How to Use a Tiller on Your Lawn


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.

Step 1

Set the depth gauge on the tiller to 8 inches deep, if it has a gauge.

Step 2

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.

Step 3

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.

Step 4

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.

Step 5

Till the lawn area again to a depth of 8 inches to incorporate amendments.

Step 6

Plant flowers, vegetable plants or seeds, fruit plants, trees or grass after amending soil.

Things You'll Need

  • Compost


  • Arizona Cooperative Extension: What You Should Know About Rotary Tillers
  • Colorad State University Cooperative Extension: Tilling Your Soil 'Till It's Workable

Who Can Help

  • Lowes: Testing and Improving Your Soil
Keywords: Use tiller, Tilling lawn, Improving soil

About this Author

Sommer Sharon has a bachelor's degree in IT/Web management from the University of Phoenix and owns a Web consulting business. With more than 12 years of experience in the publishing industry, her work has included "Better Homes and Gardens," "Ladies' Home Journal," "MORE," "Country Home," "Midwest Living," and "American Baby." Sharon now contributes her editorial background by writing for several Internet publications.