Tilling is the procedure of digging a spade-deep row while mixing the bottom and top soil together. If you are looking to grow a large, complex garden with a generous yield at harvest time, there’s no better choice than tilling.
If you’ve never used this method before, though, you’ll probably have some questions and concerns about how to successfully perform it. Keep reading and we’ll reveal some essential tilling tips for a healthier garden.
Before we start, it’s important to note that tilling may not always be the best option. Since it shuffles the bottom and top layers of the soil together, it creates a soft surface for the plants to grow in. This naturally allows them to absorb a greater amount of oxygen and water, but it also increases the risk of runoff.
If your garden is on a slanted slope, heavy rainfall could wash out your garden. A good rule of thumb is to only till your garden if it’s on a flat, even surface with no slopes.
Tip #1 – Remove Weeds First
First and foremost, you’ll want to remove any noticeable weeds in your garden before tilling it. Some people may not want to spend the additional time to remove their weeds, but it’s necessary to prevent spreading the seeds around.
Failing to remove the weeds will result in them popping back up throughout your tilled garden. You have to remember that chopping up the weeds doesn’t kill them, but instead it spreads their organic material in other places.
There’s no single “right” way to remove weeds from a garden. You can go around pulling them out by hand, or you can use an organic herbicide spray. Just remember to avoid using harsh chemicals on soil you plan on tilling.
Any chemicals used on the soil will be spread around once you till it, which is why we recommend using only organic herbicides.
Tip #2 – Till When Dry
The best time to till soil is when it’s bone dry with no moisture lingering. Although wet soil can be tilled, it’s generally more difficult and leaves large clumps behind. If it recently rained, wait at least 3-4 days for the soil to fully dry.
This will make the tilling process easier and more effective by creating deep rows for your future plants to grow in.
If you are unsure on whether or not the soil is dry enough to till, take a small garden shovel and dig about 2-3 inches into the ground.
As long as it’s dry, arid and not clumped together, you can go ahead and till it.
Tip #3 – Go Slow
The secret to creating soft, balanced and healthy soil is to till it at a slow pace. Going over it too fast will result in hard soil that’s not spread evenly throughout.
When in doubt, slow down the speed of your tilling. It will take more time, but it’s well worth it in the long run.
If we can help with any of your tree care needs give us a call at 512-846-2535 or 512-940-0799 or