Hand Tiller: 13 Things To Know

A hand tiller is a great tool for the right type of gardener. It’s an economical option and can be used in small spaces or to supplement another tiller. A hand tiller is typically smaller than its gas-powered counterpart, which makes it perfect for gardeners who live in urban areas with limited space.

The following are 13 things you need to know before purchasing your own hand tiller.

Do Hand Tillers Work?

A hand tiller is the oldest form of device used for tilling a garden. Since it has been in use for centuries, you can be sure that it will do the job. A hand tiller is especially useful for situations such as raised bed gardens. This is because the soil in raised garden beds will be less compacted.

As a result, a hand tiller can very quickly dig into the soil to prepare it for tilling. You won’t need to dig anywhere near as deeply as you would in a garden with a less prominently raised surface. This means that the tool that you use to till can be smaller, manual, and much more compact.

What Does a Hand Tiller Do?

Hand tillers are one of the oldest tools used for gardening as well as farming. They have been in use for many thousands of years and were the norm before modern machine tools. As a result, they are still quite plentiful.

A hand tiller will normally be used to loosen and aerate garden soil. It will also be useful when it comes time to remove weeds that grow between the rows of plants that you intend to feature in your garden or grow for commercial purposes.

What Do You Use a Hand Tiller For?

As noted above, a hand tiller is a tool that you use to loosen up and give fresh air to the soil in your garden. This type of tool can also be used to remove the weeds that may pop up between the rows of plants that you desire to thrive.

A hand tiller will prove to be especially useful in gardens that feature raised surfaces. This is because you won’t have to dig as deeply to cultivate a garden with this type of surface. The general distance that you need to dig with a hand tiller in this type of garden will be only about 10 inches in total depth.

What Is the Difference Between a Tiller and a Cultivator?

A tiller is generally used to loosen up the soil and give it the proper level of aeration. Although a tiller is generally used in less compacted garden areas, it can also do heavy-duty work. A tiller, whether an old-fashioned hand model or a new mechanized one, can be used to break up very heavy and well-compacted soil.

A cultivator will normally be used to break up soil that is much looser and far less compact. This is because it is not designed to break up hard, well-compacted soil in the manner of a tiller. Its tines are generally built for this purpose. If you have hard soil, a tiller will be more useful than a cultivator.

How Do You Till a Yard With a Hand Tiller?

You can till the soil manually with the use of a hand tiller. This is best done by making use of the double-digging technique. The method for doing so can be outlined below in the following steps:

  • 1. Start by spreading a fresh layer of compost over the soil that you intend to till
  • 2. Use your hand tiller to create a 10 inch ditch along one end
  • 3. Create another 10 inch that is directly adjacent to the first one
  • 4. Continue tilling in the same fashion throughout your garden
  • 5. When you are done, fill in all of the ditches

Will Hand Tilling Kill Weeds?

In most cases, hand tilling is an excellent way to remove all of the pesky weeds in your garden. This is because you will be literally tilling up and removing all the weeds you find that grow between the rows of plants that you want to keep. You may have to dig deeper to make sure you get all of the seeds as well.

Will a Hand Tiller Remove Grass?

A hand tiller is not really set up to remove grass. This is one case where you will need to have a heavier machine tiller to do the job. You can also use a sod cutter. This will cut under the turf and slice it in neat and handy strips.

Hand Tiller Vs Hoe – When to Use Each

A hand tiller is good to use when the soil is looser and less compact than you can manage with a simple hand tool. But if the soil is harder and more compact, your best bet will be to use a hoe. The tines of a hoe are more suited for this type of work in your garden.

How Long After Hand Tilling Can I Plant?

You should wait about 2 to 3 weeks after hand tilling to begin planting your soil. This will give all of the micro-organisms that help promote plant growth time to grow and start doing their job. 2 or 3 weeks should normally be long enough for them to start developing all the nutrients your plants will need.

Is a Hand Tiller Necessary?

A hand tiller is not necessary. You can easily use a cultivator, a hoe, or a mechanized tiller for the same job. However, if you are a “Do it Yourself” type of gardener or simply enjoy working by hand in this area, a hand tiller may work great. The idea is to use it on soil that is less compact and easier to dig in.

Are Hand Tillers Hard to Use?

A hand tiller can be a bit hard to get the hang of at first, especially if you have never used this type of instrument before. Give it a few practice swings to get a handle on. Once you feel comfortable with it, it should be easy to use.