How to Level the Ground With a Rototiller

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A rototiller provides ground-leveling capability in the fraction of the time of manual methods

How to Level the Ground With a Rototiller

When it comes to taking care of a lawn or garden, a lot of things are important to making sure your grass or plants grow properly. Fertilization, watering, and weeding are all important, but sometimes rototilling is a good step to take in the process. A rototiller will get the job done by breaking up the soil and giving new plants nice soft ground to grow on. A Rototiller can also help level your lawn or garden area if the ground is uneven and needs to be smoothed out. There are steps you should take prior to rototilling to make sure everything proceeds as planned afterward.

  1. Wait for the right time of year
  2. You should wait till spring has set in and all clumps of soil are nice and dry, but not rock hard before you run your rototiller. You don’t want the ground to be too wet that all the tiller does is just fling clumps around, you want it to be dry so that the tiller’s tines spread it evenly. If you’re planning on tilling to replace bad grass or sod that’s already on your lawn, you’re probably going to need to run a sod cutter to break it up and help remove old roots and weeds and make the rototilling easier.

  3. Inspect your engine
  4. You’ll want to go over your rototiller’s engine and make sure that it has new and clean fuel inside it, and make sure you know whether it needs clean or mixed gas. It’s also good to make sure the spark plugs are working and you may want to give it a little pre-run at ground level to make sure the tines are spinning as they should and not making any unusual noise or show any hindrance in their motion. You should also check to make sure the tiller’s kill switch is working, or use a tiller with a kill switch so that if anything happens to you while you’re tilling, it shuts off without injuring you.

  5. Prepare the soil
  6. Make sure that you have picked up all sticks and big rocks in the area that you plan to rototill, and you should never do it when the ground is slippery. Make sure to till away from any obstacles that might lie underground such as electrical cables, sewer lines, and tree roots. When tilling, you want to make sure you’re using good posture so you don’t trip or fall while tilling, and make sure no other people are in front or to the side of the rototiller.

  7. Start levelling
  8. Set the rototiller to run about 6 inches deep, or a little deeper depending on how much soil you need to move. It’s best to run it in back and forth patterns covering the area you need to till until the ground shows the desired results, and you may need to till over some areas more than once, depending on how stubborn the soil is. Once the soil is broken up and runs through your hand nice and smoothly, but not quite sand or clay, you can start raking and adding fertilizer. You may need to add layers of fertilizer or compost to the ground and till it multiple times if it is still a little hard.


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