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Last Updated on July 14, 2022 by woodcutter
We all know how much of a pain it is to remove weeds by hand from our gardens. You may be thinking to yourself, wouldn’t it be so much easier to just use a tiller to get rid of them?
So, what’s the real story? Can you actually use a tiller to remove weeds?
Weeding with a tiller may be quicker, but it can also spread weed seeds underground, ensuring a speedy return of weeds to your garden. That being said, if you have a large amount of weeds to remove, it may still be a good option. Just be sure to weigh the pros and cons before making a decision.
What Happens When You Use a Tiller To Remove Weeds?
Weeding with a tiller can have some unexpected consequences. Here are three factors to consider before using a tiller to remove weeds:
Weeds End Up Spreading Their Seeds
When you use a tiller to get rid of weeds, in many cases the weed itself gets torn to pieces. This means that the seeds on the plant itself get scattered all over the place. Even worse, the tiller will mix them with the soil, making it impossible to sort them out afterwards. Because of this, using a tiller can result in a quick victory – but it will ultimately cost you the war, because the weeds will grow in greater numbers than ever before.
For this reason, if the number of weeds in your garden or yard is manageable, I recommend pulling them out by hand. This may take a bit longer, but it will be worth it in the end when your garden is weed-free.
You should always wear protective gloves while removing weeds, as some of them have small thorns that can make the process quite painful. If you don’t have any gloves at home, you can always order a pack from Amazon. The gloves I linked to are perfect for this purpose, as the coating will prevent small thorns from getting through. Additionally, you can check out this video to learn how to remove weeds the right way.
Weeds Get Torn Into Pieces
The other main problem is that weeds are incredibly resilient. They can regrow from their roots alone, and in some cases the severed plant can grow new roots too. This makes it difficult to control them and keep them from spreading.
The tiller will tear the weed into many pieces, and if not properly removed, those pieces can grow into their own plant over time. This way, you will end up with more weeds in the long run than the amount you started out with. As you can see, using a tiller to remove weeds have a lot of downsides. But in some cases, it can still be a good idea to do it, and I’ll get into that in a moment.
The soil structure is compromised
The soil’s structure is key for the plants growing in it. A healthy balance of microorganisms, worms, and other small creatures create rich soil that allows your plants to grow. Although tilling can be helpful in some cases, too much of it can damage the delicate balance of organisms in the soil and lead to problems for your plants.
This not only disturbs the natural oxygen channels built by the worms and insects mentioned above, but it can also cause the soil to be overly loose.
Although loose soil is often thought to be ideal for plants, it can actually compress easily, preventing vital air from reaching the roots.
When is it Recommended To Use a Tiller To Remove Weeds?
Although it’s not usually recommended, there are some cases where using a tiller to remove weeds makes sense. I’m talking about those times when, for whatever reason, your garden or yard hasn’t been tended to in a very long time, and is completely overtaken by weeds. In these cases it would take an unimaginable amount of time to pull them all out by hand, and so, the use of a tiller can really save the day.
Basically, the tiller is great for getting rid of a bunch of weeds at once. Just pull out the new weeds as they pop up. Of course, you still have to do it the right way. Some people recommend leaving the weeds to dry out in the sun after a tilling session, but that’s a bad idea. Dry weeds can spread their seeds more easily. Now, let’s look into how to do it properly.
How To Use a Tiller To Remove Weeds
The process is quite simple – You start up your tiller and keep going until all the weeds are gone. The key to a healthy garden is removing the weeds from the soil afterwards..
As I explained earlier, if you leave them in the soil they will just regrow eventually. However, if you take them out of the soil, they will not be able to regrow.
After you are done tilling, use a rake to break up the soil into smaller chunks. This way, the weeds become more visible and easy to separate from the soil. You can also use the rake to help with this process.
Collect all the weeds you can find and put them in a bag or bucket. Don’t leave them lying around on the ground.
Picking up smaller parts with a rake can be difficult, so you’ll need to do it by hand. Remember, the more parts you collect now, the fewer weeds will appear later. If you want to see how it’s done, this video provides a good summary.
What Type of Tiller is Best For Weed Removal?
The best tillers for weed removal are the ones with large, slow-moving blades. Most front- and rear-tine tillers fall into this category. The reason for this is that you don’t want to tear your weeds into more pieces than necessary. Ideally, the tiller should just turn them out of the ground in one piece as the blades are rotating.
An example of this would be a “cultivator” type tiller. These usually have smaller blades, and rely on fast rotation to dig into the ground.
This will definitely cut your weeds into many pieces, so I wouldn’t recommend doing it unless you have no other options.
To Sum it Up
As you can see, using a tiller to get rid of weeds has its pros and cons – the key is to analyze the situation and decide which method is best for you. A small amount of weeds does not warrant using a tiller, and you may end up doing more harm than good, due to the weeds spreading around more quickly.
A tiller can be a big help when you’re dealing with a lot of weeds. Just make sure to remove the weeds from the soil after you’re done, roots and all. Thanks for reading – see you next time!