Now that spring is in full swing, gardening enthusiasts are well into planting season. With many months of pleasant weather ahead of them, all gardeners can use a few tips for rototilling their lawn or garden for greener and healthier results.
What is a Rototiller?
A rototiller is a piece of lawn and garden equipment that homeowners can buy or rent. Rototillers are especially useful for installing new lawns, upgrading existing lawns, and planting gardens. As the homeowner pushes the rototiller, it drops fertilizer into the dirt or lawn to help improve its health.
Utility Line Concerns
People who desire to plant a new garden near their property line should contact their utility company by calling 811. Although the 811 number is national, it connects callers to their local representatives. A utility worker will come to the home to make sure that no gas lines or buried utilities are in the same area where the homeowner wants to plant a garden. If the utility worker discovers any potential hazards, the homeowner will need to select a different location to plant the garden.
Preparing a Garden for Rototilling
Before rototilling a garden, homeowners should measure it and ensure that it is at least six feet in length. Using a rototiller on a garden smaller than that is not effective, and gardeners will need to perform manual tilling.
The best time to rototill a garden is in the spring or fall when the temperature is ideally around 50 degrees. Soil needs to be warm and dry enough to withstand the process. Attempting to rototill in cold or moist soil will cause damage instead of creating a healthier garden.
Fortunately, determining if soil meets these conditions is easy. Homeowners just need to pick up a handful of soil and squeeze it. Soil that falls apart is dry enough for rototilling, but soil that remains in a ball has too much moisture to proceed.
All gardeners need to wear protective gear before rototilling to prevent serious injuries. Protective eyewear is especially important since it prevents rocks and twigs from flying up and scratching the gardener’s eyes. Steel-toed boots are appropriate to wear when operating a rototiller to prevent injuries if its blades get too close. Gardeners should also wear gloves to protect their hands.
Tips for Rototilling Dirt in a Garden
Homeowners should start by marking the areas they want to till with wooden stakes. Next, push the rototiller to one end of the garden and begin pushing it one row at a time. It is important for gardeners to push the rototiller slowly to avoid uneven rows or not turning up enough soil. They should also avoid going over the same row twice since over-tilling can damage the soil and impact how well plants or flowers in the garden grow.
The goal of rototilling is to get to a depth of eight to 10 inches. By reaching this depth, it will be easier for gardeners to add compost, fertilizer, manure, and lime later to keep the flowers and plants growing all season long.
By following a few simple tips for rototilling, you too can enjoy a greener and healthier garden or lawn this year.