How to Till a Garden With a Tractor


Tilling a garden by hand can be backbreaking work. Fortunately automatic rotary tillers can ease your burdens. Although many gardeners use a push rototiller, as an alternative you can hook up a tiller to the back of your lawn tractor, similar to but smaller than those used by farmers.

Step 1

Purchase a rotary tiller that fits on the back of your tractor. Universal tractor tillers usually fit most lawn tractors as long as the tractor produces enough horsepower.

Step 2

Attach tiller to the rear transaxle of the tractor. Bolts and brackets are used to mount the tiller to the back of the tractor frame. Follow assembly instructions carefully since each tiller and tractor are different.

Step 3

Turn on the rototiller (usually with a pulley and clutch). The tiller should be up off the ground when started.

Step 4

Start the tractor and use the handle to lower the tiller to the ground. Then slowly accelerate to till the garden, proceeding smoothly and at an even speed. The tractor mowing element should be at its highest setting and turned off.

Step 5

Go down the first row. Once the tractor reaches the end of the row, turn the tractor 180 degrees to till the next row but in the other direction. The tiller behind the tractor will swing in the same path as the tractor and most likely till the entire row. If the tiller did not get quite to the end of the row, then go a bit further down the next row to make up the difference. In a couple of rows, you will get a feel for how your specific tractor and tiller work together.

Step 6

Turn off the tractor, pull up on the handle to raise the tiller and turn off the tiller when done.

Tips and Warnings

  • People and animals should not be nearby when tilling. Raise the tiller and turn it off if approached.


  • Example Rototiller for Tractors
Keywords: till garden, tractor tiller, rototiller, rotary tiller

About this Author

Melissa Lewis graduated from the University of Maryland Baltimore County and is a former elementary classroom teacher and media specialist. She has written over 20 episodes for the radio drama entitled "A Work in Progress." She also writes for several online outlets, including Gardenguides, Travels and Examiner, and is currently finalizing a movie script to be filmed in 2010.