Tilling is a process that any gardener knows well. It allows air to permeate the soil and loosens the earth, allowing the roots of newly planted plants to spread and penetrate into soil. But why is tilling needed?
The primary reason for tilling is to loosen and aerate the soil, which is particularly necessary when first starting a new planting area. For new gardens, deeper tiling is required to truly benefit earth that may not have been turned over in many years. Older gardens already have an ecosystem established, and the soil is much more workable for plants. They have microorganisms that help stimulate plant growth as well as more aerated soil from regular planting and replanting which keeps moving fresh air into the soil, helps prevent weeds, and makes the garden inhabitable for all kinds of plants.
When tilling a brand new garden, you need to make sure that the soil is slightly moist. If the soil is overly wet, it will clump and cannot be properly tilled. As you till, you can add a few inches of compost or organic matter to provide additional nutrients to the soil, as well as help improve drainage and aeration, says SF Gate. You can also double dig the new garden, loosening down to a depth of two feet using a shovel. Once completed, you can then set up the garden into rows, moving about a foot out of each row to plant and then using that soil to backfill as you plant.
Existing gardens typically need minimal tilling, since the soil has already been worked. In these cases, you won’t need to get your tiller out. Instead, simply turn over the top few inches of soil to loosen the soil for planting and then add your new plants or seeds.
As you get ready for spring, now’s the time to start thinking about tending to your garden or planning out your new planting space. Our inventory of gardening and lawn equipment can help make your preparation easy. With locations throughout Maryland, we’re near you, and getting the equipment you need is a snap. Stop in and see us today and find the gardening equipment and supplies you need today.