Hand Garden Tillers


Hand tillers, also known as hand cultivators, have been used in soil preparation and maintenance for generations. You use a tiller to prepare the ground for gardens and keep the area clear of weeds or unwanted growth. Tillers also help to aerate the soil, allowing more oxygen and moisture to reach plant roots.


Hand tillers vary in appearance. Look for tillers to have prongs, spikes or a bladed wheel at the end of a long handle. Use prongs and spikes for digging. Use the wheel for mixing soil and cutting down growth. Long handles make working more comfortable.


Tillers work well in applications where you're dealing with soil or other organic material, especially soil preparation. You can use hand tillers to mix organic material into the soil or cut weeds out of the soil. Use hand tillers around vegetables, flowers or in narrow rows and spaces where a powered tiller would be too destructive.


Insert the spikes or prongs 6 inches into the soil to gain maximum effect for the effort. Twist the handle 45 degrees to break up the soil or mix material. If you're using a bladed tiller, set the blade into the soil and push the blade forward.


Purchase a tiller that's an appropriate size for your yard and beds. Choose a smaller tiller if you have a small, compact yard or intricate beds. Look for tillers to range between 6 and 24 inches wide at the base. Tillers with a base smaller than 9 inches wide often weigh less than 20 lbs.


Wear thick leather shoes when working with hand tillers to guard against foot injuries. Wear eye protection to guard against flying debris, such as rocks. Prepare the area before tilling by removing the debris, garbage and visible weeds.

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Jack S. Waverly is a Pennsylvania-based freelance writer who has written hundreds of articles relating to business, finance, travel, history and health. His current focus is on pets, gardens, personal finance and business management. Waverly has been writing online content professionally since 2007 for various providers and websites.