What is Rototilling?
Rototilling is the process of turning over soil by using a rotary tiller. It can help loosen compacted earth and may be used to control weeds, among other benefits. Rototillers are typically driven with an internal combustion engine on wheels or as part of a tractor implemented in rows or rings. The size and shape of these implements vary depending on their purpose, but they usually have three blades that work together for tillage purposes: two fixed blades mounted at the sides near ground level, which slice into the earth horizontally; and one rotating blade above them, which cuts vertically so it doesn’t get stuck in the loosened dirt.
Why you may need to rototill before laying sod?
The process of laying sod typically requires that the soil be loosened and weed-free. There are a few different ways to do this, but rototilling is considered one of the most effective methods for getting rid of weeds before you lay your new lawn. In some cases, it may also help break up compacted earth in order to make your yard easier to work on. Regardless of what type or size tiller you use when preparing your ground for sodding, just remember not to overwork any given area by going too deep with repeated passes—a general rule is six inches at a time–and stop altogether once water begins pooling near the blades. The best way to get started tilling would likely depend on where you live as well—if you live in an area with frozen earth, it would be better to wait until spring before starting the process.
When you should not have to rototill before laying sod?
Some homeowners may not need to rototill before laying sod if they live in an area with frozen earth. If you don’t, it would be better to wait until spring and start the process then. However, other homeowners may not need to use a rototiller if they’re laying grass on sod. If you do so, make sure that the lawn already has some green in it and would be able to support the weight of vehicles or people walking on it. In some cases, you may also need to plant grass seed before laying sod.
What are the benefits of rototilling before laying sod?
Rototilling your lawn can help loosen compacted earth for improved aeration and healthier grass growth. It can also control weeds in the process, which can save you time and money on weed-control chemicals. When you begin preparing your yard for new sod, you may have to decide between tilling or using a spade or other sharp tool (at least six inches deep) to dig and remove weeds. Weeding by hand typically takes longer than rototilling does; moreover, it’s difficult to get rid of all the seeds in your lawn with a spade, which means you’ll still have to do some manual weeding every so often.
Important rototilling tips
If you’re planning to sod your yard with new grass in the spring or summer, begin preparing early by tilling or digging at least three weeks before installing it and continue throughout the winter and into the spring or summer. This makes it easier to get rid of weeds and kill them off for good, rather than having to de-weed your lawn again in the future.
Additional rototilling tips
If you’re using a rototiller in order to prepare your yard for sodding, follow these general rules for best results:
Use the right size tiller for your yard—you may need to rent one if you don’t own a rototiller. For larger properties, get a larger one; conversely, use smaller ones on small places.
Be sure to check the condition and oil level of your rototiller before using it as well.
Start with a smaller area to get the hang of it before you tackle your entire yard.
Adjust the height and depth settings for optimal results. If you’re tilling deeply, work at a lower angle; conversely, adjust your rototiller to an upright position when working on shallower areas.
Watch out for rocks, tree roots, and other obstacles in your yard when using a rototiller; you may want to leave them alone rather than make the tiller work harder than necessary.
Wear safety protection when tilling—that means long pants and shoes that cover your ankles as well as gloves. It’s also a good idea to wear goggles or some type of eye protection, not only to avoid eye injury but also to make sure that soil doesn’t get into your eyes.
Work on a dry day and water the area well before tilling. You may want to use a sprinkler or watering can in order to do this.
If you’re tilling an area that’s infested with weeds, make sure to spray the weeds with an herbicide in order to kill them off immediately. If you don’t, they may still grow back even after being dug up.
Brush away any chunks of soil that remain on the surface in between rototilling sessions so that your grass will be able to take root properly.
Remove rocks from your tilled area and dispose of them.
If you’re tilling your yard in spring or summer, you may want to work a half day each week until you’ve completed the entire project so that it will be ready for sod installation when the time comes.
Finally, if you can’t install your new sod right away after laying it down, consider protecting the grass by covering it with forest mulch or even a tarp. Check on it occasionally to make sure that everything is okay and don’t remove either of these covers until you can install your new sod in its permanent location.