Updated: Feb 4, 2019
There are many different options for tilling, and sometimes selecting the right tool can be a challenge. In this post I'll talk about the different tilling options and what applications they are best used for.
Tilling serves several purposes. Tilling can be used to loosen soil in order to prepare for planting. Tilling is also used to combine organic material or fertilizer into to top soil to provide a rich planting bed or to fix nutrient deficiencies in the soil. Tilling can also be used as a mechanism for weed control in a garden by tilling between rows of crops. Different tillers can be used for different applications. Later we'll go over different rototillers and their applications. First we'll talk a bit about soil and some common arguments regarding tilling.
In the gardening community there are several camps regarding the pros and cons of tilling. There is a movement in the gardening world that touts the cons of tilling. The major reasons are often claims that tilling can propagate weed growth and destroy soil structure. Now, these ideas are certainly not without merit, however, they are certainly not hard fast rules and, there are many other factors to consider when making the decision to rototill. What is the soil composition in your area? Are you trying to establish new growth i.e. garden, food plot, etc.? Is this an existing garden? If so how did your plants do last year? Could they have done better?
Soil composition is an important factor to consider when deciding to till. Much of Lino Lakes and a large area of Anoka county is in sand plain. The main soil composition of the area is a sandy loam. This type of soil does not contain large amounts of organic material. This type of soil also typically drains very well which has both pros and cons. Gardening and getting sod established in this type of soil can be difficult without adding some organic material to the soil. In garden situations tilling in a fair amount of organic material will help the soil retain moisture as well as help to provide nutrients for your plants.
Another factor to consider when gardening in the prevalent sand in this area is that sand tends to migrate up over time. How quickly this occurs depends on a number of factors, but over time you will see the sand come back. By tilling in an appropriate amount of organic material on a regular basis, you can create a nutrient rich, well drained environment that is excellent for plant growth.
Tilling can also be used in large gardens as a weed prevention measure by tilling between rows. Does this eliminate weeds? No, but regular weed cultivation allows your plants to establish and out compete the weeds. Tilling in the weeds also has the benefit of placing more organic material into the soil.
There are many different sizes and configurations of tillers that can serve different applications. In the next section we'll discuss the different tilling options that we have, and what applications they are good for.
Think About Sod Cutters
Sometimes it is necessary to remove sod prior to tilling. Although some of the larger tillers are capable of busting through sod, it is often a better idea to use a sod cutter to remove existing sod from an area prior to tilling. This results in a much easier tilling job and also results in less of the existing grass or weeds reestablishing in the freshly tilled area. We carry a variety of sod cutters from small manually operated kickers up to 18" commercial sod cutting machines.
2.4 HP Mid Tine Tiller
The 2.4 HP Mid tine tiller is the smallest tiller that we have in our rental fleet. This tiller is a workhorse despite it's small size. This is a lightweight easy to handle machine. This tiller works great for tilling existing gardens that have been tilled in the past. It is great for smaller jobs, is compact and easy to transport.
This tiller is not the best option for breaking new ground or loosening very compacted soils. For larger areas or for breaking sod and compacted soils see some of our larger options.
6.5 HP Rear Tine Tiller
The 6.5 HP Rear Tine Tiller is the smallest rear tine tiller we have available. This is a good option for tilling mid sized gardens and also works well for lighter ground breaking applications. Can break untilled ground if soil conditions are not overly compacted or in situations where extensive root systems are not established.
8 HP Rear Tine Tiller
Tiller works well for breaking new ground . Use this tiller to till larger existing gardens or to break ground on new gardens and lawns.
Heavy Duty 8 HP Rear Tine Tiller
This is a very heavy duty tiller. It can be used to break new ground and establish new gardens when smaller tillers just wont do the job. This tiller is heavy, heavy duty, and can take a toll on the operator.
MT-55 With Auger Attachment
Package includes machine, tiller attachment, and trailer. This is a great option for breaking ground to establish a new garden or lawn. Tilling larger areas, also works great for food plots.Trailer requires 2" Ball. Flat 4 light hook up. Delivery Available call for rates.