How to Operate a Lawn Tiller

Overview

A lawn tiller has a variety of uses including tilling soil in raised beds, breaking ground for new garden areas or to plant grass seed or sod and removing tough weeds and roots. It's imperative to operate a lawn tiller properly to avoid damaging the machinery. You should understand the various settings on the tiller and which you should use for various jobs.

Step 1

Start the engine. Turn the switch to "on" or "start" to start. Switch the choke to the closed position. Turn the throttle toward "fast" or press the purge button to start sending fuel through the fuel line. Pull the starter cord until it sputters. Push the choke button back in. Pull the starter cord again to start the engine.

Step 2

Set the throttle to slow if equipped with a throttle. Release the clutch and push the shift lever to the preferred gear position. Speeds vary with each model, but many have one to three slow gear positions for moving the tiller, two gear positions for tilling and weeding, neutral and reverse.

Step 3

Place a front tine tiller at the head of a row for deep tilling, such as when tilling garden areas. Set the tines of the tiller in the soil. Use a rocking motion and keep moving forward with the tiller until you reach the end of a row. Place a rear tine tiller at start of a row and push the tiller forward. With their higher horsepower, rear-tine models do much of the work for you so you don't have to push as much. Just grip the machine handle and let it do its work.

Step 4

Switch the tines to the cultivating position for shallow tilling. Remove the pins from the tines and the tines from the axle. Place the right side tines onto the left side axle and the left side tine onto the right side axle. Insert the pins to hold the tines in place.

Step 5

Dislodge weeds and roots by placing the tiller over the weeds or roots. Rock the tiller back and forth to cut through it.

Step 6

Switch the tiller to the "off" or "stop" position when you finish tilling the ground.

References

  • Mantis Tiller: Yard and Garden Projects
  • Little Wonder: Mantis Tiller/Cultivator Owner's Manual
  • LSU AgCenter: Selecting a Rotary Garden Tiller
  • Honda Power Equipment: Owner's Manual Tiller FRC800
Keywords: operate lawn tiller, run lawn tiller, use tiller

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.