If you are tilling a garden area for the first time, the first step is to kill the grass and weeds in that area.
You must know how to till a garden before you begin.
Some people recommend tilling a garden without first killing the grass and weeds. They suggest tilling the vegetation into the soil. I have found that weeds and grass are a constant problem if you follow that method.
One way to kill the vegetation is to lay a heavy tarp over the entire garden area. You will need to leave the tarp down for several weeks so that all vegetation is killed.
In tilling a garden, another way to accomplish this is to spray the area with some type of weed and grass killer. This will work faster than the tarp methods.
There is a negative side to spraying particularly if you are planting vegetables. You probably don’t want the chemicals of the spray to affect the soil that is growing the food you will be eating.
Don’t use a chemical spray for flower gardens if you want an organic garden.
After most of the vegetation has been killed, remove any weeds or grass that is still growing. Do this by digging it up and shaking the dirt off the vegetation. Dispose of any weeds or grass.
Now your garden area is ready for tilling. This is the time to determine the best way of tilling a garden. This depends a lot on your physical condition and the size of your garden.
Tilling a garden for the first time with a garden tiller is a fairly rough job. But it is much easier than doing it manually. Using a tiller, you can dig down into the soil at least 6 inches. A garden tiller does a great job of making the soil soft and fine.
Tilling a garden manually is very labor intensive. It requires using a shovel to dig down and turn the soil over for the entire area of the garden. Then you must break up clods of dirt. This can be done using the backside of the rake and hitting the clods.
This is backbreaking work. But if you are relatively young and physically fit, it can certainly be done. I have personally done a lot of this manual labor. I was always happy to reach the end of the job.
Tilling a garden can be done in the late fall or early spring. Tilling in the fall is absolutely necessary in order to prepare the garden for the next spring. Freezing and thawing of the soil during the winter months will break the soil down even more and leave it in better shape for next year’s planting.
In the spring, the tilling job is much easier. But you must add nutrients to the soil such as compost, peat moss, manure, etc. Of course, these nutrients are mixed much better in the soil using a garden tiller.
The bottom line? You must know how to till a garden before you begin.