How to Use a Tiller to Remove Grass

How to Use a Tiller to Remove Grass

Preparing your garden for planting usually takes little effort – especially if your soil is already prepared for it. But in most cases, you may have bought a home with a lawn with hard and seemingly unplantable soil. In this case, there’s no need to worry. You can use a good tiller to prepare the soil for planting.

Aside from breaking down hard soil, you can also use tillers to remove grass on your lawn. This comes in handy if the desired location for your plant plot is part of your grassy turf.

But removing grass with a tiller can be quite tricky. If not done properly, you might end up with grass stuck between your tines – and removing them can be such a headache.

How to Use a Tiller to Remove Grass – Step By Step Guide

In this article, we will teach you how to use a tiller to remove grass properly and efficiently. If you follow all of the steps laid down in this article, then there’s nothing to worry about.

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Step 1

The first thing you have to do is to inspect the area you plan to till. By doing this first step, you get to assess what you need to do to effectively remove the grass.

This will also help you see if there are obstructions that could prolong the tilling time – or worse, items that could cause your tiller to malfunctions. For example, there might be rocks on the ground that would end up breaking the tines on your tiller. Thus, this simple step allows you to pick up and remove these obstructions before actually running your tiller all over the area.

Other obstructions you might want to consider are the roots of nearby trees. In this case, we also advise moving a few inches away so as not to cause damage to these roots.

Step 2

In case the grass on your lawn has not been maintained for a long time, chances are that they are already too long to run your tiller over.

To prevent the grass from getting stuck between the tines, we suggest running your mower or grass cutter over it to keep it at minimum height. This not only prevents grass from getting caught between tines, but this also allows you to see and remove any other obstruction that you weren’t able to see when the grass was still too long.

The same process goes in case of weeds growing around your garden. We have published an article on how to level a yard with a tiller. You can check that too.

Step 3

The next step is to check the condition of the soil. Soil can either be wet, moist, dry, or hard. Among these, the ideal soil condition for tilling is moist.

In case it just rained and your soil is wet and muddy, we strongly advise waiting for a few hours until it becomes moist enough for tilling. Wet and muddy soil won’t allow your tiller to function smoothly – and don’t get us started on how hard it is to clean up those tines after you’re done tilling.

Dry soil, on the other hand, is relatively safe for tilling. But to get the desired result, we also advise spraying some water to moisturize the soil and make it more suitable for tilling.

The tricky part is if the soil is hard and dry. In this case, you may have to soften it first before tilling. To do so, simply water the area down with a hose and leave it for a few minutes until it becomes moist. Don’t hesitate to touch the soil with your hands to check if it’s still muddy.

Want to grow zoysia grass on existing lawn? Check our latest article.

Step 4

Now that the soil is ready for tilling, it’s time to make the necessary preparations on your tiller.

If you’re using a battery-operated tiller, make sure that the batteries are already charged to keep you from pausing just to recharge. In the case of an electric corded tiller, we advise preparing an extension cord to make sure that the tiller will always be connected to a power source regardless of how you’re moving around.

And in case you’re using a gas-powered tiller, then check the oil and fuel levels first before running it. Make sure that both are filled accordingly to prevent refueling while in the middle of your work. Also, make sure that the tiller has undergone the necessary tune-ups before your scheduled tilling day.

Step 5

After making all the necessary precautions, you can now position the tiller on your desired area.

We advise pushing the blades deep into the soil. Setting the blades or tines halfway through would suffice.

We recommend doing so because this helps you determine if some other stones and rocks might be embedded underneath the soil. In case of the presence of these obstructions, you can safely move away from them, or remove them, before you finally run the engine.

Step 6

Now, simply turn the engine on. Turning the engine depends on the technology used by the tiller. Most of today’s design comes with a simple push-button so you can immediately start working.

As you turn on the tiller, make sure that you have a firm grip on the handles. Bear in mind that tillers can cause vibrations as you work your way into the soil, so making sure that you have a firm grip can help you avoid unwanted injuries.

Now, work your way across the area and make sure that the soil is properly stirred up and the grass is carefully removed. You can start tilling the area in rows then move across to make perpendicular patterns as you move along.

In doing so, make sure that you are wearing the appropriate protective gear such as gloves, goggles, and the best shoes for cutting grass.

Step 7

Simply repeat doing the process in the previous step until the whole area is covered. From time to time, check if all the grass has been cleared out to make sure that you did not miss a spot.

Once all the grass has been removed, you can continue tilling the area until you arrive at the texture you prefer for planting.

Now you know how to use a tiller to remove grass to prepare it for planting. As a final tip, always make sure that the tiller is in its best condition before using it to prevent any unwanted delays.

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