Rototilling Your Garden 101

By John Ehrling Posted on Updated on: 9/8/2020

Summer is in full swing, but how is your lawn doing? Are you watering it every day only to consistently see dry spots filled with dead grass? Is your lawn looking brown, dull, and boring? What about your neighbor’s lawn? Is it healthy, thick, and bright green? What about your garden? Are you struggling to grow even basic flowers?

If you’ve answered yes to any of those questions, you need to learn about how to rototill a garden. The process of rototilling is guaranteed to transform your lawn or garden with healthy soil, completely suitable to grow a new patch of green grass, to rejuvenate a patch of dead grass, or to lay the foundation for a healthy, flourishing garden with nutrient-rich soil. Whatever you do to get your lawn or garden looking healthy again, make sure you adopt the process of rototilling – you won’t be disappointed with the results.


What Is Rototilling?

Rototilling is a common practice specifically designed to improve the soil structure of your land. The process can be used to help create a more suitable environment for grass to grow or for plant-life and flowers to sprout. The rototilling process involves the use of a garden tiller to effectively rotate the soil, allowing it to absorb nutrients and fertilizers more easily, essentially turning it into the perfect planting ground for grass or plants.


Here is how to rototill your garden in 7 simple steps:

  1. Clean up your garden, removing any rocks and sticks, along with other debris and old sod from the land you wish to till.
  2. Water your soil and allow it to dry before tilling. Ensure that your soil is watered through to at least a few inches.
  3. Set your tiller between 4 to 6 inches deep, to ensure it effectively rotates your soil.
  4. Cover your area with the mulch or fertilizer of your choice.
  5. Till your entire area, paying careful attention to avoid getting too close to the roots of established plants and trees.
  6. Till again, but from a different direction to further ensure a complete soil rotation.
  7. Smooth the entire area with a rake before planting or gardening.


And that’s it!

Are there any downsides to rototilling my garden?

While rototilling is a common practice among gardeners, farmers, and homeowners alike, there are a few things that should always be taken into account. While rototilling works to rotate soil, it can also sometimes do great harm to the existing soil structure. Over doing it can sometimes close the very precious air pockets that plants and grass desperately need to grow. In addition, over-tilling can damage worm colonies, leaving your soil devoid of nutrients.


When should I rototill my lawn or garden?

Rototilling works best when done over time. However, every case is different. If you are starting from scratch and planting a brand-new lawn or garden, it is a good idea to rototill your space before planting seeds, bulbs, or flowers.

Although, if you’ve gone through the rototill process one year and find that your soil has maintained a good amount of tilth, skip it! Over doing it can cause some harm to your garden soil and prohibit an effective growing season.

Now that you know how to rototill your garden, give it a shot and watch the results occur in real time!

Cover image by: Let’s Get Dirty