A garden tiller is a tool that people use to break up hard earth for a new garden or to recondition the soil in an established one. These tillers have rotary blades that slowly churn the soil, which aerates and evenly redistribute the nutrients in it. Some gardeners choose to add materials to the soil before tilling. This is one way of adjusting a soil's alkaline or acid composition. Since nutrients are redistributed throughout the soil, crops that are grown in tilled ground tend to grow better than those that are not. There are several different types of tillers available for gardeners to rent or purchase.
Many gardeners invest in a small hand operated tiller or cultivator. These tools require a lot of effort to use and are best for soft soil or small areas. Gardeners often turn to these precision hand tools to weed in between rows of a garden or to churn soil in an already established flower bed.
Motorized tillers are available in gas or electric form. An electric tiller does not require as much maintenance as a gas powered one does, and it tends to be much lighter and easier to store. An electric tiller also runs quieter and is better for the environment than a gas powered one. However, it is limited by its cord and a gas-powered tiller is much more powerful.
The majority of gardeners who choose to buy a tiller choose a mini tiller. Mini tillers tend to weigh under 25 pounds, are easy to maneuver and easy to store. The typical mini tiller consists of four rotary blades and four wheels. These tools are ideal for churning up soil around trees and shrubs. They can also be used for breaking soft ground in small backyard gardens.
A front tiller is a larger version of the mini tiller. Its rotary blades are positioned in the front of the machine. A front tiller is often less expensive than a rear tiller, but it is also harder to control. This machine is best used for soft soil and small plots of land.
Rear tillers are heavy duty machines that afford more options then the other types of tillers. These machines can be used to till hard, rocky soil as well as soft soil. The blades are able to move in both directions and the soil depth is adjustable in some models. The position of the blades make these tillers less labor intensive; however, they are also the most expensive tiller.
Casual gardeners who only till the soil once or twice a year will probably prefer renting a tiller. Most garden centers and home improvement stores are willing to rent these units out. The price tends to vary by the type of tiller and the length of time that they are rented. A tiller is usually rented out on a daily basis, but some stores also offer hourly rates. It is a good idea for customers to call different shops in their area to find the best prices.