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5 Tips on How to Till Your Garden Properly

5 Tips on How to Till Your Garden Properly

The productivity of any garden depends on how well you prepare your soil for planting. Tilling the soil is the most vital process in preparation for your garden planting. Many new gardeners are usually confused whether or not to till. And If they do choose to till the soil, they do not know the proper way to go about it. Tilling is necessary if you are dealing with compacted soil or virgin ground. You can also till to amend your existing garden in the fall months. So, are you ready to read 5 Tips on How to Till Your Garden Properly? Let’s go.

In this informative resource, you will learn a few tips and tricks that I have learned from friends and family over the years. You can use these tips to achieve the best overall tillage for your garden soil. A great tillage will definitely result in better and healthier plant. You can trust the information you find here as it is tried and true. These are thoughts and practices of seasoned gardeners. A freshly tilled ground offers loose soil for young plants to get firmly established roots. It does not matter whether you plan to cultivate vegetable or flowers or other stuff. Follow these simple tips. I guarantee you will not be sorry you did!

Tip 1: Perform a Soil Test 

The first thing you will want to do is conduct a soil test. The common amendments include mulch, lime, organic fertilizer and peat moss. These amendments are inexpensive. And they will correct any nutrient imbalance revealed from the soil test. Spread the necessary amendments on top of the ground to be tilled before you can work on it. This way, the amendments will mix well with the soil to fully enrich it. Resist any temptation to apply commercial fertilizer. Always try to use natural or organic products. This is especially true if you are tilling your garden for the very first time.

A soil test kit like this will let you know exactly what is going on with your soil. Click on the pic for more in

Organic plant food is an absolute must have for any garden

Tip 2: Prepare the Garden for Tilling 

This tip applies to virgin grounds. Once you determine exactly where you want your garden to be located, go ahead and start to prepare it for tilling. Tilling unprepared land can be quite difficult. Besides, any residual obstacles on or in the ground can cause damage to your tiller or cultivator. You have to be sure to remove any shrubs and all large weeds. Remove all of the sod (turf of grass and part of soil beneath it held together by grassroots) before tilling.

A good way to manage the sod is to incorporate it into the soil in the fall months. It will directly provide nitrogen to the soil. Do not make an attempt to work the sod into the soil during the spring months. The reason why is because the grass in the sod might resurface as soil temperature rises and you definitely don’t want to have to worry about that.

Tip 3: Choose the Right Time 

Early spring is the very best time to till a virgin ground. It is the best time because the soil is softer and hopefully somewhat dry depending on where you live. It is also generally going to be easier to work the soil at this time. You should wait until the soil is ready, but how do you know exactly when the soil is ready for tilling? Well, you can use a very simple test that has been used since the beginning of gardening. Take a small sample of the soil in your hands and squeeze. If the soil crumbles, it is ready for tilling. If it forms a paste, wait a little longer.

It is important to get the tilling time exactly right. If you till your garden when it is too moist, it will form a clump. As soil temperature rises, the clumps with dry into an unmanageable chunk. What’s more, soil that is too dry is difficult to work on and will not break up easily. The simple test described will let you know the overall soil consistency and if it is ready for tilling or not.

Related: Best Tow Behind Sprayer

Tip 4: Use the Right Tool To Till 

There are many tools that can help you with your tilling. However, many experienced gardeners choose to work with a machine tiller. The machine works by turning the soil and mixing amendments fast to establish a well mixed and fertile soil. Tillers can range anywhere from small mini-tillers to huge machines with power to tines and wheels like a riding lawn mower. The choice of the tool to use depends on the size of your garden and how much money you are willing to spend.

A hand tiller like this will make easy work of small areas

A machine tiller like this will make quick work preparing your garden







Some rear tine tillers are quite versatile and easily maneuverable. You can use them in just about any garden. They will make your work easier and way more efficient. The benefits of using a rear tine tiller are far-reaching. Some rear tine tillers even feature depth regulators. This means you can till to a precise depth specific to the types of plants you will be growing. The most important thing is that you match the tiller to the purpose and size of your garden. You don’t want to be using a hand tiller for a large garden as that would take forever to till nor do you want to use a large machine in a tiny garden. Or do you?

A rear tine tiller will be able to handle just about any garden with ease

Tip 5: Employ the Right Tilling Technique 

Use a tiller to go over your garden in an up and down fashion. When done, go over the entire area again. Remove any plant roots and other underground vegetation and debris. Tilling may bring these items to the surface. Pick all roots and vegetation and remove them from the garden. Once you are positive all of the unwanted stuff is out, till it again. This time, work from side to side. This will break up all of the soil clumps much more thoroughly so your garden will be ready for planting.

Your aim should be to loosen the garden soil down to about 6-8 inches. This will give plant roots enough room in the soil to spread their roots without struggle. Keep in mind that you need to be careful enough to not go too deep and bring in the subsoil. The subsoil is generally going to be deficient and will interfere with the overall growth of your plants. I would recommend that you finish your tilling by raking the surface of the garden smooth and flat. Raking will break up the final clumps and leave your garden ready to plant those new crops that you’ve been planning since last year.

Final Verdict

We aren’t just born knowing exactly how to till a garden properly. If you follow the above tips, you will have all of the knowledge you need to get out there and till your garden like a seasoned professional. The productivity of your garden will inevitably increase. These are the tips used by seasoned gardeners. You cannot help, but admire their gardens when you see them. You have to remember that good gardening starts with proper soil preparation. The first aspect of soil preparation is tilling. Do it rightly, and you will enjoy excellent results. Thank you for reading 5 Tips on How to Till Your Garden Properly.

4 thoughts on “5 Tips on How to Till Your Garden Properly”

  1. After a couple of years of getting your garden started with tilling you might want to go to the no-till method. It keeps the soil structure stable and healthy. If you research it there’s layers of micro-organisms, worms and such that would be destroyed by tilling every year.

  2. I’m glad that you mentioned that early spring would be a good time to till the ground. I feel like that would make it ready for when you plant the seeds. If I bend up planting a garden I’ll make sure to till in the spring.

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