The Advantages of Tilling

Tilling is an age-old method of loosening the soil before planting. It is often accompanied by working in needed ingredients ' like nitrogen and phosphorous ' plus compost into the soil to prepare and boost its overall health. Tilling is typically done with a rototiller or cultivator and is seen as the best soil preparation method for in-ground gardens. However, it can also be done in a raised bed garden with a cultivator.

It's recommended to till your garden once or twice a year ' in the spring before planting and after the harvesting season to make sure soil stays healthy. While tilling soil provides many benefits, it's sometimes a skipped task on gardeners' to-do lists.

So before you start another planting season, here are some reasons why you should consider tilling as a seasonal routine project.

Aeration

Suffocated soil can leave your garden looking dry, not to mention deter plant growth. However, tilling can relieve soil of such conditions, adding air that has been squeezed out by foot traffic, wheelbarrows and other heavy instruments back into the soil to encourage plant growth. Well-aerated soil also permits water, oxygen and other nutrients to reach plant roots easily and efficiently, since light and airy soil is vital to a bountiful garden.

Weed Prevention

Weeds and insects can be very problematic and hinder or even stop the growth of plants in your garden. Turning your soil twice a year is a good defense against weeds and other insects from invading and damaging your plants. Tilling also helps break down weed roots, along with the homes of other insects, helping to prevent these pests from intruding your garden.

Balancing

Whether you choose to fill your garden with colorful flowers or veggies and fruits, you can keep your plants flourishing with the proper soil balance. Adding fertilizer and other organic materials into the ground during the tilling process allows the soil to become enriched with ingredients it may lack to create a suitable growing environment for plants.

Selecting the Right Tiller

Keep in mind that proper tilling tools and techniques are dependent on the size of your garden and the type of soil you have. Rear-tine tillers, like the Bronco' Axis' Vertical-Tine Garden Tiller or Troy-Bilt® Super Bronco' CRT Garden Tiller, are great for use on larger gardens and when breaking new ground.  The Bronco Axis vertical-tine tiller is especially good at smoothly pulverizing hard-packed dirt and clumps to create finely tilled soil in just one pass. Smaller gardens and established beds can be prepped, planted and maintained using a front-tine tiller like the new Troy-Bilt Colt FT' XP' Garden Tiller. A smaller cultivator like the TB146 EC 4-Cycle Garden Cultivator can be useful for quick projects and garden maintenance.