Till your lawn to break up the soil easily for a garden area or for planting grass. Self-propelled rear-tine tillers make the job even easier, but cost more. Front-tine versions require more upper body strength, yet cost less and work sufficiently for smaller garden areas. Either model saves you from a lot of time and manual labor when preparing the soil in your lawn.
Set the depth gauge on the tiller to 8 inches deep, if it has a gauge.
Place the tines of the tiller into the soil. Grip the handle tightly as you work in rows. Overlap rows by 4 to 6 inches. Continue working the soil until loose.
Remove dislodged rocks and weeds from the loosened soil by hand. Throw weeds into a trash container and use rocks in other areas, such as to edge beds or provide drainage in pots.
Apply appropriate amendments to the soil. For general soil improvement, add a 1-inch layer of compost to the soil. To amend further, purchase a soil test to determine proper amendments for your particular soil.
Till the lawn area again to a depth of 8 inches to incorporate amendments.
Plant flowers, vegetable plants or seeds, fruit plants, trees or grass after amending soil.