Spring is in the air! This time of year brings thoughts of new beginnings. Spring can also make you think of planting – possibly a garden, or a flower bed, or maybe even a whole new yard. Everyone knows the key to successful planting is fertile soil. When you have good soil for planting, it will be easier for the roots to spread quickly and grow healthier. As a result, nutrient and water intake will be enhanced. The easiest way to prepare your soil for planting is to use a garden tiller.
Tillers are used to till up dirt and level land in preparation for new plantings. Garden tillers break the soil into smaller pieces, which helps improve the aeration of the soil and prevents weeds from growing. Various sizes are available depending on the size and scope of your project. Northside Tool Rental offers models powered by electric or gas, with front or rear tines, and even a tiller attachment for a compact track loader suited for really large projects. Properly preparing the soil with a tiller is a great way to start successful planting so we’ve provided tips to help you effectively till your space.
- You can successfully till the soil for planting once it warms up in the spring as long as it’s somewhat dry. You want to avoid using the tiller when the ground is too wet because this could result in large clumps of compacted soil when it dries. A quick way to determine if the soil has the right level of dryness is by squeezing it and checking if it crumbles when you do so. The soil needs to reach a temperature of about 60°F before you try to work with it.
- Remove any rocks, sticks, large weeds, or other debris to avoid damage to the tines of the tiller. Most tillers can chop up smaller plants and weeds.
- Contact your utility department to make sure you don’t have any underground utility lines where you want to begin planting.
- You should wear proper safety gear, including boots, long pants and sleeves, and eye protection. Never operate your tiller without good visibility or light and when driving the machine, pay attention not to put your hands or feet near the rotating parts.
- Set the tiller for the appropriate depth. Use a shallow setting to start on hard, compacted soil. For softer ground, start at a medium setting.
- It is important to avoid digging too deeply too quickly, especially if the soil hasn’t been tilled for some time. Consider making two passes in different directions instead of pressing too hard on the machine. A tiller is designed to propel itself forward naturally so you should not ever need to put too much pressure on the handlebar. Keep the machine steadily balanced at the right angle and let it move forward under its own weight. Your tiller will do all the hard work for you.
- Walk on the side that has not yet been tilled so you don’t undo your work.
- Clean the tines regularly while tilling and after you are finished to remove entangled plant material.
Northside Tool Rental has the equipment you need this spring! Call, text, or come by one of our 4 Atlanta locations.