Whether you’re preparing acres of land or a backyard garden, rototillers, like other useful tractor attachments, can save hours of labor. What are rototillers used for? Their ability to loosen and aerate soil can prepare land for planting, level ground, and remove grass. Learn how different types of rototillers work to perform these helpful functions.
Your Equipment Questions, Answered:
What Are Rototillers Used For?
Rototillers come in a variety of models to best accomplish different jobs. Before we answer what are rototillers used for, we’ll break down what they are and how to best use each type.
What is a Rototiller?
Rototillers consist of rotating metal blades, called tines, that break up and loosen soil. Push-style models are powered by a gas or electric motor while tractor-mounted rototillers utilize the tractor’s engine for power. Both have settings allowing the blades to perform at different depths for different soil types and planting purposes.
How do you know when to use a rototiller? Both can be used in the fall to loosen and aerate soil or till green manure into it in preparation for spring planting. They can also be used in any season to remove grass, weeds, and roots.
What Kind of Rototiller Should You Use?
The kind of rototiller you use depends on the size and scale of the job you need to do. A tractor-mounted rototiller is best for large fields or extensive acreage. Tractor-mounted rototillers hitch to the rear and come in a variety of lengths to best accommodate fields and tractors of varying size. For smaller gardens or grassy areas, a push-style rototiller is ideal.
How to Use a Rototiller to Level Ground
A rototiller can make short work of leveling the ground before planting seeds or repurposing an open area. Level ground is ideal for fostering plant growth and production and provides a pleasing aesthetic to any open space or garden.
These tips can facilitate using a rototiller to level ground:
- Consider the depth of the blades: Select the shallowest setting for hard or compact soil and a medium setting for soil that is already loose or softened. Adjust the height of the blades, as needed, as you progress towards a depth of about 8 inches.
- Make several passes over the same area: This sufficiently loosens the top several inches of soil. Consult your user manual to determine if straight or overlapping passes are best for your model rototiller. Avoid over-working the soil with too many passes.
- Pause for cleaning: Stop periodically to remove clumps of dirt from the rototiller’s tines. This ensures clean passes and extends the life of your machine.
How to Use a Rototiller on Grass
What are rototillers used for besides preparing for planting? They can also clear grassy areas for a variety of purposes.
Here’s how to use a rototiller on grass:
- First pass: Break the grass into clumps. If you prefer smaller clumps or the grass is especially thick, make 1-2 more passes. Dispose of clumps or save for compost.
- Second or subsequent passes: Process tangled grass roots and weeds, grinding them into the soil.
- Level the ground: Depending on how you intend to use the space, make several passes with the rototiller to level the ground to your desired depth.