If you are putting in a new garden or replacing your lawn this year, chances are you will be using a rototiller rental to help make the the job as easy as possible. Rototillers rent for an average of $60 to $80 for a day. If you are only renting one for 4 hours, you may be able to rent one for $45 or $50. Whenever I rent a rototiller, I like to make sure I wear comfortable closed tow shoes (so i won’t get dirty). In addition, I also like to wear gloves and long pants. If you are using a tiller rental for the first time, keep the machine in a low gear and be careful when turning it. Once you get the hang of it, you can go faster.
How to use a Rototiller Rental
First make sure you have oil in the engine and that you have it gassed up. Then you will need to have the choke in place the first time you start it. After pull the starter cable, switch the engine from choke to run. Normally, I like to make 3 or more passes with the tiller. This helps to break up hard soils and pull up cumbersome rocks. When I start, I go around the edges of the garden first. After that, I take the rototiller rental back and forth length wise, until I have tilled over the garden three times. Try to avoid large obstacle and remove them before starting.
How a Tiller Rental Works
A tiller has rotating blades that dig into the soil and help to turn it over. Larger tiller also have rotating front wheels that help propel the machine forward. Smaller tillers only have small rotating blades and you push or pull them at you own desired pace. A small tiller may only be able to get to a depth of 3 to 4 inches. Larger tillers have no trouble going 12 to 18 inches below the surface and some will even go 24 inches. There is almost always a trigger (or gear) to engage the rotating blades. Also the larger machines will allow you to set the depth at which you would like to till. 6-12 inches is a typical depth for tilling. The lower gear are the slowest ones. I like to use the lower gears for the first pass and the highest gear for the second and third pass. Generally, a 2 hour window, is plenty of time to get the job done properly. On large rental rototillers the blades are located in the back of the machine so be careful not to get to close when the blades are engaged and operating.
*Using the rototiller to till up your garden after your fall harvest. This will allow the garden leftovers to compost over the winter and give you better garden soil to plant in in the Spring.
Small tillers may work better in reverse, but never drive a large one in reverse while the the blades are engaged.
Be sure to know where your sprinkler lines and your utility lines are before starting.