How to Choose and Use a Rototiller

Helpful information on which type of tiller may be best for your garden.

The front-mounted model is the most basic type of rotary tiller. Its tines are in the front of the wheels. This gasoline-powered tiller starts just as a lawnmower does. It can be run at different speeds and set to move forward or backward. Its wheels can also be adjusted for depth. Front-mounted models are usually smaller and lighter that rear-mounted rototillers, so they work well in existing garden beds or in loose soil.

The tines on a rear-mounted rotary tiller are behind the wheel. This type of tiller also has depth controls and speed adjustments, as well as an adjustable handle. Rear-mounted tillers vibrate much less than front-mounted models. Rear-mounted models are usually self-propelled, which makes them heavier and more expensive but a better choice for hard ground.

The cultivator is easier to use than a rotary tiller but also less powerful. It can be used to incorporate amendments into soil or to weed within established garden beds, but it can't break up soil. Cultivators are lightweight, portable and inexpensive.

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