoes. Usually, gardeners go for garden tractors to hill their crops. Others may prefer doing the job manually.
You can combine those two methods into one, though. You can use a garden tiller to hill potatoes.
By fastening a hiller attachment to your garden tiller, you’ll be able to hill your potato garden with no effort. Just run the tiller over your potato beds and you’ll be all set.
9. Chipping Ice
Another action a garden tiller is capable of doing is clearing up snow.
You can make use of a simple rototiller to chip up ice, where it can break up hard snow into pieces you can clear up using a spade.
However, using a garden tiller on packed ice would be rough on the machine and can lead to its malfunctioning. In addition, not taking the necessary caution while using a tiller to break ice can cause serious injuries.
Tillers are designed to cut through hard grounds, therefore, they require a huge amount of power to do so. Taking caution is advised when using a garden tiller, especially if you’re using it to break ice.
10. Leveling the Ground
On top of all the uses we’ve mentioned above, you can use a garden tiller in performing one last action, which is evening the ground.
To do so, you’ll need a rake alongside the tiller. Start by running the garden tiller over the area you want to level out.
Continue to run it over that specific area until you reach its middle ground. Then, rake the soil resulting from tilling the ground and your garden will be leveled.
You can make use of the soil you’ve tilled by shoveling it into a wheeler and using it on a low ground, and vice versa on high grounds.
Gardening requires a lot of work, but the end result is definitely rewarding.
We hope this article has helped you recognize the many garden tiller uses. Tillers are miraculous machines that help ease the cultivating process, after all, they aren’t called ‘garden saviors’ for nothing.