The Purpose of Tilling: How Lawn Tillers Work

There’s nothing more fulfilling than getting to reap the fruits of one’s labour. And if you own a garden you get to enjoy the wonderful feeling of your own accomplishment every time you set your foot out the door. But before you get to marvel your magazine-worthy lawn and garden, you need to undergo some serious physical strain. Since your lawn needs a healthy soil to grow on, you will have to cultivate it properly and get it ready for planting. This is called tiling and it is necessary because soil can often be rocky, compacted or infested with weeds.


As you can already guess, tiling is the most labour-intensive part of having a garden. And there’s no way you can avoid it, unless you want to live surrounded by a barren desert. The least painful method to get tilling out of your way is to use a lawn tiller. This tool is no news, people have used it since 1910. While old models weight around 100 kg and used steel wheels, the ones available nowadays are smaller, lightweight and more manageable. Moreover, they come in many different designs and include various features. Deciding which tool is the right one, depends entirely on the type of soil.

Severely compacted soil which is heavy in clay is a homeowner’s worst nightmare. There’s no chance any roots can push and grow on it unless you cultivate the soil while working organic matter into it that can loosen its texture. A larger model with eight tines has an engine boasting a high horsepower of 5-12. The more horsepower, the easier it will be to dig into the soil and soften it up. But if you need to till a soil for a small front lawn and the texture isn’t that hard and rocky, a mini-tiller would do just fine. This tiller is affordable for most home owners, costing somewhere around 200-300 dollars.

Both models (mini and large) can be either front-tined or rear-tined. The tines are the central piece of any lawn tiller. They are the rotating blades that work the soil, and as such the effectiveness of the tiller heavily depends on them. You can manually adjust the tines for depth to accommodate how deep you want to go. Mini-cultivators can usually reach up to 20 centimetres, while large-sized tillers can dig as deep as 0.9 meters in one pass. There are also models meant for commercial agricultural use or home farmers with a wide acreage of land. These have an incredible number of 12 to 16 tines and are mounted onto the back of a tractor to pull along.