How to Use a Small Tiller to Kill Thistles


Small tillers, commonly referred to as mini tillers, are less powerful than full-size tillers. These small tillers work just like a larger tiller but should only be used on smaller jobs such as tilling areas under 300 square feet or removing weeds from home garden areas. Tillers are an effective solution for weed removal. Weeds, like thistles, spread through their root systems and are best removed by breaking up the soil so that they can be pulled from the soil by their roots. Wear gloves when removing weeds to protect your hands from being cut or scraped.

Step 1

Clip the thistle flower heads with a pair of clean garden shears. Clip each head directly below the blossom and place it in a trash container.

Step 2

Break up the soil with the tiller to a depth of 8 inches. Dig the tines into the ground until the soil loosens. Work in rows. When you reach the end of a row, turn and till to the opposite end until you have tilled the entire garden area.

Step 3

Pull the thistles with glove-covered hands. Do not pull the weeds until the soil is loose enough that the roots come away easily from the ground.

Step 4

Rake any thistle remains together. Dispose of thistle remains in the trash container.

Things You'll Need

  • Garden shears
  • Garden gloves
  • Rake


  • Ohio State University Extension: Controlling Weeds in Nursery and Landscape Plantings
  • Colorado State University Cooperative Extension: Tilling Your Soil 'Till It's Workable
  • Colorado Gardening: Q&A Weeds
Keywords: till weeds, remove weeds, kill thistles

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.